Congress Takes up Troubled Tribal Recognition Process

October 12, 2007

Author: Jerry Reynolds

Source: Indian Country Today

WASHINGTON - The federal process for acknowledging tribes has come under heavy criticism in both chambers of Congress within recent weeks, with assorted tribes urging legislative recognition for themselves and others trapped in a labyrinth of red tape and delay at the Interior Department.

Meanwhile, at a Sept. 19 hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Carlyle Consulting began to distribute a combined list of recognition reform bills that have been introduced in Congress - 32 of them over the course of 20 years.

''Slow justice is slow death,'' said Tom Rodgers of Carlyle, adding that tribes deserve a decision before more years and decades go by and more elders die. He urged passage of a Senate bill to recognize the Muscogee of Florida.