The House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills introduced by Congressman Kurt Schrader and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley that will streamline the fee-to-trust process for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The bills will provide considerable help to the two tribes in their continued efforts to restore land that was lost during federal policies of allotment and termination of tribal recognition in 1954.
“For the past six years we’ve been working tirelessly to get these bills passed which will provide considerable help to the Siletz and Grand Ronde tribes as they work to restore their historic lands,” said Congressman Schrader. “The ability of the Tribes to reacquire the land they lost is critical to their self-determination efforts, which in turn will foster more immediate job creation for both Tribal members and the community at large. Streamlining this process will save the Tribes’ time and money which can be better utilized serving its membership and the community. I congratulate both the Siletz and Grand Ronde on this hard fought victory.”
Currently, the process for previously terminated tribes to take land into trust is lengthy, expensive and cumbersome. The legislation will deem any property located within the Siletz or Grand Ronde’s original reservation boundaries as “on-reservation” for the purpose of processing acquisitions of property into trust through the Bureau of Indian Affairs process. Once taken into trust, the land can then be deemed part of the Tribe’s reservation.