Federal lawmakers criticize Bureau of Indian Affairs


. . . But House members were more critical of Connecticut’s efforts to get aid for towns that are fighting BIA tribal recognition decisions. Instead, said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., “I think it’s just the opposite. We shouldn’t give money to the towns, we need to give money to the tribes.”

He said states like Connecticut and its local leaders are trying to influence the recognition process “in a way that is inappropriate.”

Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., told the panel that the state is not anti-Indian and does not challenge the idea of tribal sovereignty. But she referred to the BIA’s recent federal recognition of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation in Kent, and said the agency did not adhere to its own regulations when making that decision.

“The BIA process has been an absolute travesty,” she said. “The standards absolutely have to be clarified and adhered to.” . . .

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