A ruling on whether the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians should get federal recognition expected next week has been pushed back 60 days, another in a series of delays.
The new deadline for the decision by the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, called final determination, is now on or before Feb. 14
In the letter dated Wednesday, Director Lee Fleming, says that "the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk has granted a 60-day extension for the Final Determination (FD)."
A decision, already pushed back a few times, had been expected on or before Dec. 15.
"The Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs needs this extension to allow for review of the recommended decisions," said Fleming in the letter informing petitioners.
Joe O'Campo and Sonia Johnston are listed as Petitioner No. 84B, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, while Anthony Rivera is Petitioner No. 84A, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation. The federal government is evaluating both petitions simultaneously.
The divided groups have sought federal recognition for nearly three decades.
If the Juaneños become a tribe in the eyes of the federal government, the group will be recognized as a sovereign nation.
Read more in the OCREGISTER