[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2002)]
[Pages 76184-76189]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-31229]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

Proposed Finding Against Federal Acknowledgment of the 
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of proposed finding.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(h), notice is hereby given that the 
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs proposes to decline to acknowledge 
that the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN), c/o Mr. Richard L. Velky, 33 
Elizabeth Street, 4th Floor, Derby, Connecticut 06148, exists as an 
Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. This notice is based on 
a determination that the petitioner does not satisfy all seven of the 
criteria set forth in 25 CFR 83.7, specifically criteria (b), and (c), 
and therefore does not meet the requirements for a government-to-
government relationship with the United States.

DATES: As provided by 25 CFR 83.10(i), any individual or organization 
wishing to comment on the proposed finding may submit arguments and 
evidence to support or rebut the proposed finding. The time periods and 
some of the procedures in 25 CFR part 83 for considering the STN 
petition are modified by a court-approved negotiated agreement in 
pending litigation. Parties to the litigation have six months from the 
service of the proposed finding to provide comments, documents and 
arguments on the proposed finding to the Department. Interested and 
informed parties who are not also parties to the litigation have 180 
days from the date of publication of this notice of the proposed 
finding to provide comments to the Department. These comment periods 
are virtually identical. The petitioner and all interested and informed 
parties commenting on the proposed finding must provide copies of their 
comments to all parties and amici curiae to the litigation at the same 
time. The names and addresses of commenters on the proposed finding 
will be available for public review. Commenters wishing to have their 
name and/or address withheld must state this request prominently at the 
beginning of their comments. Such a request will be honored to the 
extent allowable by law.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the proposed finding or requests for a copy of 
the report which summarizes the evidence, reasoning, and analyses that 
are the basis for this proposed finding, or a list of parties in the 
litigation, should be addressed to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Branch 
of Acknowledgment and Research, 1849 C Street NW., Mailstop 4660-MIB, 
Washington, DC 20240.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: R. Lee Fleming, Chief, Branch of 
Acknowledgment and Research, (202) 208-3592.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published in accordance with 
authority delegated by the Secretary of

[[Page 76185]]

