(1) This technical assistance review does not constitute the Assistant Secretary's review to determine if the petitioner is entitled to be acknowledged as an Indian tribe. It is a preliminary review for the purpose of providing the petitioner an opportunity to supplement or revise the documented petition prior to active consideration. Insofar as possible, technical assistance reviews under this paragraph will be conducted in the order of receipt of documented petitions. However, technical assistance reviews will not have priority over active consideration of documented petitions.
(c) Petitioners have the option of responding in part or in full to the technical assistance review letter or of requesting, in writing, that the Assistant Secretary proceed with the active consideration of the documented petition using the materials already submitted.
(1) If the petitioner requests that the materials submitted in response to the technical assistance review letter be again reviewed for adequacy, the Assistant Secretary will provide the additional review. However, this additional review will not be automatic and will be conducted only at the request of the petitioner.
(2) If the assertion of previous Federal acknowledgment under § 83.8 cannot be substantiated during the technical assistance review, the petitioner must respond by providing additional evidence. A petitioner claiming previous Federal acknowledgment who fails to respond to a technical assistance review letter under this paragraph, or whose response fails to establish the claim, shall have its documented petition considered on the same basis as documented petitions submitted by groups not claiming previous Federal acknowledgment. Petitioners that fail to demonstrate previous Federal acknowledgment after a review of materials submitted in response to the technical assistance review shall be so notified. Such petitioners may submit additional materials concerning previous acknowledgment during the course of active consideration.
(d) The order of consideration of documented petitions shall be determined by the date of the Bureau's notification to the petitioner that it considers that the documented petition is ready to be placed on active consideration. The Assistant Secretary shall establish and maintain a numbered register of documented petitions which have been determined ready for active consideration. The Assistant Secretary shall also maintain a numbered register of letters of intent or incomplete petitions based on the original date of filing with the Bureau. In the event that two or more documented petitions are determined ready for active consideration on the same date, the register of letters of intent or incomplete petitions shall determine the order of consideration by the Assistant Secretary.
(e) Prior to active consideration, the Assistant Secretary shall investigate any petitioner whose documented petition and response to the technical assistance review letter indicates that there is little or no evidence that establishes that the group can meet the mandatory criteria in paragraph (e), (f) or (g) of § 83.7.
(1) If this review finds that the evidence clearly establishes that the group does not meet the mandatory criteria in paragraph (e), (f) or (g) of § 83.7, a full consideration of the documented petition under all seven of the mandatory criteria will not be undertaken pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section. Rather, the Assistant Secretary shall instead decline to acknowledge that the petitioner is an Indian tribe and publish a proposed finding to that effect in the Federal Register. The periods for receipt of comments on the proposed finding from petitioners, interested parties and informed parties, for consideration of comments received, and for publication of a final determination regarding the petitioner's status shall follow the timetables established in paragraphs (h) through (l) of this section.
(2) If the review cannot clearly demonstrate that the group does not meet one or more of the mandatory criteria in paragraph (e), (f) or (g) of § 83.7, a full evaluation of the documented petition under all seven of the mandatory criteria shall be undertaken during active consideration of the documented petition pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section.
(1) They shall also be provided with the name, office address, and telephone number of the staff member with primary administrative responsibility for the petition; the names of the researchers conducting the evaluation of the petition; and the name of their supervisor.
(2) The petitioner shall be notified of any substantive comment on its petition received prior to the beginning of active consideration or during the preparation of the proposed finding, and shall be provided an opportunity to respond to such comments.
(g) Once active consideration of the documented petition has begun, the Assistant Secretary shall continue the review and publish proposed findings and a final determination in the Federal Register pursuant to these regulations, notwithstanding any requests by the petitioner or interested parties to cease consideration. The Assistant Secretary has the discretion, however, to suspend active consideration of a documented petition, either conditionally or for a stated period of time, upon a showing to the petitioner that there are technical problems with the documented petition or administrative problems that temporarily preclude continuing active consideration. The Assistant Secretary shall also consider requests by petitioners for suspension of consideration and has the discretion to grant such requests for good cause. Upon resolution of the technical or administrative problems that are the basis for the suspension, the documented petition will have priority on the numbered register of documented petitions insofar as possible. The Assistant Secretary shall notify the petitioner and interested parties when active consideration of the documented petition is resumed. The timetables in succeeding paragraphs shall begin anew upon the resumption of active consideration.
