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Conn. delegation faults US tribal recognition plan

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut's congressional delegation is urging the U.S. Interior Department to scrap proposed rules changes that could make it easier for American Indian tribes to win federal recognition.

A letter sent this week by all seven members of the delegation in Washington says the proposal waters down the criteria and would have a significant impact on Connecticut residents.

Under the changes proposed in June by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribes that have had a state reservation since at least 1934 could be eligible for recognition. That could benefit the various factions of the Schaghticokes of Kent, the Golden Hill Paugussetts of Trumbull and Colchester and the Eastern Pequots of North Stonington.

Recognition could bolster the tribes' land claims and potentially help them bring new gambling halls to the state.

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