Oglala Sioux Tribe loses Missouri River land case
The Oglala Sioux Tribe can't pursue the return of ancestral lands along the Missouri River, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said on Friday.

The tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prevent the transfer of the land from the federal government to the state of South Dakota. The land had been part of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie but was later taken from the Sioux Nation by an act of Congress.

The tribe should have pursued its claims within five years of the Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946, the D.C. Circuit said in the 2-1 decision. Similar claims were made by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in a lawsuit that was dismissed by the court in 2003.

Judge David S. Tatel dissented. He said the tribe's claims should be pursued because the land transfer process didn't start until 2002.

"The government’s failure to consult the tribe before proceeding with the [land] transfers deprived the tribe of its alleged procedural right to be consulted, and such procedural injuries are redressable," Tatel wrote.

Get the Story:
Court Upholds Dismissal Of S.D. Tribe’s Land Lawsuit (AP 6/27)

DC Circuit Decision:
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Army Corps (June 26, 2009)

Related Stories:
Court won't halt transfer of burial sites to state (6/18)
Appeals court debates S.D. land transfer (03/18)