HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 23Issue 34SAULT TRIBE TO LITIGATE DENIAL OF LAND IN TRUST FOR LANSING CASINO

On Wednesday of this week, the Lansing State Journal reported that the governing Board of the Sault Saint Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has adopted a resolution to challenge the denial of its land in trust acquisition by the Secretary of the Interior.  The Resolution provides, in part, as follows:

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors hereby authorizes and directs that the Tribe, through its Chairperson and General Counsel, take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to challenge and overturn the denial of its June 10, 2014 mandatory trust requests including but not limited to initiating litigation in the appropriate federal court seeking an order requiring the Secretary of the Interior to take the affected parcels of land into mandatory trust status as provided by MILCSA [Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act] § 108 and seeking such other relief as may be just and proper.

The Secretary of Interior denied the Tribe’s request that the United States take the land in trust on July 24, 2017, finding that the Tribe had not met the mandatory trust acquisition requirements of the MILCSA. The denial further concluded that the Tribe had not met its “burden of demonstrating that its acquisitions of the parcels in question would effect an ‘enhancement’ of tribal lands as necessary to trigger the mandatory land-into-trust provision in section 108(f) of the MILCSA.”

The Tribe has not indicated any timetable for the challenge at this point, but the action by the Board is the logical first step in the process of bringing such a challenge. 


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