[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 6 (Tuesday, January 9, 2001)]
[Pages 1690-1694]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-609]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

Final Determination to Acknowledge the Chinook Indian Tribe/
Chinook Nation (Formerly: Chinook Indian Tribe, Inc.)

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Final Determination.


SUMMARY: This notice is published in the exercise of authority 
delegated by the Secretary of the Interior to the Assistant Secretary--
Indian Affairs (Assistant Secretary) by 209 DM 8.
    Pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(m), notice is hereby given that the 
Assistant Secretary acknowledges that the Chinook Indian Tribe/Chinook 
Nation, hereafter referred to as CIT/CN, exists as an Indian tribe 
within the meaning of federal law. This notice is based on the 
Assistant Secretary's determination that the group satisfies all seven 
criteria set forth in 25 CFR 83.7.

DATES: This determination is final and is effective 90 days from 
publication of the final determination, pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(l)(4), 
unless a request for reconsideration is filed with the Interior Board 
of Indian Appeals pursuant to 25 CFR 83.11.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of the Assistant Secretary-- 
Indian Affairs, (202) 208-7163.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Assistant Secretary's proposed finding 
(PF) against acknowledgment of CIT/CN was published in the Federal 
Register on August 22, 1997. Notice, Proposed Finding Against Federal 
Acknowledgment of the Chinook Indian Tribe, 62 FR 44714. CIT/CN 
reconsidered its previous decision to proceed under the 1978 
regulations and in February 1995 asked if the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
(BIA) would allow the CIT/CN to have its petition evaluated under the 
1994 regulations. However, before the BIA responded to this request, 
the CIT/CN attorney informed the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research 
(BAR) that the CIT/CN had decided to continue under the 1978 
regulations. Therefore, the PF was conducted under the 1978 
regulations. On December 31, 1997, the CIT/CN asked for ``an opinion of 
whether or not the BAR would allow the Chinook Indian Tribe's petition 
for Federal acknowledgment to proceed under the ``New Regulations'' of 
1994.'' The BIA considered this request, but advised, by a letter dated 
March 13, 1998, that it could not evaluate the CIT/CN final 
determination evaluation under the 1994 revised regulations because (1) 
the petitioner had twice affirmed that it wished to proceed under the 
1978 regulations, (2) an evaluation under either set of regulations 
would ultimately produce the same results, and (3) a change [at that 
late date, which was after the publication of the PF] would neither 
reduce the research burden on the Government's researchers nor provide 
benefits for the administrative process of the petition (BIA 3/13/
1998). The AS-IA upheld this position in May 1998 (AS-IA 5/29/1998). 
The AS-IA now concludes that he erred in upholding BIA's refusal to 
allow the petitioner to proceed under the 1994 regulations. The AS-IA 
further concludes that, while the petitioner meets the seven criteria 
throughout the period from first contact to the present,

[[Page 1691]]

