Yankton Sioux Tribe loses bid to block federal land transfer
The Yankton Sioux Tribe lost a lawsuit that sought to prevent the federal government from transferring land to the state of South Dakota.

The tribe said land along the Missouri River remained part of its reservation under an 1858 treaty. But the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said the tribe lost the land through the allotment process.

"The North Point, White Swan, and Spillway recreation areas here at issue consist of lands within the 1858 Reservation boundaries that were subsequently allotted to individual members of the tribe," the decision stated. "Most parcels were then fee patented to allottees or their heirs and assigns and sold to non-Indians."

By the time the parcels were acquired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the massive Missouri River dam project, they were no longer part of the reservation, the court said. "Thus, these fee-patented parcels were outside the reservation’s diminished boundaries when the Corps acquired them," the decision stated.

The ruling fell in line with Yankton Sioux Tribe v. Podhrasky, in which the court previously determined that the reservation consists of lands held in trust for the tribe and for individual Indians.

Get the Story:
Yankton Sioux Tribe loses appeal on land transfer (AP 6/2)

8th Circuit Decision:
Yankton Sioux Tribe v. Army Corps of Engineers (June 2, 2010)

Related 8th Circuit Decision:
Yankton Sioux Tribe v. Podhrasky (August 25, 2009)

Related Stories:
County seeks rehearing over Yankton land (10/7)
Yankton Sioux Tribe pleased with land decision (08/27)
Appeals court rules in Yankton Sioux land case (8/25)