Federal Court Imposes $200K Appeal Bond on Wolfchild Appeal

Here are the relevant materials in Wolfchild v. Redwood County (D. Minn.):

208 Lower Sioux Community Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions

291 DCT Order

Materials on the court’s dismissal of the claim are here.

Federal Court Applies Sherrill Defenses, Tribal Immunity to Dismiss Wolfchild Statutory Land Claims

Here is the order in Wolfchild v. Redwood County (D. Minn.):

196 DCT Order Granting Motion to Dismiss

An excerpt:

The Court finds no basis upon which to distinguish this case from those asserted in Sherrill or Stockbridge. It is clear that Plaintiffs’ claims flow from the 1863 Act. It is also clear that the land at issue here was sold to third parties no later than 1895. See Wolfchild IX, 731 F.3d at 1293. Plaintiffs’ claims are thus like those described in Stockbridge: “Indian land claims asserted generations after an alleged dispossession that are inherently disruptive of state and local governance and the settled expectations of current landowners and are subject to dismissal on the basis of laches, acquiescence, and impossibility.” Id. 756 F.3d at 165.

There is no language in Sherrill or Stockbridge that would limit the holdings of those decisions to claims based on aboriginal title.

Based on the particular characteristics and history of the claims at issue here, the Court finds that Plaintiffs’ claims are equitably barred. Application of the equitable bar set forth inSherrill does not require a balancing of equities between the parties. Instead, the equitable bar focuses on Plaintiffs’ delay in seeking relief, and the disruption that would result to settled and justified expectations regarding land ownership. Sherrill, 544 U.S. at 216‐17, 221(finding that “the Oneidasʹ long delay in seeking equitable relief against New York or its local units, and developments in the city of Sherrill spanning several generations, evoke the doctrines of laches, acquiescence, and impossibility, and render inequitable the piecemeal shift in governance this suit seeks unilaterally to initiate”).

Briefs are here.

Motions to Dismiss Pleadings in re: Wolfchild Land Claims

Here are the materials so far in Wolfchild v. Redwood County (D. Minn.):

120 First Amended Complaint

156 Redwood County Motion to Dismiss

164 Landowners Motion to Dismiss

165 Lower Sioux Community Motion to Dismiss

168 Episcopal Diocese Motion to Dismiss

185 Wolfchild Opposition

189 Lower Sioux Reply

190 Landowners Reply

191 Episcopal Diocese Reply

192 Redwood County Reply

On Indian History and Blankets

Interesting article on blankets and American history, homophobia, and Indian history. An excerpt:

In his 2001 installation “Deep Down, I Don’t Believe in Hymns” conceptual artist Dario Robleto turns a blanket back on itself. He infests a military-issued blanket from 1862 with vinyl record dust, specifically the particles of two songs: Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s “Cortez the Killer,” and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” (which was originally recorded and performed by Gloria Jones in 1965 — Soft Cell, a UK band, covered it in 1981). Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s “Cortez the Killer” imagines the colonizer with galleons and guns, “dancing across the water” looking for the new world, while Montezuma basks on shore, surrounded by abundance: cocoa leaves, pearls, gold, beautiful women, strong men, and secrets. While the title itself critiques discovery (so-called) and conquest, Neil Young and Crazy Horse cannot resist falling back on the very colonial tropes they wish to send up. In the song “Cortez [was] the killer” — but there are also the beautiful Natives, and a beautiful Native woman, specifically, “who still loves me to this day.” The song is infected with tainted love.

This military-issued blanket is likely from the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, an intense six weeks of Dakota resistance against settler encroachment and the U.S. nation’s broken treaties. At the end of those six weeks, a military commission tried nearly 400 Dakota men accused of participating in the war. 303 of those were sentenced to death and 16 were given prison terms. President Lincoln (who was deeply embroiled in the Civil War) reviewed the trial transcripts and “anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak on one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty on the other” he decided to execute those who had “been proved guilty of violating females.” But since only two men were found guilty of rape, he expanded his charge to include those who had participated in “massacres.” On December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were hanged in present-day Mankato, Minnesota — this remains the largest government-sanctioned execution in U.S. history.

Throughout the 1860s and 1870s, the Dakota people were removed to reservations where many of them starved because of scarce game, drought, and unsuitable soil. Others died of disease or exposure because, despite its promises, the U.S. government failed to supply clothing — and blankets. Blankets were a matter of life and death on the Plains. The blanket meant survival, but also communicated a sense of dependency on the U.S. People died without blankets. And then blankets retroactively covered the dead.