Congressman Don Young Says Current American Indian Regulations are "Outdated"
American Indian Empowerment Act will give American Indians more control of their lands
Alaska Congressman Don Young recently introduced a bill, H.R. 3532, the American Indian Empowerment Act of 2011.
“The federal policy to hold tribal land, in federal trust, arose from an old notion that American Indians were helpless and should be made wards of the government,” said Young in a statement presented at the hearing. “Today, this policy is long outdated.”
For the past few years tribes have pushed for increased tribal authority of their own land and now Young is pushing for it too.
If passed, the bill will allow a tribe to request that the title to its tribal land be taken out of trust and conveyed to the tribe. Also, the bill will ensure these lands will retain “Indian Country” status – meaning these lands would remain inalienable.
According to a press release Tuesday, Young stated the bill is radical but necessary in getting the “federal government out of their way.” He considers the current regulations “overreaching.”
“H.R. 3532 is meant to spark a long, overdue discussion of blazing a new path in federal Indian policy.”
For Young's full statement click here.