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
Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Appeals court won't stop Oneida Nation evictions
Monday, April 5, 2004

Four Indian families face removal from their homes on the Oneida Nation in New York after a federal appeals court on Friday refused to stop the tribe's eviction orders.

In a unanimous decision, three judges of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said they couldn't intervene in the dispute, which has pitted family members against each other. One of those being targeted for eviction is Maisie Shenandoah, the 72-year-old aunt of Ray Halbritter, the federally-recognized representative of the tribe.

The families claim they are being unfairly targeted because they have spoken out against Halbritter's policies, including a home beautification program at issue in the case. But in an eight-page ruling, the judges said they were restricted by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, which provides only limited federal court jurisdiction over internal tribal disputes.

"Even though the actions of the ruling members of the [Oneida] Nation may be partly inexcusable herein, we can only remedy those wrongs which invoke the jurisdiction of this court," wrote Judge Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland.

The ruling came just a month after oral arguments were heard in Manhattan. At the time, dozens of tribal members, mostly elderly women, showed up at the courthouse, an incident that did not go unnoticed by Van Graafeiland.

Neither did Van Graafeiland entirely ignore the plight of the families. He quoted the writings of Alexander Hamilton, a framer of the U.S. Constitution, that warned of the danger of oppressive governments.

"If this danger exists in cases such as the instant one, and the presence of twenty or thirty Indian women engaged in prayer in the courtroom and adjoining hallway when this appeal was argued is some indication of its possible existence, Congress should consider giving this Court power to act," he wrote. Van Graafeiland, in a dissenting opinion in an unrelated case concerning treaty rights, previously questioned the Oneida Nation's continuous existence as a tribe.

The court's sentiments provided some hope to those facing eviction. But Diane Schenandoah, one of the named plaintiffs, said this weekend that the families would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and would ask the 2nd Circuit to delay any evictions pending the appeal. Schenandoah said she and her three children would be rendered homeless without outside intervention.

The tribe has not moved to demolish any homes deemed unsafe for living. A tribal judge has delayed the eviction orders pending talks with the tribe, which has also offered alternative housing to the families.

Previously, the tribe did demolish the home of Danielle Patterson and held her in police custody for allegedly assaulting a police officer at the time of the demolition. In the appeal, the plaintiffs used Patterson's situation to argue that their personal freedoms are infringed by the actions of the tribal government.

The court, however, was not convinced and ruled that the loss of homes was "an economic restraint, rather than a restraint on liberty." The judges said the tribe's actions did not rise to actual banishment, a situation that is reviewable under the Indian Civil Rights Act in the 2nd Circuit.

The Oneida Nation operates a financially successful casino and resort. According to published reports, the facility turns profits in the $70 million range annually.

Get the Decision:
Shenandoah v. Halbritter (April 2, 2004)

Earlier Court Ruling:
Shenandoah v. Halbritter (August 8, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Oneidas for Democracy - http://www.oneidasfordemocracy.org
Oneida Nation - http://www.oneida-nation.net

Related Stories:
Appeals court hears Oneida Nation eviction case (03/03)
Oneida Nation families decline offer from tribe (11/20)
Oneida Nation evictions highlight rift within tribe (10/29)
Oneida Nation judge delays eviction of families (10/28)
Oneida Nation families await answer on eviction (10/27)
Eviction of Oneida Nation families delayed (10/24)
Oneida families fight eviction from homes (08/13)
Judge won't halt Oneida Nation evictions (8/11)
Oneida families lose homes waiting on court (8/1)
Oneida Nation issues eviction orders against families (7/30)
Oneida Nation sends inspector to homes (06/12)
Oneida Nation members compare tribe to Hitler (05/13)
Oneida Nation residents fear destruction of homes (5/9)
Demolition of Oneida woman's home turned into film (5/8)
Oneida woman's home demolished (10/23)
Oneida woman's home will be demolished (10/22)
Oneida woman won't appear before court (09/24)
Accusers of Oneida official won't testify (8/9)
Oneida official accused of harassment (7/17)
Film showing at school canceled (4/17)
Oneida Nation offers home to member (12/19)
Video clears up little in Oneida dispute (12/10)
Police video documents Oneida scuffle (12/7)
Oneida Nation disputes homes (11/20)

