Proposed Finding Against Federal Acknowledgment of the Choctaw Nation of Florida Tribe, 39703-39705 [2010-16939]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 132 / Monday, July 12, 2010 / Notices Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 years. The alternative that appears to best meet the Refuge purposes is identified as the preferred alternative. The preferred alternative is identified based on the analysis presented in the Draft CCP/EA, which may be modified following the completion of the public comment period based on comments received from other agencies, Tribal governments, nongovernmental organizations, or individuals. Under Alternative A, the no action alternative, we would continue to manage the Refuge as we have in the recent past. Existing tidal restoration activities would continue. The existing hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation opportunities would remain unchanged. Under Alternative B, the Service would develop an inventory and monitoring program; expand tidal restoration and enhancement activities for the benefit of migratory birds, endangered species, and other native wildlife; improve and expand visitor services by developing new public access locations; develop shoreline fishing locations; and provide some additional environmental education programs. Under Alternative C (preferred alternative), the Service would incorporate those developments outlined in Alternative B, but would also emphasize wildlife management by studying population health and developing population goals for wildlife; provide greater interpretive opportunities; and substantially expand the environmental education program. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Review and Comment The Draft CCP/EA will be available for viewing and downloading online at http://www.fws.gov/cno/refuges/ planning/ccp.cfm. Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may also be obtained by writing to the SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Attn: Winnie Chan, 9500 Thornton Avenue, Newark, CA 94560. Copies of the Draft CCP/EA may also be viewed at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 1 Marshlands Road, Fremont, CA 94536; San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Petaluma, CA (call (707) 769–4200 for directions); and John F. Kennedy Library, 505 Santa Clara, Vallejo, CA 94590. Comments on the Draft CCP/EA should be addressed to: Winnie Chan, SF Bay NWRC, 9500 Thornton Avenue, Newark, CA 94560. Comments may also be faxed to (510) 792–5828 or sent via e-mail to sfbaynwrc@fws.gov. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jul 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 At the end of the review and comment period for this Draft CCP/EA, the Service will analyze comments and address them in the Final CCP/EA. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Dated: July 6, 2010. Ken McDermond, Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region. [FR Doc. 2010–16867 Filed 7–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P 39703 burros, updates on Lakeview and Southeast Oregon Resource Management Plans, the NEPA process, litigation updates, update on the melding of Sage-grouse opportunity map with the State of Oregon version, subgroup reports, and other matters as may reasonably come before the council. The public is welcome to attend all portions of the meeting and may make oral comments to the Council at 1 p.m. on August 3, 2010. Those who verbally address the SEORAC are asked to provide a written statement of their comments or presentation. Unless otherwise approved by the SEORAC Chair, the public comment period will last no longer than 15 minutes, and each speaker may address the SEORAC for a maximum of five minutes. If reasonable accommodation is required, please contact the BLM Vale District Office at (541) 473–6213 as soon as possible. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Donald N. Gonzalez, Vale District Manager. Bureau of Land Management [FR Doc. 2010–16872 Filed 7–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–33–P [LLORV00000.L10200000.DD0000; HAG 10– 0316] Meeting; Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council. Pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council (SEORAC) will meet as indicated below: DATES: The SEORAC field trip will begin at 10 a.m. p.d.t. on August 2, 2010. The SEORAC business meeting will begin 8 a.m. p.d.t. on August 3, 2010. ADDRESSES: The field trip will meet at the Burns District Office, 28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, Oregon 97738 at the above time. The business meeting will meet at the Harney County Community Center Conference Room, 484 Broadway, Burns, Oregon 97720. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Wilkening, 100 Oregon Street, Vale, Oregon 97918, (541) 473–6218 or e-mail mark_wilkening@blm.