Native Village of Eyak v. Blank Cert Petition


Native Village of Eyak Cert Petition

Question presented:

The Ninth Circuit agreed with the district court’s findings that at the time of first contact with Europeans, the Chugach were a culturally, ethnically and linguistically related people who had made actual and continuous use and occupancy of an area of the Outer Continental Shelf for a long time. The courts also agreed there was no evidence that others used the area, except for the periphery. Based on these showings by the Chugach, did the Ninth Circuit err in concluding that the exclusive use required to establish aboriginal title was defeated by a failure to demonstrate an ability to expel a hypothetical invader, by other groups’ use of the periphery of the Chugach territory, and by the fact that the Chugach villages were politically independent?

Lower court materials here.