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Senator Lankford Applauds Passage of Stigler Act Amendments

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded the final passage of H.R. 2606, the Stigler Act Amendments of 2018 in the House by a vote of 399-0. On December 13, Lankford requested unanimous consent of the bill on the Senate floor along with three other bills related to Tribal issues. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The bill was authored by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK).

The bill adjusts the Stigler Act of 1947 to remove the ”one-half degree” requirement of Native American blood for the Five Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Muscogee Creek) and gives heirs an opportunity to continue ownership and use of the land while still maintaining the land’s restricted status.  

“These amendments to the Stigler Act help ensure arbitrary congressionally created blood requirements for family land transfers do not continue to create unfair barriers for members of the Five Tribes,” said Lankford. “No other Tribes in the country have the same requirements to pass restricted land to their heirs; it was time to clear this barrier for the future. Tribes have wide latitude to handle their own affairs. But in this case, decades ago, Congress created a problem, and it was time for Congress to fix the problem. Tribal members now have certainty that the land that is currently in restricted status can stay in restricted status.”

Lankford serves on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and has cosponsored several bills to address issues facing our nation’s Tribes and Tribal members including: S. 63, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, S. 245, the Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self Determination Act Amendments, and S. 943, the Johnson-O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act, which passed the Senate this week and awaits the President’s signature into law.

For more information on H.R. 2606, please click here.