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Landmark ruling in Oneida land claim turns 20

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in favor the Oneida land claim turns 20 years old this month with no clear end to the case in sight.

The March 4, 1985, ruling allowed the Oneidas of New York, Wisconsin and Canada to pursue damages against the state of New York and two counties. The state parties are liable for the illegal transfer of 250,000 acres of Oneida land.

Attempts to settle the dispute have been met with resistance, first by the Wisconsin Oneidas when they were left out of talks, then by the New York Oneidas when the Wisconsin side was brought in by the state. At stake are land, money, governmental rights and a potential casino in the Catskills.

Meanwhile, the New York Oneidas are awaiting another ruling from the Supreme Court that could affect the debate. The tribe has been reacquiring properties within the land claim area but a local town has tried to impose taxes on the properties.

Get the Story:
Ruling on land claim 20 years old (The Syracuse Post-Standard 3/29)

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation -
NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project -

Decision in Oneida Indian Nation v. City of Sherrill:
Majority Opinion | Van Graafeiland Dissent

Decision in Cayuga Indian Nation v. Village of Union Springs:
Decision | Order (April 23, 2004)

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