Law | National | Trust

Chilkoot Indian Association plans to follow land-into-trust process






An aerial view of Haines, Alaska, the headquarters of the Chilkoot Indian Association. Photo by LCGS Russ

The Chilkoot Indian Association was one of the named plaintiffs in a lawsuit that forced the Bureau of Indian Affairs to open the land-into-trust process to Alaska.

The tribe previously submitted applications to have its small land base placed in trust, Administrator Harriet Brouillette told KHNS. Those efforts can finally resume now that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a challenge filed by the state of Alaska.

“It’s a historic decision and our name is on that lawsuit. And that means a lot and I think our people should be very proud of that fact,” Brouillette told KHNS of the court's July 1 ruling.


Indianz.Com SoundCloud: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Oral Arguments in Akiachak Native Community v. DOI

Although the court threw out the case, the battle is not necessarily over. If the BIA ever approves the tribe's land-into-trust application, the state -- or anyone else -- could file a lawsuit.

The tribe is based in Haines. Brouillette said most of its land was lost over the years.

“What was once our land is now a checkerboard of various ownerships that have nothing to do with the tribe," Brouillette told KHNS.

Get the Story:
Chilkoot Tribe celebrates lands into trust ‘victory’ (KHNS 7/13)

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Akiachak Native Community v. Department of the Interior (July 1, 2016)

Federal Register Notices:
Land Acquisitions in the State of Alaska (December 23, 2014)
Land Acquisitions in the State of Alaska (July 1, 2014)
Land Acquisitions in the State of Alaska (May 1, 2014)

Relevant Documents:
Dear Tribal Leader Letter from Kevin Washburn (April 30, 2014)

District Court Decisions:
Akiachak Native Community v. Jewell (September 30, 2013)
Akiachak Native Community v. Salazar (March 31, 2013)

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