227. Recognition of the Pascua Yaqui Indians as a Historic Tribe, October 14, 1994
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350 An Act to amend the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to provide for the traditional use of peyote by Indians for religious purposes, and for other purposes. . . . . sec. 2. traditional indian religious use of the peyote sacrament. The Act of August 11, 1978 (42 U.S.C. 1996), commonly referred to as the “American Indian Religious Freedom Act,” is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new section: “Sec. 3. (a) The Congress finds and declares that— “(1) for many Indian people, the traditional ceremonial use of the peyote cactus as a religious sacrament has for centuries been integral to a way of life, and signi ficant in perpetuating Indian tribes and cultures; “(2) since 1965, this ceremonial use of peyote by Indians has been protected by Federal regulation; “(3) while at least 28 States have enacted laws which are similar to, or are in conformance with, the Federal regulation which protects the ceremonial use of peyote by Indian religious practitioners , 22 States have not done so, and this lack of uniformity has created hardship for Indian people who participate in such religious ceremonies; “(4) the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), held that the First Amendment does not protect Indian practitioners who use peyote in Indian religious ceremonies, and also raised uncertainty whether this religious practice would be protected under the compelling State interest standard; and “(5) the lack of adequate and clear legal protection for the religious use of peyote by Indians may serve to stigmatize and marginalize Indian tribes and cultures, and increase the risk that they will be exposed to discriminatory treatment. “(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any State. No Indian shall be penalized or discriminated against on the basis of such use, possession or transportation, including, but not limited to, denial of otherwise applicable benefits under public assistance programs. . . . “(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating, diminishing, or otherwise affecting— “(1) the inherent rights of any Indian tribe; “(2) the rights, express or implicit, of any Indian tribe which exist under treaties, Executive orders, and laws of the United States; “(3) the inherent right of Indians to practice their religions; and “(4) the right of Indians to practice their religions under any Federal or State law.” [U.S. Statutes at Large, 108:3125–27.] 227. Recognition of the Pascua Yaqui Indians as a Historic Tribe October 14, 1994 The Pascua Yaqui Indians of Arizona were granted certain federal benefits and services by a law of 1978. Then the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1987 classified the tribe as a “created” tribe and declared that it did not have the same attributes of sovereignty as a “historic” tribe. The action of the BIA was roundly condemned by certain members of Congress, and this legislation was enacted to repudiate the BIA’s position. An Act to amend the Act entitled “An Act to provide for the extension of certain Federal bene fits, services, and assistance to the Pascua Yaqui Indians of Arizona, and for other purposes.” 351 . . . . section 1. sovereignty of pascua yaqui tribe. (a) In General.—Subsection (a) of the first section of the Act entitled “An Act to provide for the extension of certain Federal benefits, services, and assistance to the Pascua Yaqui Indians of Arizona, and for other purposes” (25 U.S.C. 1300F(a)) is amended by inserting after the first sentence the following : “The Pascua Yaqui Tribe, a historic Indian tribe, is acknowledged as a federally recognized Indian tribe possessing all the attributes of inherent sovereignty which have not been specifically taken away by Acts of Congress and which are not inconsistent with such tribal status.” . . . sec 2. study. The Act entitled “An Act to provide for the extension of certain Federal benefits, services, and assistance to the Pascua Yaqui Indians of Arizona, and for other purposes” (25 U.S.C. 1300f et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section: “sec. 4. study. “(a) In General.—The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct one or more studies to determine— “(1) whether the lands held in trust on the date of enactment...


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