as an alternative basis for recognition, the petitioner has 
demonstrated prior federal acknowledgment in the form of a 1925 Act of 
Congress, and meets the seven criteria for the period from 1925 to the 
    In a letter dated December 17, 1997, the BIA granted the 
petitioner's request for an extension to the comment period to June 15, 
1998. In the absence of specific provisions in the 1978 regulations, 
the time frames and procedures in the 1994 regulations were used to 
provide an appropriate guide to extend the comment period. The BIA 
granted the petitioner a final 45-day extension to respond to the PF, 
after the CIT/CN had shown good cause, thus bringing the closing date 
for comments to the PF to July 30, 1998.
    The BIA received third party comments from CIT/CN member Linda C. 
Amelia on July 22, 1998, and from the Quinault Indian Nation on July 
28, 1998. CIT/CN member Edna Miller, and her husband Vince Miller, 
submitted a number of comments between March 25, 1998, and April 10, 
1998. The BIA also received some other letters which supported the CIT/
CN petition or repeated Chinook family histories, but these letters 
were not substantive in nature, and did not address the criteria. The 
petitioner submitted its response to the PF on July 30, 1998.
    The AS-IA makes this final determination based on the documentary 
and interview evidence which formed the basis for the PF not to 
acknowledge the CIT/CN, and an analysis of the information and argument 
received in response to the PF from third party comments on the PF and 
of the CIT/CN's response to the PF. The AS-IA reached additional 
factual conclusions after a review and analysis of the existing record 
in light of the additional evidence.
    A review of the information submitted by the CIT/CN and the third 
parties, as well as those in the PF, establishes that the petitioner 
has satisfied the criteria under the 1978 regulations for recognition. 
In addition, the AS-IA concludes that CIT/CN was acknowledged in 1925 
and meets the requirements of the 1994 regulations from 1925 forward.
    As stated in the Final Notice of the 1994 regulations, these 
``new'' regulations ``still maintain the same requirements regarding 
the character of the petitioner,'' and ``maintain the essential 
requirement that to be acknowledged a petitioner must be tribal in 
character and demonstrate historical continuity of tribal existence. 
Thus, petitioners that were not recognized under the previous 
regulations would not be recognized by these revised regulations.'' 
Final Rule, Procedures for Establishing That an American Indian Group 
Exists as an Indian Tribe, 59 FR 9280, at 9282 (Feb. 25, 1994). The 
1994 regulations do, however, reduce the burden of production on 
petitioners that demonstrate prior recognition by requiring that the 
petitioner demonstrate historical continuity only for the period from 
the time of previous acknowledgment to the present. CIT/CN meets the 
criteria under both the 1978 and 1994 regulations.
    Pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(l)(1), the Assistant Secretary has 
considered additional data obtained through research to evaluate and 
supplement the record, and arrange the previously existing data in a 
suitable context giving due consideration to previous acknowledgment of 

Criterion (a)

    In the PF, the AS-IA found that CIT/CN had been identified as an 
American Indian tribe on a substantially continuous basis from 1792 to 
1855. Thereafter, the record was spotty until 1951, when the tribe 
began to pursue its claim before the Indian Claims Commission. The AS-
IA now finds adequate evidence that the tribe was identified as 
American Indian on a substantially continuous basis from 1855 to 1951. 
Specifically, the AS-IA finds that the Executive Order of 1873, Exhibit 
1061, Exhibit 854, Exhibit K, Exhibit 1039, and Exhibit J strongly 
suggest the ongoing identification of a discrete group of Chinook 
Indians from 1855 to 1907. This group identification is confirmed by 
the implementation of the 1911 Act of Congress authorizing the 
Secretary to provide allotments on the Quinault Reservation to 
``members'' of certain vaguely-referenced tribes. Ancestors of CIT/CN 
were among the Quinault Reservation allottees, indicating that both 
Congress and the Interior Department regarded the Chinook as a 
``tribe'' having ``members'' as of 1911. This federal identification of 
a Chinook Tribe overcomes the absence of conclusive documentary 
evidence for the period. It also provides context for and increases the 
significance of the evidence listed above in support of the finding of 
substantially continuous identification.
    CIT/CN continued to be identified by the federal government 
thereafter. The most definitive are the two express statutory 
identifications of the Chinook Tribe, one in 1912, and the other in 
1925. Members of the Chinook Tribe received services from the Indian 
Service throughout the 19th century. See H. Doc. No. 517, 60th Cong., 
1st Sess. 6-10 (1908). As a result of persistent advocacy by the 
Chinook and other tribes whose treaties had not been ratified, the 
Congress provided in the Fiscal Year 1913 appropriation act ``that 
there be paid to the Lower Band of Chinook Indians of Washington the 
sum of twenty thousand dollars, to be apportioned among those now 
living and the lineal descendants of those who may be dead, by the 
Secretary of the Interior, as their respective rights may appear * * 
*.'' Act of August 12, 1912, ch. 388, section 19, 62 Stat. 535.
    This appropriation grant was made on account of the fact that ``the 
Lower Band of Chinooks ceded an extensive country north of the Columbia 
River and were to be paid $ 20,000 and given certain rights and 
privileges on the ceded lands' in the unratified Point Tansey Treaty; 
``the Government thereafter, and while they were pending before the 
Senate, appropriated the lands ceded by the Indians, the treaties or 
agreements should be considered and treated by Congress as having the 
force and effect of a ratified treaty.'' S. Rep. No. 503, 62nd Cong., 
2d Sess. 2, 3 (1912). In other words, the 1912 statute was a 
constructive ratification of the Point Tansey Treaty, but passed 
statutorily by both houses of Congress. Partly as a result of this 
statute, the Department enrolled many of the Chinook for the purposes 
of distributing the monies appropriated. The fact of their enrollment 
plainly demonstrates their identification as a discrete group.
    The second Congressional statute came about because there was a 
perceived feeling ``that some of these tribes, at least, may be 
entitled to further payments under the positive contracts made in the 
treaties with the Government. * * * The [House] Committee [on Indian 
Affairs] feel[s] that they have been very shabbily treated by the 
Government, and that they should have an opportunity to have their 
equities properly presented to the Court of Claims.'' Accordingly, the 
Act of February 12, 1925, ch. 214, 43 Stat. 886, authorized ``that all 
claims of whatever nature, both legal and equitable, which the 
Muckelshoot, San Juan Islands Indians; Nook-Sack, Suattle, Chinook, 
Upper Chehalis, Lower Chehalis, and Humptulip Tribes or Bands of 
Indians, or any of them (with whom no treaty has been made), may have 
against the United States shall be submitted to the Court of Claims, 
with right of appeal by either party to the Supreme Court of the United 
States for determination and adjudication, both legal and equitable, 
and jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon

