indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

Printer friendly version
Court won't halt transfer of burial sites to state
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2003

A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected a South Dakota tribe's attempt to halt a land deal affecting sacred sites, burial grounds and cultural artifacts along the Missouri River.

In a unanimous decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe's case as unfounded and premature. A three-judge panel concluded that the federal law authorizing the transfer would protect the tribe's cultural heritage.

"In conclusion, the tribe has not suffered an injury in fact stemming from the transfer of lands," wrote Judge David B. Sentelle for the majority. "The only harms it alleges are speculative and hypothetical, not actual or imminent."

The case stems from a law ushered through Congress in 1999 by Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and backed by then-governor Bill Janklow (R), now a Congressman. Called the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), it mandates the transfer of up to 150,000 acres of federal land to the state and to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe contends the transfer will diminish enforcement of historic preservation, archaeological protection and repatriation laws, which apply to federal, but not state land. The tribe argues that any discovery of artifacts, remains or other items, could create confusion and conflict.

That's what has happened at another other location along the Missouri River. A high-profile case involving the Yankton Sioux Tribe has led to protests against the state, which is turning a tribal burial site into a camp site. A federal judge is appointing a special master to ensure that remains and artifacts uncovered by state workers will be reburied properly.

The appeals court yesterday made note of that case, but said the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe failed to show how it was being harmed by the transfer. "The tribe presents no reason to believe that enforcement will diminish," Sentelle wrote.

The court also pointed out that the WRDA requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maintain responsibility over cultural resources. This would require the Army Corps, for example, to repatriate any remains discovered on the land to the tribe.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota have intervened in the case. In addition to the burial site claims, the tribes allege the transfer violates their treaty rights.

The land in question used to be part of the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation. But it was taken by the Army Corps as part of the massive Pick-Sloan waterworks project of the 1950s.

Get the Story:
Crow Creek Tribe v. White (June 16, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District - http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil

Related Stories:
Appeals court debates S.D. land transfer (03/18)
Appeals court hears Sioux land transfer case (3/17)
Judge: S.D. tribe not consulted (7/1)
S.D. tribe pushes return of disputed remains (06/12)
Tribe opposes Missouri River land transfer (8/13)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Native nations unite on uranium mine cleanup (7/29)
Audio from House subcommittee hearing on five tribal measures (7/29)
House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs hearing (7/29)
Witness List: SCIA hearing on natural disasters in Indian Country (7/29)
Gyasi Ross: Tribes put principle over profit in banning Ted Nugent (7/29)
Steven Newcomb: UN perpetuates dominance of Native peoples (7/29)
Megan Red Shirt-Shaw: Music festival outlaws faux headdresses (7/29)
BIA holds final in-person meeting on federal recognition reform (7/29)
'Caucasians' t-shirt sees boost in popularity thanks to Native DJ (7/29)
WyoFile: Tribes depend on Medicaid funding for health services (7/29)
Another member of Miccosukee Tribe killed in fatal car accident (7/29)
Former employee sentenced for theft from Chippewa Cree Tribe (7/29)
Editorial: Washington team's 'racial slur' has no place in society (7/29)
Review: 'Unreal City' exploits coal from Hopi and Navajo tribes (7/29)
Senate bill introduced to kill Tohono O'odham Nation casino bid (7/29)
Mohegan Tribe reports declines in gaming revenues and profits (7/29)
Muscogee Nation adds steakhouse to $335M casino expansion (7/29)
Editorial: Proposed Pojoaque Pueblo compact hurts New Mexico (7/29)
Tim Giago: Lakota and Pueblo Indians on Pine Ridge Reservation (7/28)
Native Sun News: President of Oglala Sioux Tribe dodges bullets (7/28)
Puyallup fashion designer competes for prize in Project Runway (7/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets business meeting on bills (7/28)
NIEA heads to Capitol Hill to advocate for Native language bills (7/28)
Obama signs Pascua Yaqui and Hoonah Indian Association bills (7/28)
Ho-Chunk Inc executive Lance Morgan receives business honor (7/28)
Charles Roessel: BIE reform plan includes teacher certification (7/28)
Troy Eid: Marijuana experiment in Colorado hurts Indian youth (7/28)
BIA hosts scoping meeting on Paiute Tribe land-into-trust bid (7/28)
Cherokee Nation program keeps former inmates out of prison (7/28)
Grand Ronde Tribes disenroll 86 descendants of treaty signer (7/28)
Protest targets disenrollments within Saginaw Chippewa Tribe (7/28)
At least 10 tribes adopt laws to recognize same-sex mariages (7/28)
KUOW: Coeur d'Alene Tribe cleans meth houses with EPA funds (7/28)
Law Article: Supreme Court sends reminder on tribal immunity (7/28)
Unsettled: Passamaquoddy Tribe awaits constitutional reform (7/28)
KGOU: Indian Times review of news affecting Oklahoma tribes (7/28)
Judge hears dispute over United Keetoowah Band gaming site (7/28)
Chumash Tribe plans hotel tower with $160M casino expansion (7/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe changes architects for casino plan (7/28)
Soo Tribe casino partner was developer behind failed racetrack (7/28)
Editorial: State must negotiate compact with Pojoaque Pueblo (7/28)
Native Sun News: IHS hospital at Pine Ridge undergoes review (7/25)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Group disturbs tranquility at Bear Butte (7/25)
Indian Health Service discloses privacy breach of patient data (7/25)
BIA extends comment period on federal recognition regulation (7/25)
Navajo Nation president calling for FBI probe of brutal murders (7/25)
Jennie Stockle: Justice for victims of Cedarville mass shooting (7/25)
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.