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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1471         FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2866

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

George N. Peterson, Jr.

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to American Indian-tribes.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

George N. Peterson, Jr.

9th Worcester


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1471        FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2866

By Mr. Peterson of Grafton, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2866) of George N. Peterson, Jr. relative to the interaction of state agencies with Native-American tribes.  State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to American Indian-tribes.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  The third paragraph of section 8A of chapter 6A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following two sentences:- All state agencies shall cooperate with the commission in the performance of these functions, as well as other functions assigned to it by law.  Such cooperation shall be extended to Tribal Councils and Inter-Tribal organizations in determining which services, programs and rights require special American Indian  emphasis within their areas.

              SECTION 2. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, state agencies, as defined in section 1 of chapter 6 of the General Laws,  shall deal directly with the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council on matters affecting the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; with the Wampanoag Tribal council of Gayhead on matters affecting the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead, with the commission on Indian affairs, as established by section 8A of chapter 6A of the General Laws, on matters affecting Wampanoag Indians who are members of neither the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead nor the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; and with the Nipmuc Tribal councils on matters affecting the Nipmuc Tribe - which includes the Nipmuc Nation (Hassanamisco Band), Chaubunagungamaug Band of Nipmuc Indians, and the Natick Nipmuc Band.

              (b) The secretary of the executive office of energy and environmental affairs and the commissioner of environmental management shall take appropriate measures to insure that the wishes of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribes, as expressed by their governing bodies, shall be followed in the management and development of the Wampanoag Reservation within the Fall River-Freetown State Forest.  All other agencies of the commonwealth, especially agencies within the executive office of housing and economic development and the executive office of health and human services shall assist as requested in development plans for the reservation.

              (c) The commission on Indian affairs, established by section 8A of chapter 6A of the general laws shall be involved in all state deliberations regarding the disposition of the Wampanoag Reservation within the Fall River-Freetown State Forest.

              (d) The North American Indian Center of Boston, Inc. shall be the state's liaison with resident members of the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, MicMac Tribes, with whom the state has entered into treaties and other agreements.

              (e) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, each state agency of the commonwealth shall be responsible for evaluating its own services which are received by the American Indian population and shall propose means to rectify any lack of adequate services.  The head of each state agency providing services to American Indians shall determine within a reasonable amount of time whether or not federal, state, or other funds are available to improve such services.  Where it is determined that funds may be available for services and benefits to American Indians, the agency and the appropriate tribal government or inter-tribal organization shall work together to prepare applications for such funds.  The commission on Indian affairs advice on such matters may be sought and the commission shall be informed of all funding proposals submitted by state agencies.

              (f) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, unless otherwise determined from time to time by the governor, the secretary of the executive office of housing and economic development, with the cooperation of the lieutenant governor, shall act in conjunction with the commission on Indian affairs as the principle liaison for the commonwealth in its relations with the Bureau of Indian Affairs within the Federal Department of Interior, and with other agencies of the federal government, in matters affecting resident Massachusetts American Indians.

              (g) In addition to seeking the advice of the commission on Indian affairs, the appropriate tribal council, and other legitimate tribal representatives, as appropriate, with respect to matters affecting American Indians and within jurisdiction of such groups, state agencies should also include American Indians on boards and commissions, particularly those whose functions have a noticeably special impact upon American Indians.  In this connection, the commission on Indian affairs may be contacted for assistance in identifying American Indians with skills and experience, or interest in the particular area of concern; provided, however, that American Indians who are serving as commissioners on the commission on Indian affairs shall be ineligible, during their terms of office, for appointment to such boards and commissions.

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