[[Page 1692]]

the Court of Claims to hear and determine any and all suits brought 
hereunder and to render final judgment therein * * *.''
    These two statutes clearly denominate the Lower Band of Chinook 
Indians, or Chinook Tribe, as one identified by Congress and the 
Interior Department. The first one appropriates a sum which had been 
promised to be paid in the 1851 Point Tansey Treaty, and the second 
statute vests jurisdiction in the Court of Claims to hear and determine 
legal and equitable claims arising out of the unratified treaty. Both 
were passed with a specific object in mind, but both explicitly 
recognized the Lower Band of the Chinook Tribe as such, both as, 
respectively, the recipient for the appropriated monies and the party 
plaintiff in whose favor the United States explicitly waived its 
sovereign immunity in a case before the Court of Claims.
    These same statutes from the basis for the AS-IA's finding of prior 
federal acknowledgment. The regulations and guidelines define the 
various forms of previous federal recognition and set out a number of 
examples, but expressly do not limit recognition to them: negotiating 
or signing a treaty with the federal government; the federal government 
declaring war on or removing a tribe; placement on a reservation by the 
federal government; being denominated a tribe by Congressional action 
or Executive Order; and having collective rights in tribal lands or 
funds administered by the federal government. 25 CFR 83.8(c). Here, the 
1911 and 1912 Acts strongly suggest federal acknowledgment, but need 
not be relied upon, because the 1925 Act is an unambiguous federal 
acknowledgment. The Act refers to ``all claims * * * which the * * * 
Chinook [and other] Tribes or Bands of Indians may have'' [emphasis 
added]. By referring to the Tribe in the present tense, Congress 
expressly acknowledged the existence of the ancestors of the CIT/CN as 
a tribe.
    In this case the explicit statutory recognition is not just 
probative of the existence of a tribe; it establishes that a tribe has 
a relationship with the federal government. There is a major 
consequence flowing from the express statutory recognition. Congress 
has never enacted a withdrawal of recognition, and the Department is 
loathe to infer such a withdrawal. Indeed, once recognized, a tribe may 
lose its federal recognition only by Act of Congress or by the 
voluntary abandonment of its tribal relations. And while we will not 
presume continuity of tribal relations, neither should we presume 
abandonment of tribal relations. Given that the petitioner existed as a 
distinct community through 1950, that it was sufficiently organized 
politically to pursue claims before the Indian Claims Commission 
throughout the 1950s, that it has pursued this acknowledgment process 
since 1979, and that the genealogical review shows the petitioner to 
consist primarily of descendants of the 1851 and 1855 treaty tribe and 
the tribes mentioned in the 1911 and 1925 legislation, the AS-IA finds 
that criterion (a) is met on a substantially continuous basis from 1911 
to the present.
    The criterion of substantially continuous identification as Indian 
from historical times, in 25 CFR 83.7(a), is thus satisfied, because 
the statutes have never been repealed, amended or otherwise modified. 
In addition, the CIT/CN by virtue of their direct descent from, 
continuing relationship to, and regular interaction with the prior 
acknowledged Chinook satisfy, as a whole, criterion (a).

