Oneida Nation faces questions over land-into-trust acquisitions

A view of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. Photo from Facebook

The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin has been slowly recovering from the the allotment era.

Between 1887 and 1934, the entire 65,400-acre reservation was lost to allotment. By 1941, the tribe had set up a commission to start re-establishing its land base.

The process has been moving slowly -- by 1982, the tribe had only reacquired 2,382 acres, The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported. But efforts have picked up more recently -- as of 2013, the tribe purchased 25,042 acres within the former reservation.

"The mission of the Oneida is to strengthen our people and reclaim our land and to build and strengthen and enhance our environment by exercising our sovereignty. That's who we are," spokesperson Bobbi Webster told the paper.

A small portion of that land -- 468 acres -- is located in Green Bay. Of that amount, some 397 acres are already in trust, according to the paper.

The city, however, is asking the tribe to slow down. The council is proposing an amendment to a service agreement that would limit the tribe to no more than three land-into-trust applications per year, the paper reported.

The city also wants to be able to challenge any applications approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That's not currently allowed under the agreement.

The city is also seeking to raise the fees it charges for municipal services to the tribe's trust properties.

Get the Story:
Power struggle over tribal land hits Green Bay (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 4/26)

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