Breaking News - Washburn Proposes Changes to FAP!

Post date: Jul 5, 2013 11:06:04 PM

On June 24th, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Keven Washburn presented proposed changes to the Federal Acknowledgment Process to the NCAI Task Force on Federal Acknowledgment, following a June 21st press release on the issue, in which he stated: “The discussion draft is a starting point in the conversation with federally recognized tribes, petitioners and the public on how to ensure that the process is fair, efficient and transparent... We are starting with an open mind and no fixed agenda, and we’re looking forward to getting input from all stakeholders before we move forward with a proposed rule that will provide additional certainty and timeliness to the process. In many parts of the discussion draft, we have made no fixed recommendations in order to have the benefit of that input in formulating a proposed rule.” The press release further states that, "The discussion draft maintains stringent standards for core criteria and seeks comment on objective criteria to be incorporated into the standards. The draft suggests changes to improve timeliness and efficiency by providing for a thorough review of a petitioner’s community and political authority. That review would begin with the year 1934 to align with the United States repudiation of allotment and assimilation policies and eliminate the requirement that an external entity identify the group as Indian since 1900." The Department will accept written comments on the draft until August 16, 2013.

The discussion draft is available at

Washburn's Bold Plan to Fix Interior's Federal Recognition Process, and Indian Country Today Article by Gale Courey Toensing

This marks the most bold and far reaching effort to address a system that has been declared unfair, unpredictable, capricious, irrational, and unjust for decades. ACET urges all member tribes to send testimony to the BIA on the matter no later than August 16, 2013.