06/22/14

BIA latest recognition proposal is blow to CT tribes

By Ana Radelat 

. . . But, in what Jones said was political pressure from Connecticut officials, the BIA changed a previous draft of the proposal to include language that says, in order to renew their claims, tribes whose bids for federal recognition have been rejected must receive approval from those who previously opposed their recognition.

That would make it very difficult for the Eastern Pequot of North Stonington, the Golden Hill Paugussett of Colchester and Trumbull, and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent, to make another application. Their bids for federal recognition were rejected and the entire Connecticut political establishment has, for years, opposed the tribes’ recognition and still does – strongly.

The BIA’s new proposed rules say “an entity that previously petitioned and was denied federal acknowledgment” including a reconstituted tribe or splinter group, can reapply only if “any third parties that participated as a party in an administrative reconsideration or federal court appeal concerning the petitioner has consented in writing to the re-petitioning” and the tribe meets other requirements in the proposed regulations.

“It’s clearly an indication of influence peddling,” Jones said of the restrictive language. . .

Read more: http://ctmirror.org/bia-latest-recognition-proposal-is-blow-to-ct-tribes/

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07/19/13

Blumenthal Stirs Opposition to Federal Recognition – Again

By Gale Courey Toensing

It didn’t take long for the Connecticut official who was once called “the enemy of Indian country” to start stirring up opposition to proposed revisions to the federal acknowledgment process.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal organized a meeting in his Connecticut office on July 9 office to rouse local and state officials into fighting a “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of potential changes to the federal acknowledgment regulations. The draft was released just two weeks earlier by Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn. It was enthusiastically received by tribal leaders and others at the National Congress of American Indian’s Federal Recognition Task Force during the organizations’ mid-year conference in Reno, Nevada, at the end of June.

The news that Blumenthal was working to undermine Washburn’s proposal was announced in a newspaper report datelined Kent, Connecticut, where the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has a 400-acre reservation and a pending land claim under the 1790 Indian Trade and Nonintercourse Act for some 2,000-plus acres, including hundreds of acres used by Kent School, a private prep school. “Town, school gird for fight: Legal battle looms on tribal recognition,” in the Republican American reported on a Kent Board of Selectmen’s meeting July 2 when First Selectman Bruce Adams shared a three-page document called “Talking Points – Proposal Will Change BIA Rules and Award Federal Tribal Status to Previously Denied Tribal Groups in CT” and announced he would attend a meeting the next week at Blumenthal’s office to discuss the proposed changes to the federal acknowledgment process…

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/07/19/blumenthal-stirs-opposition-federal-recognition-again-150496

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07/2/13

WSJ: Connecticut, Tribes Collide on Federal Rule

Joseph De Avila authored a column in the Wall Street Journal on the Indian tribes of Connecticut and the potential BIA rule change:

“…Under one proposal being considered by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, a tribe could bypass other requirements of the complex federal-recognition process if it has held a state-recognized reservation since 1934. The current rules are tougher: Tribes need to document they have been a distinct community with political authority since first contact with European settlers. The change could ease federal recognition for the three Connecticut tribes, which have struggled to document a continuous history. Two of the three tribes have won federal recognition in the past, but lost it after the state appealed…”

Chief Velky is featured in the article. Continue reading here: WSJ_Tribes Collide on Federal Rule.
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06/29/13

White House Council on Native American Affairs Begins Implementing President’s National Policy Initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today convened the inaugural meeting of the White House Council on Native American Affairs, launching President Obama’s national policy initiative to make federal agencies work more collaboratively and effectively with federally recognized tribes to advance their vital economic and social priorities.

“Today’s meeting underscores President Obama’s commitment to build effective partnerships with American Indian and Alaska Native communities and make the federal government work more efficiently to find solutions to the challenges facing Indian Country,” said Jewell. “I am honored to play a role in the President’s initiative to maximize federal efforts to support the tribes as they tackle pressing issues, such as educational achievement and economic development. The federal government’s unique trust relationship with tribes as well as the Nation’s legal and treaty obligations call for a priority effort to promote prosperous and resilient communities.”

