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
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Court won't rehear challenge to tribal land base
Friday, May 21, 2004

A federal appeals court has dealt another blow to a Minnesota county seeking to wipe most of the Mille Lacs Ojibwe Reservation off the map.

Officials from Mille Lacs County, who have spent more than $1 million in taxpayer funds on the case, asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the dispute. But on Wednesday, the court denied the request.

The move sets up a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has not heard a reservation diminishment case since the late 1990s. The county has up to 90 days to file its challenge.

In the meantime, an earlier ruling in favor of the tribe will stand. A three-judge panel of the appeals court said the county and a local bank lacked standing to bring the suit.

"The county board wasted nearly $1.3 million of taxpayers' money on this lawsuit at a time when its budget was under pressure from a sluggish economy," said Mille Lacs chief executive Melanie Benjamin in the tribal newspaper. The tribe, which owns two casinos, held a series of celebrations after the March 9 ruling.

The county claims the reservation is, at most, 4,000 acres in size. On the other hand, the tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognize a total of 61,000 acres.

The disagreement, according to the county, places a cloud over law enforcement, taxation and other issues. The bank says it shouldn't be subject to regulation by the tribe.

The appeals court rejected the claims as mere speculation. "Neither the county nor the bank has shown that it is in immediate danger of sustaining threatened injury traceable to an action of the band," wrote Judge Lavenski R. Smith.

The suit, however, was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be refiled in the future.

Minnesota attorney general Mike Hatch, a Democrat, sided with the county as did South Dakota attorney general Larry Long, a Republican. Both officials cited a 1998 Supreme Court ruling that reduced the size of the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

Since then, the Supreme Court has refused to hear several tribal land cases. In recent years, officials from Connecticut and Idaho sought to reduce or limit the size of reservations in their state but were rebuffed by the high court.

Several states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Connecticut, are currently backing the state of Rhode Island in a dispute involving the Narragansett Tribe. The states claim the tribe is forever limited to an 1,800-acre reservation.

A federal judge said tribe could increase its land base but the decision is being appealed to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. The National Congress of American Indians and Native American Rights Fund have submitted an amicus brief in the tribe's favor.

Court Documents:
Decision in Mille Lacs v. Benjamin (March 9, 2004) | Denial of Rehearing (May 19, 2004) | Audio of Oral Arguments (October 24, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - http://www.millelacsojibwe.org
NCAI/NARF Supreme Court Project - http://doc.narf.org/sc/carcieri/index.html

Related Stories:
Minn. tribe wins another round in reservation dispute (03/10)

Copyright 2000-2004 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:
Proposed rule brings LGBT equality to Indian housing programs (5/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears final Hill hurdle (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
Richard King: Mascot poll reflects pervasive anti-Indian racism (5/24)
Marco Alvarez: Voices of indigenous people usually go unheard (5/24)
Indian Health Service facility cited for treatment of 6-month-old (5/24)
Tribes meet to discuss sale of ancestors and property in France (5/24)
Families of missing Native women in Canada still await justice (5/24)
Menominee Nation considers options after losing hemp lawsuit (5/24)
Dental group appears to relent on therapists in Indian Country (5/24)
Alaska Natives welcome removal of 'Eskimo' from federal laws (5/24)
Joba Chamberlain lands on disabled list after joining new team (5/24)
Coquille Tribe awaits environmental review for gaming project (5/24)
Seminole Tribe still going strong despite lack of new casino deal (5/24)
Long wait hints at tie in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (5/23)
Another Indian Health Service facility in Great Plains threatened (5/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules hearing on wildfires (5/23)
Supreme Court delays review of Seneca Nation land case again (5/23)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge school hosts meth awareness day (5/23)
Lakota Country Times: Native men still missing after two weeks (5/23)
Tim Giago: Some good old days really were the 'good old days' (5/23)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Jay Silverheels was more than 'Tonto' (5/23)
Delphine Red Shirt: It's our duty to teach the Lakota language (5/23)
Ernestine Chasing Hawk: A vendetta in the death of Anna Mae (5/23)
Native Sun News: Rapid City group aims to address disparities (5/23)
Tara Houska: Mascots hurt Native youth despite results of poll (5/23)
Vincent Schilling: Mascot poll doesn't reflect true Indian voices (5/23)
Wenona Wolf: Native people are invisible in our own homeland (5/23)
Roger Birdbear: Obamacare can help address shortfalls at IHS (5/23)
Harold Monteau: Lessons from Canada in Native law and policy (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Church edicts lead to centuries of domination (5/23)
Robert Jumper: Gaming leads Eastern Cherokees to bright future (5/23)
Naomi Schaefer Riley: Hold tribal leaders accountable for schools (5/23)
Benjamin Madley: Acknowledge the genocide of California tribes (5/23)
Jasmine Heiss: Leonard Peltier's fate lies with President Obama (5/23)
Santa Fe Indian School preparing for First Lady Michelle Obama (5/23)
All charges dropped for murder of Cheyenne man in New Mexico (5/23)
Donald Trump claims 'Jack Abrahamoff scandal' proves him right (5/23)
Kickapoo Tribe added to lawsuit over deadly casino bus accident (5/23)
Settlement opens door to tribal casino at popular Oklahoma lake (5/23)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth learn about martial arts (5/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe halts referendum on alcohol (5/20)
Clara Caufield: Off to a new adventure in the Montana mountains (5/20)
Washington Post conducts poll on Native views of racist mascot (5/20)
Warm Springs Tribes see marijuana as means to boost economy (5/20)
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.