Copyright © 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
'They ran me over, bro': Tohono O'odham Nation investigates Border Patrol incident
The Tohono O'odham Nation has opened a criminal investigation after one of its citizens was struck by a Border Patrol vehicle.
'I grow food for survival': Indigenous women farm for their families
Threatened by a mining company, indigenous women in the remote highlands of Guatemala are marching, increasing productivity, and planting trees.
Republican leaders derail bipartisan immigration reform legislation
Republican leaders derailed an attempt to force a vote on a bipartisan package of immigration reform bills, drawing outrage from Democrats.
Four children who died at Indian boarding school being returned to families
Four students who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania are being returned to their tribal families.
Native ancestor laid back to rest more than 10,000 years after burial
An ancestor of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has been laid to rest again in California.
Tribes dealt setback with dismissal of challenge to Keystone XL Pipeline
Two tribes have lost a legal challenge to the Keystone XL Pipeline as others try a new approach in hopes of blocking the controversial project.
Tribal opposition leads to decision against geothermal development
A portion of the Santa Fe National Forest has been closed to geothermal development in order to protect tribal sacred sites.
Study questions American origin of turquoise found at sites in Mexico
Turquoise used by Native societies in Mexico did not come from the American Southwest as previously thought, according to a new study.
'Sovereign nation helping sovereign nation': Sauk-Suiattle Tribe finally opening casino
The Sauk-Suiattle Tribe is getting into the gaming industry for the first time thanks to a fellow Indian nation.
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians welcomes action on homelands bill
A bill to place 1,400 acres in trust for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is closer to becoming law.
'Very little progress': Lawmakers question Trump administration's Indian affairs record
Federal agencies that oversee Indian affairs are not making enough progress to satisfy key members of Congress.
The Conversation: Bringing Indigenous knowledge to our students
Innovative resources are integrating Indigenous perspectives into schools through inquiry, video, images and activities.
Jana Richman: Discovering the healing power of the desert
Nature offers solace for a man living with depression and a lesson in acceptance for his anxious partner.
Tribes plan to break ground on long-awaited casino in Connecticut
Despite being kept in the dark by the Trump administration, the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes plan to open a new casino in 2020.
'Economic self-sufficiency': Pamunkey Tribe pursues casino in Virginia
The Pamunkey Tribe is in for the long haul as it seeks land for a casino in Virginia.
Gun Lake Tribe shares another $7.6 million in gaming revenues with community
The Gun Lake Tribe just shared more than $7.6 million in gaming revenues in Michigan, bringing the total to date to more than $109 million.
Land-into-trust fix added to controversial federal recognition bill
A controversial bill to strip the Bureau of Indian Affairs of its federal recognition powers has just gotten more messy.
Ponca Tribe marches toward sovereignty with long-awaited gaming project
Chief Standing Bear’s people, who took the long walk home to Nebraska 139 years ago, are continuing their march toward sovereignty and self-sufficiency.
Riley Kucheran: Indigenous artists shine at inaugural fashion event
Indigenous people gathered on Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee traditional territory for the inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week in Toronto.
'Attacking our children': Activists denounce separation of families at border
A new group called Free the Children Coalition is denouncing the Trump administration's harsh immigration policies.
Shinnecock Nation finalizes deal for golf tournament as protests begin
Protests continue as a popular golf tournament takes place on land stolen from the Shinnecock Nation.
Trump administration still mum on gaming agreement for Mashantucket Tribe
The Trump administration has yet to take action on a gaming agreement for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and lawmakers want to know why.
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians announces sports betting at casinos
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will soon be offering sports betting following a landmark decision from the Supreme Court.
Sault Tribe faces doubts about long-stalled off-reservation casino
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians might be looking elsewhere for gaming opportunities thanks to the Trump administration.
Ponca tribes reclaim ancestral land along Trail of Tears in Nebraska
For the fifth year, farmers, friends, family and Native people planted Ponca sacred corn in the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Navajo Nation mourns loss of Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday
