National | Federal Recognition

BIA opens meetings on changes to federal recognition process

Three generations of Houma women are seen in this undated photo. Photo from United Houma Nation

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is holding a series of public meetings and tribal consultations on proposed changes to the federal recognition process.

The first meeting took place last week in Louisiana. Participants included the United Houma Nation, whose leaders hope the changes will reverse a negative preliminary decision on its petition.

"Our people have been fighting this battle for a long time," Chief Thomas Dardar Jr. told The Wall Street Journal.

The revisions to Part 83 would require tribes to provide documentation dating to 1934. Currently, petitioners have to go back to the date of first contact, a task that proves costly and difficult.

The changes also allow previously denied groups to seek another shot at recognition. But the proposal requires the consent of all interested parties so some wouldn't be able to re-submit due to opposition from state governments and other tribes.

The BIA's meetings continue through the end of the month. The public comment period ends August 1.

Get the Story:
Tribes Seek Speedier Federal Recognition (The Wall Street Journal 7/11)
Choctaw-Apache faces leadership change, pushes for federal status (The Shreveport Times 7/11)
Vancleave Choctaws overcame discrimination, poverty (The Biloxi Sun Herald 7/11)
Native Americans celebrate tribal recognition with cucumbers (WLOX 7/11)
North Stonington official warns towns of tribal land claims (The New London Day 7/11)

Federal Register Notice:
Federal Acknowledgment of American Indian Tribes (May 29, 2014)

Relevant Documents:
Proposed Rule | Press Release | Comparison Chart (comparing current rule to proposed rule) | Response to Comments on June 2013 Discussion Draft | Frequently Asked Questions

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