N.Y. Appellate Division Recognizes Unkechaug Nation Land Assignment

Here is the opinion in Unkechaug Indian Nation v. Treadwell.

An excerpt:

When acting within its territorial boundaries and with respect to internal matters, an Indian Nation retains the sovereignty it enjoyed prior to the adoption of the United States Constitution except to the extent that its sovereignty has been abrogated or curtailed by Congress (see Montana v United States, 450 US 544, 564; United States v Kagama, 118 US 375, 381-382; Cayuga Nation v Campbell, 34 NY3d 282, 291, 293). As such, “tribes possess the common-law immunity traditionally enjoyed by sovereign powers” (Oneida Indian Nation v Phillips, 981 F3d 157, 170 [2d Cir]). As the Supreme Court correctly determined in the May 1, 2019 order, in seeking a declaration with respect to Curtis’s right to occupy the disputed portion of the subject property, the Nation waived its sovereign immunity as to that issue (see Rupp v Omaha Indian Tribe, 45 F3d 1241, 1244 [8th Cir] ; Cayuga Indian Nation of New York v Seneca County, New York, 260 F Supp 3d 290, 299 [WD NY]). However, “a waiver of sovereign immunity cannot, on its own, extend a court’s subject matter jurisdiction” (Oneida Indian Nation v Phillips, 981 F3d at 171), and “[w]aivers of [sovereignty] are to be strictly construed in favor of the Tribe” (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Chukchansi Economic Dev. Auth., 118 AD3d 550, 551 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Sue/Perior Concrete & Paving, Inc. v Seneca Gaming Corp., 99 AD3d 1203, 1204).

Because of the retained sovereignty of Indian Nations, the subject matter jurisdiction of state courts “must be predicated on explicit authorization from Congress to address matters of tribal self-government” (Cayuga Nation v Campbell, 34 NY3d at 292). Moreover, the courts of this State have rejected the “paternalistic view” that Indian Nations within its borders are “disadvantaged” by their “inability to rely on New York courts” to determine internal disputes, since “the use of dispute resolution mechanisms other than courts is itself an exercise of the right to self-govern in a manner consistent with tribal traditions and oral law” (id. at 296; see Cayuga Nation v Tanner, 824 F3d 321, 327 [2d Cir]). Thus, “‘when it comes to Indian affairs, state courts are courts of limited jurisdiction'” (Cayuga Nation v Campbell, 34 NY3d at 296, quoting Bowen v Doyle, 880 FSupp 99, 114 [WD NY], affd 230 F3d 525 [2d Cir]).

NYTs: “Wisconsin Hunters Kill Over 200 Wolves in Less Than 3 Days”


A shocking excerpt:

The state had set a quota of 200 wolves, with 119 for hunters who applied for permits with the department and 81 set aside to the Ojibwe Tribes under their treaty rights.

“The notion that there was this wide divergence between the outcome of the hunt and the number of the wolves that could be hunted simply doesn’t bear up to analysis,” Mr. Esenberg said.

But the tribes consider wolves to be sacred and made a deliberate decision not to hunt them, said Dylan Jennings, a spokesman for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, which represents the tribes.

Tenth Circuit Briefs in Pueblo of Jemez v. United States [Valles Caldera]


Jemez Pueblo brief sealed

Indian Advocacy Groups Amicus Brief

Indian Law Profs Amicus Brief

Pueblo Nations Amicus Brief

Lower court materials here.

Briefing in Mille Lacs Reservation Boundaries Case

Here are the materials in Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians v. County of Mille Lacs (D. Minn.):

225 Tribe Motion for Summary Judgment

241 County Motion for Summary Judgment

250 State of Minnesota Amicus Brief

265-1 US Amicus Brief

Prior post here.

Native America Calling Program on Oliphant — Thursday, March 4, 2021

Here: “Oliphant: four decades of hampered tribal jurisdiction.”

The blurb:

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in March, 1978 continues to hinder tribal sovereignty on a daily basis. The ruling in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe stripped tribes of most criminal prosecutions against non-Indians. Those cases became the responsibility of the federal government. In his dissent, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote “I am of the view that Indian tribes enjoy, as a necessary aspect of their retained sovereignty, the right to try and punish all persons who commit offenses against tribal law within the reservation.” The Violence Against Women Act was an attempt to remedy the persistent trend of non-Native abusers of Native women slipping through the cracks of the federal justice system. We’ll look at the distressing consequences of Oliphant and efforts through the years to fix it.

USDA Pulls Environmental Impact Statement on Oak Flat/Resolution Copper Mine

Here is the press release from Rep. Raúl Grijalva on the matter. Gizmodo coverage here.

And the briefs in Apache Stronghold v. United States (9th Cir.):

Emergency Motion

Federal Opposition

Religious Groups Amicus Brief

Religious Liberty Scholars Amicus Brief

Tribal Amicus Brief

Lower court materials here.

Federal Court Dismisses ICRA Habeas Petition Challenging Enhanced Sentence under TLOA

Here are the materials in Picard v. Colville Tribal Correction Facility (E.D. Wash.):

1 Habeas Petition

15 Answer

15-5 Colville Appellate Court Opinion

21 DCT Order