S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
September 26, 2011
Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules -- committee
discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Investigations
and Government Operations in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --
committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the Indian law, in relation to establishing a procedure
to evaluate the claim of the Montaukett Indians for acknowledgment as
an Indian tribe by the state of New York
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds that
historically it has granted recognition or acknowledgment to Indian
groups in the state of New York by an act of the legislature. There have
not been any objective standards enacted to consider a request by an
Indian group to obtain recognition by the state. The Montaukett Indians
seek to be acknowledged or recognized by the state. Such recognition
and acknowledgement was questionably removed from the Montaukett Indians
in 1910 in the case of PHARAOH V. BENSON, 69 Misc. Rep. 241 (Supreme,
Suffolk Co., 1910) affirmed 164 App. Div. 51, affirmed 222 N.Y. 665 when
the Montaukett Indians were declared to be extinct. In 1994, the State
Supreme Court, in the case of BREAKERS MOTEL, INC. V. SUNBEACH MONTAUK
TWO, INC., subsequently described the Pharoah case as being of "ques-
tionable propriety". It is the purpose of this act to establish objec-
tive criteria for consideration of acknowledgment or recognition which
may be used by the legislature in evaluating such request.
S 2. The Indian law is amended by adding a new article 11 to read as
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 5894--B 2
EVALUATION OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF
SECTION 160. ACKNOWLEDGMENT PROCEDURES.
S 160. ACKNOWLEDGMENT PROCEDURES. 1. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE MONTAUKETT
INDIANS MAY ONLY BE GRANTED BY AN ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE IN COMPLIANCE
WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
2. A REQUEST FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT SHALL BE INITIATED BY A DOCUMENTED
PETITION TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE CONTAINING DETAILED SPECIFIC EVIDENCE
TO SUPPORT THE REQUEST. SUCH DOCUMENTED PETITION SHALL BE CERTIFIED,
SIGNED, AND DATED BY THE GOVERNING BODY, STATING THAT IT IS THE GROUP'S
OFFICIAL DOCUMENTED PETITION.
3. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL EVALUATE THE DOCUMENTED PETITION AND
SUBMIT A RECOMMENDATION TO THE LEGISLATURE REGARDING THE APPROVAL OR
DENIAL OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT BASED UPON THE CRITERIA PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION
FOUR OF THIS SECTION.
4. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL UTILIZE THE MANDATORY CRITERIA FOR
FEDERAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT PROVIDED FOR IN 25 CFR SECTION 83.7 TO EVALUATE
THE DOCUMENTED PETITION.
5. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO
IMPLEMENT THIS SECTION WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE
DATE OF THIS SECTION. SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS SHALL ESTABLISH THE
LEVEL OF PROOF AND DOCUMENTATION THAT SHALL BE NECESSARY TO MEET THE
S 3. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or
part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdic-
tion to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate
the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the
clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved
in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.