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Old 08-18-2005, 11:12 PM   #9
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Part 6 (end)

c. The BAR deviated from the BIA protocol in failing to provide an objective evaluation of the MOWA Choctaw petition. The BAR failed to provide an objective analysis of our petition. We base this on (1) the adversarial tone of the BAR report; (2) evidence of racial bias by the BAR evaluator; (3) politics. Our experience has made it clear that the federal recognition process is rife with politics and bias. We were not evaluated objectively. Kevin Gover, the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs who signed off on the negative determination of our petitin perhaps puts it better than we can. He is quoted in the Hartford Advocate as saying,

“The tribal recognition process should be ‘fair, open, objective, and neutral…our present system lacks these features and we need an impartial commission’…Today the tribal recognition process is ‘dehumanizing’ and ‘insulting’…”imagine have to prove to the government who you are.” (Miksch 2003, quoting Gover).

Concluding Remarks:
With the exception of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, virtually everyone who has come into contact with our people recognizes that we are Indian. We have multiple letters of support from professionals that are all willing to provide expert testimony under oath. As previously described, we already have established relationships with numerous branches of the federal government who recognize us as Indian, even to the extent of our being given an Indian racial code for the purpose of compiling governmental statistical data. But more importantly that all of the letters and government documents that repeatedly substantiate our American Indian heritage, we simply are who we are.
Wilford “Longhair” Taylor, Tribal Chief,
MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians
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