Criterion (b)

    The PF for the CIT/CN petitioner concluded that the petitioner 
meets criterion 83.7(b) from 1811 to 1854, based on the continuing 
existence of distinct Chinook Indian villages. Using a combination of 
evidence to show people lived in village-like settings and maintained 
distinct cultural patterns, it also concluded that, from 1854 to about 
1920, there was evidence that a community of Chinook Indians who had 
intermarried with Chehalis Indians and whites, lived along the shores 
of Willapa Bay, particularly in the town of Bay Center and on 
Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation. This Bay Center community met the 
requirements for community found in criterion (b) under the 
regulations; however, this community did not incorporate the entire 
Chinook population claimed as ancestors by the petitioner. Significant 
portions of the petitioner's ancestors lived in other communities along 
the Columbia River, 25 to 45 miles to the south and southeast of Bay 
Center. The PF found little or no evidence that the Chinook people 
living on the Columbia River and those in or near Bay Center formed a 
community under the regulations.
    Data from the 1880 federal census was used to demonstrate that many 
Chinook descendants, including those who were permanent residents in 
Bay Center, were fishing side by side in Chinookville, a village which 
was almost exclusively inhabited by Chinook Indians. The year 1880 was 
the last year for which there was sufficient evidence demonstrating 
that CIT/CN, as a whole, met the requirements of criterion 83.7(b).
    CIT/CN submitted new evidence during the PF comment period to 
support a revised finding of continuous, significant social interaction 
between the Indians living in Bay Center and the Chinook descendants 
concentrated in Dahlia or Ilwaco on the Columbia River to the south to 
1950. Evidence submitted by CIT/CN in response to the PF supports 
continuous significant social interaction between the Indians living in 
Bay Center and the Chinook descendants concentrated in Dahlia or Ilwaco 
between 1880 and 1950. However, there is more limited evidence from 
1950 to the present to show that the petitioner, as a whole, met 
criterion 83.7(b). The AS-IA finds that the evidence is adequate that 
the Bay Center community satisfies criterion (b) to the present. While 
this does not encompass the whole of the petitioner, the willingness of 
the Bay Center community to join with others to pursue the ICC claims 
and this petition process also tends to demonstrate the existence of a 
community. To recognize only the Bay Center community would be 
unproductive, since that group, once federally recognized, could simply 
enact membership criteria that would make the others eligible for 
membership. Additionally, the work of Clifford Trafzer supports a 
finding of community up to 1990. See Trafzer, The Chinook (1990), and 
Exhibit T. Therefore, by a combination of evidence and taking account 
of the limitations inherent in demonstrating the historical existence 
of community, the evidence which is available is sufficient to show 
that CIT/CN, as a whole, meets criterion 83.7(b).
    Alternatively, the AS-IA finds that CIT/CN meets criterion (b) as a 
result of its prior federal recognition in the 1925 Act. As noted 
above, we will not presume an abandonment of tribal relations once the 
tribe is recognized. While the record is not conclusive, there is no 
affirmative indication of abandonment, and the voluntary pursuit of the 
ICC claim and this petition argue against any such abandonment. Thus, 
the evidence is adequate to find that CIT/CN meets criterion (b).

