Advertise:   712.224.5420

Judge reaffirms ruling in Dakota trust fund lawsuit

A federal judge has reaffirmed a ruling that allows Dakota descendants to pursue a trust fund lawsuit against the United States.

The plaintiffs in Wolfchild v. US say the federal government breached its responsibilities by failing to hold their land and the proceeds from it in a trust. Judge Charles Lettow of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims agreed in October 2004.

The Department of Justice asked Lettow to reconsider but he declined the request. An appeal is possible, a government spokesperson said.

The plaintiffs are Dakota, or Mdewakanton, descendants who say they have been excluded from membership in three wealthy Minnesota tribes -- the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota, the Prairie Island Dakota and the Lower Sioux Community. About 1,200 people, including Santee Sioux tribal members in Nebraska, are affected.

Get the Story:
Judge upholds ruling over disputed reservation land (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 12/17)
Who's In, Who's Out For Casino Profits (WCCO 12/17)

Court Decision:
Wolfchild v. US (October 27, 2004)

Related Stories:
Meetings set in Mdewakanton trust fund lawsuit (01/28)
Dakota descendants win round in trust fund case (10/29)
Dakota descendants file trust mismanagement suit (11/19)
Minn. tribes challenged on membership policies (11/17)