indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Lawmakers take action on Native youth and Indian Country bills (9/29)
Dakota Access enlists big name law firm ahead of court hearing (9/29)
Congress goes on break again after failing to pass spending bills (9/29)
Oklahoma lawmakers push for approval of tribal water rights deal (9/29)
Documents detail settlement amounts in tribal trust fund lawsuit (9/29)
Supreme Court accepts case involving Mohegan Tribe employee (9/29)
Supreme Court accepts case linked to NFL team's racist mascot (9/29)
Lakota Country Times: Powwow, Indian relay unite for big event (9/29)
Native Sun News Today: Meet the world's only Lakota magician (9/29)
Dave Archambault Sr.: The roots of the battle at Standing Rock (9/29)
Jim Kent: A tale of two warriors comes alive in sacred Black Hills (9/29)
Mary Annette Pember: Water protectors rounded up for praying (9/29)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: A model for tribal consultation with UNDRIP (9/29)
Chukchansi Tribe schedules election for three council positions (9/29)
Seneca Nation prepares for tribal council election in November (9/29)
Donald Trump hired firm to lobby for tribal casino deal in Florida (9/29)
Bureau of Indian Affairs faced pressure to approve gaming deal (9/29)
Graton Rancheria eyes November opening for $175M casino hotel (9/29)
House approves national water bill without #NoDAPL amendment (9/28)
County sheriff announces additional arrests of #NoDAPL resisters (9/28)
Mary Annette Pember: Sheriff is looking into reports of 'gunshots' (9/28)
Ute Tribe mounts battle against 'modern day Indian land grab' bill (9/28)
Field hearing scheduled on energy development in Indian Country (9/28)
Native American Financial Services Association hires new director (9/28)
Lakota Country Times: Thank you ceremony honors Black Elk Peak (9/28)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne Tribe election season (9/28)
James Giago Davies: Oceti Sakowin assert sovereignty once again (9/28)
Mark Fogarty: Young Native journalists cover historic movement (9/28)
Peter d'Errico: Briefcase warriors must defend original nations (9/28)
Seminole Tribe removes James Billie from chairman's position (9/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe granted role in casino land dispute (9/28)
Wilton Rancheria makes significant progress on casino project (9/28)
Mohawk Council of Kahnawake takes action on online gaming (9/28)
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.