"The State Recognition of Native American Tribes Act."
This historic legislation will benefit and define the future for all Indigenous Ohio Tribes.
Previous to this Bill, for a Tribe(s) to be recognized by the State of Ohio, it was done
by way of Joint Resolution, as our Tribe experienced in 1980. After 2 years of testimony
before the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, we were officially recognized
by the State of Ohio by way of Am. Sub H.J.R. 8 of the 113th general assembly 29 long
After that point the State of Ohio still needed a mechanism or guideline in place to afford
official recognition to Ohio's Indigenous Tribes. In order for official recognition to take place
before this Bill, the same process the Shawnee Nation URB went through 29 years ago, would
have to be attempted.
So the system was not only broken, there was no system or specific legislation in place for
Ohio American Indians to be officially recognized.
By way of this legislation, in the future, Ohio's Indigenous Tribes will have a mechanism and
guidelines to officially recognize them. This has been long time in coming, way too long! The
Shawnee Nation URB has worked hard, diligently and very closely with Ohio legislators over
the past several years to make this happen. The legislators that Sponsor and Cosponsor this Bill
believe in what the Bill stands for and the importance that is has for our native communities
and to our Indigenous People. For this we are thankful.
All Indigenous People of Ohio need to stand together in support of this Bill, for a common cause
and common goal. Show your support for this Bill. Call and Email your Representatives and Senator's.
It's time we made it Law!
As Introduced 128th General Assembly Regular Session 2009-2010
S. B. No. 149 Senator Strahorn
Cosponsors: Senators Cafaro, Miller, D., Turner, Kearney, Miller, R., Morano, Goodman
To enact sections 185.01, 185.02, 185.021, and 185.03 to 185.07 of the Revised Code to establish procedures for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to extend state recognition to native American tribes, native American groups, and native American special interest groups, and to specify the rights, duties, and responsibilities of any native American tribe that the Commission recognizes and to extend such state recognition to the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 185.01, 185.02, 185.021, 185.03, 185.04, 185.05, 185.06, and 185.07 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 185.01. As used in this chapter:
(A) "Native American tribe" means any native American tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community that is indigenous to the contiguous land area of this state, that has had a continuous presence inside that contiguous land area, and that meets the other criteria for recognition contained in section 185.05 of the Revised Code.
(B) "Native American group" means any native American aggregated entity that does not claim to be a native American tribe.
(C) "Native American special interest group" means any native American aggregated entity that is formed with the intent to petition, campaign, promote, or otherwise advocate for an issue or constituency.
(A) The Ohio civil rights commission shall adopt and may amend and rescind rules that are necessary to provide for state recognition of native American tribes, native American groups, or native American special interest groups.
(B) The commission shall confer state recognition on a native American tribe in accordance with the criteria for recognition contained in section 185.05 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 185.021. This state confers state recognition upon the Shawnee nation united remnant band based on the findings stated in Am. Sub. H.J.R. 8 of the 113th general assembly.
Sec. 185.03. A native American tribe having state recognition may carry out any acts or business in this state that native American tribes are authorized to carry out by the laws of this state or the United States. But state recognition as a native American tribe under this chapter is not recognition of that tribe for purposes of the "Indian Gaming Regulatory Act," 102. Stat. 2472 (1988), 25 U.S.C. 2701 to 2721.
(A) A petitioner seeking state recognition under division (B) of section 185.02 of the Revised Code as a native American tribe shall submit to the Ohio civil rights commission a petition that contains both of the following:
(1) A certification, signed and dated by members of the petitioner's governing body, stating that the petition is the petitioner's official petition for recognition; and
(2) A statement, signed and dated by members of the petitioner's governing body, stating that the petitioner has met all of the criteria for recognition contained in section 185.05 of the Revised Code.
(B) The commission shall examine a petition submitted to it and determine whether the petitioner meets the criteria for recognition contained in section 185.05 of the Revised Code. The commission shall appoint a traditional native American council each time the commission is required to make such a determination. The council shall advise the commission in making the determination. The council shall consist of five members and two alternate members. A quorum of the council is three members.
