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Yakama Nation Retrocedes from Public Law 280

October 22, 2015

From Native American Times:

WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the Department of the Interior has accepted from the State of Washington the partial civil and criminal jurisdiction it held over the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.  The state has held this authority over the Yakama Nation, a federally recognized tribe located in the southwestern portion of Washington, for more than half a century. 

“While tribal self-governance has long been the Federal Government’s guiding principle for Federal Indian policy, it has been slow in coming in the area of criminal justice,” Washburn said in a letter conveying the decision to the Yakama Nation.  “We believe that this step will advance tribal self-governance and tribal sovereignty for the Nation.  More importantly, we believe that it will produce improved public safety for the Nation and its people.”

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