Federal Recognition of Tribes Page 3


Criteria for Federal Recognition

A Tribe must fulfill seven specific criteria to the satisfaction of the BIA:

(1) The Tribe has been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900.

(2) A predominant portion of the Tribe comprises a distinct community and has existed as a community from historical times until the present.

(3) The Tribe has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an autonomous entity from historical times until the present.

(4) The Tribe must provide a copy of its present governing documents and membership criteria.

(5) The Tribe’s membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or tribes, which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.

(6) The membership of the Tribe is composed principally of persons who are not members of any acknowledged North American Indian Tribe.

(7) Neither the Tribe nor its members are the subject of congressional legislation that has expressly terminated or forbidden recognition.

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