US overhauls process for recognizing Indian tribes
By The Associated Press
Kent, CT (AP) -
A proposal by the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs could help tribes across the United States achieve long-sought federal recognition.
The goal of President Barack Obama's administration
is to streamline the approval process, but critics say the proposal
lowers the bar through changes such as one requiring that tribes
demonstrate political continuity since 1934 and not "first contact" with
Federal recognition has been granted to 566 American tribes. It is coveted because it brings increased health and education benefits to tribal members in addition to land protections and opportunities to use it for commercial development.
But host communities, including several small
Connecticut towns, fear the change would open the door to new court
battles over land claims and proposals for more casinos.
Copyright 2013 The
Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
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