indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Print   Subscribe
U.S. Supreme Court rejects another tribal land claim
Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court acted on its second Indian land claim in less than a month on Monday, this time refusing to hear the Seneca Nation's lawsuit.

Without comment, the justices rejected a petition filed by the Seneca Nation and the Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians. The tribes, backed by the federal government, said the state of New York purchased more than 40 islands in the Niagara River, including the 19,000-acre Grand Island, without Congressional approval.

A federal judge sided with the state. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in September 2004, ruling that the Senecas didn't hold title to the islands at the time they were sold to New York because the tribes had already given them up in treaties with the British.

"Since we find that the islands were not within the boundaries of the 'property of the Seneka nation' as of the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua, and that therefore New York's title remained undisturbed by that treaty, we conclude that its 'purchase” of the islands did not violate the Non-Intercourse Act," the 2nd Circuit wrote.

The high court's action leaves the negative decision in place. It marks the second time a 2nd Circuit ruling against a tribal claim will go unheard -- just last month the justices refused to consider the 64,000-acre Cayuga case.

Tribal leaders in New York are troubled by the developments. Jim Ransom, a chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, called the current Supreme Court "the most anti-Indian" in the history of the United States.

The Mohawks are just one of several tribes with claims to millions of acres in New York. The Oneida Nation is still in court after more than 30 years while the Onondaga Nation only recently filed suit.

The Seneca Nation has previously settled two land claims, separate from the Grand Island suit. Meanwhile, the Cayuga Nation and the Oklahoma-based Seneca-Cayuga Tribe lost their case when the 2nd Circuit said they too long to file their claim.

Other tribal land, hunting, fishing and other claims throughout the country could face similar fates if the courts adopt stances set by the 2nd Circuit. But tribal leaders note that each case is different, as noted by the fact-specific examination of treaties, laws and history in the Seneca's Grand Island lawsuit.

In more Supreme Court news, the justices refused one other Indian law cases on Monday. It involved a former employee of the Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona who tried to sue the tribe after she was fired. The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the tribe retained sovereign immunity from suit and that the state courts lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

2nd Circuit Decision:
Seneca Nation v. New York (September 9, 2004)

Relevant Links:
Seneca Nation - http://www.sni.org
NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project - http://doc.narf.org/sc/index.html

Related Stories:
U.S. Supreme Court refuses to clarify tribal claims (05/16)
Supreme Court won't hear Cayuga land claim (5/15)
U.S. Supreme Court weighs Cayuga land claim (5/9)
Delaware Nation loses out-of-state land claim (05/05)
Cayuga Nation files response brief on land claim (04/20)
BIA holds meeting on Cayuga Nation land-into-trust (03/02)
Cayuga land claim at issue before high court (2/21)
Seneca Nation defends land buys in Buffalo (02/21)
Congressman seeks review of Seneca land buys (02/17)
BIA proposes to take land into trust for Cayuga Nation (2/13)
Cayuga Nation pays property taxes in two counties (2/10)
Supreme Court asked to revive Cayuga land claim (2/8)
DOJ asks Supreme Court to hear Cayuga land claim (01/18)
Supreme Court won't rule on Indian law cases (01/10)
Tribe sues to reclaim New Jersey reservation (01/09)
Ohio fights Eastern Shawnee Tribe's land claim (10/19)
Judge extends Sherrill decision to Cayuga Nation (10/06)
Cason: Cayuga Nation subject to Sherrill decision (9/29)
State seeks dismissal of Ottawa Tribe's lawsuit (08/25)
State asserts eminent domain on behalf of tribe (07/28)
Tribes confident on land claims despite court rulings (07/15)
Cayuga tribes to challenge land claim decision (7/5)
Oklahoma tribe's lawsuit claims large portion of Ohio (07/12)
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma files Ohio treaty claim (07/01)
Appeals court kills Cayuga land claim after 25 years (6/29)
Oklahoma tribe sues in hopes of landing casino deal (06/28)
Land returned to Seneca Nation under settlement (06/23)
State hired professors to review tribe's land claim (06/03)
Another Oklahoma tribe's out-of-state bid rejected (06/02)
Cayuga Nation land case back before federal judge (05/05)
Pombo continues hearings on off-reservation gaming (05/02)
Supreme Court ruling impacts New York land claims (4/19)
Cayuga tribes confident on land claim appeal (4/12)
Supreme Court decision derails Pataki settlements (4/11)
Oklahoma tribe files claim to island in Ohio (04/07)
Supreme Court called less sympathetic to Indians (4/7)
Fallout from Supreme Court ruling on Oneida Nation (4/6)
BIA official calls high court ruling 'quite depressing' (03/31)
Major defeat for Oneida Nation in Supreme Court case (3/30)
Oklahoma tribe loses bid for out-of-state land (12/03)
Court rules against Seneca Nation's land claims (09/10)
Cayuga Nation land rights upheld by federal judge (4/26)
Cayuga Nation's plans for land worry some in village (04/07)
Report: Seneca-Cayuga Tribe has bigger plans in store (04/06)
Tribes ask court for $1.7B and title to lost land (04/01)
Federal appeals court to hear Cayuga land claim (3/31)
NIGC accused of 'ducking' casino land issue in N.Y. (03/23)
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe seeks deal to end land claim (03/19)
Judge in N.Y. hears Seneca-Cayuga land dispute (03/12)
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe could fund arts center in N.Y. (2/26)
Arguments set for appeal of Cayuga land claim (2/25)
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe makes offer to Pataki (11/19)
Court orders Cayuga Nation to stop renovations (10/23)
Cayuga Nation proposes land claim, tax settlement (10/21)
Cayuga Nation buys another gas station (10/06)
Bill would terminate out-of-state sovereign rights (09/26)
Appeals expected in Seneca-Cayuga Tribe's land case (09/10)
Judge to decide fate of Seneca-Cayuga Tribe's land (9/9)
Cayuga tribes slowly reclaiming ancestral territory (09/02)
Okla. tribe says court decision bolsters case (07/24)
Cayuga Nation welcomes Indian Country decision (07/23)
Oneida Nation wins treaty lands case (7/22)

