SCIA to Hear Three Federal Recognition Bills

By:  Indian Country Today Media Network – Staff Writer
Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

Later this afternoon, at 2:30 p.m. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, will chair a business meeting followed by a legislative hearing on three bills for federal recognition for tribes in Virginia, North Carolina, and Montana.

The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act (S. 1074), introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), would extend federal recognition to six Virginia Tribes: the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe – Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, the Monacan Indian Nation and the Nansemond Indian Tribe. According to a SCIA press release, the tribes would be provided with a land base to serve as their reservation with the legislation.

In North Carolina Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) have introduced The Lumbee Recognition Act (S. 1132) that would extend federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and authorize the taking of land into trust for the tribe by the Secretary of the Interior.

The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana are seeking federal recognition through a bill introduced by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Max Baucus (D-MT). The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act of 2013 (S. 161) would establish a service area for the tribe requiring the Secretary of the Interior to take 200 acres of land in trust to be used as the Band’s land base according to the release.

SCIA will receive the views of the Department of the Interior as presented by Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, while hearing testimony from Stephen Adkins, chief of the Chickahominy Indian Tribe; Paul Brooks, chairman of the Lumbee Tribe; and Gerald Gray, chairman of the Little Shell Tribe on the impact of the proposed legislations.

Before the hearing begins a business meeting will be held to consider three bills: the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act (S. 235), the Sandia Pueblo Settlement Technical Amendment Act (S. 611), and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Non-Intercourse Act of 2013 (S. 920).