Criterion (c)

    The continuity of political influence in section 83.7(c) is met by 
the polity manifested through the organizations formed to pursue claims 
under the 1925 statute and the Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946. 
These organizations were formed to pursue tribal claims, not individual 
ones, and required descent from the historic Lower Chinook Tribe as a 
basis for

[[Page 1693]]

membership. Their purpose was not just to aid litigation or pursue 
claims, but encompassed other matters, relating to the welfare and 
community standing of the Chinook as a whole, for example, health 
matters, fishery issues and the recovery of human remains and 
artifacts. These claim organizations were effectually transitional 
governing bodies and, from the 1920s until the 1950s, were evolving 
into bodies exercising modern political authority and influence. For 
this reason, they must be accorded status of organizations wielding 
political authority and meeting the requirement of political influence 
or other authority in 25 CFR 83.7(c).
    The evidence is undisputed that the focus of the political activity 
has been the claims, both under the 1925 statute and the Indian Claims 
Commission Act of 1946. A claims organization has existed since the 
1920s. From 1953 onwards, there were two competing Chinook authorities, 
centered around the claims, and there were also other political 
activities. At this time a constitution and by-laws were enacted and 
tribal councillors were later elected. Since informal political 
organization has been allowed to meet the political influence 
criterion, and because the claims endeavors were made on behalf of one 
tribal entity, not individuals, this level or organization meets the 
requirement of continuing political influence. The present CIT/CN, an 
amalgamation of the two entities which split in 1953, has a 
constitution and conducts regular meetings.
    Therefore, taking into consideration the limitations inherent in 
demonstrating political influence or authority on a substantially 
continuous basis, and realizing that fluctuations in tribal activity 
occur at different points in time, the combination of evidence 
demonstrated is sufficient to show that CIT/CN, as a whole, meets 
criterion 83.7(c).

Criterion (d)

    The petitioner submitted a certified copy of a constitution dated 
June 16, 1984, which described the territory of the petitioner, the 
membership criteria, election of officers, the duties of the officers, 
and general membership meetings. The petitioner also submitted copies 
of 1953 Articles of Incorporation and a 1953 constitution of the 
Chinook Indian Tribes, Inc., a 1954 constitution of the Chinook Nation, 
and a 1980 constitution as evidence of previous governing documents.
    Section 1 of the 1984 constitution states that the petitioner's 
membership shall consist of persons who submit satisfactory evidence 
that they descend from the Chinookan bands or Clatsop tribe that 
existed at the time of the 1851 treaties. Section 2 of the membership 
provision states that the CIT council will adopt an ordinance for 
establishing procedures and proof for enrollment.
    The petitioner also submitted a membership ordinance dated June 20, 
1987, which ``replaces Section 2 of the 1984 constitution.'' The 
membership ordinance states that the membership shall consist of 
descendants of the Cathlamet, Wahkiakum, Willapa, and Lower Band of 
Chinook Indians and the Clatsop Tribe of Indians who were living at the 
time of the 1851 treaties who are on the August 1, 1987, membership 
list, and their descendants. ``New members'' applying after August 1, 
1987, must document their descent from persons listed on the 1919 
Roblin Schedule of Unenrolled Indians, the 1906 and 1913 McChesney 
rolls of the Indians living at the time of the 1851 treaties or their 
heirs, or the 1914 annuity payment roll and have \1/4\ Indian blood 
from the specified Chinook bands. The term ``new members'' in the 
ordinance presumably applies to new family lines not previously 
represented on the 1987 list.
    The 1984 constitution provides also for the adoption of individuals 
into the tribe under the categories of ``verified tribal affiliation 
(by tribe and/or BIA)'' or ``unverified tribal affiliation.'' The 
provision states that the enrollment committee makes a recommendation 
for adoption to the tribal council which then brings the recommendation 
before the general assembly. The status and rights of adopted members 
are not stated.
    Therefore, the petitioner meets criterion 83.7(d).

