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Federal officials: 2 tribes 'exhausted' recognition efforts

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has notified two state-recognized tribes in Connecticut that they've exhausted both administrative and judicial remedies for gaining federal recognition.

The BIA says the tribes' only remaining option is Congress passing legislation granting them federal recognition.

The director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgement sent letters on June 2 and April 25 to the Historical Eastern Pequot Tribe in North Stonington and to the Schaghticoke (SKAT'-ih-kohk) Tribal Nation in Kent, respectively, saying the department no longer accepts requests for acknowledgement from entities that were previously denied.

Richard Velky, chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, says the letter came as a complete surprise. He says his tribe does not have any applications currently pending. He contends there are ``other avenues'' for his tribe to receive recognition.

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