Thank you for visiting the official website of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN), a Native American Tribe located in Kent, CT. The Schaghticoke Tribe has been a state recognized tribe for over 300 years. Our reservation, granted in 1736 by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut, is one of the oldest in the United States.  It encompasses roughly 400 acres between the western bank of the Housatonic River and New York state.  A national trail system, the Appalachian Trail, passes through the scenic reservation near the historical Schaghticoke rattlesnake den.

Today, the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation continues their struggle for federal recognition.  Although STN was granted federal recognition in 2004, it was unjustly reversed on Columbus Day in 2005 due to heavy political influence by Connecticut politicians and backing by wealthy land owners.  It is STN’s mission to have their recognition restored.

In June of 2013, The Department of the Interiors Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs issued a Discussion Draft proposing revisions to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) process for federal acknowledgment of Indian Tribes (25 CFR Part 83).  The State of Connecticut disagreed with Assistant Secretary Kevin K. Washburn proposed new rule changes in a letter sent from Governor Malloy dated February 24, 2014.  Accompanying his letter was a three page explanation of the state’s opposition to the recognition of tribes by requiring that all involved third parties consent to a tribe’s application regardless of the historical facts that support the tribe’s petition for recognition (see Governor Malloy’s letter to President Obama).

On May 22, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced publication of the proposed regulations.  As part of the revisions made in the proposed regulations,  the US government is attempting to block the recognition of tribes by requiring that all involved third parties consent to a tribe’s application regardless of the historical facts that support the tribe’s petition for recognition.

On May 27, 2014, Chief Velky commended Assistant Secretary Washburn in putting forth the new rule changes (see Chief Velky’s letter to Assistant Secretary Washburn). While objecting to a third party veto power over a tribe’s effort to repetition for federal acknowledgement, he believes the new rule changes do not comport with the due process and equal protection principles of our Constitution.  Chief Velky believes the Constitution does not provide for a state or its political subdivisions to exercise an absolute veto over the exercise of the constitutional authority.

People are encouraged to voice their opinions during a public comment session scheduled from 8:30am-4:30pm on July 29, 2014 at the Mashpee Reservation located at the Mashpee Wampanoag Community & Government Center Gymnasium, 483 Great Neck Road-South Mashpee, MA  02649.  If you plan to attend the hearing on July 29 and would be willing to drive other tribal members in need of a ride, please email us at stn1699@yahoo.com

Letters for public comment can be emailed to consultation@bia.gov with “1076-AF18″ in the subject line.  If you prefer to submit your comments by mail, their mailing address is:

Elizabeth Appel
Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action
United States Department of Interior
1849 C Street,NW
MS 4141
Washington, DC 20240

Please reference ID #1076-AF18 on the letter.

**The deadline for public comment letters is August 1, 2014.**

Ground Blessing

To learn more about the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation and our history, please visit the links located to the right of this page.

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