the Interior to the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs by 209 DM 8.
    The STN petition (petition 79) is being considered under a 
court-approved negotiated agreement in pending litigation which 
modifies the time periods in 25 CFR part 83 and some of the procedures, 
superceding the regulatory provisions for these time periods and 
procedures. This order, entered May 8, 2001, and modified by court 
order on February 14, 2002, established time lines for submission of 
materials to the Department and deadlines for submission of comments, 
issuance of a proposed finding and issuance of a final determination. 
The agreement does not modify the criteria nor the standards required 
to demonstrate that the criteria are met.
    The petitioner's letter of intent to petition, under the name the 
``Schaghticoke Indian Tribe,'' was filed with the Department on 
December 14, 1981. The petitioning group changed its name to 
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent when it amended its governing 
document at a membership meeting in 1991.
    The Schaghticoke have been a state-recognized tribe, with a state 
reservation, from colonial times until the present. However, the 
specifics of the State of Connecticut's dealings with state-recognized 
tribes differed from tribe to tribe in at least one important respect 
that is relevant to the extent to which state recognition provides 
additional evidence for the community and political influence criteria 
in 25 CFR 83.7(b) and 25 CFR 83.7(c). In this instance, there are 
substantial periods of time, from the early 1800's until 1875 and from 
1885 until the late 1960's, when the State did not deal with or 
identify formal or informal leaders of the Schaghticoke, and did not 
consult with members concerning issues which concerned the entire 
group. The State's relationship here thus differs materially from that 
with the historical Eastern Pequot tribe, where there were recognized 
leaders with whom the State or state-authorized officials dealt.
    While continuous State recognition with a reservation can provide 
evidence to be weighed in combination with the specific evidence that 
is present, it is not a substitute for direct evidence concerning 
community and political processes. In the historical Eastern Pequot 
case, the continuous state recognition provided evidence which, when 
added to the specific evidence for community and political processes, 
provided the basis for criteria 83.7(b) and 83.7(c) to be met for some 
limited time periods for which the specific evidence itself was 
insufficient. Because of the narrower quality of the state relationship 
with the Schaghticoke petitioner, the state relationship provides a 
more limited amount of additional evidence than it did in the case of 
the historical Eastern Pequot, especially with regard to demonstrating 
criterion 83.7(c), consistent with the reasoning in that final 
    From 1900 onwards, the Schaghticoke petitioner and its antecedents 
have been regularly identified as an American Indian entity in Federal 
and State documents, by local historians, by academic scholars, and in 
newspaper articles. Federal identifications include the special Indian 
Population schedules for the 1900 and 1910 Federal censuses, the 1934 
Tantaquidgeon Report on New England Indians prepared for the U.S. 
Indian Service, and the 1947 Gilbert report on surviving Eastern Indian 
groups prepared for the Smithsonian Institution. The State 
relationship, which has been uninterrupted from 1900 to the present, 
generated large quantities of documentation in each decade. These 
documents include legislative acts, legislative appropriations, 
appointment of overseers, minutes and correspondence of State agencies, 
and the assignment of a seat on the Connecticut Indian Affairs Council 
(CIAC) to the Schaghticoke. Identifications by academic scholars during 
the 20th century begin with a 1903 visit to the Schaghticoke 
reservation by ethnographer Frank G. Speck, and exist for each decade 
from the 1960's through the 1990's. Identifications by local historians 
also appear consistently in the 20th century, with publications from 
1903 through the 1990's. Multiple newspaper articles appeared in every 
decade from 1900 to the present.
    There is no question that the many identifications, which fall 
under multiple categories of the types of evidence that may be used 
under criterion 83.7(a), pertain to the petitioner and its antecedents. 
The petitioner meets criterion 83.7(a).
    The evidence indicates that the settlement at Schaghticoke 
developed primarily as an amalgamation of the Weantinock and Potatuck 
Indian tribes which existed at the time of first sustained contact with 
non-Indian settlers. Section 83.6(f) of the regulations provides that 
the criteria in 83.7(a) through (g) shall be interpreted as applying to 
tribes or groups that have historically combined and functioned as a 
single autonomous political entity. The combination of Indians from two 
or more related settlements into a single group under the pressure of 
non-Indian settlement does not mean that a petitioner fails to meet 
criterion 83.7(b) or 83.7(c) during the colonial period.
    The Colony of Connecticut reserved lands for the Schaghticoke in 
1736 and confirmed the reservation in 1752, appointing an overseer in 
1757. Throughout the period from 1743 through 1771, the Moravian 
mission records, which are both descriptive and genealogical, provide 
sufficient evidence of a Schaghticoke community--more than has existed 
for the colonial period in some prior decisions. From 1771 through 
1801, the evidence for community is less ample, consisting primarily of 
the continued existence of a distinct residential settlement, the 
presentation of petitions by the group to the Colony and State, and a 
detailed external enumeration of all members by name and age in 1789. 
The majority of the residents during this period descended from the 
already closely-related Indians who resided at Schaghticoke during the 
Moravian era. On the basis of precedent, the evidence is sufficient. 
The petitioner meets criterion 83.7(b) during the colonial and early 
Federal periods.
    For the period from 1800 through 1860, in addition to the data 
provided by the overseers who were appointed by the State of 
Connecticut through the Litchfield County Superior Court and the 
applicable data from the Federal census records, there continued to be 
a settlement identified and described by outside observers. The 
existence of a distinct geographical settlement to which off-
reservation residents frequently returned and the close kinship 
relations between the resident and the non-resident members, in 
combination with the other evidence, provide sufficient evidence of 
community to meet criterion 83.7(b) from 1801 through 1860.
    Throughout the period from 1861 through 1899, the existence of a 
residential settlement on the Schaghticoke reservation continued to be 
described by outside observers and identified by the State's overseers, 
appointed through the Litchfield County Superior Court or after 1883, 
the Litchfield County Court of Common Pleas. The Schaghticoke who 
resided off the reservation during this period, as documented through 
genealogical and census records, had close kin ties to those families 
that remained on the reservation. The combination of these forms of 
evidence is sufficient for the petitioner to meet criterion 83.7(b) for 
the period 1861-1899.
    The Schaghticoke group meets criterion 83.7(b) in 1900, based on 
the existence of the small geographically distinct community (on the 

