[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 118 (Monday, June 21, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34388-34393]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-13871]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs


Final Determination Against Federal Acknowledgement of the Golden 
Hill Paugussett Tribe

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of final determination.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(m), notice is hereby given that the 
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs (PD AS-IA) 
declines to acknowledge a group known as the Golden Hill Paugussett 
Tribe (GHP), c/o Mr. Aurelius H. Piper, Jr., Suite 236, 1440 Whalley 
Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06515, as an Indian tribe within the 
meaning of Federal law. This notice is based on a final determination 
that the petitioning group does not satisfy all seven of the criteria 
set forth in part 83 of title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (25 
CFR part 83), specifically criteria 83.7(a), (b), (c), and (e), and 
therefore does not meet the requirements for a government-to-government 
relationship with the United States.

DATES: This determination is final and will become effective 90 days 
from publication of this notice, pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(l)(4), unless 
a request for reconsideration is filed pursuant to 25 CFR 83.11.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: R. Lee Fleming, Director, Office of 
Federal Acknowledgment, (202) 513-7650.

[[Page 34389]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under delegated authority, the Secretary of 
the Department of the Interior (Secretary) ordered, through the 
Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs (AS-IA), the PD AS-IA ``to execute 
all documents, including regulations and other Federal Register 
notices, and perform all other duties relating to Federal recognition 
of Native American tribes.'' Pursuant to this order, the PD AS-IA makes 
the determination regarding the petitioner's status, as defined in the 
acknowledgment regulations as one of the duties delegated by the 
Secretary to the AS-IA (209 Department Manual 8), and from the AS-IA to 
the PD AS-IA (Secretarial Order No. 3252).
    A notice of a proposed finding (PF) to decline to acknowledge the 
GHP was published in the Federal Register January 29, 2003 (68 FR 
4507). That notice was based on a determination that the GHP petitioner 
did not satisfy all seven of the mandatory criteria set forth in 25 CFR 
83.7, specifically criteria 83.7(b), (c), and (e), and, therefore, did 
not meet the requirements for a government-to-government relationship 
with the United States.
    The available evidence for the PF showed that the GHP petitioner 
and its antecedents met criteria 83.7(a) for identification since 1900, 
83.7(d) for providing a governing document, 83.7(f) for not being 
members of an acknowledged Indian tribe, and 83.7(g) for not being the 
subject of legislation terminating or forbidding the Federal 
relationship.
    The PF concluded that the petitioner did not meet the requirements 
for criterion 83.7(b), that community continuously exist from 
historical times to the present because there was insufficient evidence 
provided that community existed for the GHP since 1823. The PF also 
concluded that the evidence was insufficient to demonstrate that the 
GHP met criterion 83.7(c), that the petitioner did not demonstrate 
political influence within the group since 1802. Further, the PF 
concluded that the State of Connecticut (State) had recognized a Golden 
Hill entity from colonial times to the present, but found that the 
particular State recognition of the GHP group combined with limited 
direct evidence for community and political process was not sufficient 
to demonstrate that criteria 83.7(b) and (c). Finally, the PF concluded 
there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate the petitioner met 
criterion 83.7(e), descent from a historical tribe or from tribes that 
had combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.
    This final determination (FD) follows a review of the petitioner 
and third-party comments on the PF. The GHP petitioner submitted no 
response to the third-party public comments. This FD reviewed the 
evidence considered for the PF, and evaluated that evidence in the 
light of the new documentation and arguments received from the 
petitioner and third parties.
    Criterion 83.7(a) requires that the petitioner demonstrate that it 
has been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantially 