Copyright © 2000-2006 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Businesses show support for LNI tournament (3/27)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux fighter climbing in the ranks (3/27)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives look 10,000 years into the future (3/27)
Ivan Star: The influences of boarding school and Vietnam War (3/27)
Gyasi Ross: Funerals become family reunions in Indian Country (3/27)
Tim Giago hands over the reins as publisher of Native Sun News (3/27)
House committee passes Native American Children's Safety Act (3/27)
Bill to benefit Miami Nation moves forward in House and Senate (3/27)
City extended contract to send treated sewage to sacred peaks (3/27)
Oneida Nation welcomes ruling backing land-into-trust request (3/27)
Lawmakers want BIA to delay new federal recognition reforms (3/27)
Another conviction from Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption probe (3/27)
Editorial: Shakopee Tribe contributes $5M for health initiative (3/27)
Opinion: Navajo Nation enacts 'sin tax' on unhealthy products (3/27)
Editorial: Opposition to Pamunkey Tribe recognition 'revolting' (3/27)
Dennis Jenkins: Hypocrisy for new tribal casinos in Connecticut (3/27)
Supreme Court asked to hear Kialegee Tribal Town gaming case (3/27)
Ho-Chunk Nation extends agreement for off-reservation casino (3/27)
Indiana lawmakers seek role in Pokagon Band gaming compact (3/27)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux leader not pleased with boycott (3/26)
Lakota Country Times: Lakota Nation Invitational stays in Rapid (3/26)
Native Sun News: Mayor of Rapid City addresses race relations (3/26)
Jane Daugherty: Tribal e-commerce continues to draw scrutiny (3/26)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee's field hearing (3/26)
Richard Iron Cloud: Remove murderer's name from sacred peak (3/26)
Native Youth: Bring dental therapy providers to Indian Country (3/26)
Steven Newcomb: Tribal nations still under dominating process (3/26)
Law firm hosts tribes for session on marijuana in Indian Country (3/26)
Judge upholds BIA decision on Oneida Nation land-into-trust bid (3/26)
Appeals court rules against Crow Tribe in housing grant dispute (3/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation raises minimum wage to $2.75 above federal (3/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe to appeal decision in recognition lawsuit (3/26)
Racist emails of former Montana federal judge to be preserved (3/26)
Shingle Springs Band considered but rejected indoor gun range (3/26)
House panel backs bill to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (3/26)
Quapaw Tribe did not include casino on land-into-trust request (3/26)
Chumash Tribe never got apology for diplomat's casino remark (3/26)
Governor won't sign casino compact with Fort Sill Apache Tribe (3/26)
Cherokee Nation approves $6.9M renovation project for casino (3/26)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux veteran training for Paralympics (3/25)
Alaska Native musher Chuck Schaeffer completes 2015 Iditarod (3/25)
LTBB News: Michigan tribes come together for historic meeting (3/25)
Lecture focuses on repatriation of tribal intellectual properties (3/25)
Board still working on delivering money for Cobell scholarships (3/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair field hearing on drugs in Indian Country (3/25)
Bill for tribal marijuana compacts up for hearing in Washington (3/25)
Choctaw Nation chief hopes to travel to Ireland for monument (3/25)
HHS urged to do more to help tribes with foster care programs (3/25)
Eastern Cherokees work to teach language to new generations (3/25)
Another suggestion for Indian woman on $20 bill -- Sakakawea (3/25)
Man from Crow Tribe cites self-defense in fatal casino shooting (3/25)
Shawnee Tribe sees opposition to off-reservation gaming plan (3/25)
Navajo Nation signs Class III casino compact with New Mexico (3/25)
Quapaw Tribe insists a casino isn't focus of Arkansas land plan (3/25)
Suquamish Tribe reaches deal to allow highway work at casino (3/25)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.