[[Page 76186]]

whose members maintained social relations with each other, and evidence 
that at that point in time the kinsmen of the residents living nearby 
in the region were maintaining contact with the reservation residents. 
The existence of a geographically distinct community is evidence to 
demonstrate community, when used in combination with other evidence, 
even where it does not reach the 50 percent of the membership necessary 
to be sufficient in itself under section 83.7(b)(2)(i).
    Supportive evidence for community after 1900, up until 1996, is 
that the ``membership,'' in the sense of who was involved, came to 
meetings, was mentioned in interviews and the like, was only a limited 
portion of the total number of Schaghticoke descendants. At least from 
the mid-1800's onwards, only certain descendants maintained contact 
with each other and the reservation. In each generation, only some of a 
given set of siblings had descendants who appeared on subsequent lists 
and in descriptions of the Schaghticoke. This selectivity provides 
evidence of social cohesion among this portion of the descendants of 
earlier Schaghticokes, and evidence that the Schaghticoke were not a 
group based on descent alone.
    Three family lines had emerged as distinct lines by the beginning 
of the 20th century, Cogswell, Kilson and Harris. With one important 
exception, there were no marriages between these lines after the mid 
19th century although there were kinship links to each other from 
intermarriages earlier in the 19th century or in the 18th century.
    There is sufficient evidence from 1900 to 1940 to demonstrate that 
criterion 83.7(b) is met. The primary bases are the reservation 
community, which encompassed the three main family lines, and the 
extant kinship ties with others living nearby. Many of these off 
reservation individuals were former reservation residents whose 
residence nearby continued the 19th century Schaghticoke pattern where 
the community was centered on but not limited to the reservation. 
Additional evidence for community is that the Schaghticoke have not 
been a descent group up until 1996, but have only included individuals 
who were maintaining social relations. Although the direct evidence 
concerning community after 1920 is limited, the continuous state 
recognition with a reservation provides additional evidence for 
community, which, when added to the specific evidence in the record, is 
sufficient to demonstrate that criterion 83.7(b) is met between 1900 
and 1940.
    The available interview data provides conflicting evidence 
concerning social community, especially visiting across family lines, 
from the late 1930's into the 1960's. Some of the data from interviews 
does not show social relations extending beyond immediate family groups 
or includes statements which specifically deny contacts across family 
lines. Evidence from other interview accounts suggests broader 
contacts, including some social gatherings and visiting of reservation 
residents across family lines. There was conflicting evidence from 
interviews concerning the maintenance of broad social contacts after 
1940 to 1967. Descriptions of the initial meetings of the Schaghticoke 
organization created in 1967 indicated that the participants were not 
well acquainted with each other at that time.
    There is not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that criterion 
83.7(b) is met between 1940 and 1967. The conflicting data from the 
1930's into the 1960's cannot be resolved with the presently available 
sources and the analysis conducted by the petitioner or by the 
Department. The present analysis of this data was sufficient to 
conclude that the petitioner's claims to have demonstrated community in 
from 1940 to 1967 were not established. The evidence also did not 
demonstrate that the third party comments that community did not exist 
in this time period were valid. State recognition does not provide 
sufficient additional evidence for the period between 1940 and 1967 
because of the conflicting nature of the specific evidence for that 
    As evidence to demonstrate community from 1967 to the present-day, 
the petitioner's reports describe the holding of political meetings, 
the practice of traditional crafts, the current geographic settlement 
pattern, work parties on the reservation, and the continued existence 
of social networks. The formal political meetings do not in themselves 
show significant social contact or a political relationship because any 
kind of organization can hold meetings. The petitioner presented only 
limited evidence to substantiate the present existence of social 
networks outside of family sublines. The evidence in the record does 
not show that work parties have been frequent or that they drew broadly 
from the membership. There was no showing that the practice of crafts 
represented a distinct cultural tradition or that it involved more than 
a few individuals. The geographic distribution of the membership is not 
so broad as to provide evidence against the existence of community, but 
neither does it provide significant evidence for community.
    The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation meets the requirements of criterion 
83.7(b) from 1967 to 1996. The primary body of evidence for community 
is in the data which describe the intense patterns of political 
conflict in these years, described under criterion 83.7(c). This 
information demonstrates frequent mobilization of most of the 
membership, most often along the lines of the major families or their 
subdivisions. Evidence for criterion 83.7(c) can be used as well for 
criterion 83.7(b), where that evidence describes circumstances that 
indicate that social communication is occurring and that social ties 
exist which influence the patterns of political conflict.
    The evidence from political events, membership definition and other 
sources provides sufficient direct evidence to demonstrate that 
criterion 83.7(c) is met between 1967 and 1996. Additional, supporting 
evidence, is the selective nature of the membership of the STN in this 
period, as well as the preceding decades. State recognition provides 
additional evidence for community between 1967 and 1996.
    The present-day community, as defined by the 2001 STN membership 
list, does not meet the requirements of criterion 83.7(b). The 
community so defined differs substantially from the community described 
for period from 1967 to approximately 1996. Important segments of the 
group as it existed prior to 1996 have resigned membership in the 
petitioner or do not appear on the current membership list because they 
declined, for internal political reasons, to participate in the 
enrollment process which led to the current STN list. There are 
approximately 60 such individuals, compared with the present STN 
membership of 317. The absence of these individuals, who were a part of 
the social and political relations within the group between 1967 to 
1996, means that the current petitioner, as defined by its most recent 
enrollment, is substantially less than the entire community. In the 
Department's final determination to acknowledge the Eastern Pequot and 
the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot petitioners as a single tribe, the 
historical Eastern Pequot, the Department concluded that it did not 
have the authority to acknowledge petitioners which were parts of 
unrecognized tribes.
    Criterion 83.7(b) for the present-day community is also not shown 
because substantial numbers of descendants of one subline of the Kilson 
family were enrolled for the first time beginning in 1996. There is 
little evidence of their

