The Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots have enjoyed the top spot as the only two federally recognized Indian tribes in this state but they may soon have to make room for more.
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has submitted a new draft proposal of revised tribal recognition rules, which makes federal recognition a smoother and easier process for tribes with state reservations, according to a report in the Hartford Courant. Once recognized, the tribes could maintain their reservations or they could start up casinos or tax-free enterprise zones.
The new provision would apply directly to the Eastern Pequots of North Stonington, the Schaghticokes of Kent and the Golden Hill Paugussetts of Trumbull and Colchester, all of which were denied federal recognition in the 1990s and 2000s under stricter criteria.
But under the proposed guidelines, tribes hoping to gain federal recognition will only have to “show genealogical descent from a historic tribe and continuity since 1934,” said the report and those three Connecticut tribes will likely be recognized under those guidelines.
The draft proposal will be heard this summer and a final draft will be offered later. Click here to read the full report in the Hartford Courant.