(h) Within one year after notifying the petitioner that active consideration of the documented petition has begun, the Assistant Secretary shall publish proposed findings in the Federal Register. The Assistant Secretary has the discretion to extend that period up to an additional 180 days. The petitioner and interested parties shall be notified of the time extension. In addition to the proposed findings, the Assistant Secretary shall prepare a report summarizing the evidence, reasoning, and analyses that are the basis for the proposed decision. Copies of the report shall be provided to the petitioner, interested parties, and informed parties and made available to others upon written request.
(i) Upon publication of the proposed findings, the petitioner or any individual or organization wishing to challenge or support the proposed findings shall have 180 days to submit arguments and evidence to the Assistant Secretary to rebut or support the proposed finding. The period for comment on a proposed finding may be extended for up to an additional 180 days at the Assistant Secretary's discretion upon a finding of good cause. The petitioner and interested parties shall be notified of the time extension. Interested and informed parties who submit arguments and evidence to the Assistant Secretary must provide copies of their submissions to the petitioner.
(1) During the response period, the Assistant Secretary shall provide technical advice concerning the factual basis for the proposed finding, the reasoning used in preparing it, and suggestions regarding the preparation of materials in response to the proposed finding. The Assistant Secretary shall make available to the petitioner in a timely fashion any records used for the proposed finding not already held by the petitioner, to the extent allowable by Federal law.
(2) In addition, the Assistant Secretary shall, if requested by the petitioner or any interested party, hold a formal meeting for the purpose of inquiring into the reasoning, analyses, and factual bases for the proposed finding. The proceedings of this meeting shall be on the record. The meeting record shall be available to any participating party and become part of the record considered by the Assistant Secretary in reaching a final determination.
(k) The petitioner shall have a minimum of 60 days to respond to any submissions by interested and informed parties during the response period. This may be extended at the Assistant Secretary's discretion if warranted by the extent and nature of the comments. The petitioner and interested parties shall be notified by letter of any extension. No further comments from interested or informed parties will be accepted after the end of the regular response period.
(l) At the end of the period for comment on a proposed finding, the Assistant Secretary shall consult with the petitioner and interested parties to determine an equitable timeframe for consideration of written arguments and evidence submitted during the response period. The petitioner and interested parties shall be notified of the date such consideration begins.
(1) Unsolicited comments submitted after the close of the response period established in § 83.10(i) and § 83.10(k), will not be considered in preparation of a final determination. The Assistant Secretary has the discretion during the preparation of the proposed finding, however, to request additional explanations and information from the petitioner or from commenting parties to support or supplement their comments on a proposed finding. The Assistant Secretary may also conduct such additional research as is necessary to evaluate and supplement the record. In either case, the additional materials will become part of the petition record.
(2) After consideration of the written arguments and evidence rebutting or supporting the proposed finding and the petitioner's response to the comments of interested parties and informed parties, the Assistant Secretary shall make a final determination regarding the petitioner's status. A summary of this determination shall be published in the Federal Register within 60 days from the date on which the consideration of the written arguments and evidence rebutting or supporting the proposed finding begins.
(3) The Assistant Secretary has the discretion to extend the period for the preparation of a final determination if warranted by the extent and nature of evidence and arguments received during the response period. The petitioner and interested parties shall be notified of the time extension.
(4) The determination will become effective 90 days from publication unless a request for reconsideration is filed pursuant to § 83.11.
(n) If the Assistant Secretary declines to acknowledge that a petitioner is an Indian tribe, the petitioner shall be informed of alternatives, if any, to acknowledgment under these procedures. These alternatives may include other means through which the petitioning group may achieve the status of an acknowledged Indian tribe or through which any of its members may become eligible for services and benefits from the Department as Indians, or become members of an acknowledged Indian tribe.
(p) A petitioner that has petitioned under this part or under the acknowledgment regulations previously effective and that has been denied Federal acknowledgment may not re-petition under this part. The term “petitioner” here includes previously denied petitioners that have reorganized or been renamed or that are wholly or primarily portions of groups that have previously been denied under these or previous acknowledgment regulations.
Title 25 published on 2014-04-01.
No entries appear in the Federal Register after this date, for 25 CFR Part 83.
This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.