Tribe To Host Forum On Proposed DOI Regs

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe will host a forum on Tuesday, July 29, conducted by the Department of the Interior, on proposed regulations to fix the current federal recognition process for Indian tribes.

The forums will consist of a public meeting from 8:30 AM to noon and a tribal consultation from 1 to 4:30 PM at the tribe’s community and government center. The focus of the discussion will be proposed regulations, announced by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn earlier this year, to reform the 35-year-old process by which the Department of the Interior officially recognizes Indian tribes.

Key features of the proposed rule would update the Part 83 criteria to include objective standards; promote efficiency by requiring a petitioner to show community/political influence and authority from 1934 to the present, rather than as early as 1789; and would eliminate the need for a petitioner to demonstrate that third parties identified the petitioner as a tribe from 1900 to the present.

The proposal would also make changes to the petitioning process that facilitates the issuance of proposed findings and final determinations, and allow an administrative judge to conduct a comprehensive hearing and review of a negative proposed finding.

The community is invited to attend the public meeting portion of the forum. Tribal consultations are open only to representatives of federally recognized Indian tribes.

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