The dispute between two California counties and an Indian tribe is one of the issues under consideration in today's House Natural Resources Subcmte. hearing on procedures for recognizing Indian tribes.
Napa and Sonoma counties are fighting to block federal recognition of the Mishewal Wappo tribe, which lost its tribal status in 1959. The tribe is suing the federal government to regain its status.
The counties are concerned that recognition of the tribe will lead to gambling casinos and other business activities that cannot be taxed by local governments.
According to the Napa Valley Register, Napa Country Supervisor Diane Dillon will argue that the tribe can only be recognized by an act of Congress.
The hearing will focus on the question of which branch of government has authority to recognize Indian tribes and whether the Department of the Interior is exceeding its legitimate power to set federal Indian policy.