Wednesday, March 19, 2014

3-20-14 brothertown indian nation seeks tribal recognition

A tribal council member of the Brothertown Indian Nation says she is confident the tribe can have its federal recognition as an Indian tribe restored within a year.  Dr. Faith Ottery says the Fond du lac county board’s approval of a resolution this week in support of that effort is the first step in the process.  "We've actually had our office in Fond du Lac for most of the last three decades.  This is important, its the first step,"  Ottery told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  The Brothertown Indians are one of a dozen tribes listed in Wisconsin and the only one which is not federal recognized.    Many tribal members live in Fond du Lac and Calumet counties.  The Brothertown Indians are a Native American tribe formed in the early 19th century on the east coast, removed to Wisconsin in the 1830s under pressure from the United States government.  In 1839 they were the first Native American tribe to accept U.S citizenship and have their land allocated to individual households in order to prevent another removal further west.  The tribe filed a documented petition in 2005 in an effort to regain recognition.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs notified the tribe in 2009 they had not satisfied all of the criteria necessary for recognition and that only Congress had auithority to restore tribal status.  "We're legitimate in our eyes but the reality is whether its educational grants, health services, support of our burial grounds, cemeteries and other aspects where it will make a difference,"  Ottery said.  "The other issue is we are a constitutionally based government.  We will have to redo that government so that it fits within the confines of a federally recognized tribe."  

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