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
Falmouth Institute Online Training
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: Oglala Sioux Tribe battles uranium mine (4/18)
Clara Caufield: BIA audits Northern Cheyenne police force (4/18)
10th Circuit affirms conviction for murder of Arapaho man (4/18)
Jay Daniels: Cobell settlement was flawed from beginning (4/18)
Dwanna Robertson: Muscogee Nation returns to homeland (4/18)
Peter d'Errico: Washington team makes colonial invasion (4/18)
Northern Arapaho Tribe receives $157M trust settlement (4/18)
Agua Caliente Band leaseholders seek $7M in tax refunds (4/18)
Oneida Nation sends $11M to county as part of settlement (4/18)
JPR: Klamath Tribes want Congress to approve water deal (4/18)
Judge dismisses Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe election suit (4/18)
ASU News: Navajo students enjoy learning their language (4/18)
Former NFL player jailed for DUI on Salt River Reservation (4/18)
BIA advances off-reservation casino projects in California (4/18)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe reportedly operating casino at net loss (4/18)
Cherokee Nation to break ground on new hotel with casino (4/18)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes not planing to offer poker games (4/18)
Arizona tribes close to $1B mark in gaming revenue sharing (4/18)
Group opposes Catawba Nation casino bid in North Carolina (4/18)
Native Sun News: Guilty verdict in death of Lower Brule boy (4/17)
Native Sun News: Paper brings home four first place awards (4/17)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Governor carries on divisive tactics (4/17)
Navajo president criticizes NIGA for withdrawing from event (4/17)
Crystal Willcuts: NFL trickster speaks with a crooked tongue (4/17)
Opinion: NFL team owner flashes money to defend racial slur (4/17)
Ten reservations account for biggest share of Cobell buyback (4/17)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe opposes megaloads through reservation (4/17)
Indian artists seek more control over popular annual market (4/17)
Panel to look into death of pregnant Indian woman in Mexico (4/17)
Lynn Valbuena returns to chairman post at San Manuel Band (4/17)
Yale University museum accused of stealing Tlingit artifacts (4/17)
Navajo Nation Council speaker still on leave amid court fight (4/17)
BIA asked to invalidate Shinnecock Nation's new constitution (4/17)
Onondaga Nation is negotiations over tobacco taxation issue (4/17)
Sen. Warren addresses Native American controversy in book (4/17)
Race relations council looking to boost efforts in border town (4/17)
Opinion: Federal recognition for Virginia tribes long overdue (4/17)
Opinion: University must eventually eliminate Ute nickname (4/17)
Appeals court in Canada rules for Metis in Indian status caes (4/17)
9th Circuit hears dispute over Redding Rancheria gaming site (4/17)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe set to launch new poker games on May 2 (4/17)
Judge hears arguments in lawsuit against Jamul Band casino (4/17)
Opinion: Poarch Creeks qualify for Class III gaming in Florida (4/17)
Opinion: Gaming interests prepare for next attack on Florida (4/17)
Native Sun News: Little Shell Tribe gets closer to recognition (4/16)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge fighter prepares for next match (4/16)
Letter from Cobell attorneys on second settlement payment (4/16)
Cobell settlement administrator responds to payment delay (4/16)
Secretary Jewell to deliver commencement address at SIPI (4/16)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | 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.