Indian Land Claims Settlements

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The Mohegan Sun, developed on land taken in trust for the Mohegan as a product of settlement

Indian Land Claims Settlements are settlements of Native American land claims by the United States Congress, codified in 25 U.S.C. ch. 19.

In several instances, these settlements ended live claims of aboriginal title in the United States. The first two—the Rhode Island Claims Settlement Act and the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act—extinguished all aboriginal title in Rhode Island and Maine, respectively, following initial court rulings in the tribes' favor.

The Mohegan Nation (Connecticut) Land Claims Settlement of 1994 also followed a judicial ruling in favor of a tribe, but did not extinguish all aboriginal title in the state. Other tribes had pending land claims.

The Passamaquoddy (1975), Narragansett I and II (1976), and Mohegan (1980, 1982) cases occurred in the U.S. Supreme Court's Oneida I (1974) decision, which held that there was federal subject-matter jurisdiction for such claims.

The Florida Indian (Miccosukee) Land Claims Settlement and Florida Indian (Seminole) Land Claims Settlement relate to water rights in the Everglades.

In Canada, these settlements involve First Nations.

List of settlements[edit]

Act Passed Tribe Preceding litigation Subject matter Monetary compensation
Rhode Island Claims Settlement Act[1] Sept. 30, 1978 Narragansett Narragansett Tribe of Indians v. S. R.I. Land Dev. Co., 418 F. Supp. 798 (D.R.I. 1976); Narragansett Tribe of Indians v. Murphy, 426 F. Supp. 132 (D.R.I. 1976) Aboriginal title $3,500,000
Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act
[modified by Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians Supplementary Claims Settlement Act and Aroostock Band of Micmacs Settlement Act][2]
Oct. 10, 1980 Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Maliseet Joint Tribal Council of the Passamaquoddy Tribe v. Morton, 388 F. Supp. 649 (D. Me. 1975), aff'd, 528 F.2d 370 (1st Cir. 1975) Aboriginal title $81,500,000
Florida Indian (Miccosukee) Land Claims Settlement[3] Dec. 31, 1982 Miccosukee Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. Florida, No. 79-cv-253 (S.D. Fl.) Water rights None
Connecticut Indian Land Claims Settlement[4] Oct. 18, 1983 Mashantucket Pequot Tribe W. Pequot Tribe of Indians v. Holdridge Enters., Inc., No. H76-cv-193 (D. Conn.) Aboriginal title $900,000
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians Supplementary Claims Settlement Act
[modifying the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act][5]
Oct. 27, 1986 Maliseet N/A Aboriginal title $200,000
Massachusetts Indian Land Claims Settlement[6] Aug. 18, 1987 Wampanoag Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay Head v. Town of Gay Head, No. 74-cv-5826 (D. Mass.) Aboriginal title $4,500,000
Florida Indian (Seminole) Land Claims Settlement[7] Dec. 31, 1987 Seminole Seminole Tribe of Indians of Florida v. Florida, No. 78-cv-6116 (S.D. Fla.) Water rights None
Puyallup Tribe of Indians Settlement Act of 1989[8] June 21, 1989 Puyallup Excludes land from settlement in: Puyallup Tribe of Indians v. Port of Tacoma, 717 F.2d 1251 (9th Cir. 1983) Aboriginal title $162,000,000
Seneca Nation (New York) Land Claims Settlement[9] Nov. 3, 1990 Seneca 18 Stat. 330; 26 Stat. 558; Seneca Nation of Indians v. United States, 39 Ind. Cl. Comm. 355 (1977) Retroactive federal approval of leases and previous inadequate settlement $60,000,000
Aroostock Band of Micmacs Settlement Act
[modifying Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement][10]
Nov. 26, 1991 Micmacs N/A Aboriginal title $900,000
Mohegan Nation (Connecticut) Land Claims Settlement[11] Oct. 19, 1994 Mohegan people Mohegan Tribe v. Connecticut, 483 F. Supp. 597 (D. Conn. 1980), aff'd, 638 F.2d 612 (2d Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 968 (1981), on remand, 528 F. Supp. 1359 (D. Conn. 1982) Aboriginal title None
Crow Boundary Settlement[12] Nov. 2, 1994 Crow Indian reservation boundary surveying error $35,000,000
Santo Domingo Pueblo Claims Settlement[13] Nov. 1, 2000 Pueblo United States v. Thompson, 941 F.2d 1074 (10th Cir. 1991); Pueblo of Santo Domingo v. Rael, Civil No. 83-1888 (D. N.M.) Aboriginal title $23,000,000
Torres-Martinez Desert Cahiilla Indian Claims Settlement[14] Dec. 27, 2000 Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians United States ex rel. Torres-Martinez Band of Mission Indians v. Imperial Irrigation Dist., No. 82-cv-1790 (S.D. Cal.), Nos. 93-cv-55389, 93-cv-55398, and 93-cv-55402, No. 92-cv-55129 (9th Cir.); Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians v. Imperial Irrigation Dist., No. 91-cv-1670 (S.D. Cal.) Indian reservation flooding $14,200,000
Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nation Claims Settlement[15] Dec. 13, 2002 Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw (Ct. Cl.); United States v. Cherokee Nation, 480 U.S. 700 (1987), Nos. 218-cv-89L and 630-cv-89L (Ct. Cl. 1989); (E.D. Ok. 1997); excluding Choctaw Nation v. Oklahoma, 397 U.S. 620 (1970) Mismanagement of tribal resources $40,000,000
Pueblo De San Ildefonso Claims Settlement[16] Sept. 27, 2006 Pueblo Pueblo of San Ildefonso v. United States, No. 660-87L (Ct. Cl.); prior history: United States v. Pueblo of San Ildefonso, 513 F.2d 1383 (Ct. Cl. 1975); Pueblo of San Ildefonso v. United States, 35 Fed. Cl. 777 (1996) Aboriginal title, inter alia $6,900,000

