Archive for November 16th, 2011

Here’s a column as it appeared in The Hill, by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) about their take on how the Carcieri v. Salazar ruling could be fixed to create jobs and economic power on reservations.

Click here more on the Carieri Fix.

    In the Carcieri v. Salazar decision, the Supreme Court reversed 75 years of policy and practice. The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934 authorized the secretary of the Interior to take lands into trust for federally recognized tribes.

    The court threw all tribes into a tailspin of uncertainty by ruling that the secretary did not have the authority to take land into trust for tribes that were not considered “under federal jurisdiction” when the IRA was enacted. The court did not define “under federal jurisdiction,” and in 1934 there wasn’t an official list of federally recognized tribes.

    The decision creates two classes of tribes: those that can have land in trust and those that cannot. Such a system promises to be both chaotic and unfair.

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