Petition to Remove 3rd Party Veto from the Federal Recognition Process
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To: Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
June 7th, 2014
COMMENTS AND PETITION
To remove the 3rd party veto provision and allow all tribes an equal opportunity to apply for recognition under the final proposed regulations for recognition.
After (22) years in the BIA process the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation (EPTN) was federally recognized in 2002 as the historic EPTN with a reservation established in 1683. However, in 2003 CT and (29) towns appealed through the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) (which is no longer a part of the recognition process under the proposed regulations) and in (2) years overturned the EPTN positive decision.
We, the undersigned acknowledge the work of BIA's proposed reform federal recognition regulations particularly giving great consideration to tribes with reservations and state relationships established since 1934. We agree with BIA that”a state reservation is a formalization of "collective rights in Indian land" that the Department identified as a dispositive indicator of an Indian tribe." However, we are shocked and extremely opposed to the exception of a 3rd party veto for tribes that have been previously denied. This 3rd party veto is in contravention of the very intent of the proposed regulations to "re-form the broken process, to establish objective standards, and to maintain the integrity of the process".
We understand that there is significant political opposition in the State of Connecticut against the proposed regulatory changes and the recognition of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation. The Federal government does serious disservice to Indian nations if it allows political pressure to undermine the Federal government’s historical trust responsibility and deny the tribal, historical, legal, and political rights of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.
Therefore we request that BIA remove the 3rd party veto provision and allow all tribes an equal opportunity to apply under the proposed final regulations for federal recognition.
391 Norwich Westerly Road - P.O. Box 208 - North Stonington, Connecticut 06359