Federal Recognition

The Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb
  • Our ancestors were in modern-day western Louisiana prior to Louisiana becoming a state
  • Sabine Parish schools receives Office of Indian Education funding through the Department of Education
  • Sabine Parish is a Tribal Designated Statistical Area for purposes of the United States Census
  • Modern organization form in 1977
  • Recognized by State of Louisiana in May 1978
  • Requested Federal recognition in 1978, before the current regulations took effect
  • 1981 the BIA converted our request to a letter of intent to petition
  • 1982-1984 - First attempts to systematically document oral traditions and ethnology
  • 1999 - Former Chairman Tommy Bolton submitted a petition under Regulations
  • 2002 - Branch Responds with Technical Assistance letter, Tribal Council seeks contract anthropologist
  • 2010 - Former Vice Chairman Doug LaRoux revives committee introduces new advisory Constitution
  • 2011 New Tribal Council elected
The Tribe continues to seek federal recognition through the Office of Federal Acknowledgement (OFA) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior (DOI). Our tribe continues to seek Federal Recognition and the Federal Recognition committee meets monthly. Contact Reggie Ezernack, Amelia Bison, or the tribal office for more information. What is Federal Recognition? Federal acknowledgement is any procedure by which the United States establishes a government-to-government relationship with an historic tribe, band, group, or community of Indians. Federal acknowledgement or recognition means that the United States government recognizes the right of an Indian tribe to exist as a sovereign entity. What is required to gain Federal Acknowledgement? Tribes have been recognized through judicial, executive, and congressional means. While some tribes have been successful in passing Congressional legislation, the usual method is satisfying the requirements in 25 CFR Part 83 Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group exists as an Indian Tribe. 83.7 Mandatory Criteria for Federal Acknowledgement The mandatory criteria are:
  • (a) The petitioner has been identified ash an American Indian entity on a substantially continuous basis since 1900.
  • (b) A predominant portion of the petitioning group comprises a distinct community and has existed as a community from historical times until the present.
  • (c) The petitioner has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an autonomous entity from historical times until the present.
  • (d) A copy of the group's present governing document including its membership criteria. In the absence of a written document, the petitioner must provide a statement describing in full its membership criteria and current governing procedures.
  • (e) The petitioner's membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or from historian Indian tribes which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.
  • (f) The membership of the petitioning group is composed principally of persons who are not members of any acknowledged North American Indian tribe.
  • (g) Neither the petitioner nor its members are the subject of Congressional legislation that has expressly terminated or forbidden the Federal relationship.
How long does the process take? The administrative process takes time to collect required information and for the Office of Federal Acknowledgement (OFA) to evaluate and respond. The OFA technical assistance response to our initial petition took three years. Many experts, including some members of Congress, have noted that the process takes too long. For more information, see The Official Guidelines to the Federal Acknowledgement Regulations, 25 CFR 83. Click here to visit the Office of Federal Acknowledgement's website.