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The business meeting will take place on August 3, 2010 at the Harney County Community Center Conference Room, 484 Broadway, Burns Oregon, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The meeting may include such topics as update on wild horses & SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Proposed Finding Against Federal Acknowledgment of the Choctaw Nation of Florida Tribe AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice of proposed finding. SUMMARY: Pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(e), notice is hereby given that the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs (AS–IA) proposes to decline to acknowledge that the group known as the ‘‘Choctaw Nation of Florida’’ (CNF), Petitioner #288, c/o Mr. Alfonso James, Jr., Post Office Box 6322, Marianna, Florida, 32447, is an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. This notice is based on an investigation that determined that the petitioner does not meet one of the seven mandatory criteria set forth in 25 CFR Part 83.7, specifically criterion 83.7(e), and therefore does not meet the requirements for a government-togovernment relationship with the United States. DATES: Comments on this proposed finding (PF) are due on or before January 10, 2011. The petitioner then has a minimum of 60 days to respond to those comments. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice for more information about these dates. E:\FR\FM\12JYN1.SGM 12JYN1 39704 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 132 / Monday, July 12, 2010 / Notices Comments on the proposed finding or requests for a copy of the report which summarizes the evidence, reasoning, and analyses that are the basis for this proposed finding, should be addressed to the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW., MS–34B–SIB, Washington, DC 20240. Interested or informed parties must provide copies of their submissions to the petitioner. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: R. Lee Fleming, Director, Office of Federal Acknowledgment, (202) 513–7650. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published in accordance with authority delegated by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to the AS–IA by 209 DM 8. The petitioner claims to be a group of Choctaw Indians that migrated from North Carolina to Georgia and then Florida following the Indian removal of the 1830s. None of the available evidence in this petition or that found by OFA researchers demonstrates the validity of this claim. All the available evidence in the petition record indicates the CNF is an association formed in 2003 of individuals who claim but have not documented Indian ancestry. Indeed, the evidence shows the group’s ancestors were consistently identified as non-Indians and as living in non-Indian communities. The group incorporated in the State of Texas in July 2003, but has an office in Marianna, Florida, on the eastern part of the Florida panhandle. Available evidence indicates the group began holding meetings probably no earlier than September 2004. The regulations provide that the Department may not acknowledge associations, organizations, corporations, or groups of any character formed in recent times. Since early 2004, the membership of the group, as reflected on various membership lists, has fluctuated from a low of 52 to a high of 158. To meet criterion 83.7(e), the petitioner must demonstrate Indian ancestry through descent from a historical Indian tribe, or tribes which combined and functioned as a single entity. The petitioner claims its members descend from the historical Choctaw Indian tribe. Most members of the petitioner claim to descend from the historical Choctaw Indian tribe through their direct ancestors Burton Hunter (ca. 1833—bef. 1907) and his wife Lucy (ca. 1842—1907). None of the available evidence demonstrates this claimed descent for Burton Hunter or his spouse Lucy from the Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian tribe. To reach this conclusion, the Department examined erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jul 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 an extensive body of documentation submitted by the petitioner and obtained by Department researchers. The documentation included Federal and State censuses from 1850 to 1945, probate records from Jackson County, Florida, birth, marriage and death certificates from the State of Florida and elsewhere, church records from Jackson County, Florida, World War I civilian draft registration records, homestead application records from the General Land Office, Indian Agency rolls (with application materials) and censuses from 1848 to 1940, and historical treaties dealing with the Choctaw Indian Nation. All the evidence clearly shows that Burton and Lucy Hunter, their relatives, and descendants were not identified as Indian and do not descend from a historical Indian tribe. No Federal or State censuses between 1870 and 1945 demonstrated that these individuals identified themselves, or that the census enumerators identified them, as Choctaw or Indian, or as belonging to Choctaw or any other Indian tribe. No county court, property, or probate records identified them as Choctaw or Indian, or as belonging to Choctaw or any other Indian tribe. No marriage, church, military, or vital records stated that the petitioner’s