[[Page 76187]]

association with the rest of the Schaghticoke families, including other 
Kilsons, after the early 1900's. They constitute 110 of the 317 who are 
presently enrolled in the STN, more than a third of the total STN 
    State recognition does not provide sufficient additional evidence 
for criterion 83.7(b) to be met from 1996 to the present, because of 
the substantial questions concerning the composition of the community 
as defined by the current STN membership list.
    The evidence available for this finding indicates that the 
Schaghticoke meet criterion 83.7(c) during the colonial period and 
during the early Federal period, to 1801. The actions of the local 
authorities in regard to the tribe were in accordance with the existing 
Connecticut statutes. On the basis of precedent, governance of an 
American Indian group by a colony or state does not negate the 
existence of tribal autonomy within the meaning of the 25 CFR part 83 
regulations, which only require autonomy in relation to other Indian 
    In regard to 18th century political authority, the Schaghticoke 
settlement developed between the 1720's and 1740's, primarily from the 
Weantinock and Potatuck tribes that existed at the time of first 
sustained contact with non-Indian settlers. When the Moravian 
missionaries first arrived at Schaghticoke (which they called 
Pachgatgoch) on January 26, 1743, Martin Mack and his wife ``were 
lodg'd by Captain Mawessman * * *.'' This leader, who was baptized with 
the name of Gideon later the same year, is generally known as Gideon 
Mauwee and continued to head the settlement until his death in 1760, 
when he was succeeded by his son, Josua Job Mauwee, until the latter's 
death in 1771. Throughout the period from 1743 through 1801, the 
sequence of Schaghticoke petitions to the colony, with their content 
focused upon preservation of the land base, and with a substantially 
stable sequence of signers that changed only gradually over the course 
of time as the older men died and younger ones became household heads, 
provides sufficient evidence of the existence of political authority or 
influence within the group for the colonial and early Federal period.
    For the period from 1801 to 1860, there is no evidence in the 
record pertaining to political authority or influence. There are no 
leaders named either by outside observers or in internal documents. The 
State or the overseer did not deal with leaders. The evidence available 
for the proposed finding does not show that the group submitted any 
petitions to the State authorities. While a single man served as 
overseer from 1801 to 1852, thus reducing the number of occasions for 
petitions, the evidence submitted did not include any data showing that 
the group expressed its views or was consulted with regard to the 1852 
or 1861 overseer appointment. Although, in a certain sense, Eunice 
Mauwee represented the group to outsiders through the interviews that 
she granted, there is no evidence that she did so in ``matters of 
consequence,'' as required under the definition of political influence 
in the regulations. Although the overseers' records and descriptions by 
outside observers reflect the existence of a continuing geographical 
community which maintained continuing ties with non-resident relatives, 
many of whom received disbursements from the tribal fund when in need, 
the record provides no data beyond the fact of this continuous 
existence and descriptions of a few selected members. There is no 
direct information in regard to political process.
    The state relationship by itself does not provide sufficient 
additional evidence to meet criterion 83.7(c) in the absence of other, 
specific evidence of political influence. The regulations state at 
section 83.6.(d) that: ``a petitioner may also be denied if there is 
insufficient evidence that it meets one or more of the criteria.'' The 
petitioner does not meet criterion 83.7(c) from 1801 through 1860.
    There is very limited evidence for political authority or influence 
under criterion 83.7(c) in the period from 1861 through 1899 in the 
form of two petitions, submitted in 1876 and 1884, each of which was 
signed by more than half of the Schaghticoke's adult members. The 
evidence does not show that there were petitions submitted in 
connection with the overseers' appointments of 1865 and 1870 or that 
the State authorities consulted with the group in making them. By 
themselves, these two documents within a period of 40 years do not 
provide sufficient evidence to support a finding that the petitioner 
meets criterion 83.7(c) for this full period.
    The two petitions, in combination with the continuous state 
relationship since colonial times and the continuous existence of the 
reservation lands held in trust by the State, with oversight function, 
show that the Schaghticoke meet criterion 83.7(c) for the period from 
1876 through 1884. The state relationship here provides additional 
evidence because in this period there was a specific political dealing 
with the group in that the Litchfield County Superior Court and Court 
of Common Pleas did act in response to the petitions. Additional 
evidence for criterion 83.7(c) in this period is provided by the 
demonstration that the Schaghticoke have shown community under Sec.  
83.7(b)(1) at more than a minimal level. Under Sec.  83.7(c)(1)(iv), 
this provides supporting evidence for demonstrating criterion 83.7(c). 
The evidence does not demonstrate that the Schaghticoke meet criterion 
83.7(c) from 1861 to 1875 or from 1885 to 1899. The state relationship 
does not provide additional evidence for these dates because there is 
an absence of specific evidence of the exercise of political influence 
within the group within the meaning of the acknowledgment regulations.
    There is almost no specific evidence of Schaghticoke political 
activity from 1900 to 1949. The evidence available for the proposed 
finding does not show that the group submitted a petition in connection 
with the overseers' appointments of 1904-1905, 1914, or 1932, or that 
State authorities consulted with the group in making these 
appointments. The several accounts of the Schaghticoke around the turn 
of the century, including one by ethnographer Frank Speck, do not name 
anyone as a leader. Though they describe some individuals who were well 
known to non-Indians for various reasons, the accounts do not identify 
them as leaders. There was no significant evidence from documents or 
interviews to support the petitioner's position that James Harris (died 
1909) and George Cogswell (died 1923) were leaders. Although they were 
well known, none of the contemporary descriptions of their activities 
described roles as leaders of the Schaghticoke or provided substantial 
evidence that they exercised political influence or carried out 
activities which meet the definition of political influence in Sec.  
83.1 of the regulations.
    There is no good evidence to support the petitioner's statements 
that Howard Nelson Harris was chief from approximately 1920 until 1954, 
when he was appointed to that position by the Schaghticoke council 
initiated by Franklin Bearce in 1949. Interview data from the Harris 
family itself did not provide any significant evidence that he was a 
leader before 1954, and little specific evidence to demonstrate he 
exercised political influence from 1954 until his death in 1967. Some 
Schaghticoke, from a different family line than Harris, specifically 
denied that he was chief at all, and stated that different individuals, 
with the title of