continuous basis since 1900. The PF concluded that from 1900 to the 
present, the petitioner and its claimed antecedent group, generally 
called the ``Golden Hill Indians'' until the mid-1970's, and the 
``Golden Hill Paugussett'' since that time, had regularly been 
identified as an Indian entity. The PF, however, determined that the 
identifications applied only to the Golden Hill entity that the State 
recognized, which comprises a small portion (33 percent) of the 
petitioner's current membership. The available identifications did not 
pertain to the portion (63 percent) of the group, added in 1999, which 
claims descent from a historical Turkey Hill entity and that the 
petitioner contends was always a part of the historical Golden Hill 
entity. Four percent of the group's membership is of unknown ancestry. 
For criteria 83.7(b) and 83.7(c), the available record for the PF did 
not demonstrate that a Golden Hill group and a Turkey Hill group had 
ever combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity. 
For the purposes of criterion 83.7(a), none of the available evidence 
for the PF showed that any outside observer at any time since 1900 
identified a combined group of Golden Hill and Turkey Hill Indians as a 
single Indian entity. Also, the available evidence for the PF did not 
identify the existence of a separate Turkey Hill group as an American 
Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900.
    The GHP petitioner and third parties submitted no new evidence of 
identifications for criterion 83.7(a). In its comments, the petitioner 
asserts that the historical Turkey Hill Indians and the petitioner's 
claimed Golden Hill antecedents were one entity since colonial times, 
and that, therefore, identifications of the State-recognized Golden 
Hill entity apply to the portion of the group, added in 1999, claiming 
descent from a Turkey Hill entity. In its comments, the State argues 
that there is no evidence of identifications for a combined Turkey Hill 
and Golden Hill entity since 1900.
    As previously stated, since 1900, one of the petitioner's claimed 
antecedent groups, the State-recognized Golden Hill entity, has 
regularly been identified as an Indian entity. Yet, these available 
identifications apply only to the State-recognized Golden Hill entity, 
which comprises only a small portion (33 percent) of the petitioner's 
current membership. The available identifications do not pertain to the 
now predominant part (63 percent) of the group, the Tinney line added 
in 1999, which claims descent from a historical Turkey Hill entity. The 
available evidence does not show that external observers identified a 
separate Turkey Hill entity, or a Turkey Hill group that amalgamated 
with the State-recognized Golden Hill entity, on a substantially 
continuous basis since 1900. More specifically, no available evidence 
is found in the records that external sources identified the Tinney 
line as part of the State-recognized Golden Hill entity between 1900 
and 1998.
    These facts, which call into question the nature of the GHP 
petitioner's current makeup, require the reevaluation of the PF's 
conclusion for criterion 83.7(a). The GHP petitioner has not 
demonstrated the external identifications of a State-recognized Golden 
Hill entity applied to the petitioner's components as a whole on a 
substantially continuous basis since 1900. Thus, this FD reverses the 
conclusion of the PF, and now finds that the GHP petitioner does not 
meet the requirements of criterion 83.7(a).
    Criterion 83.7(b) requires the GHP petitioner to demonstrate that a 
predominant portion of the petitioning group comprises a distinct 
community and has existed as a community from historical times until 
the present. The PF concluded that only the portion of the petitioner's 
membership claiming descent from the historical Golden Hill Indians, 
and not the portion claiming descent from the historical Turkey Hill, 
had met criterion 83.7(b) up to 1823, when the State-appointed overseer 
took the last known census of the historical Golden Hill group. For the 
time since, GHP did not provide for the PF sufficient evidence to 
establish that a predominant portion of the group comprised a distinct, 
continuous community. Between 1824 and around 1850, the historical 
group lost its social cohesion and ceased to exist as a distinct 
community. For the period roughly from 1850 to 1973, the available 
evidence for the PF indicated the group was little more than a small 
family composed of individuals who claimed descent from the historical 
Golden Hill group. For the period since 1973, when the group expanded 
somewhat in membership, there was insufficient

[[Page 34390]]