ancestors were identified as Choctaw or Indian, or as belonging to Choctaw or any other Indian tribe. Rather, the evidence clearly shows Burton and Lucy Hunter, their relatives and their descendants were consistently identified as nonIndians living in non-Indian communities. The Department also examined evidence, submitted by the petitioner or obtained by the Department, for six current members or their family lines that apparently descended from an individual other than the Burton or Lucy Hunter named above. This evidence included Federal and State censuses from 1850 to 1945, birth, marriage, and death records, and Indian agency rolls and censuses from 1848 to 1940. None of this evidence for these individuals or their ancestors demonstrated descent from the historical Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian tribe. Instead, all of the evidence showed they were consistently identified as non-Indians living in nonIndian communities. To summarize, the petitioner claims to have descended as a group from the historical tribe of Choctaw Indians. There is no primary or reliable secondary evidence submitted by the petitioner or located by OFA showing that any of the named ancestors or members of the group descended from PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the historical Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian tribe. None of the documentation on the petitioner’s members and their individual ancestors, submitted by the petitioner or found by OFA researchers, supports the petitioner’s claims of descent from the historical Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian tribe. The extensive evidence does not support any Indian ancestry. In fact, the evidence clearly shows the petitioner’s members and ancestors were consistently identified as non-Indians living in non-Indian communities. The Department proposes to decline to acknowledge Petitioner #288 as an Indian tribe because the evidence clearly establishes that the members of the group do not descend from a historical Indian tribe as required under mandatory criterion 83.7(e). The AS–IA concludes that the CNF clearly does not meet criterion 83.7(e), which satisfies the requirement for issuing a PF under 83.10(e). If, in the response to the PF, the petitioner provides sufficient evidence that it meets criterion 83.7(e) under the reasonable likelihood standard, the Department will undertake a review of the petition under all seven mandatory criteria. If, in the response to the PF, the petitioner does not provide sufficient evidence that it meets criterion 83.7(e) under the reasonable likelihood standard, the AS–IA will issue the final determination based upon criterion 83.7(e) only. Publication of the Assistant Secretary’s PF in the Federal Register initiates a 180-day comment period during which the petitioner and interested and informed parties may submit arguments and evidence to support or rebut the conclusions in the PF (25 CFR 83.10(i)). Comments should be submitted in writing to the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Interested or informed parties must provide copies of their submissions to the petitioner. The regulations at 25 CFR 83.10(k) provide petitioner with a minimum of 60 days to respond to any submissions on the PF received from interested and informed parties during the comment period. At the end of the periods for comment and response on a PF, the AS–IA will consult with the petitioner and interested parties to determine an equitable timeframe for consideration of written arguments and evidence. The Department will notify the petitioner and interested parties of the date such consideration begins. After consideration of the written arguments and evidence rebutting or supporting the PF and the petitioner’s response to the comments of interested parties and E:\FR\FM\12JYN1.SGM 12JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 132 / Monday, July 12, 2010 / Notices informed parties, the AS–IA will make a final determination regarding the petitioner’s status. The Department will publish a summary of this determination in the Federal Register. Dated: July 2, 2010. Donald Laverdure, Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2010–16939 Filed 7–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–G1–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNV0100000 L10600000.JJ0000 LXSS130F0000 241A; 10–08807; MO#4500013593; TAS: 14X1109] Notice of Temporary Closures on Public Lands in Northwestern Elko County, NV AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Temporary Closures. erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that temporary closures to public access, use, and occupancy will be in effect for the dates and times specified in this Notice on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tuscarora Field Office, Elko, Nevada within the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt Wild Horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in the northwestern portion of Elko County, Nevada. DATES: This temporary closure will be in effect on the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Wild Horse HMAs from 12:01 a.m. PST on Tuesday, July 6, 2010 until Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. PST, or up to 30 days after the start of the gather operation. ADDRESSES: Tuscarora Field Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada 89801; Web site: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/ fo/elko_field_office.