Supreme Court decision derails Pataki settlements

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in the Oneida Nation case has effectively scuttled land claim settlements reached by five tribes and Gov. George Pataki (R).

Two key state lawmakers said the deals will not pass the Legislature as written because the court ruled that the Oneida Nation lost governmental rights over its ancestral territory. Although the Oneida Nation did not agree to a settlement, other tribes asserted similar claims to land they lost more than 200 years ago.

The decision is prompting the Cayuga Nation to seek trust status for its newly acquired land. Meanwhile, the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma says it will pay property taxes on 227 acres.

The decision may or may not affect the Cayuga land claim case. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals was waiting on the Supreme Court before making a ruling on how much the Cayuga Nation and the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe are owed for 64,000 of stolen land.

Get the Story:
Land-claim deal suffers setback (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 4/11)
Court decision could affect deal for casinos (The Syracuse Post-Standard 4/10)
Cayugas may put land in federal trust (The Syracuse Post-Standard 4/10)
Sherrill ruling expected to affect other land claim cases (AP 4/9)

Get the Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

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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