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
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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...
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:
Native Sun News: Keystone XL Pipeline protest draws big crowd (7/30)
James Giago Davies: Don't judge anyone's depth of Lakotaness (7/30)
Tara Houska: DC rally puts focus on threats to sacred Oak Flat (7/30)
Sarah Sunshine Manning: Native mother left to die in a jail cell (7/30)
Peter d'Errico: Seeking action after apology from Pope Francis (7/30)
Sen. Barrasso introduces another version of land-into-trust fix (7/29)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe adopts banishment for drug dealers (7/29)
Native Sun News: Rapid City trial ends with no defense witnesses (7/29)
Lakota Country Times: Youth come to Pine Ridge for 'Exposures' (7/29)
Charles Trimble: Being mixed-race Indian and being proud of it (7/29)
Ivan Star: It's up to all of us to keep the Lakota language alive (7/29)
Congress fails to provide funds to help tribes comply with VAWA (7/29)
Suit alleges tribal leaders received kickbacks from lobbying firm (7/29)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe claims DOJ support for marijuana (7/29)
Community on Crow Reservation on lockdown due to shooting (7/29)
Former Chippewa Cree Tribe chair sentenced in corruption case (7/29)
Hillary Clinton refuses to answer questions about Keystone XL (7/29)
Judge upset with delay in drilling dispute affecting sacred land (7/29)
Tribal leaders scale back plans to regulate energy development (7/29)
Fort Belknap Indian Community awaits tests in deaths of bison (7/29)
Column: Northern Cheyenne Tribe took a final stand in Oklahoma (7/29)
Public school board in Indiana votes to eliminate 'Indian' mascot (7/29)
Opinion: Sioux tribes deserve a seat on university naming panel (7/29)
Study outlines impacts of tribal gaming on economy in Oklahoma (7/29)
Judge orders Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe to stop work on casino (7/29)
Fond du Lac Band prevails yet again in long-running casino feud (7/29)
Chukchansi Tribe hosts job fair amid hopes of reopening casino (7/29)
Cowlitz Tribe still working on design plans for contested casino (7/29)
Indian Health Service discusses LGBT issues in historic meeting (7/28)
Haskell students to study fracking on North Dakota reservation (7/28)
Erica Pinto makes history as first woman leader of Jamul Village (7/28)
Native Sun News: Young artist wins top award at Native market (7/28)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe hosts war pony races (7/28)
Steve Russell: The hypocrisy of race and Cherokee citizenship (7/28)
Terese Marie Mailhot: I was raised to be angry at White women (7/28)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Indian Country stuck with bad Republican (7/28)
Aaron Angerman: Alaska Natives not consulted about mine plan (7/28)
IHS hired physician who was sanctioned by Justice Department (7/28)
Cherokee Nation candidate emerges victorious in new election (7/28)
Ponca Tribe reclaims small part of ancestral lands in Nebraska (7/28)
Tuscarora Nation returns to ancestral home in North Carolina (7/28)
9th Circuit sides with Suquamish Tribe in fishing rights dispute (7/28)
10th Circuit affirms convictions of former Paiute Tribe employee (7/28)
Warm Springs Tribes welcome early start to huckleberry season (7/28)
Young man from Omaha Tribe sentenced for sexual abuse of child (7/28)
Makah Nation man charged for assault during attempted escape (7/28)
Miami Nation stays out of public school mascot debate in Indiana (7/28)
Tohono O'odham Nation wins round in casino battle with Arizona (7/28)
Wisconsin asks Supreme Court to rule on Ho-Chunk Nation poker (7/28)
Navajo Nation Council passes tax on alcohol at gaming facilities (7/28)
Seminole Tribe reiterates request for mediation in casino dispute (7/28)
Mohegan Tribe fired worker who helped casino regular break rules (7/28)
War of words escalates on mine at sacred Apache site in Arizona (7/27)
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.