House Natural Resources committees want the BIA to take more time on their changing of the rules for Federal recognition...
“We are concerned that the Department’s proposed rules fail to address many of the issues that have been identified and could create new problems that lead to unintended and unjustifiable outcomes,” the lawmakers wrote.
One of the more controversial changes is a new requirement that tribes demonstrate political authority since 1934, where they previously had to show continuity from “historical times.”
Supporters of the rule change say it helps to remove unfair burdens. Advocates say that some tribes have been denied recognition because records were lost or burned over hundreds of years, and any tribe that was still together by 1934 had overcome histories of mistreatment.
The letter urges the Interior Department to hold off on putting out final regulations until issues with recognition can be evaluated more thoroughly. The other congressional members who signed the letter are Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, and Rep. Mike Thompson, a California Democrat.