Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Federally Recognizied Indian Tribe Acti of 1994

Enacted by the President on November 2, 1994 the H.R. 4180 (103rd): Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 became the law.

Nearly 19 years have passed that established a tribe can be federally recognized by an an act of Congress, a court ruling, or the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

The last time Congress recognized an Indian tribe was in 2000 when they recognized the Loyal Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Since 2009, the BIA has granted federal recognition to one tribe (Shinnecock Indian Nation, a 32 year process) and denied recognition to five tribes. In 2002, the Schagticoke were granted federal recognition by the BIA only to have it revoked a short time later.

Federal recognition acknowledges a tribe's sovereignty and establishes a government-to-government relationship with the federal government. It also gives federally recognized tribes access to certain federal benefits and programs. The benefits of state recognition are much more limited and state-recognized tribes do not enjoy the same immunities as federally recognized ones.

It has been determined that the BIA process is broken, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe of Virginia were told that many of them wouldn’t live long enough to see their tribe officially recognized.

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