Law | Trust

BIA ordered to reconsider Oneida Nation land-into-trust ruling

A federal judge has ordered the Bureau of Indian Affairs to reconsider the Oneida Nation land-into-trust application in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar

The tribe signed a treaty in 1794 that created its reservation and has maintained a presence in upstate New York for centuries. Yet Judge Lawrence E. Kahn said there was no evidence in the record that showed the Oneida Nation was "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.

"Given the lack of a record below on the Carcieri jurisdictional question and the progressively increasing breadth of historical argument raised in the parties briefing, the court concludes that further investigation in this case is necessary," Kahn wrote in a 46-page decision released on Monday.

The decision means the Bureau of Indian Affairs will have to take a second look at the matter even though Carcieri wasn't even on the Supreme Court docket when the tribe submitted its application in 2005. The record of decision to place over 13,000 acres in trust was finalized in May 2008 -- months before the February 2009 decision shook up the land-into-trust process.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, New York v. Salazar.

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