“When are We Going to Get Our Indian Money?” — The Saga of the Michigan Ottawa Indian Claims Commission Judgment Told in the Pages of Turtle Talk

The Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1997 took some time to get past Congress after the Indian Claims Commission judgment came out in 1972. Here is some of that history told in the pages of the original Turtle Talk newsletter and its precursor, Indian Talk of Southern Michigan.

Indian Talk, April 1975
Turtle Talk, Dec. 1979
Reprinted in February 1980 issue of Turtle Talk, published by the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council.
Turtle Talk, April 1982
Letter to the Editor, Turtle Talk, Feb. 1980 [I know, I know, this is about the Potawatomi Indian money, but it’s too rich to leave out. . . .]
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Tribal Amicus Brief Supporting Cert Petition in LTBB v. Whitmer

Here:

Petition here.

LTBB v. Whitmer Cert Petition

Here:

Cert Petition

Question presented:

Whether the 1855 Treaty of Detroit established a federal reservation for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians?

Lower court materials here.

Sixth Circuit Decides Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians v. Whitmer

Here:

LTBB v Whitmer

Briefs here.

Michigan COA Holds Mackinac Tribe Member May Have Treaty Rights

Here is the opinion in People v. Caswell:

Opinion

An excerpt:

Defendant, Walter Joseph Caswell, is a member of the Mackinac Tribe of Odawa and Ojibwa Indians (the “Mackinac Tribe”). In October 2018, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officer cited defendant for spear fishing in a closed stream in violation of MCL 324.48715 and MCL 324.48711.1 Defendant moved to dismiss the charges on the ground that he was a member of an Indian tribe or band granted hunting and fishing rights by 1836 and 1855 treaties with the United States federal government. The Mackinac County district court granted defendant’s motion upon concluding that the Mackinac Tribe was entitled to rights under the relevant treaties. On appeal from the prosecutor, the Mackinac County circuit court reversed on the ground that the Mackinac Tribe was not federally recognized and that federal tribal recognition is a matter for initial determination by the United States Department of the Interior. We granted defendant’s delayed application for leave to appeal. For the reasons explained below, we vacate the circuit court’s order and remand the case to the district court for an evidentiary hearing consistent with this opinion.

Briefs:

353537_13_01.pdf-AT Brf

353537_16_01.pdf-AE Brf

353537_19_01.pdf-Reply

353537_29_01.pdf–Amicus 1

353537_32_01.pdf-Amicus 2

Sixth Circuit Oral Argument in LTBB v. Whitmer

Here:

Briefs are here.

Sixth Circuit Briefs in Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians v. Whitmer

Here:

LTBB Opening Brief 

Defendant-Appellee Whitmer Brief

Emmet County Lake Shore Assn and Protection of Rights Alliance Brief

Intervenor-Appellees–Cross-Appellants Combined Brief

Townships Brief

LTBB Reply

State Surreply re McGirt

Lower court materials here.

Federal Court Decides Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians v. Whitmer [formerly Snyder]

Here is the order:

627-dct-order-1.pdf

Briefs here.

Case page here.