A place for Haudenosaunee to meet
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In layman's terms that means the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (a bureau of the Department of the Interior) is vested by the U.S. Congress as the official U.S. Representative to federally acknowledged tribes. Federal acknowledgement, much like under international law, establishes a government-to-government relationship between the governing body of the tribe and the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government takes care to ensure its representative responsibility with federal tribes is respected and has been known to take legal action against corporations or nullify contracts and transations which violate established protocol. Therefore, it is paramount that a person or corporation engaged in business with anyone or any company from a federal tribe ensure they have secured both the permission of the U.S. Government, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the governing body of the tribe.
For example, I sometimes hear Verizon and Niagara-Mohawk Power companies assert there are several factions within the tribe. As with any group of people, there is always a minority opinion. If anyone has a question about who has the lawful authority of any given tribe then they should contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The same would hold true if a question about who is in charge of the United Mexican States (Mexico) then you would contact the U.S. Department of State. And conversly, to deal with any other regime in Mexico, who is not in lawful authority, might be a criminal act by U.S. and Mexican Law. Additionally, corporations may not undermind the rightful authority of the governing body of a tribe because a minority opinion exists. The corporations must transact and conduct business with the approval of the governing body for their transactions to be valid and upheld in court.
If any U.S. persons should have questions about individuals claiming to have lawful tribal authority, then they should contact the New York field office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for verification. This is the proper Indian Affairs protocol for government-to-government relations. This closely models the international protocol for nation-states. To conduct or transact business without the permission and approval of the governing body, the Chiefs Council for the Tuscarora Nation, is in violation of federal law. Informally, a person may contact the authorized individual from the Tribal Leaders directory maintained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. For the Tuscarora Nation of New York, the designated contact is the Clerk of the Nation, Chief Leo Henry.
File Created: 25 September 2001
Last Modified: Wed, July 23, 2014 at 02:59 PM
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Copyright © 2001, John Wigle. All rights reserved. Any legal information provide on my pages are for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney for the specific legal options of your case.