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'Termination is here': Tribes rally against Trump administration

Acee Agoyo November 14, 2018

Jefferson Keel, the president of the National Congress of American Indians, believes the BIA lacks the authority to remove the land from trust status. Doing so would be "illegal," he said on Wednesday morning.

“We have an inherent right to be here," Keel, who also serves as lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation, said outside of the National Museum of the American Indian.

 The BIA has acknowledged that Keel is right. "BIA does not have a regulatory process to take land out of trust for tribes," the agency said in a statement after Indianz.Com inquired about the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

But the Trump administration has sought changes to the Fee-to-Trust Regulations (25 CFR 151) that would account for such a possibility in the future. The draft regulations would require the BIA to comply "with a final court order and any resulting judicial remedy, including, for example, taking land out of trust."

Tribes have trashed the proposal, which remains under consideration in Washington. The comment period closed on July 2, after a series of consultations and listening sessions were held across Indian Country.

Complete article: 'Termination is here': Tribes rally against Trump administration