FROM THE ARCHIVE

Tribal foes say Indians can't own land

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2002

State lawmakers in Connecticut have introduced a bill that will terminate Indian ownership rights they say never existed.

The bill will modify a state statue to say that any Indian who was resided on a particular piece of land during the state's Colonial era was merely a "tenant at will." Currently, the statute recognizes fee simple ownership, which would include state recognized tribes.

The bill is based on a document which allegedly states that Indians could not own land. The document was reported to have been discovered by James Lynch, a historian whose research on the Eastern Pequot Tribe and the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot Tribe was described by a top Bureau of Indian Affairs researcher as inadequate.

Current state statutes also recognize Indian ownership to state reservations. The state assumes a trust guardianship, although Attorney General Richard Blumenthal claims it is unlike the federal trust relationship.

Get the Story:
Pomfret representative to red-flag Indian land claims (The Norwich Bulletin 2/15)

Relevant Links:
General Statutes of Connecticut, Indians - http://www.cga.state.ct.us/2001/pub/Chap824.htm
Attorney General, Connecticut - http://www.cslib.org/attygenl

Related Stories:
State recognition doesn't matter, says Conn. (8/10)
State: Pequot Tribes aren't real (8/3)