The Navajo Nation is mourning the loss of Code Talker Samuel T. Holiday, who passed away at the age of 94.
Arne Vainio: Don't wait too long to let someone know they are important
Words are not always the best way to communicate and when you use them, make sure they matter
Trump will 'probably end up supporting' marijuana bill that helps tribes
President Donald Trump is expressing support for a bipartisan bill that recognizes tribal and state sovereignty over marijuana.
Republican-sponsored Indian bills are back on agenda for key House committee
Bills to address blood quantum in Oklahoma, tribal recognition and the Indian Health Service are taking a step forward on Capitol Hill.
Witness list for Senate hearing on 'high risk' federal Indian Country programs
Federal officials are back on Capitol Hill to discuss whether they are making any progress in improving the people they serve.
'A fantastic day for Indian Country': Treaty tribes celebrate Supreme Court victory
Tribes in Washington state are rejoicing after the nation's highest court upheld a decision in favor of their treaty rights.
High Country News: Decision puts power plant on reservation closer to closure
The Trump administration's 'energy dominance' agenda is being put to the test in Indian Country.
Trump Administration: Domestic abuse or gang violence no longer grounds for asylum
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said immigrant victims of gang violence or domestic abuse will no longer be able to claim asylum in the United States.
Cherokee Nation hospital tests patients for infectious diseases after lapse in protocol
The Cherokee Nation has fired a nurse who broke protocol by reusing syringes at an Indian Health Service facility in Oklahoma.
Dakota Access Pipeline study still not finished after more than a year
Tribal opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline are still waiting on the Trump administration to complete a study on the controversial project.
'She's a woman ... you know, a female': Rep. Kevin Cramer explains Sen. Heidi Heitkamp
It's primary day in North Dakota and one Republican candidate is making some unusual comments about the incumbent Democrat's gender.
Treaty tribes score unusual victory in closely-watched Supreme Court case
A closely-watched treaty rights case has resulted in victory for tribes but the nation's highest court was so divided that it was unable to reach a decision.
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians inches forward with homelands bill
Another tribal homelands bill is moving forward on Capitol Hill after years of bitter battles in California.
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs sets another hearing on 'high risk' programs
Is the Trump administration making progress in improving Indian education, health and energy programs?
Tim Giago: Try to see America through the eyes of a Native American
When you see a statue or sign that is supposed to evoke a feeling of American patriotism in your heart, think of how an indigenous person might look at the same thing.
Graham Lee Brewer: Native ancestors are often treated like collector's items
The discovery of a skull on a library shelf highlights the long history of treating Native ancestors as collector's items.
Cronkite News: Navajo Nation cites 'catastrophic' job losses from power plant
The Navajo Nation sees hope in a Trump administration proposal that could benefit a coal-fired power plant on the reservation.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in limbo as gaming industry advances in Massachusetts
As the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe sits in limbo before the Trump administration, non-Indian interests make strides in Massachusetts.
Whitecap Dakota First Nation awards largest casino jackpot of $1.8 million
A Native man has joined the millionaire's club thanks to the Whitecap Dakota First Nation casino in Saskatchewan.
Ojibwe hockey star celebrates team's historic championship victory
Ojibwe hockey star T.J. Oshie made history as the Washington Capitals hockey team won its first Stanley Cup in more than two decades.
Cronkite News: Republican slams President Trump on same day of 'Flake' tweet
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) is heading out of office soon soon but he's still taking time to criticize President Donald Trump’s actions and policies.
Another slap in the face in Nevada? Yerington Paiute Tribe slams lack of consultation
The Yerington Paiute Tribe continues to be left out of decisions affecting a polluted mining site in Nevada.
Tribes call for speedy action on long-awaited Bureau of Indian Affairs pick
The Trump administration's nominee to lead the Bureau of Indian Affairs is facing questions about an issue far from the lower 48 states.
Bill recognizes tribal sovereignty over marijuana amid uncertainty in Washington
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is hoping to clear up a cloud hanging over marijuana in Indian Country and in states across the nation.
Yakama Nation celebrates treaty whose provisions are questioned by Trump
The Yakama Nation is commemorating the 163rd anniversary of its treaty amid doubts raised by the Trump administration.
Shawnee Tribe wins federal approval of Class III gaming compact
