Federal Recognition Rules

To gain acknowledgment by the United States government, an Indian community needs to meet seven required criteria. Meeting the criteria is an intensive and laborious task and typically takes many years to complete. The Brothertown began its efforts toward recognition in 1980.

Listed below is a summary of the seven mandatory criteria required by Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 83, Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe. (There is a link to this regulation at the bottom of the page.)

83.7a The petitioner has been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900.

83.7b A predominant portion of the petitioning group comprises a distinct community and has existed as a community from historical times to the present.

83.7c The petitioner has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an autonomous entity from historical times until the present.

83.7d A copy of the group's present governing documents including its membership criteria.

83.7e The petitioner's membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.

83.7f The membership of the petitioning group is composed primarily of persons who are not members of an acknowledged North American Indian tribe.

83.7g Neither the petitioner nor its members are the subject of congressional legislation that has expressly terminated or forbidden the federal relationship.

Code of Federal Regulations link: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title25/25cfr83_main_02.tpl