evidence for the PF that a predominant portion of its membership had 
significant social interaction. Most evidence of social community for 
the modern period was limited to a small group of members, at times 
only a few individuals, who were closely related.
    Regarding the portion of the GHP petitioner that claimed descent 
from a Turkey Hill entity, the PF concluded that the families at the 
Turkey Hill reservation evolved from the historical Paugussett proper, 
while those living at the Golden Hill reservation were originally part 
of the historical Pequannock, a separate tribe. The colonial (and later 
State) authorities viewed and identified the historical Turkey Hill as 
a separate entity from the Golden Hill reservation. There was 
insufficient evidence for the PF of consistent interactions and 
significant social relationships between the historical Turkey Hill and 
Golden Hill groups after the establishment of their reservations in the 
1600's. The PF encouraged the petitioner to submit evidence that 
demonstrated such interactions and relationships, or to demonstrate the 
amalgamation of the two groups. Similarly, the evidence for the PF did 
not demonstrate that the historical Golden Hill exercised any political 
influence or authority over the historical Turkey Hill group, or vice 
versa. The evidence did not show the two groups functioning as a single 
autonomous political entity. The PF encouraged the petitioner to submit 
evidence of political amalgamation.
    In its comments, the GHP petitioner submitted a report that claims 
the tribes of the lower Housatonic River were part of a ``Greater 
Wappinger Confederacy'' during the colonial period. The petitioner 
contends that the membership of these tribes in this confederacy 
demonstrated that the historical Golden Hill Indians and the historical 
Turkey Hill Indians were one entity. The FD finds that the available 
evidence does not demonstrate that this ``Greater Wappinger 
Confederacy'' containing the lower Housatonic River tribes existed or 
that the historical Golden Hill Indians of Fairfield County and the 
historical Turkey Hill Indians of New Haven County existed together as 
one tribe during the colonial period. Nor does the evidence indicate 
the Golden Hill and Turkey Hill were part of a ``Paugussett'' 
confederacy or single nation or tribe. Further, the evidence presented 
for the existence of this ``Greater Wappinger Confederacy'' does not 
demonstrate the existence of significant social interaction between the 
historical Golden Hill and the historical Turkey Hill during the 
colonial period following the creation of their separate reservations 
in the 17th century. This FD affirms the conclusions of the PF that 
there was insufficient evidence that the historical Golden Hill and 
Turkey Hill were a community or separate communities that amalgamated.
    An analysis of the evidence for both the PF and the FD, 
particularly various State documents dating from 1791 to 1910, 
indicates that the historical, State-recognized Turkey Hill Indians 
ceased to exist socially and politically around 1825-1826, after the 
sale of their reservation in Orange (New Haven County), Connecticut. 
The available evidence indicates that Connecticut did not maintain a 
continuous relationship or a State-recognized reservation with a Turkey 
Hill group after that time. Afterwards, the State dealt only 
sporadically with individuals identified in State documents as Turkey 
Hill descendants. There is no available evidence to show that after 
1825 the historical Turkey Hill had any significant social interaction 
with itself, or a Golden Hill group, or that the State ever recognized 
a combined Turkey Hill and Golden Hill entity. Thus, the activities of 
individuals identified as Turkey Hill Indians in State documents from 
1791 to 1910 do not demonstrate community during those years.
    The GHP petitioner submitted a report that asserts to demonstrate 
the existence of a ``tribal society'' of ``Paugussett Indians'' called 
``Little Liberia'' in the south end of Bridgeport, Connecticut, during 
the 19th century, to show the continued existence of a distinct 
community among its claimed antecedents during the 19th century. The 
available evidence does not support this claim. The available evidence 
does not demonstrate the ``Little Liberia'' neighborhood of 19th 
century Bridgeport was a Golden Hill, Turkey Hill, ``Paugussett,'' or 
Indian community, or that it contained such an entity within its 
boundaries. The evidence shows it was a community of African Americans, 
composed mainly of former slaves and migrants from rural Connecticut or 
the southern states, a few of whom might have had Indian ancestry. The 
available evidence shows that this community was established in the 
1820's largely by and for African Americans and not Native Americans.
    The Federal acknowledgement regulations require that the evidence 
for criterion 83.7(b) demonstrate that a predominant portion of the 
petitioning group comprises a distinct community and has existed as a 
community since historical times. Under 83.1, the regulations define 
community as ``any group of people which can demonstrate that 
consistent interactions and significant social relationships exist 
within its membership and that its members are differentiated from and 
identified as distinct from nonmembers.'' The evidence submitted is 
insufficient to demonstrate that ``Little Liberia'' was a community 
antecedent to the GHP petitioner. Therefore, evidence of social 
relationships interaction in Bridgeport's ``Little Liberia'' in the 
19th century and later does not demonstrate community for the GHP 
petitioner.
    The GHP petitioner submitted information on a man named Joel 
Freeman, a prominent member of the ``Little Liberia'' community. The 
petitioner maintains that this man links the Bridgeport community and 
the Turkey Hill Indians of Derby. However, the petitioner has submitted 
no evidence to demonstrate that the ``Joel Freeman'' of the ``Little 
Liberia'' community was the same ``Joel Freeman'' listed as an heir-at-
law of the Indian John Howd (an Indian associated with the Naugatuck 
reservation in Derby, Connecticut). No other documentation has been 
presented to link ``Joel Freeman'' to any other Turkey Hill, Naugatuck 
or Paugussett Indians.
    The GHP petitioner also has not been able to demonstrate that the 
claimed Tinney family descends from either the Turkey Hill Indians or 
the descendants of John Howd, or that the Tinney descendants were a 
separate Indian entity that amalgamated with the Golden Hill or were 
part of the GHP prior to 1999. Further, the GHP petitioner has not 
demonstrated that this family interacted with or maintained contact 
with the Golden Hill descendants throughout the 20th century. With the 
exception of one Tinney descendant mentioned in the organization's 
documents during the early 1970's (who identified himself at the time 
as a ``Pequot'' rather than as a ``Golden Hill Paugussett''), there is 
no evidence that any other members of the Tinney family associated with 
the GHP group until 1999. Finally, the documentation submitted by the 
State in its comments regarding the Turkey Hill descendants provides 
evidence contrary to the arguments advanced by the GHP petitioner 
regarding the descent of the Tinney family. The GHP petitioner did not 
submit any response to the State's documentation, although some of the 
archival material contradicts the claims made in the GHP petitioner's 
submission.
    The GHP petitioner has not addressed specific concerns raised in 
the PF regarding community during the 19th

