By Brendan O'Reilly
The Interior Board of Indian Appeals, or IBIA, on Friday dismissed two objections to granting the Shinnecocks federal recognition, removing the last remaining obstacles in what became a process for the tribe that covered more than 32 years.
In response to this news, I posted a note on Facebook:
This also demonstrates how difficult it is to get recognized these days. Which contradicts gaming foes who claim the feds are handing out recognition like candy.
You can tell people something like this:
It looks like most of you missed an important point. They filed for recognition in 1978 ten years before the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Ten years before casinos became widespread. It's not their fault it has taken 32 years for the Federal Government to act.
Actually, they think white people label themselves Indians, dress up in rags, and beg the feds for alms. Our liberal/socialist/fascist government gives them a casino as "reparations," a type of welfare handout for minorities. It's all part of Obama's plan to turn America into a Third World country.
I wish this were a joke, but it's only a slight exaggeration.
Tribes have to provide volumes of evidence to prove their political and cultural continuity since colonial days. Since many of them were terminated and assimilated into the surrounding population, that's usually hard to do.
The criteria is ridiculous to say the least. 99% of the population would have a hard time proving this.
How recognition doesn't work
Actually, I think foreign investors became involved only after IGRA passed in 1988. Which would've been several years after the tribes applied for recognition.
Not only sought fed rec. before gaming, but have been fighting the same issues with the Feds for nearly 80 years--since the IRA [Indian Reorganization Act of 1934]. Really stale candy.
I can't believe it takes that long to process be recognize as Indian tribe. Wonder how many are still on the list for evaluation to this day? Interesting subject....
Also, a note: A couple hundred of these "tribes" are actually Alaska Native villages or corporations. We call them tribes only for the sake of convenience.
For more on the subject, see Searching for Connecticut's Indians and How the Pequots Got Recognized.