A landscape on the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. Photo: Mr.TinDC

House subcommittee schedules hearing on two more tribal land bills

Two tribal land bills are getting their first hearing in the 115th Congress

The House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs will take testimony on H.R.231, the Canyon Village Land Conveyance Act, and H.R.4032, the Gila River Indian Community Federal Rights-of-Way, Easements and Boundary Clarification Act, on February 6. The bills address land issues for tribes in Alaska and Arizona, respectively.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced H.R.231 on January 3, 2017. The bill requires the federal government to complete a long-overdue land conveyance to Canyon Village in Alaska.

“Our family, an extended family, chose to live here as it is our hunting grounds, and was our ancestor’s hunting grounds for many, many years," Delma Fields, the first chief of the village, a federally-recognized tribe, said last summer. "Our culture and our lives are based around land, this land in particular.”

Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D-Arizona) introduced H.R.4032 on October 12, 2017. The bill resolves a number of rights-of-way, easement and boundary issues for the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona and it includes provisions to place land into trust for the tribe.

After a slow start at the beginning of the 115th Congress last year, the House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, which is part of the House Committee on Natural Resources, has advanced a slew of tribal land bills. One of them, H.R.1306, the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act, has already become law.

Four more tribal land measures -- H.R.1532, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act; H.R.1491, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Land Affirmation Act; H.R.597, the Lytton Rancheria Homelands Act; and H.R.1404, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Land Conveyance Act -- passed the House without objections. They await action in the Senate.

A witness list for the hearing on H.R.231 and H.R.4032 hasn't been posted online yet.

House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Notice:
Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Tribal Lands Bills (February 6, 2018)

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