After more than 28 years of waiting for the Federal Government to recognize them, the Juaneno tribe will have to wait some more.
A decision on whether the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians will get federal recognition is now expected on or before Dec. 15, a ruling pushed back more than two months since it was originally anticipated.
R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Office of Federal Acknowledgment, informed petitioners of the new decision deadline in a letter dated Sept. 24.
We had no idea that once the OFA makes the final determination it goes to the Office of Assistant Secretary," said Cathy O'Campo Lopez, whose father Joe O'Campo is one of the petitioners.
She is not optimistic that recognition will be granted because Juaneño members are not unified under one tribal government, O'Campo Lopez said.