[[Page 76188]]

Sagamore, were chief from the 1930's until 1967. Evidence of Howard 
Harris' contacts with the state in the mid-1920's and in 1950 provided 
no indication that he was considered to be a leader or that he had 
presented himself to State officials as a leader.
    There was little or no evidence to support the petitioner's claims 
that various other individuals exercised leadership on the reservation 
between 1900 and the 1950's or that that various individuals listed by 
the petitioner as being ``culture keepers,'' from 1900 to the present 
actually functioned as informal leaders who influenced significant 
numbers of members.
    There are no named Schaghticoke leaders with whom the state dealt 
between 1900 and 1967. One state report, in 1934, said that there were 
no leaders recognized by the Schaghticoke. This is evidence which 
specifically indicates that there were no leaders in the period between 
1900 and 1949.
    Between approximately 1949 and 1959, there was a council with named 
officers which pursued a claim before the Indian Claims Commission and 
attempted to deal with the State on the issue of providing more housing 
on the reservation. This council came about through the efforts of 
Franklin Bearce, a non-Schaghticoke. There is not good evidence that 
those holding office in this time period had a following or significant 
duties for any extended period of time. There is some evidence to 
indicate that Bearce consulted regularly with various Schaghticoke 
individuals, including especially Howard Harris, and that his efforts 
tapped into an existing set of issues and relationships, but the 
present evidence is insufficient to demonstrate that criterion 83.7(c) 
is met for this period. It was not shown that the claims issue itself, 
involving losses that had occurred over a hundred years before, was of 
importance to the membership in general and thus evidence for criterion 
83.7(c) under Sec.  83.7(c)(1)(ii).
    There is either no direct evidence to show political influence, or 
only a small amount of direct evidence, between 1900 and 1967. State 
recognition in the form it takes in relation to the Schaghticoke does 
not provide enough additional evidence which, added to the limited 
specific evidence in the record, demonstrates that criterion 83.7(c) is 
met for that time period.
    From 1967, until approximately 1996, there is substantial evidence 
of political involvement of much or most of the Schaghticoke 
membership. There was a continuing series of conflicts that showed 
consistently broad involvement of members of the group. The several 
family line groups and sublines have formed a framework for political 
conflict, as the units which have mobilized for and against certain 
issues, and in support of or against specific leaders. These conflicts 
occurred multiple times over a period of more than 30 years, showing 
involvement in political processes by most of the group's members. They 
indicate that knowledge of issues and events were being communicated 
within the membership, evidence described in Sec.  83.7(c)(1)(iii), 
that there was controversy over valued group goals, evidence described 
in Sec.  83.7(c)(1)(v), and that most of the membership considered the 
issues acted upon to be of importance, the form of evidence described 
in Sec.  83.7(c)(1)(ii). Overall, there is sufficient evidence to 
demonstrate that the petitioner meets the requirements of criterion 
83.7(c) from 1967 to approximately 1996.
    The STN does not meet the requirements of criterion 83.7(c) from 
approximately 1996 to the present. Changes in the STN's membership 
starting around 1996 and culminating in the 2001 membership list 
preclude a finding that political processes continued within the group. 
Former STN members who are not presently members have a strong history 
of past involvement in Schaghticoke political processes and are clearly 
