A picture of Representative Kurt Schrader
Kurt S.
Democrat OR 5

About Rep. Kurt
  • Grand Ronde Reservation Act Amendment

    by Representative Kurt Schrader

    Posted on 2014-01-13

    submit to reddit

    Read More about Grand Ronde Reservation Act Amendment

    SCHRADER. Mr. Speaker, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, which I have the privilege of representing, was terminated by the Federal Government in 1954. At that time, they not only lost their Federal recognition, but also its original reservation of over 60,000 acres.

    In the decades that have ensued, members of the tribe have worked tirelessly to rebuild that Grand Ronde community. As was stated before, in 1983 these efforts resulted in the Grand Ronde Restoration Act, followed by the Grand Ronde Reservation Act in 1988, which restored nearly 10,000 acres of the tribe's original reservation to the Grand Ronde people.

    Since restoration, the tribe has continued their pursuit of securing its sovereignty by acquiring additional parcels of its original reservation and providing much-needed on-reservation jobs and services to tribal members.

    Unfortunately, the tribe's efforts have been hampered by a lengthy, expensive, and cumbersome BIA process, as you have heard. After the tribe acquires a parcel of land in fee, the tribe must prepare a fee- to-trust application package for BIA. The BIA then processes this application, either as an on-reservation or off-reservation acquisition.

    {time} 1730 Because the tribe does not have exterior reservation boundaries, all parcels are, therefore, processed under the much more rigorous and oftentimes unneeded off-reservation acquisition regulations, even if the parcel is located within the original boundaries of the reservation.

    I introduced H.R. 841 to correct this problem and streamline the bureaucratic process the tribe continues to face as it brings parcels of land into trust. Under my legislation, any property located within the boundaries of the tribe's original reservation will be treated as ``on-reservation'' land for the purpose of processing acquisitions of property into trust, and deemed a part of the tribe's reservation once taken into trust.

    Once enacted, H.R. 841 will not only save the Grand Ronde time and money, which could be better utilized serving their community and membership, but would also streamline the BIA's land-into-trust responsibilities to the Grand Ronde, thus saving taxpayer money.

    There is no opposition in my State by State officials or local governments, and CBO scores this as no cost to the Federal Government. I am proud to say that H.R. 841 has the delegation's support, the Bureau of Indian Affairs' support, and unanimous support from the two counties affected by the legislation.

    [[Page H172]] I want to thank my Oregon colleagues in particular for their continued support and efforts to move this bill forward; and, frankly, I would personally like to thank Chairman Hastings, Ranking Member Grijalva, Chairman Young, Ranking Member Hanabusa, and Representative DeFazio for their assistance in moving this important legislation forward and the tireless efforts that their staffs have put forward, particularly Travis Joseph and Chris Fluhr. Finally, I would like to thank the members of the Grand Ronde who have been very, very, very patient throughout this whole process.

    With that, I ask Members of the House for their support for this important bill.

  • submit to reddit
  • Register your constituent account to respond

    Constituent Register