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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Federal Recognition

Criteria summarized below (with my comments):

A group of Indians must have been identified as a group or community by people outside the tribe from 1900 to the present.

The petitioning entity must demonstrate it has maintained a continuous community from the time the tribe first had contact with non-Indians.

The petitioning group must demonstrate there are and have been leaders within the tribe who, over time, have influenced the behavior of other members. For example, leaders who resolved conflicts or helped decide an Indian building should be restored.

The petitioning group must submit a copy of its governing document, or, if it does not have one, a statement describing tribal membership criteria and the membership application process.

The petitioning entity must show that its current members are descendants of historic tribes or tribes that joined together as one political group.

The petitioning group must demonstrate that the majority of its members do not belong to another federally-recognized tribe. In 1954, the Termination and Relocation Act of 1954 arbitrarily erased 61 tribes.

The petitioning group must prove that it has never been terminated by legislation.

Please read the last two requirements again…