Today’s discussions focused on initial efforts to implement President Obama’s executive order that established the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Joining Secretary Jewell at the White House meeting were Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The Council, which includes more than 30 federal departments and agencies, coordinates the Administration’s engagement with tribal governments and works across executive departments, agencies and offices to develop policy recommendations and expand efforts to leverage federal programs and resources available to tribal communities.

The Council, which will meet at least three times a year, will focus its efforts on advancing five priorities that mirror the issues tribal leaders have raised during previous White House Tribal Nations Conferences:

1) promoting sustainable economic development;
2) supporting greater access to and control over healthcare;
3) improving the effectiveness and efficiency of tribal justice systems;
4) expanding and improving educational opportunities for Native American youth; and
5) protecting and supporting the sustainable management of Native lands, environments, and natural resources.

The Executive Order that established the Council also institutionalized the White House Tribal Nation Conference as an annual event. Held each year since the President came into office, the conferences have brought together leaders from all federally recognized tribes with Cabinet members and senior Administration officials.  President Obama has hosted the conference four times since 2009.

The President’s national policy initiative advances his Administration’s concerted efforts to restore and heal relations with Native Americans and strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship between the United States and tribal governments, bolstering the federal policies of self-determination and self-governance that will help American Indian and Alaska Native leaders build and sustain their own communities.

Pictures from today’s meeting are available here.

06/10/13

Hartford Courant Joins Blumenthal’s Anti-Indian Campaign

By Gale Courey Toensing

It’s the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States. George Washington placed an ad in it to lease part of his Mount Vernon land. Thomas Jefferson sued it for libel and lost. Mark Twain tried to buy stock in it, but was rejected. It’s Connecticut’s largest daily newspaper. And now it’s joined Sen. Richard Blumenthal and other elected officials in a racist anti-Indian campaign against reforming the federal recognition process – all in an effort to stop additional Connecticut tribes from being acknowledged and opening casinos.
The Hartford Courant, which began as a weekly in 1764, published an editorial August 8 warning against a draft proposal of changes to the Interior Department’s federal acknowledgment process that Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn released June 21.

Blumenthal is leading the campaign in opposition to the reform effort in order to stop the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation (EPTN) and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN) from possibly regaining the federal acknowledgments they received in 2002 and 2004, respectively. The acknowledgments were overturned in 2005 after Blumenthal led a relentless and orchestrated campaign of opposition and political pressure involving local and state elected officials and an anti-Indian sovereignty group and its powerful White house-connected lobbyist, Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR). An Indian Country Today Media Network editorial, “A Lack of Interior Fortitude,” describes “the force of outside pressure” and its impact across the country…

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/08/10/hartford-courant-joins-blumenthals-anti-indian-campaign-150807

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07/31/11

Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Seeks to Regain Rightful Status

By Gale Courey Toensing

A superior court judge has ordered a non-Indian man to leave the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation reservation in northwest Connecticut, where he has cut down dozens of trees and has damaged acres of land. In addition to evicting the man, the ruling also settles a long-running dispute over the tribe’s governance and leadership, affirming that the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, not a faction that calls itself the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe, is the tribe’s legitimate governing authority.

But equally important, says Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Chief Richard Velky, the ruling will help the nation in its campaign to regain federal acknowledgment. That recognition—granted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on January 29, 2004—was revoked in an unprecedented move by the BIA in 2005, after a relentless 18-month lobbying campaign by Connecticut politicians and the very powerful lobbyist for a group of wealthy anti-casino landowners, Barbour Griffith & Rodgers, and at least a dozen municipalities in the state. Connecticut Federal District Judge Peter Dorsey dismissed the tribe’s appeal of the reversal in 2008, based largely on the fact that he believed federal decision-makers who said they were not affected by the tsunami of political pressure put on them. That political influencing was so blatant and the reversal-process so notorious that one Indian law attorney in Washington recently called it “a shameful example of all that’s wrong with the federal recognition process.” . . .

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/05/31/schaghticoke-tribal-nation-seeks-regain-rightful-status-35230

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06/13/11

Excerpt From Indian Country Today Article By Gale Toensing

STN Federal Recognition Article by Gale Toensing

(Click the link above to view the article)

Photo of Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Chief Richard Velky and the 40,000+ pages of documents that granted the STN their legitimate and merited Federal Recognition on Jan 29th, 2004.

