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News Release

U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a legislative hearing to receive testimony on S.1364, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Recognition Act, H.R.1975, the Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act of 2021, H.R.2088, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act, and H.R.4881, the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act. The committee heard from Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, Lumbee Tribe Chairman Harvey Goodwin, Jr., Pala Band of Mission Indians Chairman Robert Smith, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Richard Sneed, and Pascua Yaqui Tribe Chairman Peter Yucupicio.

Schatz opened the hearing by underscoring the significance of the bills under consideration.

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“These bills represent two very important ways Congress can honor and strengthen tribal sovereignty and self-governance: extending federal recognition — that is, granting all rights, privileges, and protections the United States currently affords 574 ‘recognized Tribes’ — and taking land into trust to restore tribal homelands,” said Chairman Schatz. “Both acts carry profound weight. And so should not be undertaken lightly or without full consideration by this Committee.”

To view the full video of the hearing, click here.

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