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House Resources hearing on five Indian bills
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Filed Under: Politics

The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss five Indian bills.

The bills were:
* H.R. 5608: To establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications, to strengthen the United States government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes, and to reduce the imposition of unfunded mandates upon Indian tribes. "Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments Act"
* H.R. 3522: To ratify a conveyance of a portion of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation to Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, pursuant to the settlement of litigation between the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Rio Arriba County, State of New Mexico, to authorize issuance of a patent for said lands, and to change the exterior boundary of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation accordingly, and for other purposes.
* H.R.3490: To transfer administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal lands from the Bureau of Land Management to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to take such lands into trust for Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria, and for other purposes. "Tuolumne Me-Wuk Land Transfer Act of 2007"
* S. 2457: A bill to provide for extensions of leases of certain land by Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
* H.R. 5680: To amend certain laws relating to Native Americans to make certain adjustments, and for other purposes.
With regard to H.R. 5608, three Bush administration official testified against it. Associate deputy Interior secretary Jim Cason, National Indian Gaming Commission chairman Phil Hogen and acting Indian Health Service director Robert McSwain said it was unnecessary.

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. and Oneida Nation Chairman Gerald Danforth testified in favor of the bill. Poarch Creek Chairman Buford Rolin said it didn't go far enough to include all agencies at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The other tribal witnesses spoke in favor of provisions specific to their tribes. Hearing Testimony:
Full Committee Legislative Hearing: H.R. 5608, H.R. 3522, H.R. 3490, S. 2457 And H.R. 5680 (April 9, 2008)

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