Photo of Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Chief Richard Velky and the 40,000+ pages of documents that granted the STN their legitimate and merited Federal Recognition on Jan 29th, 2004.

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06/25/07

Column: Backroom politics derail Schaghticokes

From Indianz.com:

“We know about all the press conferences, the showboat congressional hearings and the charges of corruption that dominated the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s long, unsuccessful fight for federal recognition.

Now, as the Schaghticokes, whose reservation is in Kent, make a final pitch to revive their case in federal court, it’s clear powerful forces were at work behind the scenes. Led by our congressional delegation, opponents went straight to the top in their effort to undo the tribe’s federal recognition.
In the spring of 2004, Margaret Spellings, then President Bush’s domestic policy adviser and now secretary of education, along with other senior aides, began a series of meetings with tribal opponents, including U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District, according to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

That’s a top, trusted aide to the president, working with Schaghticoke opponents.
The tribal recognition process is required, by law, to be free from politics. A series of federal court rulings support this.

By the fall of 2005 the Schaghticoke recognition and that of another Connecticut tribe, the Eastern Pequots, was revoked, the first time the government reversed a decision like this.

There’s no proof Spellings put the fix in. But we know three loud voices against the Schaghticokes – Shays, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons – were Republicans facing tough re-election races for their House seats in both 2004 and 2006. We know the White House was paying particularly close attention to Shays . . .”

Learn more: http://www.indianz.com/News/2007/005090.asp

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08/28/06

Former BIA head says Schaghticoke petition was the best

By Gale Courey Toensing, originally published at Indian Country Today:

Aurene Martin (360-usa)

Aurene Martin

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In a surprising declaration that challenges the grounds used to overturn the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s federal acknowledgment, the former head of the BIA has testified that the tribe’s petition was among the best ever reviewed by the Indian agency’s research staff, and the best reviewed during her entire tenure at the Interior Department.

Aurene Martin, the deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs from October 2001 to July 2002 and acting assistant secretary for Indian Affairs until February 2004, praised the tribe’s 30,000-plus page petition for federal acknowledgment in a legal declaration signed July 18.

”The consensus among the OFA’s highly trained research staff was that the STN petition was among the best and most thoroughly researched petitions ever reviewed by the BIA. It was certainly the best among those that we reviewed during my tenure in the Department [of the Interior],” Martin wrote.

Martin’s declaration has been submitted to the U.S. District Court in New Haven among a flurry of other motions seeking discovery and depositions as part of STN’s appeal of the Indian agency’s unprecedented decision last October to rescind the tribe’s federal recognition. The appeal asks the federal court to restore the tribe’s federal acknowledgment, citing violations of due process and improper political influence on federal decision-makers by Connecticut’s politicians in overturning the BIA’s recognition decision.

Defendants in the appeal are Interior, former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James Cason, the BIA, the OFA and the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. Martin headed the BIA when the tribe received a negative proposed finding in December 2002 and, after submitting volumes of additional documentation, achieved a positive final determination. In both cases, it was Martin who telephoned the news to Chief Richard Velky.

The recognition was overturned in October last year after a year and a half of intense opposition and lobbying by Connecticut’s local, state and federal officials; an anti-Indian citizen’s group called TASK; and TASK’s powerful Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Barbour, Griffith and Rogers. Cason, who signed off on the negative ”Final Reconsidered Determination,” conveyed the news to the tribe by fax. Martin’s statement refutes two controversial issues Cason used to rescind the tribe’s federal acknowledgment: state recognition and intra-tribal, or endogamous, marriage rates. Velky and attorneys for the tribe declined to comment on the significance of Martin’s declaration or how much weight it might carry in the appeal because of a gag order imposed on the appeal process by Interior.

Martin said she and the OFA researchers had carefully scrutinized the tribe’s petition in regard to the seven mandatory criteria for federal recognition; when the positive final determination was issued, ”there was an agreement among the staff involved in the review of the petition that STN met its burden of proof under all of the applicable criteria for federal recognition,” Martin said.