[[Page 34391]]

and 20th centuries with sufficient evidence. The petitioner submitted a 
number of Oral History Questionnaires to OFA without context, 
explanation, or analysis. The petitioner also did not include any new 
probative interviews in this submission.
    The GHP petitioner submitted documentation for criterion 83.7(b) 
that does not demonstrate community among the portion of the group 
claiming descent from the historic Golden Hill Indians after 1823, or 
the portion claiming descent from the historic Turkey Hill Indians at 
any time after 1825. The GHP petitioner did not provide evidence that 
shows community among a combined Golden Hill/Turkey Hill entity at any 
time. The evidence submitted regarding the ``Little Liberia'' community 
is not supported with acceptable evidence and does not demonstrate 
community for ``Paugussett'' or other Indians antecedent to the 
petitioner. The evidence submitted for the 20th century does not show 
community among either group of descendants until the 1970's, and then 
only for the Sherman descendants (the portion of the petitioner 
claiming descent from the Golden Hill Indians). With the exception of 
one person (Fred Tinney), the two portions of the petitioner did not 
demonstrate any interaction until 1999, when the Tinney descendants 
enrolled with the GHP. Even for the period after their enrollment in 
1999, the petitioner has provided insufficient evidence of significant 
levels of interaction with to demonstrate community. This FD affirms 
the conclusion of the PF that the petitioner does not meet criterion 
83.7(b) since 1823. Thus, the GHP petitioner does not meet criterion 
83.7(b) from historical times to the present.
    Criterion 83.7(c) requires the petitioner to demonstrate that it 
has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an 
autonomous entity from historical times until the present. The PF 
concluded that only the portion of the GHP petitioner claiming descent 
from the historical Golden Hill, and not the portion claiming decent 
from the Turkey Hill, met criterion 83.7(c) up to 1802, when the 
overseer sold the last sections of the State reservation with the 
historical Golden Hill group's approval. The GHP petitioner did not 
provide sufficient evidence to meet the criterion since 1802. Further, 
from 1824 to around 1850, the available evidence for the PF indicated 
the historical Golden Hill's known survivors lost political influence. 
From the early 1850's to around 1973, the available evidence for the PF 
did not indicate there was an Indian entity or individuals who 
functioned as leaders within a group political process. Since 1973, the 
available evidence for the PF indicated the leadership was limited to a 
small number of family-appointed leaders, or part of a small family 
group, but that evidence was not sufficient to demonstrate bilateral 
relationships with the rest of the membership.
    The GHP petitioner's comments objecting to the PF's findings that 
the Golden Hill and Turkey Hill were separate political and social 
entities are discussed under criterion 83.7(b). In summary, since the 
historical Turkey Hill and historical Golden Hill were separate 
entities, evidence of political influence within one entity does not 
provide evidence for the other.
    The petitioner has submitted very little documentation in its 
comments in support of criterion 83.7(c). Some of the new assertions 
regarding leadership, such as those concerning Joel Freeman and the 
``Little Liberia'' community, are based on incomplete or invalid 
documentation. Other contentions, such as the ``chieftainships'' of two 
men named Rensselaer Pease and George Freeman, are not supported by 
documentation. However, documentation submitted by the State has 
provided evidence that negates claims made by the petitioner that the 
Turkey Hill Indians and/or the John Howd descendents were subject to 
any leadership from the Golden Hill descendants; in fact, two of the 
three named and documented Turkey Hill descendants stated in 1910 that 
the Turkey Hill tribe had long since ceased to exist as a political 
entity and made no mention of the Golden Hill descendants.
    The GHP petitioner presented additional evidence for the 20th 
century that is not sufficient to answer the questions posed by the PF. 
The GHP petitioner has reiterated that a woman named Ethel Sherman 
acted as a ``tribal'' leader, but has not submitted any evidence in its 
comments demonstrating that she advocated for any members of the group 
other than her own children or grandchildren. The GHP petitioner has 
not submitted evidence to demonstrate that the GHP group supported or 
was aware of a 1933 ``ceremony'' where Ethel Sherman is reported to 
have assumed the title of ``chieftess.'' The 1934 notice of a 
``meeting'' held by Ethel Sherman is insufficient to demonstrate any 
political authority because it gives no additional information about 
what may have occurred or who may have attended.
    The GHP petitioner submitted other documentation regarding 
leadership under Aurelius Piper Sr. after 1973 and Aurelius Piper Jr. 
after 1993. This evidence is insufficient also to indicate a bilateral 
relationship between the group's members. Little indication of input 
from the group's membership on issues of importance to the group is 
found in this evidence. The GHP petitioner submitted documentation that 
is substantively the same as it had included in previous submissions, 
and contained little new information regarding this time period.
    The GHP petitioner also has not provided any new information 
regarding the Tinney descendants. There is little to no information for 
any Tinney descendants other than one member's brief period of 
involvement with the group during the 1970's, which was described in 
the PF. Further, the available evidence does not demonstrate 
involvement of the Tinney family in the political processes of the 
group since their enrollment in 1999. Finally, the petitioner has not 
been able to explain with the available evidence the absence of the 
Tinney descendants in the group prior to the late 1990's. For the above 
reasons, this FD affirms the conclusion of the PF that the petitioner 
does not meet criterion 83.7(c) since 1802.
    The PF concluded that the Colony and later State recognized a 
Golden Hill entity from colonial times to the present. Yet, the PF also 
concluded that the particular relationship of the State to the GHP 
group, in combination with the limited direct evidence for community 
and political process that was still so limited, was not sufficient 
evidence to demonstrate that criteria 83.7(b) and (c) were met. The 
Department has issued two decisions that have significant bearing on 
the role of continuous State recognition and its use as evidence with 
regard to political influence to satisfy the requirements of criterion 
83.7(c). In the Historical Eastern Pequot (HEP) FD, issued in June 
2002, the Department determined that the existence of a continuous 
relationship between the State and the HEP provided evidence, when 
considered with other available evidence for a historical time period, 
to satisfy the requirements of criteria 83.7(b) and (c).
    In the Schaghticoke (STN) FD, issued January 28, 2004, the 
Department further defined the evidentiary value of continuous State 
recognition. In STN, the petitioner presented substantial evidence of 
political influence and social community. However, the STN petitioner 
did not have direct documentary evidence regarding political influence 
for two significant time periods (1820-1840 and 1892-1936). The STN 
petitioner did have a continuous relationship with the State,

