Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act signed into law

Jan. 10, 2018 — On Monday, Jan. 8, President Donald Trump signed into law The Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act. The legislation was written by District Four Rep. Peter DeFazio, and cosponsored by all members of the Oregon delegation in Washington, D.C.

The legislation, HR 1306, provides for conveyance of land and, more importantly, control of that land, to three of Oregon’s federally recognized tribes.

The Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act will place 17,519 acres of federal land, currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management, into trust for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and 14,742 acres of federal land into trust for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.

It will also amend the Coquille Restoration Act to require the Interior Department to manage the Coquille Indian Tribes’ forestlands in the same way as other tribal forestlands.

“For years, these tribes have been unable to govern themselves as the sovereign nations that they are,” said DeFazio. “While there is still much work to be done to correct our nation’s injustices towards Native Americans, the passage of the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act is an encouraging move towards progress. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the Cow Creek Tribes, Coquille Tribes, and Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw.”

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