In reversing the tribe’s federal status, Cason gave credence to state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s claim that state recognition could not be used as evidence of tribe’s continuous existence – despite the fact that it was used extensively in the case of the Mohegan Tribe, which had voluntarily de-tribalized in the late 19th century. He also cited Blumenthal’s argument that there was a discrepancy in the method of calculating Schaghticoke endogamous marriages that lowered the marriage rate for a short period in the 19th century to just below the 50 percent threshold that counts as evidence of continuous community and political authority. The tribe could not locate written documentation proving state recognition for a 12-year period in the 19th century, Martin said.

”Since written documentation existed for the years immediately before and immediately after this period and there was no indication whatsoever that the lack of a written record was due to termination of the tribe’s political existence, it was our collective opinion that the lack of documentation did not indicate a lack of political continuity. Additionally, before, during and after this period, the State of Connecticut recognized the STN as a political entity, occupying its own territory within the state’s borders,” Martin said.

The tribe has a 400-acre reservation on Schaghticoke Mountain in Kent, the remains of a 2,500-acre reserve that was set aside for the tribe by the colonial government in 1736. Land-claim lawsuits for around 2,100 acres of mostly undeveloped land adjacent to the reservation are pending. Martin testified that the professional OFA staff, which includes anthropologists, historians and genealogists, had determined through its review of available evidence that the state had recognized the tribe as a distinct community and dealt with it as a separate government even during the 12-year period that lacks documentation.

Further, she noted that Connecticut’s other state-recognized tribes were denied the right to vote in state elections until the early 1970s. ”In my opinion, the denial of the right to vote in the state’s elections to members of the state recognized tribes was conclusive evidence to me that in the state’s eyes, the tribal members were members of another distinct political entity,” Martin said.

Martin said she and the professional researchers also examined other evidence of state action and legislative acts both within the state of Connecticut and elsewhere and found that ”when compared to other states, the actions of the state of Connecticut with respect to STN were substantial and continuous.”

In regard to the STN’s marriage rates, Martin said the staff evaluation showed the tribe’s marriage rates could be calculated using a variety of different acceptable methodologies, one of which showed that the tribe’s marriage rates ”fell just shy of the target rate contained in the federal criteria.” Another method resulted in rates that surpassed the criteria’s target rate, Martin said.

The professional researchers were allowed to use the method of calculating marriage rates that they believed to be most suitable, Martin said, and unanimously decided to use one of the methodologies that showed the tribe surpassed the criteria. But even if the alternative method had been used that showed ”a minute shortfall” in the marriage rates, ”the positive recognition … would not have been changed. The professional staff concluded that STN had a significant rate of endogamy, and we were never presented with anything to suggest that there was a significant issue with regard to STN’s marriage rates,” Martin said.

07/12/06

Thoughts on Criticisms to Make of the OFA’s Method for Analysing Marriage Patterns, as Adopted in STN’s RFD

Thoughts on Criticisms to Make of the OFA’s Method for Analysing Marriage Patterns, as Adopted in STN’s RFD (the Little Shell PF and Burt Lake FD).

Steven Austin
Begun: November 12, 2006

In no particular order:

1. At the time the CTAG filed his appeal of the STN FD before the IBIA, the OFA’s research staff was divided and or uncertain as to what precedents had been set by previous OFA decisions. That the STN’s method was okay with the OFA, is supported by the fact that the OFA affirmed that analysis in its FD. Rather than having a consistent body of precedent, the OFA precedent on marriage patterns was completely incoherent, as seen in the notes, e-mails, and memos written by OFA researchers during the IBIA appeal process. Not only had the OFA’s researchers used different methods for calculating marriage patterns from one decision to another, they also used significantly different methods within the same decision (applying widely divergent time-frames – sometimes calculated every 20 years, every 10 years, or annually; whether the rate should be based on the longevity of the relationship or the initial year the marriage union was contracted; failed to use statistically random sample, rather doing the calculations based on capriciously choosing specific family lines (e.g., calculating marriage patterns within the family lines of tribal council members, rather than all of the petitioner’s members who married; or, calculating marriage patterns for unions that had produced offspring).

Rather than admit that they had used varying methods and that this was a problem, they took the position (with no support in logic or from the professional literature) that they could use STN’s method for evaluating marriiage patterns under 83.7(b)(1), were required (by past OFA precedent) to use the CTAG’s method for evaluating marriage patterns under 83.7(b)(2).

