GM 18-007

Bureau of Indian Affairs Updates Federally Recognized Tribes List; Virginia Tribes' Recognition Enacted After this Notice

On January 30, 2018, the Department of Interior – Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published in the FEDERAL REGISTER its annual list of federally recognized tribal entities. Recognized entities are eligible to receive funding and services from the BIA due to their status as Indian tribes. The notice states: “The listed Indian entities are acknowledged to have the immunities and privileges available to federally recognized Indian tribes by virtue of their government-to-government relationship with the United States as well as the responsibilities, powers, limitations and obligations of such Tribes.” The FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE may be found here:

The 2018 list identifies 567 tribal entities, the same as in the previous (January 2017) listing. The list is divided by those located in the “Lower 48” and those in Alaska.

Of note is that the BIA notice was signed and sent to the FEDERAL REGISTER on January 11, 2018, a week before the Senate passed HR 984, legislation extending federal recognition to six tribes in Virginia and sending the bill to the President for signature. President Trump signed the legislation on January 29, 2018, as Public Law 115-121. The six newly recognized tribes are: the Chickahominy Indian Tribe; the Chickahominy Indian Tribe–Eastern Division; the Upper Mattaponi Tribe; the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc.; the Monacan Indian Nation; and the Nansemond Indian Tribe. (See our General Memorandum 18-006 of February 6, 2018).

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