[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 177 (Wednesday, September 12, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56230-56231]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22380]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs


Final Determination Against Acknowledgment of the Brothertown 
Indian Nation

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of final determination.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of the Interior (Department) gives notice that 
the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs (AS-IA) declines to acknowledge 
the petitioner known as the Brothertown Indian Nation as an Indian 
tribe within the meaning of Federal law. This notice is based on a 
determination that the petitioner does not satisfy criterion 83.7(g) in 
the applicable regulations and, therefore, the Department lacks the 
authority to extend acknowledgment as an Indian tribe to the 
petitioner.

DATES: This determination is final and will become effective 90 days 
from publication of this notice in the Federal Register on December 11, 
2012, unless the petitioner or an interested party files within 90 days 
a request for reconsideration before the Interior Board of Indian 
Appeals under 25 CFR 83.11.

ADDRESSES: Requests for a copy of the final determination that includes 
the summary evaluation under the criterion should be addressed to the 
Office of the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, Attention: Office of 
Federal Acknowledgment, 1951 Constitution Avenue NW., MS: 34B-SIB, 
Washington, DC 20240. The complete final determination is also 
available at http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/OFA/RecentCases/index.htm.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(l)(2), the 
Department publishes this notice that the Brothertown Indian Nation 
(BIN), Petitioner 67, is not an Indian tribe within the 
meaning of Federal law. The Department issued a proposed finding (PF) 
to decline to acknowledge the petitioner on August 17, 2009, and 
published notice of that preliminary determination in the Federal 
Register on August 24, 2009. This final determination (FD) affirms the 
PF that the Brothertown Indian Nation, does not satisfy criterion 
83.7(g) in part 83 of title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (25 
CFR part 83), and, therefore, the Department lacks the authority to 
extend acknowledgment as an Indian tribe to the petitioner.
    The acknowledgment process is based on the regulations at 25 CFR 
Part 83. Under these regulations, the petitioner has the burden to 
present evidence that it meets the seven mandatory criteria in section 
83.7. Failure to meet any one of the mandatory criteria results in a 
determination that the petitioning group is not an Indian tribe within 
the meaning of Federal law. This determination is issued under 25 CFR 
83.10(m) and the Guidance and Direction notice (73 FR 30148) published 
by the AS-IA on May 23, 2008, which permits the Department to issue 
decisions against acknowledgment based on failure to meet fewer than 
seven criteria.
    This FD on the petition of the Brothertown Indian Nation evaluates 
the evidence in the record, including evidence the petitioner and third 
parties submitted, documents located by the Office of Federal 
Acknowledgment (OFA), and the transcript of the on-the-record technical 
assistance meeting held on January 4, 2010. The petitioner submitted 
evidence for the PF and FD, and OFA staff conducted limited research to 
verify and evaluate the evidence, arguments, and interpretation that 
the petitioner and third parties submitted. The burden of providing 
sufficient evidence under the criteria in the regulations rests with 
the petitioner.
    The BIN petitioner does not satisfy criterion 83.7(g). This 
criterion requires that the petitioner not be subject to 
``congressional legislation that has expressly terminated or forbidden 
the Federal relationship.'' The comments on the PF do not present any 
new evidence or arguments that provide a basis for revising the 
conclusion of the PF.
    In the Act of 1839, Congress provided that the Brothertown Indian 
tribe's ``rights as a tribe,'' and specifically its power to act as a 
political and governmental entity, would ``cease and determine.'' By 
expressly terminating its relationship with the Brothertown of 
Wisconsin, Congress has limited the authority of the executive branch 
to acknowledge the Brothertown as an Indian tribe. Thus, because the 
Act of 1839, by its ``cease and determine''

[[Page 56231]]

language, has both expressly ended and forbidden the Federal 
relationship for this petitioner, the BIN petitioner does not meet the 
requirements of criterion 83.7(g).
    Based on this determination and the regulatory requirement in 
section 83.10(m), the Department issues the final determination 
declining to acknowledge the petitioner known as the Brothertown Indian 
Tribe as an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law.
    A copy of the FD that includes the summary evaluation under 
criterion 83.7(g) and summarizes the evidence, reasoning, and analyses 
that are the basis for the FD will be provided to the petitioner and 
interested parties, and is available to other parties upon written 
request. It will be posted on the Bureau of Indian Affairs Web site 
http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/OFA/RecentCases/index.htm. Requests 
for a copy of the FD should be addressed to the Federal Government as 
instructed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.
    After the publication of notice of the FD in the Federal Register, 
the petitioner or any interested party may file a request for 
reconsideration with the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) under 
the procedures in section 83.11 of the regulations. The IBIA must 
receive this request no later than 90 days after the publication of the 
FD in the Federal Register. The FD will become effective as provided in 
the regulations, 90 days after the Federal Register publication unless 
a request for reconsideration is received within that time.

    Dated: September 4, 2012.
Donald E. Laverdure,
Acting Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-22380 Filed 9-11-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-G1-P