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July 30th, 2007
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Cocopah Lands Act

Washington, DC — Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva’s hailed the passage of his legislation, the Cocopah Lands Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives today. The Cocopah Lands Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to take lands in Yuma County into trust as part of the reservation of the Cocopah Indian Tribe.

“I am honored to see this legislation clear its first major step towards becoming law,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Taking these lands into trust for the Tribe will allow for economic development, planning and Tribal self-governance.”

Over the last 20 years, the Tribe has acquired seven parcels of land, with the last purchase in 2005. These parcels of land are currently classified as ‘Indian Lands’ under Federal law, but are not part of the official reservation. The incorporation of these tribally owned lands into the Tribe’s reservation will provide infrastructure and a land base for additional housing as well as enhance the potential for business development.

The Cocopah Lands Act will allow the 423 acres of purchased land to be added to the current 5,934 acres of reservation land. The bill language does not allow the Tribe to use the land for gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The bill will now await a vote in the U.S. Senate.

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