Commission wants more power to designate tribes, bands

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The Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs wants more power to designate officially recognized Indian tribes and bands in the state.

The commission yesterday proposed legislation that would spell out in detail how it would go about granting the formal recognition.

That recognition is considered key to allowing the tribes and bands to sell Indian arts and crafts. Only those with official state or federal recognition are allowed to conduct such sales.

The Legislature approved a program for formal recognition in 2006 after years of debate on the issue. There had been fears in some quarters that recognition could open the door to Indian land claims or the establishment of Indian-run casinos in Vermont.

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