The Shawnee Tribe continues to make progress on a long-awaited off-reservation casino.
Cronkite News: Tribes rally to keep coal power plant up and running
About 300 Native American coal miners, power plant workers and families rallied to keep a critical power plant in operation.
Deb Haaland's great-grandfather was taken from family and sent to boarding school
Deb Haaland is connecting with voters by linking her Laguna Pueblo background to her progressive Democratic campaign in New Mexico.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians won't get into liquor business
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians won't be getting into the liquor business after failing to secure support among tribal citizens.
Table Mountain Rancheria plans new and larger casino with a hotel
The Table Mountain Rancheria is building a bigger casino on its reservation, adding a hotel to the property for the first time.
'A victory for Indian Country': Deb Haaland secures primary win in historic run for Congress
Indian Country witnessed history as Deb Haaland secured a commanding victory in her bid to become the first Native woman in the U.S. House.
Controversial Republican candidate loses primary after slamming tribal treaties
With his campaign flailing, a Republican candidate for Congress dropped a 'bombshell' about tribes and treaties. The gamble didn't pay off.
Former vice chairman of Quapaw Tribe sentenced in sex offender case
A former leader of the Quapaw Tribe has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a minor.
Native Sun News Today: The true history of the Indian Removal Act
The fate of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole nations figured prominently in Andrew Jackson's first State of the Union in 1829.
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: No one knows more about religious clashes than Indian people
There is a mass murder and 'removal' we do not talk about: the millions of indigenous peoples who were wiped out after the passing of genocidal laws.
Gyasi Ross: Washington attorney general attacks tribal treaty rights
The Supreme Court is about to decide a major treaty rights case, potentially overturning a victory secured by 21 tribes. How did Indian Country get here?
An expansion of gaming looms in South Dakota over tribal concerns
Backers of Port Yankton, a proposed gambling and entertainment complex, are betting they can gather enough signatures for the 2020 ballot.
Delaware becomes first state with sports betting after Supreme Court ruling
Delaware became the first state to offer sports betting after a andmark decision from the Supreme Court. Are tribes next?
Supreme Court delays action for ninth time in Indian Country violence case
The Supreme Court has once again delayed action in an Indian Country violence case that few believe has a chance at being heard.
'We have always been a very proud people': Dave Flute on tribes and treaties
We have endured hundreds of years of foreign people and foreign governments imposing themselves on our way of life.
National Indian Gaming Commission plans major announcement this month
How's the tribal casino industry doing? Federal officials will tell you later in June.
Native Sun News Today: Tribes seek no-drill zone on ancestral territory
Tribal leaders are hailing legislation to protect Chaco Culture National Historical Park from new energy development.
Western Native Voice: Restoring hope one Native voter at a time
Please help us make voting our new tradition in Indian Country.
Editorial: We need a bigger arena for our powwow and basketball tournament
We want to see the biggest powwow and the biggest Native basketball tournament and we need a larger arena to do it.
Veldon Coburn: Indigenous students once again go missing in the class of 2018
As convocation ceremonies roll out across the country with few Indigenous folks in the class of 2018, we should not be surprised.
Miccosukee Tribe 'disappointed' by ruling on taxation of gaming per caps
Citizens of the Miccosukee Tribe must pay taxes on their shares of gaming revenues, a federal appeals court ruled in a big ticket case.
Why can't tribes operate their own distilleries? Blame Andrew Jackson
A bill to repeal an old ban on distilleries in Indian Country is gaining steam and it turns out tribes can blame a familiar figure for the paternalistic law.
Grand Ronde Tribes reclaim ancestral property from British museum
"It’s really the spirit within our people that I felt crying out," Chairwoman Cheryle Kennedy says of items on display at the Grand Ronde tribal museum.
Leader of National Park Service apologizes for 'inappropriate' behavior
What is it with hallways at the Department of the Interior? A top official admits acting badly in one but denies it was sexual harassment.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation suspends official after drunken driving charge
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation suspended its chief of staff after he was arrested and jailed for a drunken driving accident.
Community leaders push for treatment center for urban Indians
More than a dozen federal, state and local leaders met to discuss substance abuse and homelessness among the Native community.

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.