Dear Tribal Leader:
In 1936, Congress extended certain provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA) to the Territory of Alaska. The amendment, known as the Alaska IRA, included the following language:
[G]roups of Indians in Alaska not heretofore recognized as bands or tribes, but having a common bond of occupation, or association, or residence within a well-defined neighborhood, community, or rural district may organize to adopt constitutions and bylaws and to receive charters of incorporation and Federal loans under section 16, 17, and 10 of the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984).
In recent years, the Department of the Interior (Department) has received a number ofrequests from groups in the State of Alaska seeking to organize under the Alaska IRA. This process is separate and distinct from the Department's administrative process for Federal acknowledgment described in 25 C.F.R. Part 83 (Part 83), Federal Acknowledgment of American Indian Tribes.