The OFA’s technical assistance and decisions are relied upon by petitioners to provide a model for their own work in putting together petitions for acknowledgment. When the STN’s method for calculating marriage patterns was reaffirmed by the FD, and the CTAG has not met its burden during the APA review (a preponderance of evidence) to show that the STN’s petition was in error (in fact, STN added to the body of evidence supporting its position, but the CTAG did not), STN has a reasonable expectation that the FD would be upheld.

The STN was put in the incredibly disadvantageous position of attacking an undeclared negative FD during the IBIA appeal process. Had STN had a full opportunity to appeal a negative FD, the research strategy would have been very different during the IBIA appeal process. For example, we would have looked at the literature on marriage patterns in a much fuller manner than that allowed by the ad hoc process created during the IBIA review.

Also, in Federal law the Agency is shown deference in its decisions when it has unique expertise in its area of administration. In this case, however, the OFA’s body of precedent is characterized by inconsistency (also acknowledged by Bob Jackson, OFA Historian), and the failure to observe accepted social science methodology, statistical standards, and basic logic. These characteristics make the OFA’s opus an unreliable basis for making any decisions. The inconsistency supports the STN’s position that the professional literature must be considered and the OFA open the issue up to comment from professionals in the field of social science statistics.

2. The OFA researchers were aware that various methods had been used in past OFA decisions (in fact, initially Rita Souther was quite ardent in her support of the method the STN and OFA both used for the FD, repeating the OFA’s received wisdom at that time indicating the marriage rates could legitimately be calculated either way, STN’s or the CTAG’s), asked questions about what the OFA’s precedents were (DeMarce and Souther seem solid that counting individuals was the way it had usually been done; Roth was less commital, particularly given his analysis in Little Shell PF, which adopted the CTAG’s method in 2000), and if there were any reasons they might want to go in a different direction than they had in the past; in the end, they chose to go with the one that seemed to least benefit the petitioner; more concerned about that (not appearing to be too favorable to the petitioner) than what the professional literature and statistical logic and methods required.

4. OFA weighed whether or not any past petitioners who had either been acknowledged or rejected for the same would have achieved a different result, depending on which marriage patterns method would be used. We did the same analysis, and concluded no one would have been acknowledged who might have benefitted by using the correct method.

5. OFA did not review the literature we submitted or the arguments that we made based upon that literature, with the exception of Robert Jackson (OFA Historian), who agreed that our method was the correct one. Simply attempted to cast doubt upon the literature review by stating broadly that the petitioner’s researchers did not state explicitly how many hours were spent conducting the literature review. A statement of how many hours were spent on the petitioner’s research has never been required. Rather, the OFA’s responsibility is to confirm or disconfirm the evidence and arguments in the petition materials.

The appropriate, professional response, and the one required by the regulations and the two supplementary “directives,” would have included a review of the literature as well as our arguments. In superficially dismissing the literature review, the OFA completely sidestepped its responsibility under the regulations and currently stated OFA policy and procedures.

Rather, than considering what the petitioner’s researchers had presented in the form of a literature review and professional arguments, the OFA appears to have decided that the method they wanted (or were ordered) to adopt was the CTAG’s method, and then they looked at earlier precedents to attemp to demonstrate that they had “always” done it this way (at least “when it mattered” under 83.7(b)(2)).

6. The OFA should not be allowed to flaunt accepted professional and statistical methods, whether their own recently adopted “precedent” (Little Shell, STN, and Burt Lake) supports them or not (and as we’ve established, their precedent does not consistently support their newly adopted method). The OFA researchers’ work is supposed to be governed by the principles of each of their professions (anthropology, history, and genealogy), not to the preferences or whims of the individuals.

7. The CTAG has taken the position that “marriage rate” and “rate of endogamy” are two different things. This is a misleading and false dichotomy, and the CTAG’s position is not supported by reason or the social science literature. In the context of the acknowledgment regulations at 83.7(b), there is only one marriage trend at issue: the change over time in the rate at which tribal members marry other tribal members (ceteris paribus, this rate is expected to decline over time, from first sustained contact to the present). It is a trend in the extent to which it characterizes the tribal membership’s overall behavior. The calculation that determines if there is a pattern of tribal members marrying other tribal members is the rate of endogamy. Specifically, to meet the requirements of 83.7(b)(2), the petitioner must present evidence that demonstrates there is a pattern of the petitioner’s members marrying each other at a rate of 50 percent or more. Thus, the marriage pattern is determined by the rate of endogamy.