Other compensated extinguishments in the US[edit]

See also[edit]

Australia
Canada
New Zealand

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pub. L. No. 95-395, 92 Stat. 813 (codified at 25 U.S.C. §§ 1701--16).
  2. ^ Pub. L. No. 96-420, 94 Stat. 1785 (codified at 25 U.S.C. §§ 1721--35).
  3. ^ Pub. L. No. 97-399, 96 Stat. 2012 (codified at 25 U.S.C. §§ 1741--50).
  4. ^ Pub. L. No. 98-134, 97 Stat. 851 (codified at 25 U.S.C. §§ 1751--60).
  5. ^ Pub. L. No. 99-566, 100 Stat 3184 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1724).
  6. ^ Pub. L. No. 100-95, 101 Stat. 704 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1771).
  7. ^ Pub. L. No. 100-228, 101 Stat. 1556 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1772).
  8. ^ Pub. L. No. 101-41, 103 Stat. 83 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1773).
  9. ^ Pub. L. No. 101-503, 104 Stat. 1292 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1774).
  10. ^ Pub. L. No. 102-171, 105 Stat. 1143 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1721).
  11. ^ Pub. L. No. 103-377, 108 Stat. 3501 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1775).
  12. ^ Pub. L. No. 103-444, 108 Stat. 4632 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1776).
  13. ^ Pub. L. No. 106-425, 114 Stat. 1890 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1777).
  14. ^ Pub. L. No. 106-568, 114 Stat. 2906 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1778).
  15. ^ Pub. L. No. 107-331, 116 Stat. 2845 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1779).
  16. ^ Pub. L. No. 109-286, 120 Stat. 1218 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 1780).

References[edit]

  • Jeff Benedict, Without Reservation: How a Controversial Indian Tribe Rose to Power and Built the World's Largest Casino (2001).
  • John C. Christie, Jr., The Catawba Indian Land Claim: A Giant Among Indian Land Claims, 24 Am. Indian Culture & Res. J. 173 (2000).
  • Kim Isaac Eisler, Revenge of the Pequots: How a Small Native American Tribe Created the World's Most Profitable Casino (2002).
  • Nicole Friederichs, A Reason to Revisit Maine's Indian Claims Settlement Acts: The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 35 Am. Indian L. Rev. 497 (2011).
  • Brett Duval Fromson, Hitting the Jackpot: The Inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History (2004).
  • Granville Ganter, Sovereign Municipalities? Twenty Years After the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, in Enduring Legacies: Native American Treaties and Contemporary Controversies (Bruce Elliott Johansen ed., 2004).
  • Gavin Kentch, A Corporate Culture? The Environmental Justice Challenges of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 81 Miss. L.J. 813 (2012).
  • Dean J. Kotlowski, Out of the Woods: The Making of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, 30 Am. Indian Culture & Res. J. 63 (2006).
  • Alfred R. Light, The Myth of Everglades Settlement, 11 St. Thomas L. Rev. 55 (1998).
  • Barbara S. Monahan, Florida's Seminole Indian Land Claims Agreement: Vehicle for an Innovative Water Rights Compact, 15 Am. Indian L. Rev. 341 (1991).

External links[edit]