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Overcast, Tuscarora Field Manager, 775–753–0320. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individuals during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individuals. You will receive a reply during normal hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This temporary closure affects public land in the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Wild Horse HMAs in Elko VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:19 Jul 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 County, Nevada. The legal description of the affected public lands is: Mount Diablo Meridian, Nevada T. 45 N., R. 48 E., secs. 11, 13, and 14, sec. 24, NE1⁄4, N1⁄2NW1⁄4, SW1⁄4NW1⁄4, NW1⁄4SW1⁄4, S1⁄2SW1⁄4, NE1⁄4SE1⁄4, and SW1⁄4SE1⁄4; sec. 25, NW1⁄4, E1⁄2SE1⁄4, and SW1⁄4SE1⁄4; sec. 35, NE1⁄4NE1⁄4, W1⁄2NE1⁄4, W1⁄2, and W1⁄2SE1⁄4; sec. 36, E1⁄2, SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, and E1⁄2SW1⁄4. T. 45 N., R. 49 E., secs. 19, 20, and 29 to 32, inclusive. T. 44 N., R. 48 E., sec. 2, NW1⁄4NE1⁄4, W1⁄2, and E1⁄2SE1⁄4; sec. 11, NE1⁄4NE1⁄4, W1⁄2, and W1⁄2SE1⁄4; sec. 13; sec. 14, W1⁄2NE1⁄4, SE1⁄4NE1⁄4, NW1⁄4, and S1⁄2; sec. 24, NE1⁄4NE1⁄4, W1⁄2NE1⁄4, W1⁄2, and SE1⁄4. T. 44 N., R. 49 E., sec. 19, NE1⁄4, N1⁄2NW1⁄4, SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, SW1⁄4SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SE1⁄4, and SE1⁄4SE1⁄4. T. 43 N., R. 50 E., sec. 27, NE1⁄4NE1⁄4, SW1⁄4NE1⁄4, W1⁄2SE1⁄4; sec. 28; sec. 29, NE1⁄4NE1⁄4, S1⁄2NE1⁄4, N1⁄2SE1⁄4, and SE1⁄4SE1⁄4; secs. 30 and 31; sec. 32, E1⁄2NE1⁄4 and E1⁄2SE1⁄4; secs. 33 and 34. T. 42 N., R. 50 E., secs. 3, and 4; sec. 5, E1⁄2NE1⁄4, E1⁄2SE1⁄4, and SW1⁄4SE1⁄4; sec. 6, NW1⁄4NE1⁄4 and NW1⁄4; sec. 19, E1⁄2, SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, NE1⁄4SW1⁄4, and S1⁄2SW1⁄4; sec. 20, E1⁄2; sec. 29, NE1⁄4, SE1⁄4NW1⁄4, NW1⁄4SW1⁄4, S1⁄2SW1⁄4, and NE1⁄4SE1⁄4; sec. 30. T. 42 N., R. 49 E., sec. 33, NW1⁄4NE1⁄4, NW1⁄4, NE1⁄4SW1⁄4, W1⁄2SW1⁄4, and E1⁄2SE1⁄4. T. 41 N., R. 49 E., sec. 4, NW1⁄4NE1⁄4, S1⁄2NE1⁄4, NW1⁄4NW1⁄4, and SE1⁄4; sec. 9, NE1⁄4 and E1⁄2SE1⁄4. T. 41 N., R. 48 E., secs. 6, 7, and 18. T. 41 N., R. 47 E., secs. 1, 12, and 13. T. 40 N., R. 48 E., sec. 27, N1⁄2 and SE1⁄4; sec. 28, W1⁄2; sec. 29, NE1⁄4, NE1⁄4NW1⁄4, SW1⁄4NW1⁄4, NW1⁄4SW1⁄4, S1⁄2SW1⁄4, N1⁄2SE1⁄4, and SE1⁄4SE1⁄4; sec. 32, N1⁄2NW1⁄4, SE1⁄4SW1⁄4, and S1⁄2SE1⁄4. The temporary closure areas encompass 26,813 acres, more or less. This temporary closure will limit public access to protect persons, property, public lands and public land resources. The closure will ensure the safety and welfare of the public, contractors, and government employees, and provide for the orderly implementation of authorized actions to gather excess wild horses. The PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39705 temporary closure will prevent public access, use, and occupancy during wild horse capture operations scheduled to occur between July 6, 2010, and July 31, 2010. Not all subject lands will be temporarily closed during the entire period. Areas temporarily closed to public access will be posted at main entry points with signs, barricades, if appropriate, and copies of this temporary closure notice. The sites identified for temporary closures are historically used gather sites and holding locations. Some of the sites are on public land and some are on privately owned land. The temporary closures will be in effect only on public lands. The public will be authorized to use those areas where capture operations are not in progress. Areas from which the public will be temporarily excluded will be dependent upon the actual area of operation which will vary according to the needs of the contractor. The gather operation includes the authorized use of lowflying aircraft to herd and capture wild horses from various portions of the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Wild Horse HMAs and adjacent public and private lands outside of the established boundaries of the identified HMAs. In order to operate the aircraft in a safe and effective manner, and based on experience gained from previous gathers, it is necessary to temporarily close the affected areas (gathering and temporary holding facilities) to all public use during actual capture operations. It is anticipated that the gather operation will take approximately 15–20 days, but could last up to 26 days depending on weather, location of herds, success of capture operations, and other variable conditions. Maps of the affected area and other documents associated with this temporary closure are available at the Tuscarora Field Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801 and at the BLM Elko Web site at http:// www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ elko_field_office.html. Horses