Who Decides You’re Real?
Fixing the Federal Recognition Process
January 16 & 17, 2014
Arizona State University
Memorial Union, Ventana Ballroom – 241
310 E. Orange Street
Tempe, AZ 85281
This conference made possible in part by:
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The U.S. government officially recognizes 566 Native American tribes. These communities have certain legal, regulatory and financial rights and privileges that non-recognized communities do not. But the recognition process has been controversial, slow and inconsistent, with many tribes saying they are unfairly left out in the cold.
The Indian Legal Clinic at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University recently conducted the first comprehensive survey of unrecognized tribes. At the same time, the U.S. Department of the Interior has announced that it will propose new regulations in an effort to improve the federal recognition process.
This conference focused on the history of federal recognition, current issues with recognition, the administrative criteria, proposed changes to the federal acknowledgment process, and the results of the Clinic’s survey.
It brought together tribal leadership and members, consultants who have assisted unrecognized tribes in establishing and exercising rights, and other interested people to discuss challenges faced by unrecognized tribes. Attendees participated in sessions that focused on identifying obstacles and proposing solutions to the current recognition framework.