The Vermont Statutes Online
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN PEOPLE
853. Criteria and process for State recognition of Native American Indian
(a) For the
purposes of this section:
"Applicant" means a group or band seeking formal State recognition as
a Native American Indian tribe.
"Legislative committees" means the House Committee on General,
Housing and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on Economic Development,
Housing and General Affairs.
"Recognized" or "recognition" means acknowledged as a
Native American Indian tribe by the Vermont General Assembly.
"Tribe" means an assembly of Native American Indian people who are
related to each other by kinship and who trace their ancestry to a kinship
group that has historically maintained an organizational structure that exerts
influence and authority over its members.
(b) The State
recognizes all individuals of Native American Indian heritage who reside in
Vermont as an ethnic minority. This designation does not confer any status to
any collective group of individuals.
(c) In order to
be eligible for recognition, an applicant must file an application with the
Commission and demonstrate compliance with subdivisions (1) through (8) of this
subsection which may be supplemented by subdivision (9) of this subsection:
(1) A majority
of the applicant's members currently reside in a specific geographic location
substantial number of the applicant's members are related to each other by
kinship and trace their ancestry to a kinship group through genealogy or other
methods. Genealogical documents shall be limited to those that show a
descendency from identified Vermont or regional native people.
applicant has a connection with Native American Indian tribes and bands that
have historically inhabited Vermont.
applicant has historically maintained an organizational structure that exerts
influence and authority over its members that is supported by documentation of
the structure, membership criteria, the names and residential addresses of its
members, and the methods by which the applicant conducts its affairs.
applicant has an enduring community presence within the boundaries of Vermont
that is documented by archaeology, ethnography, physical anthropology, history,
folklore, or any other applicable scholarly research and data.
applicant is organized in part:
(A) to preserve,
document, and promote its Native American Indian culture and history, and this
purpose is reflected in its bylaws;
(B) to address
the social, economic, political, or cultural needs of the members with ongoing
educational programs and activities.
applicant can document traditions, customs, oral stories, and histories that
signify the applicant's Native American heritage and connection to their
applicant has not been recognized as a tribe in any other state, province, or
of letters, statements, and documents from:
State, or federal authorities that document the applicant's history of
tribe-related business and activities;
(B) tribes in
and outside Vermont that attest to the Native American Indian heritage of the
Commission shall consider the application pursuant to the following process
which shall include at least the following requirements:
public notice of receipt of the application and supporting documentation;
(B) hold at
least one public hearing on the application; and
written notice of completion of each step of the recognition process to the
appropriate time frames that include a requirement that the Commission and the
review panel shall complete a review of the application and issue a
determination regarding recognition within one year after an application and
all the supporting documentation have been filed, and if a recommendation is
not issued, the Commission shall provide written explanation to the applicant
and the legislative committees of the reasons for the delay and the expected
date that a decision will be issued.
(3) A process
for appointing a three-member review panel for each application to review the
supporting documentation and determine its sufficiency, accuracy, and
relevance. The review panel shall provide a detailed written report of its
findings and conclusions to the Commission, the applicant, and legislative
committees. Members of each review panel shall be appointed cooperatively by
the Commission and the applicant from a list of professionals and academic
scholars with expertise in cultural or physical anthropology, Indian law,
archaeology, Native American Indian genealogy, history, or another related
Native American Indian subject area. If the applicant and the Commission are
unable to agree on a panel, the State Historic Preservation Officer shall
appoint the panel. No member of the review panel may be a member of the
Commission or affiliated with or on the tribal rolls of the applicant.
Commission shall review the application, the supporting documentation, the
report from the review panel, and any other relevant information to determine
compliance with subsection (b) of this section and make a determination to
recommend or deny recognition. The decision to recommend recognition shall
require a majority vote of all eligible members of the Commission. A member of
the Commission who is on the tribal roll of the applicant is ineligible to
participate in any action regarding the application. If the Commission denies
recognition, the Commission shall provide the applicant and the legislative
committees with written notice of the reasons for the denial, including
specifics of all insufficiencies of the application.
applicant may file additional supporting documentation for reconsideration
within one year after receipt of the notice of denial.
(6) An applicant
may withdraw an application any time before the Commission issues a
recommendation, and may not file a new application for two years following withdrawal.
A new application and supporting documentation shall be considered a de novo
filing, and the Commission shall not consider the withdrawn application or its
proceedings, applications, and supporting documentation shall be public except
material exempt pursuant to subdivision 317(40) of this title. Any documents
relating to genealogy submitted in support of the application shall be
available only to the three-member review panel.
(e) An applicant
for recognition shall be recognized as follows:
(1) by approval
of the General Assembly;
(2) two years
after a recommendation to recognize a tribe by the Commission is filed with the
legislative committees, provided the General Assembly took no action on the recommendation.
(f) A decision
by the Commission to recommend denial of recognition is final unless an
applicant or a successor of interest to the applicant that has previously
applied for and been denied recognition under this chapter provides new and
substantial documentation and demonstrates that the new documentation was not
reasonably available at the time of the filing of the original application.
Native American Indian bands and tribes and individual members of those bands
and tribes remain subject to all the laws of the State.
of a Native American Indian tribe shall not be construed to create, extend, or
form the basis of any right or claim to land or real estate in Vermont or right
to conduct any gambling activities prohibited by law, but confers only those
rights specifically described in this chapter. (Added 2005, No. 125 (Adj.
Sess.), § 1, eff. May 3, 2006; amended 2009, No. 107 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff.
May 14, 2010; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 80, eff. July 1, 2014.)