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Agency Refuses to Recognize Indian group as a Tribe

22 January 2003

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – As reported by the New York Times: ``The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs dealt a sharp setback on Tuesday to an Indian group's ambitions to open a casino here in Connecticut's largest city, rejecting the group's application for recognition as a tribe.

``Without federal recognition, the group, the Golden Hill Tribe of the Paugussett Indian Nation, commonly known as the Golden Hill Paugussetts, cannot proceed with its plans for casino gambling here, nor will it be eligible for other benefits, including tax exemptions.

``The Paugussetts have 180 days to appeal the decision before a final judgment is entered. In denying the application, federal officials said the Golden Hill Paugussettshad failed to meet three of seven criteria for recognition and lacked any historical connection to the original Golden Hill Indians who lived in the area until the early 1800s…"

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