Indian Issues: Timeliness of the Tribal Recognition Process Has Improved, but It Will Take Years to Clear the Existing Backlog of Petitions

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) regulatory process for recognizing tribes was established in 1978. The process requires groups that are petitioning for recognition to submit evidence that they meet certain criteria--basically that the petitioner has continuously existed as an Indian tribe since historic times. Critics of the process claim that it produces inconsistent decisions and takes too long. Congressional policymakers have struggled with the tribal recognition issue for over 27 years. H.R. 4933 and H.R. 5134, introduced in the 108th Congress, and H.R. 512, which was introduced ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 10, 2005.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) regulatory process for recognizing tribes was established in 1978. The process requires groups that are petitioning for recognition to submit evidence that they meet certain criteria--basically that the petitioner has continuously existed as an Indian tribe since historic times. Critics of the process claim that it produces inconsistent decisions and takes too long. Congressional policymakers have struggled with the tribal recognition issue for over 27 years. H.R. 4933 and H.R. 5134, introduced in the 108th Congress, and H.R. 512, which was introduced last week, have focused on the timeliness of the recognition process. This testimony is based in part on GAO's report, Indian Issues: Improvements Needed in Tribal Recognition Process (GAO-02-49, November 2, 2001). Specifically, this testimony addresses (1) the timeliness of the recognition process as GAO reported in November 2001 and (2) the actions the Department of the Interior's Office of Federal Acknowledgment has taken since 2001 to improve the timeliness of the recognition process."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 10, 2005

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Indian Issues: Timeliness of the Tribal Recognition Process Has Improved, but It Will Take Years to Clear the Existing Backlog of Petitions, text, February 10, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290844/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.