We conclude that the ISDEAA does not require the DOI to approve Navajo Nation’s funding requests for the years 2017 through 2020 but its regulations do. The 2017 proposal requested “the renewal of a term contract” with “no material [or] substantial change to the scope or funding” of the previous contract, see 25 C.F.R. § 900.33, and the 2018 through 2020 proposals are “successor[s]” to and “substantially the same as” the 2017 proposal, see id. § 900.32. The DOI therefore violated 25 C.F.R. §§ 900.32 and 900.33 when it considered the section 5321(a)(2) declination criteria and partially declined the Tribe’s proposed AFAs. Accordingly, we reverse the district court.
This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief and money damages brought against the Department and the Secretary for Defendants’ violations of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, P.L. 93-638, as amended and codified at 25 U.S.C. § 450 et seq. (“ISDEAA”), and regulations promulgated thereunder, and for Defendants’ breach of a contract made under the ISDEAA with the Navajo Nation (“Nation”). The Nation submitted its annual funding agreement (“AFA”) proposal for operations of the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch for the 2014 calendar year (“CY 2014”) to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”), an agency of the United States Department of the Interior (“Department”), and the BIA failed to take the statutorily required action to approve or lawfully decline that proposal before the expiration of the 90-day period set forth in the ISDEAA and regulations promulgated thereunder. Therefore, as a matter of law, the CY 2014 AFA must be deemed approved as proposed by the Nation. Pursuant to the Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. § 7101 et seq. (“CDA”), and sections 110(a) and (d) of the ISDEAA, 25 U.S.C. § 450m-1(a) and (d), the Nation submitted to the BIA a claim seeking relief from the Defendants’ breaches of this deemed-approved contract (No. A12AV00698: the “Contract”) and CY 2014 AFA. The Contract and the CY 2014 AFA are collectively referred to herein as the “CY 2014 Agreement.” The BIA improperly disclaimed the authority to decide the Nation’s CDA claim and thereby denied it. The Nation brings this action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for Defendants’ violations of the ISDEAA and $15,762,985 in damages for their breach of the CY 2014 Agreement, plus statutory interest from January 3, 2014.
The Navajo Nation appeals a judgment of the United States Court of Federal Claims denying its claim seeking damages for an alleged Fifth Amendment taking of its right to develop land granted to it by the United States in 1934. See Navajo Nation v. United States, No. 88-CV-508 (Fed. Cl. July 13, 2009). Because we conclude that the claim is barred by the six-year statute of limitations set out in 28 U.S.C. § 2501, we vacate the judgment of the Court of Federal Claims and remand with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.