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  • Cattle Congress seeks dismissal of Meskwaki foreclosure action July 12, 2014 WATERLOO – In a petition filed in Black Hawk County District Court on June 24, NCC attorney Ken Nelson contends NCC has kept all of its agreements with the tribe and has done nothing to warrant the foreclosure action.
    NCC also filed a counterclaim alleging the tribe’s “unwarranted and unfounded foreclosure action” caused NCC’s proposed sale of the former Waterloo Greyhound Park site to Warren Transport Inc. of Waterloo to be terminated by Warren’s owner, Minnesota-based Anderson …
  • Cherokee Nation donates nearly $900k to improve Locust Grove… July 12, 2014 TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation and the city of Locust Grove have entered into an agreement for the tribe to contribute $877,800 to help improve the town’s water treatment plant. 
    The tribal funds will help with the cost of materials and labor for the $3.5 million project. The plant currently serves more than 600 homes, 225 of which are occupied by Cherokee Nation citizens.
    “The town’s sanitation system was in desperate need of an upgrade, …
  • Town wants to join lawsuit against Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal casino July 12, 2014 BOSTON (AP) — A town on Martha’s Vineyard and a local community association want to join the state’s lawsuit seeking to block the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe’s plans to build a gambling hall on the island.
    In motions filed late Thursday, the town of Aquinnah and the Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association petitioned to intervene in the state’s suit, which is currently in U.S. District Court in Boston.
    The two entities say they have “unique legal interests” since they, along with …
  • Panel finds Maine Legislature erred in passing laws on tribal fishing rights, calls parties back to negotiating table July 12, 2014 BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission released a report Friday in which it found the Maine Legislature circumvented the amendment process set forth in the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act when it passed laws on saltwater fishery matters without the consent of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in 1998, 2013 and 2014.
    The 41-page report examines the saltwater fishing conflict between the tribe and the state from the passage of the settlement act in 1980 through …
  • Seneca Nation commits to native-only landscaping July 12, 2014 CATTARAUGUS RESERVATION, N.Y. (AP) — The Seneca Indian Nation is strengthening its roots to the land with a new commitment to use only indigenous plants and trees in public landscaping.
    The western New York tribe is believed to be the first to formalize a practice that tribes throughout the country are embracing as a way to preserve Native American culture and the environment.
    From now on, instead of Austrian pines, Japanese maples and other foreign species, there …
  • Alabama-Coushatta Tribe Loses Appeal Over Drilling of Its Texas Land July 11, 2014 Courthouse News Service – A Native American tribe cannot sue the U.S. government for allowing oil and gas drilling on its aboriginal lands in several east Texas national preserves and forests, the 5th Circuit ruled.
    The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas sued the United States in Beamount in 2012. It challenged the National Park Service’s issuing of drilling permits in the Big Thicket National Preserve, as well as the permits and leases that the National Forest Service and …
  • Alleged mass shooter to stand trial for murder in Cedarville Rancheria tribal dispute July 11, 2014 ALTURAS, Calif. - A woman charged with shooting and killing four people at a tribal hearing in Modoc County has been bound over for trial.
    At a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning, a judge in Alturas ruled there was enough evidence to try Cherie Lash Rhoades on four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.  The victims include Rhoades’ brother, niece and nephew.
    Attempts to add three counts of attempted murder for those in the area …
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe in compact negotiations July 11, 2014 PINE RIDGE — The Oglala Sioux Tribe is currently in negotiations with the state of South Dakota on its current gaming compact and may move to expand its gaming operations according to tribal officials.
    The tribe operates 2 separate gaming facilities on the reservation. The Prairie Winds casino located on the western side of the reservation houses a majority of the tribe’s slot machines and includes a hotel and convention center. In April of 2012, …
  • BIA tribal recognition change seen as threat to local towns July 11, 2014 STONINGTON — The Board of Selectmen will consider whether or not to join neighboring North Stonington in opposing new proposed federal rules for tribal recognition.
    North Stonington First Selectman Nicholas H. Mullane II appeared before the Stonington selectmen Wednesday night to ask for their support in opposing the new rules proposed by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mullane, along with other town and state officials in Connecticut, said he believes the proposed rules are …
  • Former presidential advisor sentenced for defrauding Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians Tribe July 11, 2014 LOS ANGELES - A former advisor to presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush was recently sentenced on a bribery conviction relating to the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians Tribe.