Criterion (e)

    The petitioner provided lists dated 1953, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1994, 
and 1995, which it considered its membership lists. The July 8, 1995, 
membership list was certified by the petitioner's council as being 
accurate and complete. There were 1,622 names on the list, including 56 
names of deceased members, for a total of 1,566 living members.
    Approximately 15 percent of CIT/CN members have not submitted 
evidence consistent with the petitioner's own constitution or 
acceptable to the Secretary of the Interior to prove their Chinook 
descent. These members descend from Rose LaFramboise, a metis woman for 
whom there is conflicting information regarding her parentage. The 
petitioner's claim for Chinook ancestry for Rose LaFramboise shows her 
as the descendant of Amable Petit and Susanne Tawakon, of the Lower 
Band of Chinook. However, the petitioner also sent undocumented 
ancestry charts that show Rose as the daughter of non-Chinook parents: 
a French Canadian Hudson's Bay company employee and his Cayuse/Sioux 
metis wife, Francois LaFramboise and Denise Dorion. The petitioner did 
not provide primary documentation to support either claim.
    In order to determine which was the correct line of descent, the 
BIA researched such primary documentation as published Catholic Church 
records, federal censuses, and BIA records for the claims distributions 
in the Western Oregon Judgment Fund 1955-1959. None of these records 
confirmed that Rose was the descendant of Susanne Tawakon. Instead, BIA 
analysis of the available records concluded that Rose was most likely 
to be the daughter of Francois and Denise Dorion LaFramboise who were 
not Chinook.
    If Rose LaFramboise was not of direct Chinook descent, she was 
certainly the sister-in-law to Sophie Durival LaFramboise and to Edwin 
Scarborough, who were members of well-known Chinook families. Rose had 
``connections'' (brother's in-laws) with the Chinook at Dahlia. Rose 
LaFramboise, her children and grandchildren, resided at Cathlamet with 
other Chinook descendants from 1870 through the 1920s. Like other 
Chinook descendants in the area, Rose was identified as ``Indian,'' 
``Indian-Mixed,'' and ``\1/2\ Indian'' on the census records. Rose 
LaFramboise's descendants, like their Chinook neighbors, married out of 
the Chinookan population. Her descendants are on the 1953 membership 
applicants list submitted by the Chinook Tribes, Inc., the 1987 CIT 
membership list, and later CIT lists. These connections and 
associations with other Chinook and identifications in the census 
records indicate that Rose LaFrambois was considered by others (family 
and neighbors) to be one of the Chinook. While Rose LaFramboise may not 
have been Chinook by blood, she appears to have been accepted as a 
member of the Chinook community in which she lived. This comports with 
the long-standing definitions of ``Indian'' and ``tribal member'' 
(Solicitor's Memorandum 1/16/1958.)
    However logical it may be to conclude that Rose LaFramboise was 
considered in her own life time to be Chinook, from the evidence 
currently available, Rose LaFramboise descendants do not meet the 
group's own membership criteria as defined in its enrollment ordinance. 
If the petitioner provides new evidence which proves Rose's descent 
from the

[[Page 1694]]

historical tribe, this will not be a problem. However, if no such 
evidence is available, there may be problems enrolling LaFramboise 
descendants for services. The CIT may wish to resolve the LaFramboise 
membership question by providing documentation acceptable to the 
Secretary of the Interior which proves Chinook descent, by exercising 
the adoption policy, or by resolving the conflict between the 
enrollment ordinance and the group's actual practices.
    At present, there is evidence that approximately 85 percent of the 
1995 membership descends from either the Wahkiakum, Willapa, Kathlamet, 
or Lower Band of Chinook or the Clatsop tribe of Indians who were 
treated by the federal government in 1851. The other 15 percent of the 
membership descends from Rose LaFramboise, who by birth, adoption, or 
the customs of the day, appears to have been considered as part of the 
Chinook. Approximately 82 percent of the CIT membership descends from 
the Lower Band of Chinook. Some descendants of the other bands married 
into the Lower Band, creating multiple lines of Chinook and Clatsop 
descent for most of the CIT membership. Therefore, the group, as a 
whole, meets criterion 83.7(e).

Criterion (f)

    The petitioner's constitution does not address the issue of dual 
enrollment in federally acknowledged tribes. However, the petitioner 
provided a list of 50 names of persons who were dually enrolled in 1981 
and a list of 68 persons who were dually enrolled in 1987. The BIA 
compared the 1995 CIT membership list to a 1992 Olympic Peninsula 
Agency record which listed the names of persons enrolled with various 
Washington and Oregon tribes and found 82 CIT members were enrolled 
with Quinault Nation of the Quinault Reservation, Washington. Although 
5 percent of the petitioner's members are also enrolled in the Quinault 
tribe, the petitioner is principally composed of persons who are not 
members of any federally acknowledged North American Indian tribe.
    Therefore, the petitioner meets criterion 83.7(f).

