United Houma Nation

Federal Recognition

After several years of preparation the United Houma Nation submitted its petition for Federal Acknowledgment in 1985. It took six years before the petition went on active consideration in 1991 and another three years before the Branch of Acknowledgement and Research (now the Office of Federal Acknowledgement) issued a “Proposed Findings” in 1994. The tribe responded with a rebuttal in 1996 and there has been no further action taken to date.

For thirteen years the United Houma Nation has endured a constant stream of proposed and then cancelled time-tables from the BIA but in the end we are no closer to a resolution of the recognition process than we were in 1996.

The most recent timetable has the Office of Federal Acknowledgement issuing the United Houma Nation a final determination in 2009.

For most of the recognition process the United Houma Nation was represented by NARF (Native American Rights Fund) but lack of funding ended that relationship in 2002 and the tribe has been forced to continue on in the process without legal representation.

The following is a more detailed chronology of the United Houma Nation Petition for Federal Recognition:

  • 10 July 1979: The United Houma Nation (UHN) files Letter of Intent to file petition for Federal Acknowledgement.
  • 18 July 1985: UHN files Petition for Federal Acknowledgement.
  • 12 May 1989: BIA places UHN on the Ready-for-active-consideration list.
  • 10 May 1991: BIA begins active consideration of the UHN petition. 22 Nov.
  • 1994: BIA issues negative proposed finding against acknowledgment of UHN.
  • 12 Nov. 1996: UHN files rebuttal to negative proposed findings
  • 2005: BIA places UHN petition on hold while Tribe recovers from multiple disasters
  • 2013: BIA begins the process to revamp the recognition process
  • 2015: BIA published final regulations for updated federal recognition process