[[Page 34392]]

and met criterion 83.7(b). In the STN FD, the Department determined 
that an active, continuous relationship between a State and a 
petitioning group could itself constitute evidence sufficient to 
satisfy the requirements of criterion 83.7(c) under these 
circumstances.
    Whether a State's continuous recognition of a tribe and the 
resulting political relationship constitute evidence sufficient to 
satisfy the requirements of section 83.7(c) depends on the specific 
facts presented by the petitioner. In the case of GHP, the petitioner 
has enjoyed a continuous relationship with the State from colonial 
times to the present. The historical Golden Hill tribe first occupied 
one reservation set aside by the State in 1639, which was sold in 1802. 
GHP later occupied another reservation set aside by the State in 1933, 
which was quit-claimed to the State by William Sherman in 1886. 
Overseers have been appointed by the State to manage Golden Hill 
accounts.
    The existence of a continuous State relationship can constitute 
evidence because it is at its core a recognition that a group exists as 
a political entity. But the nature of the State's recognition is as 
important as the historical, factual basis of a petition submitted by a 
group. Here, the continuous State relationship with the GHP is not as 
vigorous as the relationships documented in the FD's for the HEP and 
STN. Here also, the documentary evidence is not sufficient for a 
significantly longer period of time than in either the HEP or STN case. 
In fact, there is little evidence of political influence since 1802, or 
social community since 1823 to the present. Without more evidence of 
social and or political influence, a finding that the continuous State 
relationship itself is sufficient to satisfy criterion 83.7(c) from 
1802 to the present, a period of 202 years cannot be supported.
    This is not to say that a continuous State relationship cannot be 
evidence in itself for criterion 83.7(c). As in STN, where significant 
documentary records acted as evidentiary bookends, the State's 
relationship can be sufficient evidence of the petitioning group's 
political existence when criterion 83.7(b) is met. Thus, the State's 
continuous recognition of a group can mean that the group is a 
political entity. However, at some point, a political entity must exist 
and function on its own, through its membership. Where an entity 
exercises political influence some autonomous political activity over 
its members must exist. In the case of GHP, there is scant evidence of 
autonomous political influence over its members after 1802. Without 
more substantial evidence of political activity since then, the 
continuous State relationship cannot substitute.
    Criterion 83.7(d) requires the petitioner to provide a copy of the 
group's present governing document including its membership criteria. 
In the absence of a written document, the petitioner must provide a 
statement describing in full its membership criteria and current 
governing procedures. The GHP meets the requirements of criterion 
83.7(d) because it submitted a copy of its 2003 constitution that 
included a description of its membership criteria.
    Criterion 83.7(e) requires the petitioner to demonstrate that its 
membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian 
tribe or from historical Indian tribes that combined and functioned as 
a single autonomous political entity, and that the petitioner submit a 
complete list of its membership. The GHP petitioner submitted a 
membership list dated January 2004 containing the names, birth dates, 
residential addresses, and maiden names of 108 individuals (one name 
was duplicated, making 109 on the original list). The list was 
separately certified by four of the five GHP council members on January 
