Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation (Petitioner #82) is seeking self-determination, self-governance, and acknowledgment through the federal recognition process. This designation will allow our tribe to acquire tribal sovereignty rights. Federal recognition allows access to further health benefits, scholarships for higher education, funding opportunities to support our wellbeing and cultural continuance.
Comments on the Proposed Finding (PF) or requests for a copy of the report on the PF should be submitted to:
Department of the Interior
Office of the Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs
Attn: Office of Federal Acknowledgment
1849 C Street NW, MS–4071 MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Parties who submit comments on the PF should also provide a copy of their comments to:
Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation
Attn: William Leonard, Tribal Chairman
P.O. Box 186
Mariposa, CA 95338
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
R. Lee Fleming, Director, Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA), (202) 513-7650
Donate towards our legal fund in the hopes of obtaining Federal Recognition
Basic Chronology of the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation (SSMN) Petition for Federal Acknowledgment:
1. April 14, 1982—SSMN [aka American Indian Council of Mariposa County] files its letter of intent to petition for federal acknowledgment.
2. March 1, 1984—SSMN files its documented petition for federal acknowledgment: “Petition to the Government of the United States From the American Indian Council of Mariposa County [aka Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation] for Acknowledgment as the Yosemite Indian Tribe”
(prepared by Lowell John Bean, Ph.D., and Sylvia Brakke, M.A.)
3. On May 1, 1985, and April 11, 1988, respectively, the Deputy to the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs (AS-IA) issues Technical Assistance letters, to which the SSMN responded.
4. November 1, 2010—the Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA) places the SSMN Petition on Active Consideration.
5. From November 1, 2010, until the AS-IA issues the Proposed Finding on November 16, 2018 (approximately 8 years), the Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA):
issues two (2) suspensions of the period of Active Consideration. The first suspension was from April 19, 2012, to December 6, 2013, totaling 596 days. The second suspension was from September 23, 2016, to January 21, 2017, totaling 120 days.
issues twenty-one (21) extensions of the period of Active Consideration.
NOTE: The above suspensions and extensions of the period of Active Consideration far exceeded and violated the time requirements of the federal regulations for issuance of a Proposed Finding.
6. September 8, 2017—the SSMN, through its legal counsel, sends a letter to the OFA complaining of the repeated extensions of time in violation of the federal regulations.
7. November 16, 2018—the AS-IA issues a Proposed Finding Against Federal Acknowledgment of the SSMN (“Proposed Finding”).
8. April 24, 2019—the SSMN participates in an On the Record (OTR) meeting with the OFA in Washington, D.C., to review the Proposed Finding, including its reasoning, analyses, and factual bases.
9. May 9, 2019—the SSMN submits a letter to the AS-IA, requesting a 180-day extension of the public comment period on the Proposed Finding, and proposing an alternative: that the AS-IA withdraw the Proposed Finding, recommence the period of Active Consideration, consider the SSMN petition under the standard for unambiguous previous federal acknowledgment, and issue a new Proposed Finding.
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