A new law that sets up a process for state recognition of Native American tribes in Vermont has revised the makeup of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and has that panel seeking nine new members.
The law, also known as S222, increased the number of members on the VCNAA from seven to nine, and also imposes a Vermont residency requirement for the first time.
“This law establishes a completely new Native American Commission with new responsibilities,” said Giovanna Peebles, State Historic Preservation Officer and director of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
Governor Jim Douglas will be appointing 9 new members to the VCNAA by September 1, provided that a sufficient number of qualified candidates have submitted applications to the Governor.
The new law requires that eligible applicants must have lived in Vermont for a minimum of three years and that appointments should “reflect a diversity of affiliations and geographic locations in Vermont.”
The division will compile a list of candidates from recommendations from Native American communities residing in Vermont. Individuals may also apply to the Division.
All applications will be due at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation by August 15, 2010.
The VCNAA will implement the new process, as set forth by the Vermont legislature, for recognizing Native American tribes in Vermont that includes review by the commission, an independent review committee of experts, and approval by the legislature.
Applications for appointment to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs will be available on-line July 22, 2010, at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation website: www.historicvermont.org or the VCNAA website: http://vcnaa.vermont.gov/.
A full-text review of S222 can be found online [pdf].