(1) The commission shall deny recognition if the petition does not meet, or if there is insufficient evidence that the petition meets, one or more of the criteria for recognition contained in section 185.05 of the Revised Code. A criterion is met if the petitioner provides explanations and supporting documentation that establish a reasonable likelihood of the validity of the facts relating to that criterion.
(2) The commission shall consider historical situations and time periods for which evidence is demonstrably limited or unavailable, and fluctuations in tribal activity and the limitations of evidence that may result from those fluctuations.
(C) The commission shall approve or disapprove a petition submitted under this section within fifteen months after the commission receives it. The petitioner may appeal the commission's disapproval of the petition to the court of common pleas under section 2505.03 of the Revised Code not later than sixty days after the date of the disapproval.
Sec. 185.05. The Ohio civil rights commission shall use the following criteria in determining whether to recognize a petitioner as a native American tribe under section 185.04 of the Revised Code:
(A) The petitioner has been identified as a native American tribe on a substantially continuing basis in this state since 1900. Evidence that an entity's status as a native American tribe has been denied periodically by those outside the tribe is not conclusive evidence that the tribe has not met this criterion. Evidence such as the following tends to show that this criterion has been met:
(1) Identification as a native American tribe by federal authorities.
(2) Relationships with state agencies or political subdivisions of this state based on identification of the group as a native American tribe.
(3) Historical and academic recognition of the petitioner as a native American tribe by anthropologists, historians, and other academic scholars.
(4) Identification as a native American tribe in newspapers and books and by other state or federally recognized tribes, native American nations, interest groups, or populations.
(5) Identification of traditional tribal real property possessions both before and after 1900.
(6) Identification of historical figures as being tribal members.
(B) The petitioner has existed as a distinct community from historical times through the present. Evidence of the following tends to show that this criterion has been met:
(1) Significant marriage rates within the community or arranged relationships with other native American tribes, bands, or groups.
(2) The descent of a majority of individuals within the community from individuals recognized as members of a native American group, band, or tribe that is indigenous to the contiguous land area of this state.
(3) Significant rates of broad, informal social interaction within the community.
(4) A significant degree of shared labor or economic activity within the community.
(5) Patterns of discrimination against the community by nonmembers.
(6) Shared secular or religious activity within the community, specifically with respect to ceremonies and rituals.
(7) Language that is used by members of the community but that is not in widespread use by nonmembers.
(8) Cultural patterns or activities that are shared by members of the community but that are not in widespread use among nonmembers.
(9) The persistence of a named, collective native American identity by the community over an extended period of time.
(10) A demonstrated historical political influence by the community within this state.
(11) High rates of marriage within members of the community.
(C) The petitioner has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an autonomous entity from historical times to the present. Evidence such as the following tends to show that this criterion has been met:
(1) Members consider issues acted upon or taken by leaders or governing bodies of the petitioner to be of high importance.
(2) Members widely acknowledge the political process.
(3) Members have high rates of involvement within the petitioner's political process.
(4) The petitioner's governmental body has had a long-term role in the mediation of conflicts, allocation of resources, and guidance of social interactions.
(D) The petitioner has a current governing document that describes membership criteria, and has an official membership list that includes each member's name, including maiden name, date of birth, and current address.
(E) The petitioner's membership consists of individuals who descend from an historical native American tribe that is indigenous to the contiguous land area of this state and has functioned as an autonomous political entity. Evidence such as the following tends to show that this criterion has been met:
(1) Rolls prepared by a secretary, genealogist, or historian that are used to distribute claims money and other financial allotments.
(2) Federal, state, or local antiquated documents; church, school, and other similar enrollment records; and affidavits of recognition by tribal elders, leaders, or the governing body that identify present members, or their ancestors, as being descendants of an historical tribe that was indigenous to the contiguous land area of this state.
(3) Recognition of individuals and families, or their ancestors, in oral history as being descendants of an historical tribe that was indigenous to the contiguous land area of this state.
(F) The petitioner's membership is comprised primarily of persons who are not members of any other federally or state acknowledged native American tribe.
Sec. 185.06. Native American groups and native American special interest groups are authorized to form, fund, and operate political action committees as defined in section 3517.01 of the Revised Code and are subject to rules adopted by the secretary of state to regulate political action committees.
Sec. 185.07. Chapter 185. of the Revised Code is "The State Recognition of Native American Tribes Act."