Saginaw Chippewa Disenrollees Win Small Victory against Interior

Here are the materials in Cavazos v. Haaland (D.D.C.):

18-2 Saginaw Chippewa Motion to Intervene

21 Cavazos Motion for Summary Judgment

26 Saginaw Chippewa Cross Motion for Summary

29 Federal Cross Motion for Summary

34 Cavazos Reply

38 Saginaw Chippewa Reply

39 Federal Reply

40-1 Cavazos Proposed Surreply

48 DCT Order

An excerpt:

This administrative law case centers on a U.S. Department of the Interior’s (“Interior”) decision (“AS-IA Decision”), after an informal adjudication, to decline to intervene in tribal disenrollment proceedings by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan (“Tribe”). Plaintiffs are former members of the Tribe who have since been disenrolled by Tribal leadership. Plaintiffs charge that a federal statute particular to the Tribe, the Judgment Funds Act, PL 99-346, 100 Stat. 674 (1986) (“JFA”), required Interior to intervene in and put a stop to Tribal disenrollment proceedings. In their only claim before the Court, Plaintiffs argue that Interior’s inaction was arbitrary and/or capricious within the meaning of the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 500 et seq. (“APA”). As a remedy, Plaintiffs seek not just a remand back to the agency, but an order from this Court mandating Interior’s intervention to reverse the Tribe’s disenrollment proceedings.
In support thereof, Plaintiffs focus primarily on statutory provisions in the JFA governing (1) antidiscrimination against tribal members enrolled after the JFA’s enactment and (2) Interior’s supervision of the JFA. Ultimately, the Court agrees with Interior that the plain meaning of the JFA: (1) does not  classify disenrollment as discrimination and (2) grants Interior broad discretion to intervene in Tribal disputes related to the JFA. However, the Court holds that Interior incorrectly read the JFA to bar  discrimination only against enrolled members of the Tribe. Because the JFA also bars the Tribe from discriminating against disenrolled members in access to benefits and services funded by the JFA, the Court shall remand the matter to Interior to reconsider whether it should exercise its discretionary authority to intervene in the alleged inequitable provision of such benefits and services. 

Prior post here.

Ninth Circuit Briefs in Grondal v. United States [21-35507]

Here:

Wapato Heritage Opening Brief

Federal Answer Brief

Colville Answer Brief

Related decision [20-35694] from the CA9 here.

Ninth Circuit Decides Grondal v. United States [20-35694]

Here.

An excerpt:

The panel affirmed the district court’s grant of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ motion for summary judgment and ejectment order in an action brought by a group of recreational vehicle owners seeking to retain their rights to remain on a lakeside RV park located on American Indian land held in trust by the Bureau.

Briefs here.

Ninth Circuit Materials in Slockish v. FHA

Here:

Opening Brief

Indian Law Scholars Amicus Brief

Religious Groups Amicus Briefs

Religious Liberty Scholars Amicus Brief

Federal Answer Brief

Reply

Lower court materials here.

 

Kevin Washburn on Tribal Co-Management of Federal Public Lands

Kevin Washburn has posted “Simple Tribal Co-Management: Using Existing Authority to Engage Tribal Nations in Co-Management of Federal Public Lands” on SSRN.

Abstract:

Each year Native American tribal nations enter hundreds of federal contracts worth billions of dollars to run federal Indian programs. By substituting tribal governments for federal agencies, these “self-determination contracts” have been enormously successful in improving the effective delivery of federal programs in Indian country. However, tribal governments wish to do more. Tribes wish to co-manage federal public lands, including lands that lie outside their reservations, and they have a lot to offer in this area. For example, a tribe might seek to contract with the Fish & Wildlife Service to operate a wildlife refuge, or with the National Park Service to manage a park or monument or even with the Bureau of Reclamation to operate a federal dam. Tribes are natural partners for much of this work. Many federal units are located on lands that are, or were, tribal aboriginal lands. Although the federal government has had the legal authority to enter such contracts since 1994, federal agencies have been slow to enlist tribes in the management of federal public lands. A review of the few existing successful cases suggests that tribes confront dramatically different dynamics when seeking to contract functions with agencies beyond the Bureau of Indian Affairs or Indian Health Service and other agencies providing services to Indian people. At a time when indigenous-led conservation is crucial to addressing climate change and our national conservation goals, this article examines the obstacles to tribal co-management of public lands and proposes solutions.

Always good to see new scholarship from Dean Washburn.

Federal Court Rejects Water District’s Affirmative Defenses against US/Walker River Paiute Tribe Water Rights Claims

Here are the materials in United States v. Walker River Irrigation District (D. Nev.):

2638 Federal-Tribal Joint Motion for Summary J

2649 Principal Defendants’ Response

2659 Reply

2677 DCT Order

Eighth Circuit Affirms Federal Duty to Provide “competent physician-led healthcare” to Rosebud Sioux Tribe Members

Here is the opinion in Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. United States.

Briefs:

US Opening Brief

Tribe Answer Brief

Reply

Lower court materials here.