23, 2004. This list comprises the GHP's base membership roll and its 
present membership for Federal purposes.
    Twenty-seven individuals (25 percent of the membership) descend 
from William Sherman (1825-1886) and his wife Nancy Hopkins (1832-
1903): including 4 members (4 percent) who descend from their daughter 
Caroline (Sherman) Bosley (1865-1927), and 23 members (21 percent) who 
descend from their granddaughter Ethel (Sherman) Piper Baldwin (1893-
1993), daughter of George William Sherman (1862-1938). The petitioner 
claims that William Sherman was a descendant of the historical Golden 
Hill Indians. The GHP has not submitted sufficient evidence to 
demonstrate by a reasonable likelihood of the validity of the facts 
that William Sherman, his wife, or any of his descendants descend from 
a member or members of the historical Golden Hill tribe or from 
historical tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous 
political entity. The petitioner has not submitted sufficient 
documentation to connect William Sherman to the historical Golden Hill 
Indians listed on the State overseer's 1823 census or any other State 
documents in the available evidence that identified the Golden Hill 
group.
    Nine individuals (8 percent of the membership) descend from John 
Henry Burnie (a.k.a. Ernest H. Sherman) (1907-1945) and his wife 
Florence Irene Loper (1908-1985). The GHP petitioner claims that John 
Henry Burnie (a.k.a. Ernest H. Sherman) was a great-grandson of William 
Sherman and his wife Nancy Hopkins, through their son George William 
Sherman (1862-1938) and his wife Harriet Curtis (?-1904), and through 
George's son Edward L. Sherman (1888-1974) and his wife Eva Hungerford 
(dates unknown). However, the available evidence indicates that John 
Henry Burnie (a.k.a. Ernest H. Sherman) was the son of Eva Hungerford 
and another man, possibly James Hubbard, and was not the son of Edward 
L. Sherman. The petitioner has not submitted sufficient evidence to 
demonstrate by a reasonable likelihood of the facts that John Henry 
Burnie (a.k.a. Ernest H. Sherman), his wife, or any of his descendants 
descend from William Sherman, from George William Sherman, from Edward 
L. Sherman, or from a member or members of the historical Golden Hill 
tribe or from historical tribes which combined and functioned as a 
single autonomous political entity.
    Sixty-eight individuals (63 percent of the membership) descend from 
Mary Louise Allen (1870-1965) and her husband Charles William Tinney 
(1866-1926). The petitioner asserted that Mary Louise Allen was a 
descendant of the historical Turkey Hill Indians. However, the GHP has 
not submitted sufficient evidence to demonstrate by a reasonable 
likelihood of the validity of the facts that Mary Louise Allen descends 
from the historical Turkey Hill Indians. In its comments, the State 
submitted court documents from 1909-1910 indicating that neither of 
Mary Louise Allen's parents, Levi Allen (1795-1865) and Delia (Myrick/
Merrick) Phillips (1797-1890), was a descendant of the historical 
Turkey Hill tribe. In addition, the available evidence does not 
demonstrate that the historical Golden Hill Indians and the historical 
Turkey Hill Indians ever combined and functioned as a single autonomous 
political entity.
    Finally, four individuals (4 percent of the membership) are of 
unknown ancestry. The petitioner did not submit evidence to connect 
these individuals genealogically with any of the above-named groups of 
descendants.
    The GHP did not provide evidence acceptable to the Secretary to 
demonstrate the reasonable likelihood of the validity of the facts that 
any of the 108 individuals on the January 2004 GHP membership list 
descend from the historical Golden Hill Tribe or from historical Indian 
tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous

