I want to provide an important update…This evening I received a letter announcing the U.S. Department of Interior decision to expand and extend the process, inviting us to submit further materials demonstrating how our tribal history supports our right to trust land
The letter affirms that our land remains in trust until this process is complete.
Because the DOI has not concluded its process, no decision is appropriate at this time, and none has been issued.
Previously, the Department had committed to completing its review and announcing the decision by June 27.
As of that date earlier this week, Interior officials were not persuaded there was an adequate basis to reach a final positive decision.
As a result, we opted then to suspend review.
The DOI has now invited us to address other grounds for a positive finding.
The land will remain in trust.
The district court’s finding in the lawsuit is still under appeal.
We are now working several tracks to preserve our land base. The DOI announcement specifically identifies other avenues to pursue
Because we succeeded in the federal recognition process, the Department is familiar with our unique history. They have suggested that we supplement on at least one aspect of our history prior to 1934.
They have suggested that we continue to work with them to protect our lands.