Red Lake Nation citizen loses attempt to diminish reservation border

Indianz.Com on SoundCloud: 8th Circuit Court of Appeals oral arguments in United States v. Joseph Joshua Jackson

A citizen of the Red Lake Nation will continue to serve time in federal prison after losing a challenge to the boundaries of his tribe's reservation.

Joseph Joshua Jackson was sentenced to 136 months, or 11.3 years, for assaulting and shooting a woman in the town of Redby, Minnesota, in April 2010. He claimed the federal government lacked jurisdiction over the crime because it did not occur in Indian Country.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. In a unanimous decision, a panel of three judges said Redby remains a part of the reservation because it was never diminished by Congress and remains an important part of he tribal community.

"Today, Redby is one of four legislative districts in Red Lake, providing two elected representatives to the tribal council," Judge James B. Loken wrote for the court on Tuesday. "The government and the band presented evidence that Redby remains overwhelmingly Indian in character. The town is located six miles inside the Red Lake Reservation’s exterior boundary."

Chairman G. Seki, Sr., of the Red Lake Nation. Photo: Senate Indian Affairs Committee

Jackson is 31 years old and due to be released in 2020, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He might have received a shorter sentence if he had been prosecuted at the state level.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, United States v. Jackson. The case made a prior trip to the 8th Circuit in 2012.

8th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
United States v. Jackson (April 4, 2017)