43 CFR 2653.6 - Native groups.
(a) Eligibility. (1) The head or any authorized representative of a Native group incorporated pursuant to section 14(h)(2) of the Act may file on behalf of the group an application for a determination of its eligibility under said section of the Act. Such application shall be filed in duplicate with the appropriate officer, Bureau of Land Management, prior to April 16, 1976, in accordance with § 2650.2(a) of this chapter. Upon serialization of the application, the Bureau of Land Management office will forward a copy of such application to the Director, Juneau Area Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, who shall investigate and report the findings of fact required to be made herein to the Bureau of Land Management with a certification thereof. A copy of an application by a group located within a National Wildlife Refuge or a National Forest will be furnished to the appropriate agency administering the area.
(2) Each application must identify the section, township, and range in which the Native group is located, and must be accompanied by a list of the names of the Native members of the group, a listing of permanent improvements and periods of use of the locality by members, a conformed copy of the group's article of incorporation, and the regional corporation's concurrence and recommendation under § 2653.2(b).
(3) Notice of the filing of such application specifying the date of such filing, the identity and location of the Native group, and the date by which any protest of the application must be filed shall be prepared by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and shall be published once in the Federal Register and in one or more newspapers of general circulation in Alaska once a week for three consecutive weeks by the Bureau of Land Management. Any protest to the application shall be filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs within the time specified in the notice.
(4) The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall investigate and determine whether each member of a Native group formed pursuant to section 14(h)(2) of the Act is enrolled pursuant to section 5 of the Act. The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall determine whether the members of the Native group actually reside in and are enrolled to the locality specified in its application. The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall specify the number and names of Natives who actually reside in and are enrolled to the locality, including children who are members of the group and who are temporarily elsewhere for purposes of education, and it shall further determine whether the members of the Native group constitute the majority of the residents of the locality where the group resides. The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall determine and identify the exterior boundaries of the Native group's locality and the location of all those permanent structures of the Native group used as dwelling houses.
(5) The Native group must have an identifiable physical location. The members of the group must use the group locality as a place where they actually live in permanent structures used as dwelling houses. The group must have the character of a separate community, distinguishable from nearby communities, and must be composed of more than a single family or household. Members of a group must have enrolled to the group's locality pursuant to section 5 of the Act, must actually have resided there as of the 1970 census enumeration date, and must have lived there as their principal place of residence since that date.
(6) The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall issue its certification, containing its findings of fact required to be made herein and its determination of the eligibility of the Native group, except it shall issue a certification of ineligibility when it is notified by the Bureau of Land Management that the land is unavailable for selection by such Native group. It shall send a copy thereof by certified mail to the Bureau of Land Management, the Native group, its regional corporation and any party of record.
(7) Appeals concerning the eligibility of a Native group may be made to the Board of Land Appeals in accordance with 43 CFR part 4, subpart E.
(b) Selections. (1) Native group selections shall not exceed the amount recommended by the regional corporation or 320 acres for each Native member of a group, or 7,680 acres for each Native group, whichever is less. Any acreage selected in excess of that number shall be identified as alternate selections and shall be numerically ordered to indicate selection preference. Native groups will not receive land benefits unless the land which is occupied by their permanent structures used as dwelling houses is available, or in the case where such land is not State or federally owned, the land which is contiguous to and immediately surrounds the land occupied by their permanent structures used as dwelling houses is available, and is not within a wildlife refuge or forest, pursuant to section 14(h) of the Act. Public lands which may be available for this purpose are set forth in § 2653.3 (a) and (c). Conveyances of lands reserved for the National Wildlife Refuge System made pursuant to this part are subject to the provisions of section 22(g) of the Act and § 2650.4-6 of this chapter as though they were conveyances to a village corporation.
(2) Upon receipt of the applications of a Native group for a determination of its eligibility under section 14(h)(2) of the Act, the Bureau of Land Management shall segregate the land encompassed within the group locality from land available for that purpose pursuant to § 2653.6(b)(1). However, segregation of land for Native groups whose dwelling structures are located outside but adjacent to a National Wildlife Refuge or National Forest shall not include such reserved land, unless the Native group's dwelling structures are located on land excepted from the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge pursuant to Public Land Order 1634 (FR Doc. 58-3696, filed May 16, 1958).
(3) The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall visit the locality of the group and shall recommend to the Bureau of Land Management the manner in which the segregation should be modified to encompass the residences of as many members as possible while allowing for the inclusion of the land most intensively used by members of the Native group. The recommended segregation must be contiguous and as compact as possible. The Bureau of Land Management may segregate the land accordingly provided such lands are otherwise available in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) and (b)(2). If the Bureau of Land Management finds the lands are unavailable for selection by a Native group, it shall notify the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
(4) Selections shall be made from lands segregated for that purpose and shall be filed prior to July 1, 1976. Selections shall be contiguous and taking into account the situation and potential uses of the lands involved, the total area selected shall be reasonably compact except where separated by lands which are unavailable for selection. The total area selected will not be considered to be reasonably compact if (i) it excludes other lands available for selection within its exterior boundaries; or (ii) an isolated tract of public land of less than 640 acres remains after selection. The lands selected shall be in quarter sections where they are available unless the exhaustion of the acreage which the group may be entitled to select does not permit the selection of a quarter section and shall include all available lands in less than quarter sections. Lands selected shall conform as nearly as practicable to the United States land survey system.
(5) A Native group whose eligibility has not been finally determined may file its land selections as if it were determined to be eligible. The Bureau of Land Management shall release from segregation the lands not selected and shall continue segregation of the selected land until the lands are conveyed or the group is finally determined to be ineligible. However, in the case of a group determined to be ineligible by the Board of Land Appeals, the segregation shall be continued for a period of 60 days from the date of such decision.
(6) Where any conflict in land selection occurs between any eligible Native groups, the Bureau of Land Management shall request the appropriate regional corporation to recommend the manner in which such conflict should be resolved.
(7) The Bureau of Land Management shall issue a decision on the selection of a Native group determined to be eligible and shall serve a copy of such decision by certified mail on the Native group, its regional corporation and any party of record and the decision shall be published in accordance with § 2650.7 of this part.
(8) Appeals from the Bureau of Land Management decision on the selection by a Native group under this section shall be made to the Board of Land Appeals in accordance with 43 CFR part 4, subpart E.