Oglala Sioux Tribe loses sovereign immunity case
The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota owes an Indian-owned firm $1.2 million, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday.

The tribe signed several contracts with C&W Enterprises for road work on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The construction projects were funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The tribe and C&W went through several arbitration disputes and the last one ended with a $1.2 million award in C&W's favor. The 8th Circuit ruled that the tribe waived its immunity through the contracts and by participating in arbitration.

"The [Supreme] Court found, as this Circuit has done previously, that an arbitration clause alone was sufficient to expressly waive sovereign immunity to a state court enforcement action," the 8th Circuit wrote, citing a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Get the Story:
Oglala tribe must pay contractor $1.2 million (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 9/5)

8th Circuit Decision:
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. C&W Enterprises (September 5, 2008)