Bill to benefit Miami Nation moves forward in House and Senate

Leaders of the Miami Nation of Oklahoma, from left to right: First Councilperson Donya Williams, Second Councilperson Scott Willard, Chief Doug Lankford, Secretary-Treasurer Sarah Lawson and Second Chief Dustin Olds. Photo from Miami Nation

Legislation to help the Miami Nation of Oklahoma resolve a governance issue is gaining traction in the 114th Congress.

The tribe functions under a charter that was adopted through the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. The document is outdated but changing it is nearly impossible -- the process involves several steps at the tribal and federal level.

The simplest solution would be to revoke the charter and a bill to do just that was approved by unanimous consent at a markup session of the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. H.R.533 stands a good chance at passing the full House because a similar version was approved last year.

The bill did not pass the Senate before the end of the last session of Congress. But the Senate Indian Affairs Committee took up S.321 quickly this year and approved it at a business meeting last month.

Congress has approved similar bills for other tribes in the past.

Committee Notice:
Markup on H.R. 152, H.R. 308, H.R. 373, H.R. 404, H.R. 533, H.R. 979, H.R. 984, H.R. 1168, H.R. 1324 (March 25, 2015)

Related Stories:
Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting and hearing (02/23)
Lawmakers introduce bill to allow Miami Nation to revoke charter (01/30)
House backs measure to allow Miami Nation to revoke charter (06/24)
House Natural Resources Committee approves Miami Nation bill (04/10)

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