“ICWA doesn’t prevent an individualized assessment of the best placement for each child,” says Kathryn Fort, director of the Indian Law Clinic at Michigan State University. State courts do this type of assessment “every day,” she says, adding, “I personally don’t know a state court judge who would be comfortable being told that they weren’t allowed to do an individualized assessment.”
But for an Indian child, Fort says, that individualized assessment includes consideration of the child’s relationship with her relatives, her language, her religion, and her tribal tradition.
“A child isn’t separate from her tribe,” she adds. “That child is sacred to that tribe.”
WaPo (check out Fred Urbina’s picture!)
Traverse City Record Eagle
Oral arguments in the case are tomorrow (11/9) at 10am. Live audio can be streamed here.
Merits brief on behalf of the intervening tribes–Cherokee Nation, Oneida Nation, Quinault Indian Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Navajo Nation–in the Haaland v. Brackeen Supreme Court case.
Pace yourself–she’s a long one.
Here is the order
The Court granted the petition with no limitations, so the issues are not limited the way the government and four tribes requested. Arguments will be held next term (terms start in October, so after October, 2022).
Here are the materials in Makah Indian Tribe v. Commissioner of Public Lands (Wash. Ct. App.):
D2 54945-0-II Unpublished Opinion
State Response to Hoh-Quiluete-Quinault Amicus Brief
Makah Answer to Hoh-Quiluete-Quinault Amicus Brief
[missing from the court’s website are the initial briefs of the tribe and state, and the Hoh-Quiluete-Quinault amicus brief]
The Makah Indian Tribe appeals the superior court’s order denying a constitutional writ to block a land exchange proposed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and approved by the Board of Natural Resources. The land exchange, called the “Peninsula Exchange,” would exchange state forestlands with forestlands owned by a private timber company, Merrill & Ring. The Peninsula Exchange parcels border tribal lands of a number of Indian tribes, including the Makah, the Hoh, the Quileute, and the Quinault. The Makah argue that DNR violated (1) the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) by failing to conduct a SEPA environmental review prior to approval of the proposal and (2) the public lands management statute, Title 79 RCW, by insufficiently addressing the Makah’s concerns.
The Hoh, Quileute, and Quinault Tribes (the Amici Tribes) filed a joint amicus curiae brief requesting dismissal under CR 19, arguing that they are necessary and indispensable parties who cannot be joined due to their sovereign immunity. The Amici Tribes claim that the Peninsula Exchange parcels are part of their respective treaty hunting areas. The Makah argue that the Amici Tribes are not necessary and indispensable parties under CR 19 because this appeal can be decided without a determination of treaty rights of various tribes as the Makah’s claims are procedural challenges to DNR’s Peninsula Exchange.
Because we resolve this appeal without implicating the treaty rights of the various interested tribes, we hold that the Amici Tribes are not necessary or indispensable parties. Accordingly, dismissal of this appeal under CR 19 is not appropriate.
DNR’s interpretation of the SEPA categorical exemption is entitled to substantial weight and its determination that a land exchange is categorically exempt from SEPA review will be overturned only if it is clearly erroneous. We hold that DNR properly interpreted and applied the SEPA categorical exemption for state land exchanges to determine that the Peninsula Exchange was categorially exempt from SEPA review and that DNR’s finding that the Peninsula Exchange was exempt from SEPA was not clearly erroneous. Additionally, DNR complied with the public lands management statute by adequately consulting with the Makah prior to the Board’s approval of the Peninsula Exchange. Because the superior court’s decision was not manifestly unreasonable, or exercised on untenable grounds or for untenable reasons, we hold that the superior court did not abuse its discretion by denying the Makah a constitutional writ. We affirm.
Update with the rest of the briefs:
2020.08.17 QTA Amicus Motion
2020.08.17 QTA Declaration and Report
2020.08.18 Order Allowing QTA Amicus Brief
2020.08.29 Opening Brief of Makah Tribe
2020.09.11 QTA Amicus Brief
2020.09.11 QTA Amicus Declaration
2020.09.18 Opening Brief of Respondents
Ruling denying stay and accelerating review (7.17.20)
Here is the complaint in Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. EPA (D. Ariz.):
Here is the complaint in Navajo Nation v. Wheeler (D. N.M.):