    Professor David Alan Heslop was convicted on June 30 in a Los Angeles courtroom. Judge Michael Fitzgerald sentenced Heslop to 21 months in federal prison and three years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution, according to release from the …
  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act: Agency alleges incorrect handling of tribal remains July 11, 2014 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An independent federal agency is calling for an investigation into allegations that U.S. officials ignored a law requiring them to catalog, preserve and ultimately return human remains and relics to American Indian tribes.
    The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has directed the Interior Department to investigate whether U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials have violated the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act while building dams and managing waterways throughout California and parts of …
  • My tribe is ready to buy back land that once was ours July 11, 2014 On June 9, 1855, the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla people agreed to a treaty that ceded 6.4 million acres of land to the United States, in what would become northeast Oregon and southwest Washington. In return for that lavish gift, 250,000 acres was reserved for the tribes, “all of which tract shall be set apart and, so far as necessary, surveyed and marked out for (the tribes’) exclusive use.”
    But as the years passed, American …
  • Charges vs. Cocopah Tribal Council member refiled July 11, 2014 A tribal prosecutor has refiled four misdemeanor charges against a Cocopah Tribal Council member in connection to an alleged physical altercation with a minor – charges that had been dismissed in May.
    According to court records, a new criminal complaint was filed Monday in Cocopah Tribal Court against Carlos Pereyra, charging him with two counts of assault, one count of disorderly conduct and one count of negligence.
    In the six-page complaint, it states that the …
  • Federal Appeals Court Rejects Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Claim July 11, 2014 A federal appeals court has rejected a claim by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas that the federal government failed to protect the tribe’s land from drilling and timber harvesting.
    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans issued a ruling Wednesday that affirms a lower court decision. The tribe in its lawsuit claimed federal officials failed in their “fiduciary obligations” to protect tribal lands that stretch across the Davy Crockett and Sam Houston …
  • Proposal may allow Houma tribe to win federal recognition July 11, 2014 The United Houma Nation may be getting closer to the tribe’s longstanding effort to gain federal recognition. The Obama administration has proposed changes that will make it easier for the Houma and other tribal groups to achieve that status, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    The Bureau of Indian Affairs requires tribal groups to demonstrate they maintained a continuous community and political authority since their first contact with non-Native Americans. But this hurdle has been difficult …
  • EPA trying to confirm ND spill didn’t reach lake – The Washington Post July 10, 2014 MANDAREE, N.D. — Officials are assessing a spill of oil-drilling saltwater from a North Dakota pipeline to ensure none of the brine affected the lake an American Indian reservation uses for drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.
    In its first public statement in the two days since the spill was detected, the agency said it had no confirmed reports that the saltwater had reached Bear Den Bay. It leads to Lake Sakakawea, which provides …
  • Margaritaville casino expansion progressing, but not as quickly as planned – Tulsa World July 10, 2014 A $335 million expansion to River Spirit Casino is progressing, though maybe not as quickly as the Muscogee (Creek) Nation or federal officials would like as a projected time frame for opening has been pushed back at least several months.
    George Tiger, principal chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, on Wednesday said construction has begun on the north side of River Spirit Casino on what will become an entrance to the facilities in the Margaritaville …
  • Update in City of Duluth v. NIGC re: Fond du Luth Casino July 10, 2014  

    The history of this gaming dispute begins in the 1980’s, before the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (herein the “IGRA”). 25 U.S.C.S. §2701, et.seq. The issue for the court’s resolution involves the July 12, 2011 decision (NOV) of the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”). The NOV has caused the destruction of a 20 year contractual relationship between the City of Duluth (“City”) and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (“Band”), …

  • Inspector General Sees Shortfalls in Permitting, Staffing for Oil Boom on American Indian Land July 10, 2014 While fossil fuel production from federal lands and waters has been decreasing overall, oil production from American Indian lands has tripled in recent years. That increase is largely due to hydrofracturing on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, which lays on the oil-rich Bakken shale formation in the upper Midwest, the Energy Information Administration reported last month.
    The oil boom has stretched out staff members who handle permitting and inspections of oil and gas wells on …
  • Fort Peck Tribes looking into water depot business July 10, 2014 The Tribes are looking into owning and operating a water depot to cash in on the oil boom in North Dakota. The Tribal Executive Board went on record to make establishment of a tribally owned water depot on the Fort Peck Reservation as the Tribes’ number one economic development project.
    But a water depot project idea may not be as feasible as predicted.
    While oil business is doing good in North Dakota, there appears to be a …
  • Tribes agrees to $79 million land purchase program | Fort Peck Journal ONLINE July 10, 2014 Negotiations have been successfully completed between the Fort Peck Tribes and the Department of Interior (DOI) that will implement the Land Buy Back Program (LBBP) on the Fort Peck Reservation.
