§ 83.6General provisions for the documented petition.
(a) The documented petition may be in any readable form that contains detailed, specific evidence in support of a request to the Secretary to acknowledge tribal existence.
(b) The documented petition must include a certification, signed and dated by members of the group's governing body, stating that it is the group's official documented petition.
(c) A petitioner must satisfy all of the criteria in paragraphs (a) through (g) of § 83.7 in order for tribal existence to be acknowledged. Therefore, the documented petition must include thorough explanations and supporting documentation in response to all of the criteria. The definitions in § 83.1 are an integral part of the regulations, and the criteria should be read carefully together with these definitions.
(d) A petitioner may be denied acknowledgment if the evidence available demonstrates that it does not meet one or more criteria. A petitioner may also be denied if there is insufficient evidence that it meets one or more of the criteria. A criterion shall be considered met if the available evidence establishes a reasonable likelihood of the validity of the facts relating to that criterion. Conclusive proof of the facts relating to a criterion shall not be required in order for the criterion to be considered met.
(e) Evaluation of petitions shall take into account historical situations and time periods for which evidence is demonstrably limited or not available. The limitations inherent in demonstrating the historical existence of community and political influence or authority shall also be taken into account. Existence of community and political influence or authority shall be demonstrated on a substantially continuous basis, but this demonstration does not require meeting these criteria at every point in time. Fluctuations in tribal activity during various years shall not in themselves be a cause for denial of acknowledgment under these criteria.
(f) The criteria in § 83.7 (a) through (g) shall be interpreted as applying to tribes or groups that have historically combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.
(g) The specific forms of evidence stated in the criteria in § 83.7 (a) through (c) and § 83.7(e) are not mandatory requirements. The criteria may be met alternatively by any suitable evidence that demonstrates that the petitioner meets the requirements of the criterion statement and related definitions.
Title 25 published on 2014-04-01
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