part of the same group. The conclusion of this proposed finding is that 
in the present-day there continues to be a single Schaghticoke 
political system encompassing the STN and a substantial number of 
former members who are not presently members of the STN. Consequently, 
the present petitioner's membership does not substantially encompass 
the complete political system. The regulations do not permit 
acknowledgment of only part of a group. The Secretary does not have the 
authority to acknowledge parts of tribes.
    In addition, there is not evidence to show whether the substantial 
portion of the currently enrolled STN membership who have only been STN 
members for a few years are maintaining significant social contact or 
more than a pro forma political relationship with each other or with 
the rest of the present membership. These descendants comprise a third 
of the present STN membership.
    Because the state relationship here lacks a substantial political 
component, it does not add substantial evidence concerning political 
processes. In the absence of any specific, direct evidence of political 
processes and leadership, the state relationship does not in itself 
provide sufficient evidence for the Schaghticoke to meet criterion 
83.7(c) between 1800 and 1876, 1884 and 1949, and 1960 to 1967. The 
state relationship does not add sufficient additional evidence to the 
specific evidence in the record for the period from 1949 to 1959 to 
demonstrate that criterion 83.7(c) is met for that time period.
    The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation does not meet the requirements of 
criterion 83.7(c) from 1800 to 1875, from 1885 to 1967, and in the 
present-day group. Therefore the petitioner does not meet the 
requirements of criterion 83.7(c).
    The petitioner submitted ample evidence to demonstrate that 100 
percent of its membership descends from the historical Schaghticoke 
tribe. All persons on the petitioner's current membership list, dated 
August 30, 2001, descend from Indians who were identified as 
Schaghticoke Indians by the State of Connecticut in the 19th century. 
The petitioner's continuity of descent has been maintained through 
three families: Cogswell, Kilson and Harris, who, along with their 
collateral relatives, were named as Schaghticoke Indians throughout the 
19th century overseers' reports. Everyone on the petitioner's current 
membership list descends from at least one of the Schaghticoke Indians 
who signed an 1884 petition for a new overseer.
    The Federal census records from 1870 to 1910, including the 1900 
and 1910 separate Indian Population Schedules, show that the 
petitioner's direct ancestors lived on the reservation at least during 
some part of their lives, although some periodically moved off to seek 
employment elsewhere.
    The petitioner has provided a copy of its current membership list, 
dated August 30, 2001, and certified by its governing body, by a letter 
dated October 14, 2002, as well as previous membership lists.
    The petitioner claims two sources for determining eligibility for 
membership: (1) Descent from Gideon Mauwee (ca. 1687 to 1760), which is 
apparently based on long-standing Schaghticoke traditions of the 
relationships between Gideon's granddaughter Eunice Mauwee (who died in 
1860), Parmelia (Mauwee) Kilson, Abigail (Mauwee) Harris, and Truman 
Bradley a.k.a. Truman Mauwee. However, the records of the late 18th 
century and early 19th century do not show the exact genealogical 
connection among these Schaghticoke Indians; or (2) descent from ``any 
person identified on the 1910 U.S. Federal Census as a Schaghticoke 
Indian.'' This definition of eligibility contains a slight 
terminological problem, in that, although the reservation was 
identified as Schaghticoke in 1910, its residents were identified as 

