Saturday, August 27, 2005

Adopted and non profit *Indian* organizations

Section 309.2 What Are the Key Definitions for Purposes of the Act?

Definition of Indian, Section 309.2(a)

One respondent asked that the regulations specifically name Native Hawaiians to protect them under the Act. Another wanted individuals who have Certificates of Indian Blood, yet are neither on tribal rolls nor certified as Indian artisans, to be included under the definition of Indian.

The final regulations do not adopt these suggestions. The Act specifically defines who is an Indian protected by the Act. The regulations can interpret and clarify the Act but cannot change the statutory terms of the Act.

One respondent expressed concern about state incorporated non-profit ``Indian'' organizations and their members who are not enrolled with state or Federally-recognized tribes, yet present themselves as Indian at crafts shows.

In addition, adoption was an issue for two respondents. One expressed concern that non-Indians, ``adopted by Indian spiritual leaders,'' may be permitted to sell their work as Indian. Another stated that ``not until the seventh generation'' should an adopted tribal member or family have the right to offer their handcrafts for sale as Indian.

The definition of Indian already satisfies these concerns. State incorporated non-profit ``Indian'' organizations do not meet the definition of Indian tribe under the Act and in section 309.2(e)(1) and (2) of the regulations. Membership in a non-profit ``Indian'' organization does not meet the definition of Indian under the Act and in section 309.2 of the regulations.

Furthermore, if an ``Indian spiritual leader'' or tribal member adopts an individual, this action does not mean that the adopted individual is a member of a state or Federally-recognized tribe or is certified as an Indian artisan by a state or Federally-recognized tribe.

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