Criterion (g)

    Congress passed an act in 1954 to terminate the federal trust 
relationship to the ``tribes, bands, groups, or communities of Indians 
located west of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon,'' and specifically 
stated that the act applied to the ``Chinook,'' ``Clatsop,'' and 
``Kathlamet.'' Termination legislation to apply to the Indians of 
western Washington State, although considered, was not enacted by 
Congress. The western Oregon termination act clearly stated that it 
applied not only to tribes or bands of Indians, but also to their 
``individual members'' (68 Stat. 724). Because the act listed the 
historical tribes of western Oregon, not just the tribes which were 
currently recognized by the federal government, the act not only 
terminated any existing federal relationships, but also prohibited the 
establishment of a federal relationship with any of those historical 
    The Lower Band of Chinook was always identified as a historical 
tribe or band north of the Columbia River in modern Washington State. 
As described by the unratified treaty of 1851, its territory lay 
exclusively in the state of Washington. Because the 1954 western Oregon 
termination act was applicable only to tribes, bands, or groups of 
Indians located in the state of Oregon, that act's reference to the 
``Chinook'' did not refer to the historical Lower Band of Chinook of 
Washington State, or to its descendants. Therefore, the act did not 
prohibit a federal relationship with the Lower Band of Chinook.
    The Clatsop Tribe, however, was always identified as a historical 
tribe or band south of the Columbia River in the modern state of 
Oregon. The unratified treaty of 1851 placed its territory exclusively 
in the state of Oregon. Therefore, a federal relationship with the 
Clatsop Tribe was prohibited by the western Oregon termination act of 
1954. In addition, that act clearly stated that its intent was to 
prohibit federal services to the individual members of such a tribe. 
Therefore, those members of the petitioning group whose Indian descent 
is exclusively from the historical Clatsop Tribe cannot receive federal 
services because of their status as Indians. This prohibition does not 
apply to the members of the petitioning group who have mixed Chinook 
and Clatsop ancestry. It affects only about 3 percent of the 
petitioner's current members.
    The historical Kathlamet Band of Chinook Indians had villages on 
the Oregon shore of the Columbia River. The 1851 unratified treaty 
considered Kathlamet territory to be completely within the modern state 
of Oregon. Some scholars believe, however, that about 1810 the 
Kathlamet moved north of the Columbia to live near, or among, the 
Waukiakum Band of Chinook Indians. As a result, members of the 
petitioner who have Kathlamet ancestry also have Waukiakum or Lower 
Band ancestry, although there is some limited evidence that 2 percent 
of the petitioner's members, some of the descendants of Elizabeth 
Klowsum Springer, may have only Kathlamet Band ancestry. The members of 
the petitioning group with Kathlamet ancestry, however, descend from 
Indians who have long been associated with individuals of Waukiakum and 
Chinook ancestry north of the Columbia River in Washington State. 
Therefore, the western Oregon termination act of 1954 does not apply to 
the petitioner's members with Kathlamet ancestry.
    Because the petitioner claims to be the successor to the Lower Band 
of Chinook of Washington State, and because a large majority of its 
members trace their Indian ancestry to that historical tribe or band, 
the petitioner, as an entity, is not the subject of congressional 
legislation which has expressly terminated or forbidden the federal 
relationship. Thus, with the reservation that a few of the petitioner's 
current members who trace their ancestry only to the historical Clatsop 
Tribe would be forbidden federal services as Indians, the petitioner 
meets criterion 83.7(g).
    This determination is final and will become effective 90 days from 
the date of publication, 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 (Sec. 83.11(a)(1)). The petitioner's 
or interested party's request must be received no later than 90 days 
after publication of the Assistant Secretary's determination in the 
Federal Register (Sec. 83.11(a)(2)).

    Dated: January 3, 2001.
Kevin Gover,
Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 01-609 Filed 1-8-01; 8:45 am]