[[Page 34393]]

political entity. Therefore, the conclusion in the PF, that the GHP do 
not meet criterion 83.7(e), is affirmed.
    Criterion 83.7(f) requires the petitioner demonstrate that the 
membership of the petitioning group is composed principally of persons 
who are not members of any acknowledged North American Indian tribe. 
The available evidence does not demonstrate that any members of the GHP 
are enrolled with any federally acknowledged North American Indian 
tribe. Neither the petitioner nor the interested parties provided 
further comments or evidence pertaining to this criterion. Therefore, 
the conclusion in the PF that the GHP meets criterion 83.7(f) is 
confirmed.
    Criterion 83.7(g) requires the petitioner demonstrate that it is 
not the subject of congressional legislation expressly terminating or 
forbidding the Federal relationship. There has been no Federal 
termination legislation regarding the GHP. Neither the GHP nor the 
interested parties provided further comments or evidence pertaining to 
this criterion. Therefore, the conclusion in the PF that the GHP meets 
criterion 83.7(g) is affirmed.
    Under Section 83.10(m), the PD AS-IA is required to decline to 
acknowledge that a petitioner is an Indian tribe if the petitioner 
fails to satisfy any one of the seven mandatory criteria for Federal 
acknowledgment. The GHP petitioner did not submit evidence sufficient 
to meet criteria 83.7(a), (b), (c), and (e), and, therefore, does not 
satisfy the requirements to be acknowledged as an Indian tribe in order 
to establish a government-to-government relationship with the United 
States.
    This determination is final and will become effective 90 days from 
publication of this notice, unless a request for reconsideration is 
filed pursuant to section 83.11. The petitioner or any interested party 
may file a request for reconsideration of this determination with the 
Interior Board of Indian Appeals (section 83.11(a)(1)). These requests 
must be received no later than 90 days after publication of the PD AS-
IA's determination in the Federal Register (section 83.11(a)(2)).

    Dated: June 14, 2004.
Aurene M. Martin,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 04-13871 Filed 6-18-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-4J-P