Today, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, made the following statement on the unanimous Senate passage of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Blood Quantum Act (H.R. 1560).
"Throughout my career, I have had advocated for self-governance, self-determination, and governmental parity for all Native peoples. This bill embodies all of these core principles and marks an important victory for the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo people. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for working with me in a bipartisan manner to pass this bill, and I am grateful to Representative Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) for moving the bill through the House," Chairman Akaka said.
H.R. 1560 amends the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo's Settlement Act to allow the Tribe to determine its own membership requirements. The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo is currently the only tribe whose membership is bound by a blood quantum requirement under Federal law.
H.R. 1560 was passed by the House of Representatives on December 7, 2011, favorably reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on June 28, and passed by the full Senate last night. It now heads to the President for enactment.