Chinook Nation optimistic on federal recognition
The Chinook Nationof Washington remains hopeful it might gain federal recognition during the 111th Congress.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs agreed to recognize the tribe in the final days of the Clinton administration. But the decision was held back by the Bush administration, which eventually rejected the tribe's petition.

The tribe now has a supporter in Rep. Brian Baird (D-Washington), who is sponsoring a bill to restore the Chinooks to federal status. But there is opposition from the Quinault Nation, whose leader accused Clinton officials of destroying the integrity of the federal recognition process at a House Natural Resources Committee yesterday.

The Obama administration does not support the bill or oppose it, an official said. "Congress has the plenary power to legislate with respect to the Indian tribes," said George Skibine, the acting principal deputy assistant secretary at the BIA.

Get the Story:
Chinooks get their day before Congress (The Daily Astorian 7/15)
Baird calls for swift action to restore the Chinook nation (The Daily Astorian 7/15)

Chinook Recognition Bill:
H.R.2576: Chinook Nation Restoration Act

Committee Notice:
Full Committee Legislative Hearing On H.R. 2678, H.R. 1358, H.R. 3084, And H.R. 3120 (July 15, 2009)

Related Stories:
Audio: House hearing on federal recognition bills (7/15)
Washington tribes clash on federal recognition (7/15)
Witness list for hearing on four recognition bills (7/14)
House hearing on four federal recognition bills (7/13)
House panel tackles more federal recognition bills (7/8)
Chinook chair eyes recognition in three years (6/23)
Editorial: It's time to recognize the Chinook Nation (5/27)
Chinook Nation to lobby for recognition in DC (5/26)
House bill introduced to recognize Chinook Nation (5/22)
Editorial: Move quickly on Chinook recognition (1/29)