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(a) Any entity wishing to be recognized by the commissioner under this chapter may initiate proceedings to obtain formal recognition by filing with the commissioner a written petition for recognition.
(b) Upon receipt of a petition for recognition, or upon his or her own motion, the commissioner will make an informal preliminary determination of whether the entity might be able to meet the minimum eligibility requirements set out in 3 AAC 190.120. Upon a preliminary determination that the requirement might be met, the commissioner will publish and post a written notice, as provided in 3 AAC 190.910, advising the public of the potential recognition of an entity, soliciting comments on the petition or potential recognition, and stating that any other entity that wishes to be considered for recognition must, within 30 days after the date the notice is posted, file a petition for recognition.
(c) No less than 40 days nor more than 60 days after the notice is posted and published, if no other entity has filed a petition and no adverse written comments have been submitted on the initiating petition, the commissioner will, in his or her discretion, either deny recognition or issue a written Statement of Intent to Recognize the entity under consideration. The Statement of Intent to Recognize will be posted and published in the same manner as the original notice.
(d) Except as provided otherwise in this subsection, if more than one entity has filed a petition for recognition with respect to a particular Native village, or if adverse written comments are received by the commissioner in response to the original notice or the Statement of Intent to Recognize, then the commissioner will schedule an informal hearing in the village. The informal hearing will be held after public notice in the village, as provided in 3 AAC 190.910, and anyone present may state views as to the propriety of recognizing an entity under consideration. The commissioner need not maintain a formal written record or tape-recording of the informal hearing. If, after an informal hearing, a written Request for Formal Decision-Making Procedure, signed by at least 10 bona fide residents of the village or by 15 percent of the bona fide residents of the village, is filed, then the commissioner will initiate a formal decision-making procedure under 3 AAC 190.950. The commissioner will, in his or her discretion, elect to proceed with a formal decision-making procedure without first holding an informal hearing under this section.
(e) The commissioner might, on his or her own motion, initiate a village meeting under 3 AAC 190.220 to obtain the collective views of the village residents on any proposed recognition of a village entity under AS 44.33.755 (b). The collective views of the residents will be obtained and documented in the same manner as prescribed in 3 AAC 190.240. If a simple majority approve the proposed recognition, and the entity is otherwise qualified under 3 AAC 190.120, the commissioner will recognize the entity as the "appropriate village entity" under AS 44.33.755 (b). This procedure will, in the commissioner's discretion, be combined with the informal hearing process described in (d) of this section.
(f) Upon compliance with the procedures prescribed by this section, the commissioner will make a single final written determination upon all petitions for recognition pending in respect to the village.
History: Eff. 9/21/79, Register 71; am 11/19/88, Register 108
Authority: AS 44.33.755 (b)
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Last modified 7/05/2006