    The Tribal Executive Board voted 8-3 to enter into a cooperative agreement with the DOI and a final proposal and statement of work and budget were submitted to carry out the purchase of fractionated trust land on the reservation from trust landowners who are willing to …
  • Fort Berthold’s North Dakota pipeline spill cleanup may take weeks – FederalNewsRadio.com July 10, 2014 MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) – Company and tribal officials say a pipeline on North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian reservation has leaked 1 million gallons of saltwater, with some of the fluid finding its way to a bay that leads to a lake that provides drinking water for the reservation.
    Cleanup continued there Thursday and Miranda Jones, vice president of environmental safety and regulatory at Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Services Inc., said it was expected to last for weeks.
    Jones …
  • Montana leads the nation in number of public corruption prosecutions July 10, 2014 The Syracuse report states: The District of Montana, with 18 prosecutions, was the most active through April 2014. In second place with 15 official corruption prosecutions so far this year was the Southern District of Florida (Miami). The Southern District of California (San Diego) and District of New Jersey tied for third place, each with 11 official corruption prosecutions.
    In a press release, Cotter attributed the success of his office in the area of public corruption …
  • Moapa Paiute leader says tribe to expand solar on new land July 10, 2014 WASHINGTON — The leader of the Moapa Band of Paiutes told Congress on Wednesday that adding land to the tribe’s Southern Nevada reservation would allow it to expand further into solar energy while encouraging young people to stay close to home.
    Tribal Chairwoman Aletha Tom said a bill that would put another 26,565 acres in trust would restore a small part of what once was a 2 million-acre reservation that Congress took away almost 140 years …
  • Federal energy commission turns down Hoopa Tribe’s Klamath dams petition July 10, 2014 Last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied a petition from the Hoopa Tribe regarding PacifiCorp’s dams on the Klamath River, but the effort is not quite over, according to tribe attorney Thomas Schlosser.
    The tribe filed the petition asking the commission to issue a declaratory order finding that PacifiCorp has failed to pursue relicensing of its Klamath Hydroelectric Project and require that the company apply for decommissioning of the dams.
    PacifiCorp was required to …
  • California Group fears plan could bring more casinos July 10, 2014 Plans to ease the criteria for Indian tribes to gain federal recognition are being criticized by a California gaming policy organization who worried Wednesday that the regulatory revisions could lead to a spike in tribal casinos statewide.
    Proposed in May by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the subject this month of public meetings across the country, the proposal pledges to make the process for tribes to become federally recognized more timely, efficient and …
  • Feds Ask Court To Dismiss Wyandotte Nation Lawsuit July 9, 2014 WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – The government has asked a federal judge to dismiss as moot the last remaining claim in a lawsuit filed by an Oklahoma tribe seeking to build a casino on suburban Wichita land.
    The Interior Department officially notified the court Tuesday that it rejected the Wyandotte Nation’s application to take the land into trust so the tribe can build a casino on it.
    U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson refused last year to order the …
  • North Dakota Looks to Extend Pipelines Through Fort Berthold Tribal Land to Reduce Natural Gas Burn-Offs July 9, 2014 While North Dakota takes steps to limit the volume of natural gas that is being burned off, or “flared,” in its rapidly expanding oil fields, the problem, which has caught the attention of Congress, is far worse on the state’s American Indian land — where regulation is more difficult.
    Last week, the North Dakota Industrial Commission announced it would force producers to restrict oil production if they could not meet reduction targets for burning off …
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community continues work on casino plan July 9, 2014 The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of Michigan is still working on plans to relocate one of its casinos.
    The tribe wants to move the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga to the waterfront. The project depends on the acquisition of the Baraga Lakeside Inn — negotiations with the owners are ongoing.
    In the meantime, the tribe has selected Cuningham Group and U.P. Engineers and Architects to design the new facility. A rendering was published in The Marquette …
  • Stillaguamish Tribe settles into new Natural Resources building July 9, 2014 While the Stillaguamish Tribe continues construction of a hotel at Angel of the Winds Casino, the Natural Resources Department moved into its new building last month.
    Designed by Brooks Middleton, architect, the building was designed to reflect the tribe’s traditional structures and to make efficient use of natural resources.
    “We wanted to set the bar in our Natural Resources building,” said Shawn Yanity, tribal chairperson.
    The building, which is located west of I-5 at exit …
  • Saguaro-fruit harvest carries on Arizona Tohono O’odham tribal tradition July 9, 2014 The sun has just cleared the Cave Creek mountaintops when two dozen volunteers arrive at the desert preserve. It is 7 a.m., and they are trying to beat the summer heat.
