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Efforts at tribal recognition prove divisive

Coos Bay, Oregon (AP) April 2011

Some descendants of the Chetco and Tututni Indians in Oregon want Congress to restore what they say is the state’s 10th Indian tribe.

They’ve formed a coalition and named themselves the Confederated Tribes of the Lower Rogue.

It would be the first restoration in Oregon since the Coquilles regained their status in 1989.

The effort could reshuffle tens of millions of dollars that flow into Oregon through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That would siphon funds from other federally recognized tribes in Oregon, and one powerful group of Indians in particular: the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, which owns and operates the Chinook Winds Indian Casino.

Siletz’s leadership opposes federal recognition for the group and said so in a letter sent last week to U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat.



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