"Indian time" won't cut it any more in Snohomish County, WA, where officials will soon require tribes to respond more quickly to planning requests. The Everett Herald reports:
"A change in a county code that Snohomish County officials say is a 'housekeeping amendment' could be a harbinger of a future shift in the county's policies toward Indian tribes, county planners said. The Snohomish County Council voted last week to create a 30-day deadline for the tribes to respond when archaeological features are found in the course of development when apparent tribal artifacts or gravesites are found. Under the county's old code, the tribes were allowed to take as long as they wished to advise the county when remains or artifacts were found.
County officials assert that the open-ended response time prevents orderly functioning of government. Some tribal officials worry that they won't be able to meet the requirement.
The Sauk Suiattle, Stillaguamish and Tulalip tribes were among those that were party to the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855, which surrendered land that makes up about a fifth of what is now Washington to the federal government. Those tribes are now working together in a legal suit known as the Habitat Claim to assert sovereignty over land and resources they say are integral to their culture.
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