8. STN’s position is supported by logic, statistical methodology, the regulations, and the guidelines for the regulations.

There is absolutely no conceivable justification for choosing to use the CTAG’s method for calculating endogamy.* It is not one of several legitimate ways that the calculation can be made. It is statistically flawed and must not be adopted.

*I can only think of two reasons for using the method called for by the CTAG. The first would be to compare the rate of endogamy for tribal members and non-tribal members. But to do that, one would need complete data for the marriages of non-Indians, which the CTAG does not have. Indeed, the STN did not collect data on non-Indian marriage patterns because the marriage patterns of non-Indians are not at issue under the acknowledgment regulations. Rather, it is the overall pattern of behavior of the tribal membership that is at issue.

A fictional example of this would be: Of 100 marriages for the whole town of Kent, Indians and non-Indians, for the decade 1800-1809.

Marriages - Table 1

The data for this fictional population would result in an endogamy rate of 75 percent (15/20=.75) for the STN membership and an endogamy rate of 88 percent (70/80=.875) endogamy for non-STN citizens. The percentage would not change if the calculations were made based on the number of individuals involved in the marriages:

Marriages - Table 2

STN endogamy rate 30/40= .75
Endogamy rate for non-STN members 140/160 = .875

This demonstrates that if the calculation is done using a valid statistic, the result will be the same, whether one calculates on the basis of marriages or individuals married.

The problem with choosing the CTAG’s method is that it lacks complete data on non-Indians, and erroneously makes its calculations in the following statistically invalid manner:

Marriages - Table 3

A total of 30 “marriages” for the STN tribal membership, and 50 percent of them are endogamous, rather than 75 percent.

The second way one could use a statistic similart to the CTAG’s would be limit the study to one sex or the other. But, one would have to predetermine whether one were interested in investigating only the behavior of males or females, in order to be consistent in one’s treatment. Then one would have a table, as follows:

Marriages - Table 4

This results is a 50 percent (10/20 = .5) endogamy rate for STN males.

But the CTAG does not propose this method. Rather, he is implicitly haphazard in whether he is considering the behavior of male or female tribal members. Even if he did choose to use this valid statistic, it would not comport with the requirement of the acknowledgment regulations, which call for a study of the whole tribe’s behavior with regard to marriage, which implies both male and female behavior. The OFA can offer no rationale for being implicitly haphazard in considering only male or female tribal members’ behavior, and they have not tried to do so. The OFA’s researchers also do not address the grounds on which they would choose to study one or the other (male or female), even though it is possible to do so.

Analogies and Comparisons

Make the comparison with the way the OFA calculates the 50 percent when evaluating residence patterns under 25 CFR 83.7(b)(2). If there are non-Indian spouses in the household, or non-Indian step-siblings or half-siblings, they are not included in the count. The OFA should do the marriage patterns calcuations the same exact way, by eliminating the non-Indians from the count.

This is not about the wording of the regulations, the guidelines, or previous decisions of the OFA. It is about choosing to use a statistically valid measure for understanding the behavior of the Tribe’s members. The use of the invalid statistic proposed by the CTAG, and currently accepted by the OFA, must be discontinued. It has not caused harm to any petitioners thus far, with the exception of STN.

Choosing the CTAG’s invalid statistic results in the following irrational result. Take an example of two STN tribal members who are married to each other in an endogamous marriage from 1800 to 1810. The CTAG would count that as one marriage. If these same two individuals divorced in 1810 and remarried in 1812, this time they each marry non-Indians, this would count as two marriages, according to the CTAG’s invalid measure.

Current status of the literature review.

The statistic, even when done correctly is conservative, underestimating the tendency of tribal members to marry each other. This is because of the great imbalance between the number of citizens in the Indian community and the number in the non-Indian community, the latter being much smaller than the latter, as well as a skewed sex-ratio (which I pointed out was the case for STN in one of my earlier papers in 2003). T

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