Narragansett chief on Capitol Hill to lobby for land-into-trust fix
Friday, November 19, 2010
Chief Matthew Thomas of the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island is making one final push for a fix to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.
The case began more than a decade ago when the tribe won approval for a land-into-trust application. But state and local officials fought the tribe in court.
After several victories, the Supreme Court in January 2009 ruled that the tribe can't follow the land-into-trust process because it wasn't under "federal jurisdiction" in 1934. The tribe gained formal federal recognition in 1983.
The Obama administration and key members of Congress support a fix to ensure that all tribes, regardless of the date of their recognition, can follow the process. But a standalone bill failed to pass either the House or the Senate.
Supporters are now looking for other ways to pass the fix. It's been included in the House version of the Interior appropriations bill but concerns about a gaming-related proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) have threatened progress in the Senate.
STORY FROM www.indianz.com