will be held temporarily in holding facilities on public lands within the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs and on adjacent private lands until July 31, 2010, for day-to-day care, veterinary treatment, and preparation for transport to BLM adoption preparation and holding facilities in Nevada and Utah. The temporary closures may be rescinded prior to July 31, 2010, if gather operations are successfully completed before that date. On specifically scheduled and escorted visitation days, the public and media E:\FR\FM\12JYN1.SGM 12JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 132 (Monday, July 12, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39703-39705]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-16939]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs


Proposed Finding Against Federal Acknowledgment of the Choctaw 
Nation of Florida Tribe

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of proposed finding.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to 25 CFR 83.10(e), notice is hereby given that the 
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs (AS-IA) proposes to decline to 
acknowledge that the group known as the ``Choctaw Nation of Florida'' 
(CNF), Petitioner 288, c/o Mr. Alfonso James, Jr., Post Office 
Box 6322, Marianna, Florida, 32447, is an Indian tribe within the 
meaning of Federal law. This notice is based on an investigation that 
determined that the petitioner does not meet one of the seven mandatory 
criteria set forth in 25 CFR Part 83.7, specifically criterion 83.7(e), 
and therefore does not meet the requirements for a government-to-
government relationship with the United States.

DATES: Comments on this proposed finding (PF) are due on or before 
January 10, 2011. The petitioner then has a minimum of 60 days to 
respond to those comments. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
this notice for more information about these dates.

[[Page 39704]]


ADDRESSES: Comments on the proposed finding or requests for a copy of 
the report which summarizes the evidence, reasoning, and analyses that 
are the basis for this proposed finding, should be addressed to the 
Office of Federal Acknowledgment, 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW., MS-
34B-SIB, Washington, DC 20240. Interested or informed parties must 
provide copies of their submissions to the petitioner.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: R. Lee Fleming, Director, Office of 
Federal Acknowledgment, (202) 513-7650.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published in accordance with 
authority delegated by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to the 
AS-IA by 209 DM 8.
    The petitioner claims to be a group of Choctaw Indians that 
migrated from North Carolina to Georgia and then Florida following the 
Indian removal of the 1830s. None of the available evidence in this 
petition or that found by OFA researchers demonstrates the validity of 
this claim.
    All the available evidence in the petition record indicates the CNF 
is an association formed in 2003 of individuals who claim but have not 
documented Indian ancestry. Indeed, the evidence shows the group's 
ancestors were consistently identified as non-Indians and as living in 
non-Indian communities. The group incorporated in the State of Texas in 
July 2003, but has an office in Marianna, Florida, on the eastern part 
of the Florida panhandle. Available evidence indicates the group began 
holding meetings probably no earlier than September 2004. The 
regulations provide that the Department may not acknowledge 
associations, organizations, corporations, or groups of any character 
formed in recent times. Since early 2004, the membership of the group, 
as reflected on various membership lists, has fluctuated from a low of 
52 to a high of 158.
    To meet criterion 83.7(e), the petitioner must demonstrate Indian 
ancestry through descent from a historical Indian tribe, or tribes 
which combined and functioned as a single entity. The petitioner claims 
its members descend from the historical Choctaw Indian tribe. Most 
members of the petitioner claim to descend from the historical Choctaw 
Indian tribe through their direct ancestors Burton Hunter (ca. 1833--
bef. 1907) and his wife Lucy (ca. 1842--1907). None of the available 
evidence demonstrates this claimed descent for Burton Hunter or his 
spouse Lucy from the Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian tribe. To 
reach this conclusion, the Department examined an extensive body of 
documentation submitted by the petitioner and obtained by Department 
researchers. The documentation included Federal and State censuses from 
1850 to 1945, probate records from Jackson County, Florida, birth, 
marriage and death certificates from the State of Florida and 
elsewhere, church records from Jackson County, Florida, World War I 
civilian draft registration records, homestead application records from 
the General Land Office, Indian Agency rolls (with application 
materials) and censuses from 1848 to 1940, and historical treaties 
dealing with the Choctaw Indian Nation.
