TEMPLE, ARIZONA — Currently, the United States federal government recognizes 566 American Indian tribes. The federal recognition distinction provides the American Indian tribes with certain legal, regulatory and financial rights and privileges that non-recognized tribal communities do not have.
However, the recognition has been controversial, slow and inconsistent. Many non-recognized tribes have complained they have been left out in the cold.
This subject will be examined in a two-day conference, entitled “Who Decides You’re Real? Fixing the Federal Recognition Process.” The conference is being presented by the Indian Legal Clinic at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University this Thursday, January 16, and Friday, January 17, 2014.
The registration fee is $25 and students attend free! Click here to register.
The Indian Legal Clinic recently conducted the first comprehensive survey of unrecognized tribe. The conference is a next step to examine how the process can be improved.
“Those tribes that are struggling with gaining U.S. federal recognition have an even more difficult time in meeting the governance and social needs of their citizens. This conference will give anyone interested in the issues surrounding the U.S. federal recognition process, and the exercise of inherent sovereignty, a chance to engage in discussions and hear how tribal leaders and professionals in the field are working on improving the process,” comments Frank Ettawageshik, former tribal chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and a member of the conference planning committee.
The two-day conference will bring together tribal leadership and member, consultants who have assisted unrecognized tribes in establishing or exercising rights, and other interested individuals to discuss challenges faced by the unrecognized tribes.
Attendees will participate in sessions that focus on identifying obstacles and proposing solutions to current recognition framework.
“Additionally, panels have been organized to give examples of how tribes have been exercising sovereignty even when other surrounding sovereigns do not acknowledge that sovereignty. This lack of respect for tribal governments is an issue that can affect all tribes whether federally recognized or not,” stated Ettawageshik.
“Who Decides You’re Real? Fixing the Federal Recognition Process” Conference
Thursday, January 16 & Friday, January 17
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Arizona State University
310 East Orange Street
Temple, Arizona 85281