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 assert our tribal sovereignty rights. Federal recognition allows access to further health benefits, scholarships for higher education, funding opportunities to support our wellbeing and cultural continuance.
The Importance of Federal Acknowledgement
Office of Federal Acknowledgment Proposed Finding
How and When to Submit Comments
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
Reference Petitioner #82: Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, CA.
Parties who submit comments on the PF should also provide a copy via mail or email to our council
Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation
Attn: Sandra Chapman, Chairperson
P.O. Box 186
Mariposa, CA 95338
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
R. Lee Fleming, Director, Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA), (202) 513-7650
RESOURCES & PUBLIC COMMENTS
UPDATED Public Comment Extension Due Monday,
SSMN Extension November 6, 2023
SSMN Extension November 11, 2022
FOIA Request to the OFA
SSMN Public Comment Extension Request or Withdraw of Proposed Finding
Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation Narrative
Honored Elder Les James Public Comment Letter
Former OFA Dr. Aldo Salerno, Ph.D. Public Comment Letter
Former OFA Cultural Anthropologist Public Comment
Mark Nicholas Ph.D., Former OFA Historian Public Comment
Indianz.com explains OFA finding
A 'sham': Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation being denied federal recognition
Yosemite Gateway Partners Letter of Support
CASA of Mariposa Supports SSMN
Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk recognize SSMN
Sierra Foothill Conservancy Support Letter
Survival International Letter of Support for SSMN
General Public Comments Received
Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Mariposa County Public Comment
Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Mariposa County Personal Contribution
Comment letter of the Mariposa County Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator
Support letter from an ally on the east coast
Sierra Club Tehipite Chapter Supports Federal Recognition of SSMN
Native American Heritage Commission Requirements
2017 Mariposa County Needs Assessment
Dr. Aldo Salerno, PH.D., letter to Secretary Deb Haaland
SSMN Letter to Acting AS-IA Bryan Newland requesting withdrawal of the Proposed Finding
Congressional Letter to Assistant Secretary -Indian Affairs
Basic Chronology of the
Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation (SSMN) Petition
for Federal Acknowledgment:
April 14, 1982—SSMN [aka American Indian Council of Mariposa County] files its letter of intent to petition for federal acknowledgment.
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.)
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.
November 1, 2010—the Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA) places the SSMN Petition on Active Consideration.
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.
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.
November 16, 2018—the AS-IA issues a Proposed Finding Against Federal Acknowledgment of the SSMN (“Proposed Finding”).
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.
May 9, 2019—the SSMN submits a letter to the AS-IA requesting a copy of all documents used by the OFA in its determination of the Proposed Finding, per the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
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.
Support our efforts by donating to our non-profit,
American Indian Council of Mariposa County.
MARCH FOR FEDERAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 3.5.2022(MARIPOSA, CA)
'i/tán/'ok 'ít/chə/kòo ṭə/lə́l/ləy
'i/tán/'ok ho/yé' 'áy/tuu/mè' míw/ṭəy/yà'
We ask now for help
in calling our representatives
and asking them to decide well
so that our people
–of the past and of the future–
can live with calmness (peace)
and continue our ways.
Kawiinətishshii, 'utchuhakme' net'ok mitaanon nəmih net'ok halle'həə miwdtəyyang
We are still here! We have been here forever, it seems, in this land of the Miwuk.