History of Indigenous Peoples

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Daniel Ammon (ammon@neon.stanford.edu)
Sun, 5 Jan 1992 13:25:46 -0800


This is the criteria of the 1978 FAP (Federal Acknowledgement Process)
of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to acknowledge that a petitioning entity
is an Indian tribe.

The seven criteria (a-g) that must be met to be acknowledged as a tribe are:

a) Statement of facts that group has been identified as Indian
on a sustantially continuous basis.

Document since first contact to present. Year-by-year history
not necessary, but give as much detail as possible.

Methods of documentation:
1) repeated identification by Federal authorities
2) longstanding relationship with State Govt based on identification
of group as Indian
3) repeated dealings with county, church, or local govts based
on groups Indian identity
4) identification as an Indian entity by courthouses, churches, or
schools
5) identification as an Indian entity by anthropologists, and historians
6) repeated identification as an Indian entity in newspapers and books
7) repeated identification and dealings as a tribe with recognized
tribes or national Indian organizations

b) Evidence that a substantial portion of group inhabits a specific area
viewed as American Indian and distinct from other populations in the area,
and that its members are descendants of a tribe which historically
inhabited a specific area.

c) A statement of facts which establishes that the group has maintained
tribal political influence over its members as an autonomous entity
throughout history until the present.

d) A copy of the group's present governing document.

e) A list of all known current members of the group and a copy of each
former list of members based on tribe's own defined criteria.

Acceptable evidence includes:
1) descendancy rolls prepared by Secy of Interior for distributing
claims monies, allotments, etc.
2) state, federal, or other records identifying present members as
being Indian and a member of the petitioning group
3) church, and school records indicating person is a member of the
petitioning group
4) affidavits of recognition by tribal leaders as being a member
of petitioning Indian group
5) other records identifying person as member of petiotioning group

f) Membership of group is composed principally of persons who are not
members of any other tribe.

g) The group was not terminated by Congress


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