    Over the next two hours, they harvest nearly 900 saguaro fruits, using saguaro-rib picking poles up to 18 feet tall.
    Cheers punctuate the otherwise quiet morning as harvesters dislodge the palm-sized fruits from the crowns of the towering cactuses.
    For more than 15 years,the Desert Botanical Garden …
  • Ruling broadens property tax breaks on Tulalip tribal land July 9, 2014 EVERETT, Wash. (AP) – Wal-Mart, Home Depot and others that own buildings on tribal land will receive property tax refunds from Snohomish County as a result of a federal appeals court decision.
    The retailers and the outlet mall at the Tulalip Tribes’ Quil Ceda Village plus about 1,200 homeowners in the Marysville area will receive a total of about $5 million, The Daily Herald reported Sunday .
    The refunds are a result of the decision last year …
  • Ho-Chunk ’18 Money’ changes don’t win support by tribal lawmakers July 9, 2014 Ho-Chunk Nation’s “18 money” isn’t going away.
    A proposal to delay lump-sum trust-fund payouts to 18-year-olds in the tribe failed to win support of the tribal legislature Monday, signaling the likely end to a push for changes that started four years ago.
    “It’s really a no-action vote,” said legislator Robert Two Bears. “It seems like it’s a dead bill.”
    He spoke of Monday’s decision in Green Bay to avoid a vote on the proposed changes and instead pass …
  • California tribe agrees to election to end dispute – Washington Times July 9, 2014 CORNING, Calif. (AP) – Rival factions within a Native American tribe fighting over a lucrative Northern California casino and other assets have agreed to a binding general election, officials said.
    U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller signed off on the agreement Monday in Sacramento after three days of intense mediation between members of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, the Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/1ogVFkW) reported.
    The election will take place Sept. 13 and an independent third party will …
  • Federal and tribal energy sales on a steady decline, U.S. says July 9, 2014 WASHINGTON, July 8 (UPI) –A drop in offshore natural gas production is behind the decline in sales of fossil fuels derived from federal and tribal lands, the U.S. Energy Department said.
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the department’s statistical arm, said Monday sales of fossil fuels from federal and tribal lands in fiscal year 2013 were 7 percent below the previous year’s sales.
    “One of the main drivers in the decline in sales of fossil fuels …
  • Doug George-Kanentiio: Fire lawyers for bad Mohawk land deal July 9, 2014 After reviewing the statements issued by the St. Regis Tribal Council in support of extinguishing forever all Mohawk claims to our aboriginal territory it is obvious none of the lawyers for the Tribe, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne or the Mohawk Nation Council have read, studied or creatively analyzed the dreaded 2005 City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York case and its limitations.
    A careful reading would reveal that the Court made …
  • Keepseagle attorneys schedule meetings to discuss $380M fund July 9, 2014 The attorneys who handled the Keepseagle settlement have scheduled a series of meetings and webinars to discuss the creation of a $380 million trust fund.
    The Department of Agriculture settled the lawsuit in 2011 to address discrimination against Native ranchers and farmers. All claims were successfully processed but now there’s $380 million in cy pres funds that need to be distributed.
    The Keepseagle plaintiffs and the Obama administration have proposed creating a $380 million trust …
  • Thriving Fort Belknap Bison Become Tourist Attraction July 8, 2014 Buffalo stood near the fence, their winter coats changing to the sleeker, cooler summer coat. The golden-brown of the calves contrasted with the black and dark brown of the adults. The thriving herd had come to Fort Belknap from Yellowstone two years earlier, the animals genetically pure and long since shown to be free of any disease.
    At long last, bison have been firmly established on a number of tribal lands. And the tourists are not …
  • California Indian casino built and managed by Station Casinos rising to top of class July 8, 2014 The Graton Resort & Casino near Santa Rosa, Calif., has not yet celebrated its first anniversary.
    But one analyst hinted recently the Indian casino — which was built by Station Casinos, Inc. and is being operated by the locals gaming giant — is quickly rising to the top of the class in tribal gaming-rich California.
