The U.S. House of Representatives considers H.R.4352, a legislative fix to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, on December 1, 2021.

The bill ensures that all federally recognized tribes, regardless of the date of federal recognition, can restore their homelands through the land-into-trust process. The 2009 ruling in Carcieri otherwise requires tribes to show they were “under federal jurisdiction” as of 1934, creating uncertainty and injecting hurdles into the process.

“Placing land into trust is vital for tribal sovereignty and self-determination and we must remember that most of the land sought to be placed in trust is actually historic land, aboriginal land of the tribes themselves,” said Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-New Mexico), the House Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States.

“They are simply seeking to reacquire it and to have the same trust protections placed on that land as their other land,” said Fernandez.

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