[[Page 76189]]

    Nonetheless, all of the petitioner's 317 current members, have 
satisfied the petitioner's own criteria for membership: 202 have a 
direct ancestor listed on the 1910 census of the Schaghticoke 
reservation, and the remaining 115 individuals descend from Joseph D. 
Kilson (110) or from Julia M. Kilson (and her husband Truman Bradley) 
(5), who descend from the Parmelia (Mauwee) Kilson, and thus by 
tradition from Gideon Mauwee.
    More importantly, the petitioner's descent from Schaghticoke 
Indians of the early 1800's, as identified by the State records, is 
well documented. While the exact ``blood-line'' connections to the 
previous generations in the 1700's are less sure, there is more than 
enough evidence to show the reasonable likelihood of the connection as 
well. Therefore, based on the evidence available at this time, the 
petitioner has demonstrated that it descends from the historical 
Schaghticoke tribe as identified by the State in the early 1800's and 
therefore meets the requirements of criterion 83.7(e).
    The petitioner meets the requirements of criterion 83.7(d) because 
it has submitted a governing document, including a description of its 
membership criteria, criterion 83.7(f) because its members are not 
enrolled with federally recognized tribes, and criterion 83.7(g) 
because the group or its members have not been the subject of 
congressional legislation which has expressly terminated or forbidden 
the Federal relationship.
    The evidence available for this proposed finding demonstrates that 
the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation does not meet all seven criteria 
required for Federal acknowledgment. In accordance with the 
regulations, failure to meet any one of the seven criteria requires a 
determination that the group does not exist as an Indian tribe within 
the meaning of Federal law (83.6(c), 83.10(m)).
    A copy of this proposed finding, which summarizes the evidence, 
reasoning, and analyses that are the basis for decision is available 
upon written request (83.10(h)).
    During the comment period, the Assistant Secretary shall provide 
technical advice concerning the proposed finding (83.10(j)(i)). Under 
the court-approved agreement any interested party, including any 
parties or amici curiae to the litigation, who wishes to request a 
formal on-the-record technical assistance meeting under 25 CFR 
83.10(j)(2), must make their request not later than 30 days after 
service of the proposed finding. A formal technical assistance meeting 
will be held within 60 days of the first such request. The proceedings 
of this meeting shall be on the record. The meeting record shall be 
available to any participating party and will become part of the record 
considered by the Assistant Secretary in reaching a final determination 
    Parties to the litigation have six months from the service of the 
proposed finding to provide comments, documents and arguments on the 
proposed finding to the Department. Interested and informed parties who 
are not also parties to the litigation have 180 days from the date of 
publication of this notice in the Federal Register to provide comments 
to the Department. Comments on the proposed finding should be submitted 
in writing to the Office of the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, 
1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240, Attention: Branch of 
Acknowledgment and Research, Mail Stop 4660-MIB. The petitioner and all 
interested and informed parties commenting on the proposed finding must 
provide copies of their comments to all parties and amici curiae to the 
litigation at the same time. The addresses of the petitioners, parties 
and amici curiae are available from the Department upon request.
    The petitioner shall file any reply to these comments with the 
Department within 30 days of the close of the comment period. After 
consideration of the written arguments and evidence submitted during 
the comment period and the petitioner's response to the comments, the 
AS-IA will make a final determination regarding the petitioner's status 
within four months of the end of the petitioner's reply period and 
publish notice of this final determination in the Federal Register.

    Dated: December 5, 2002.
Neal A. McCaleb,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 02-31229 Filed 12-6-02; 3:18 pm]