A House Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee hearing was held last week in support of H.R. 1560, a bill to amend the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Alabama and Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act of 1987 to allow the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe to determine its own blood quantum requirements for membership, according to an article published by Scripps Howard Foundation Wire on June 23.
The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo has 1,692 enrolled members as of April. Under the act, tribal members must be descendants of those people named on the 1984 Tribal Membership Roll and have one-eighth or more Ysleta del Sur Pueblo blood, a requirement that gets more difficult to meet.
“If that’s a factor, it could very well be spelling our extinction,” Tribal Councilman Christopher Gomez was quoted as saying in the SHF Wire story. “Our existence as a tribe is on the clock right now.”
About 800 people would be eligible to apply for tribal membership if the blood quantum regulation is removed, according to the article.
“This bill will ensure their survival as the oldest community in Texas,” said Rep. Silvestre Reyes D-Texas, who sponsored the bill.