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Federal Recognition
Appeals court hears Eastern Pequot recognition suit

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Thursday in the state of Connecticut's challenge to the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation's federal recognition.

The lawsuit centers over a deadline former assistant secretary Kevin Gover imposed in February 2000. Gover, who tried to reduce the amount of work that went into researching the tribe's petition, told the Bureau of Indian Affairs staff to stop accepting new information.

The state contends the directive violated BIA regulations but a federal court rejected the challenge. The Department of Justice argued yesterday that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the complaint because the recognition process wasn't finished yet.

Former assistant secretary Neal McCaleb recognized the tribe in the summer of 2002. That decision is on appeal to the Department of Interior's Board of Indian Appeals.

Get the Story:
State Seeks Reversal Of Ruling In Easterns' Recognition Case (The New London Day 4/23)
AG challenges a tribe's status (The Norwich Bulletin 4/23)