    All the evidence clearly shows that Burton and Lucy Hunter, their 
relatives, and descendants were not identified as Indian and do not 
descend from a historical Indian tribe. No Federal or State censuses 
between 1870 and 1945 demonstrated that these individuals identified 
themselves, or that the census enumerators identified them, as Choctaw 
or Indian, or as belonging to Choctaw or any other Indian tribe. No 
county court, property, or probate records identified them as Choctaw 
or Indian, or as belonging to Choctaw or any other Indian tribe. No 
marriage, church, military, or vital records stated that the 
petitioner's ancestors were identified as Choctaw or Indian, or as 
belonging to Choctaw or any other Indian tribe. Rather, the evidence 
clearly shows Burton and Lucy Hunter, their relatives and their 
descendants were consistently identified as non-Indians living in non-
Indian communities.
    The Department also examined evidence, submitted by the petitioner 
or obtained by the Department, for six current members or their family 
lines that apparently descended from an individual other than the 
Burton or Lucy Hunter named above. This evidence included Federal and 
State censuses from 1850 to 1945, birth, marriage, and death records, 
and Indian agency rolls and censuses from 1848 to 1940. None of this 
evidence for these individuals or their ancestors demonstrated descent 
from the historical Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian tribe. 
Instead, all of the evidence showed they were consistently identified 
as non-Indians living in non-Indian communities.
    To summarize, the petitioner claims to have descended as a group 
from the historical tribe of Choctaw Indians. There is no primary or 
reliable secondary evidence submitted by the petitioner or located by 
OFA showing that any of the named ancestors or members of the group 
descended from the historical Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian 
tribe. None of the documentation on the petitioner's members and their 
individual ancestors, submitted by the petitioner or found by OFA 
researchers, supports the petitioner's claims of descent from the 
historical Choctaw Indian tribe or any other Indian tribe. The 
extensive evidence does not support any Indian ancestry. In fact, the 
evidence clearly shows the petitioner's members and ancestors were 
consistently identified as non-Indians living in non-Indian 
communities.
    The Department proposes to decline to acknowledge Petitioner 
288 as an Indian tribe because the evidence clearly 
establishes that the members of the group do not descend from a 
historical Indian tribe as required under mandatory criterion 83.7(e). 
The AS-IA concludes that the CNF clearly does not meet criterion 
83.7(e), which satisfies the requirement for issuing a PF under 
83.10(e). If, in the response to the PF, the petitioner provides 
sufficient evidence that it meets criterion 83.7(e) under the 
reasonable likelihood standard, the Department will undertake a review 
of the petition under all seven mandatory criteria. If, in the response 
to the PF, the petitioner does not provide sufficient evidence that it 
meets criterion 83.7(e) under the reasonable likelihood standard, the 
AS-IA will issue the final determination based upon criterion 83.7(e) 
only.
    Publication of the Assistant Secretary's PF in the Federal Register 
initiates a 180-day comment period during which the petitioner and 
interested and informed parties may submit arguments and evidence to 
support or rebut the conclusions in the PF (25 CFR 83.10(i)). Comments 
should be submitted in writing to the address listed in the ADDRESSES 
section of this notice. Interested or informed parties must provide 
copies of their submissions to the petitioner. The regulations at 25 
CFR 83.10(k) provide petitioner with a minimum of 60 days to respond to 
any submissions on the PF received from interested and informed parties 
during the comment period.
    At the end of the periods for comment and response on a PF, the AS-
IA will consult with the petitioner and interested parties to determine 
an equitable timeframe for consideration of written arguments and 
evidence. The Department will notify the petitioner and interested 
parties of the date such consideration begins. After consideration of 
the written arguments and evidence rebutting or supporting the PF and 
the petitioner's response to the comments of interested parties and

[[Page 39705]]

informed parties, the AS-IA will make a final determination regarding 
the petitioner's status. The Department will publish a summary of this 
determination in the Federal Register.

    Dated: July 2, 2010.
Donald Laverdure,
Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2010-16939 Filed 7-9-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-G1-P