U.S. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR GRANTED 75-DAY EXTENSION REQUEST
REGARDING TRIBE’S PETITION FOR FEDERAL RECOGNITION
Washington, D.C. – On September 24, 2010, the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation (Petitioner 84-A) was informed that Larry Echo Hawk, the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs (AS-IA) U.S. Department of the Interior (Department), requested a 75-day extension on the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation 28-year old petition for federal recognition. The reasoning for the extension was that “the Office of the Solicitor and the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs need this extension to allow for the review of the recommended decision.” The new date for the issuance of the Tribe’s Final Determination by the Department is December 15, 2010.
“The Tribe is pleased with the attention and time that AS-IA Echo Hawk is placing on our petition evidence. The Tribe is confident that the AS-IA will review the proper recommendation from OFA and come to the proper conclusions of the existence of the Acjachemen Nation both past and present,” said Chairman Anthony Rivera, Jr., the Official OFA recognized spokesperson for the Governing Body of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation. Based on the thousands of pages of credible evidence, the Tribe will move ahead over the next 75 days with stronger conviction toward the ultimate acknowledgement by the U.S. Government of our inherent sovereignty. The Tribe will use the time to secure that no further denial of the rights of Acjachemen People are extended.
The federal government requested additional documentation in March and July 2010 from the Tribe that contained over 3,000 additional pieces of evidence that proves the existence of Acjachemen leaders and Chiefs since 1776 to present, the existence of an Acjachemen community that governed itself since 1776 to present, official history written by Chairman Rivera and other experts of the Acjachemen Nation from 1776 to present, and evidence that all the Acjachemen Indians descend directly from these historic Acjachemen Indians.
The Tribe also submitted to the Department a Certified Tribal Roll with all 1,941 certified membership files. All enrolled Acjachemen Indians in the Tribe have demonstrated direct genealogical descent to the historic Acjachemen Tribe. The almost two thousand enrolled Acjachemen Indians comprising the Tribe are not a faction of a Tribe as falsely reported in the media, but comprise every Acjachemen Indian enrolled with the Tribe. The small group of individuals not enrolled with the Tribe is not a faction of the Tribe either, but primarily represent individuals that cannot or have not proven direct descent to any Acjachemen Indian or village.
The Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation (Petitioner 84-A) is the one Tribe that descends from the historical Acjachemen Nation, the indigenous people of San Juan Capistrano and Orange County. The Tribe is a Sovereign Nation that governs itself under one Constitution and one Tribal Council. More information will be provided at the October General Council meeting. For more information on the Tribe visit the official website at www.juaneno.com.