Published on May 15, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. | Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass legislation (H.R. 375) that would cleanly fix the 2009 decision of Carcieri v. Salazar, by protecting existing Indian trust lands and restoring certainty and fairness to the land into trust process. This marks a significant step forward for Indian Country. NCAI applauds today’s House vote and believes it serves as a good indication that Indian Country issues are being taken seriously.
Through passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA), Congress rejected the devastating federal policy of allotment which caused the loss of 90 million acres of tribal homelands. For a decade, NCAI has requested that Congress address the Carcieri problem and noted in its written testimony that this could be achieved by (1) restoring the Secretary of the Interior’s authority under the IRA to take land into trust for all federally recognized tribal nations; and (2) reaffirming existing Indian trust lands. This common sense approach is wholly consistent with the IRA’s intent to rebuild tribal homelands, governments, and economies, and a clean fix would end the confusion and intergovernmental disputes that resulted from the Supreme Court’s ill-advised decision a decade ago in Carcieri.
NCAI’s hope is that our champions in the United States Senate will get behind this bill for a swift passage. Its passage would be a monumental win for Indian Country as tribal government land bases are part of the foundation of tribal sovereignty. All tribal nations deserve to receive equal treatment under the IRA.
NCAI exists to support and strengthen tribal sovereignty, and we look forward to tribal nations being able to cultivate economic and community development opportunities on lands that are rightfully their own. You can find more information on NCAI’s position in in NCAI’s written testimony and an inter-tribal letter of support to Congress that are available at www.ncai.org.
About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.Subscribe to our News RSS