Ruffey Rancheria Restoration Act Advances
We, the people of the Ruffey Rancheria, are very pleased that HR 3535 – the Ruffey Rancheria Restoration Act of 2018 – has now advanced out of the House Committee on Natural Resources. We applaud Congressman Doug LaMalfa for his leadership and support of Native American tribes. We look forward to the Bill's ultimate passage and the restoration of our status as a federally recognized tribe.
Although we have quietly endured more than 50 years without federally recognized status, the lack of a formal relationship with the federal government has severely restricted our ability to improve the lives and futures of our youth and elders.
The amended Bill protects the territories of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon, the Coquille and Klamath Tribes, and City of Ashland, on the one hand, and the Redding Rancheria on the other, by providing that Ruffey Rancheria cannot extend its service area, take land into trust, or engage in any Indian gaming in either Oregon or Shasta County.
We have operated in good faith despite the swirling controversy, and straightforwardly addressed the legitimate concerns of our neighbors and their allies. Most of the skeptics and critics of the Bill as originally drafted have gone on record stating that they do not oppose the restoration of Ruffey Rancheria’s status as a federally recognized tribe in principle, as long as their concerns are addressed.
As Chairman Tahj Gomes said at the public hearing of HR 3535 many months ago, this legislation is not a partisan or political issue for our people. It is truly a question of fairness, and of justice.
Tahj Gomes, Chairman of Ruffey Rancheria
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