    The casino cost $800 million and is owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. The property, 45 minutes north of downtown …
  • U.S. Department of the Interior Action Detrimental to Arizona and Arizona Tribes July 8, 2014 PHOENIX, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Leaders of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) are dismayed with the action by U.S. Department of the Interior, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn who today communicated his decision to convert a county island located within the City of Glendale, Arizona into Indian reservation land for the Tohono O’odham Nation, a southern Arizona tribe. While this action does not mean that gaming can occur on the parcel …
  • New York Appellate Division Refuses to Disturb Injunction in Chukchansi Leadership Dispute | Turtle Talk July 8, 2014 Here is the opinion in Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Chukchansi Economic Development
    Authority (N.Y. A.D.):
    Wells Fargo v Chukchansi
    An excerpt:
    Appellants contend that defendants-respondents Nancy Ayala, Karen Wynn, Charles Sargosa, and Tracy Brechbuehl (the Ayala faction or the individual Ayala defendants) do not enjoy sovereign immunity because their actions were illegal and not performed in an official capacity. However, to decide whether the Ayala faction’s actions were illegal, a court would have to determine whether the Ayala …
  • BIA Decision Approving Glendale Area Trust Land Acquisition for Gaming Purposes for Tohono O’Odham Nation July 8, 2014 Here are the documents:
    2014-07-03 Washburn Letter to Norris re Trust Decision
    This is on remand from the Ninth Circuit’s mandate.
    via BIA Decision Approving Glendale Area Trust Land Acquisition for Gaming Purposes for Tohono O’Odham Nation | Turtle Talk.
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  • Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) Granted Funds to Restore Land Affected by Hurricane Sandy July 8, 2014 With the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy still being felt throughout the Northeast, a recent round of grants will help the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) manage and restore more than 230 acres of land, including the herring run between Menemsha and Squibnocket Ponds.
    The tribe received $670,000 last month as part of the National Fish and Wildlife Federation’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency program. The funds will be matched by $212,793 from the tribe for a …
  • Minnesota’s Shooting Star casino contemplates biomass power July 8, 2014 For the past couple of years, the White Earth Nation of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe has been contemplating installation a biomass power system for its Shooting Star Casino and Event Center in Mahnomen, Minnesota, and was recently issued a minor new source review construction permit by the U.S. EPA.
    The casino is located on the reservation of the White Earth Nation, which owns and operates the facility. Currently on site are two fuel oil-fired boilers and …
  • Federal agency rejects application for Park City tribal casino July 8, 2014 WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The federal government has refused to accept a tract of suburban Wichita land into trust so an Indian tribe can build a casino there, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office said Monday.
    A July 3 letter from the Interior Department shows the agency rejected the request from the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma to take the land into trust.
    Wyandotte Nation Chief Billy Friend did not immediately return a message left Monday at his office. …
  • Navajo Oil and Gas Owned-Company strife may calm July 8, 2014 FARMINGTON – A leadership conflict over a multi-million dollar Navajo-owned company that has been stewing since December could be cleared up if the Navajo Nation Council ratifies a new charter later this week.
    The Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company is worth about $458 million dollars and has brought in record revenues in the past few quarters. It is controlled by nine board members and since December, five board members have fought and seemingly won control …
  • Snohomish County refunding $5 million in taxes to building owners on tribal land July 8, 2014 EVERETT — Snohomish County has started mailing millions of dollars in property-tax refunds to building owners on tribal land, as a result of a court case with nationwide implications.
    Big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot at the Tulalip Tribes’ Quil Ceda Village along I-5, plus some 1,200 homeowners, are in line for about $5 million in combined payments, county officials said.
    The money will come out of budgets for schools, fire departments and …
  • Commentary: A trip to Big Bear Landing for ricing July 8, 2014 On an overcast and quiet midday afternoon, 50 or so Anishinaabeg from ricing families and their friends gathered at Big Bear Landing on the shore of Big Rice Lake.
    It is 138 years to the day of the infamous Battle of the Little Big Horn. Some would say that the odds were not great for the Lakota at that point, and some might say the same now for the Anishinaabeg. The Ojibwe hold ricing poles, …
  • Tribally-Owned Payday loan story stirs squabble at Pine Ridge July 8, 2014 RAPID CITY— In a recent article written by the Al Jazeera America News, and reprinted by Native Sun News, Raycen Raines, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST), was described as a “rogue tribal member” intent on dragging the Oglala Sioux Tribe into nefarious business deals.
    Now, the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where Raines acts in the capacity of a consultant, is blasting back through a legal filing in …
  • County refunding $5 million in taxes to building owners on tribal land July 6, 2014 EVERETT — Snohomish County has started mailing millions of dollars in property-tax refunds to building owners on tribal land, as a result of a court case with nationwide implications.
    Big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot at the Tulalip Tribes’ Quil Ceda Village along I-5, plus some 1,200 homeowners, are in line for about $5 million in combined payments, county officials said.
    The money will come out of budgets for schools, fire departments and …