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
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Poarch Band seeks a partial Carcieri fix for existing trust lands

Filed Under: Law | National | Politics | Trust
More on: 114th, 11th circuit, alabama, appropriations, carcieri, florida, fy2017, h.r.5486, house, land-into-trust, muscogee, poarch creek, senate, supreme court, tom cole
     
   

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has announced plans to replace a building that originally housed its council chambers and health department. Photo from Facebook

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is asking Congress to confirm the status of its existing trust lands in Alabama and Florida.

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, the tribe has faced legal challenges to lands already held in trust. H.R.5486, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Land Reaffirmation Act, would put an end to those claims by confirming that the lands are indeed Indian Country.

But the bill, which was introduced in the House on June 15, does not address future acquisitions. In that respect, it's similar to a partial Carcieri fix that has been included in an appropriations bill under consideration on Capitol Hill.

Congress already embraced the affirmation approach with the passage of S.1603, the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act, in 2014. The new law ended a lawsuit that kept the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians from Michigan and the federal government in court for years.

For the Poarch Band, the bill would end a long-running lawsuit filed by the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. The lawsuit argues that the Carcieri decision applies to the Poarch Band because the tribe did not gain federal recognition until 1984.

In Carcieri, the Supreme Court held that the Bureau of Indian Affairs can only place land in trust for tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" as of 1934. A federal judge has yet to issue a decision even though the complaint was filed more than three years ago.

In a separate case, a federal judge confirmed that the tribe's trust lands are Indian Country and are exempt from local taxes. Although the decision was a victory for the tribe, the tax assessor in Escambia County has asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn it.

Oral arguments were heard on April 12 but a ruling hasn't been issued. In the event the case goes another way, H.R.5486 would still protect the trust status of the tribe's lands if the bill becomes law.

In yet another case, the 11th Circuit ruled that the state of Alabama cannot challenge the status of the tribe's trust lands because the deadline to do so had long passed. Attorney General Luther Strange did not pursue an appeal.

Despite widespread support from Indian Country and the Obama administration, Congress has yet to fix the Carcieri decision to prevent such litigation. Six bills are pending in the House and the Senate but none have been brought up for votes.

"If I had my way, we would fix this all the way to the current date," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), a member of the Chickasaw Nation, said in defense of a "partial" Carcieri fix that was added to fiscal year 2017 Interior appropriations bill last week.

"If we can take a lot of tribes and a lot of Indians out of harm's way and end this legal limbo ... we should do so," said Cole.

The Poarch Band is primarily based in Alabama and H.R.5486 confirms the trust status of its reservation and other lands there. The bill also includes a small property in neighboring Florida.

Supreme Court Decision in Carcieri v. Salazar:
Syllabus | Opinion [Thomas] | Concurrence [Breyer] | Dissent [Stevens] | Concurrence/Dissent [Souter]

Supreme Court Documents:
Oral Argument Transcript | Briefs

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Alabama v. PCI Gaming Authority (September 3, 2015)

Department of the Interior Solicitor Opinion:
M-37029: The Meaning of "Under Federal Jurisdiction" for Purposes of the Indian Reorganization Act (March 12, 2014)

Related Stories:
A 'partial' land-into-trust fix added to Interior appropriations bill (6/16)
Supreme Court nominee comes with some Indian law experience (03/16)
Updates from Day 2 of National Congress of American Indians winter session in D.C. (02/24)
Updates from National Congress of American Indians winter session in D.C. (02/23)
NCAI President Brian Cladoosby urges support for land-into-trust bill (01/14)
Navajo Nation Council opposes land-into-trust reform measure (12/11)
Senate committee approves bill to reform land-into-trust process (12/02)
Senate committee to take up land-into-trust reform legislation (12/01)
Rep. Mullin confirms divisions in Indian Country on Carcieri fix (11/24)
Patrick Sullivan: New Carcieri bill invites even more litigation (11/17)
Sen. Jon Tester: Congress must do right for Indian Country (11/13)
Congress yet to take action on Carcieri land-into-trust decision (10/28)
IBIA rejects challenge to Grand Traverse Band land-into-trust bid (10/01)
BIA treads new Carcieri ground in ruling for Massachusetts tribe (09/23)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe celebrates land-into-trust decision (09/18)
Sen. Moran introduces yet another version of land-into-trust fix (08/10)
USET welcomes new version of fix to land-into-trust decision (08/05)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee delays action on land-into-trust (07/30)
Sen. Barrasso introduces another version of land-into-trust fix (07/29)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to take up land-into-trust fix (07/27)
House lawmakers introduce new version of land-into-trust fix (07/24)
White House threatens veto of funding bill for Indian programs (06/24)
NCAI responds to criticism from Rep. Young on land-into-trust (05/27)

Copyright © 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:
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe blasts Trump claim of 'constant contact' (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe calls out Trump 'lies' on Dakota Access (2/24)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge residents worried about water (2/24)
Editorial: Shutting down Whiteclay won't address our addictions (2/24)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Indigenous people still struggle in America (2/24)
Steve Russell: To all the indigenous writers being born out there (2/24)
Connecticut tribes plan to announce site for potential new casino (2/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe slams Trump for lack of consultation (2/23)
Native Sun News Today: Tribes asked to participate in 'land grab' (2/23)
Mark Trahant: A victory on Indian health from Washington state (2/23)
James Giago Davies: We've become too proud of our ignorance (2/23)
Cronkite News: Plant closure impacts Hopi and Navajo workers (2/23)
Peter d'Errico: Book is yet another in series of genocide deniers (2/23)
Tanya Lee: Republicans run amok as America focuses on Trump (2/23)
Radio show host in Montana calls Indian basketball fans 'unruly' (2/23)
Congressman who was advocate for Indian Country passes on (2/23)
Yakama Nation debuts hotel as part of $90M casino expansion (2/23)
Meskwaki Tribe ordered to pay damages for incident at casino (2/23)
Indian Country joins legal push to block Dakota Access Pipeline (2/22)
Dakota Access offers up March 6 as earliest date for completion (2/22)
Trump administration opposes injunction against Dakota Access (2/22)
Trump team puts hold on pro-tribal Dakota Access legal opinion (2/22)
Arne Vainio: Finding some medicine in the woods and by the fire (2/22)
Wyoming tribes lose major ruling in reservation boundary case (2/22)
Native Sun News Today: #NoDAPL campsites see their final days (2/22)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Dakota Access is everything wrong with US (2/22)
United Keetoowah Band interested in pursuing casino in Georgia (2/22)
Kalispel Tribe announces $20M casino expansion in Washington (2/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs still failing on online security measures (2/21)
Mary Annette Pember: Indigenous people can't ever back down (2/21)
Harold Monteau: Democrats to blame for President Donald Trump (2/21)
Tohono O'odham Nation leaders share concerns about border wall (2/21)
Pacific Northwest tribes finally rebury remains of Kennewick Man (2/21)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe affirms election results after recount (2/21)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe hopes to see return of casino business (2/21)
Bureau of Indian Affairs confirms Wilton Rancheria casino in trust (2/21)
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.