Supreme Court Decides Reservation Boundary Case in Tribe's Favor
In Nebraska v. Parker, 2016 WL 1092417 (U.S. 2016), the Omaha Tribe had entered into a treaty with the United States in 1865 ceding tribal lands and establishing a 300,000 acre reservation. In 1882, Congress enacted a law authorizing the Secretary of the Interior “to cause to be surveyed, if necessary, and sold” more than 50,000 acres of reservation land lying west of a right-of-way granted by the Tribe and approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 1880 for use by the Sioux City and Nebraska Railroad Company. The act provided further that after tribal members had been given the opportunity to select 160-acre allotments, the tract would be opened for settlement by non-Indians. Ultimately, just 10 to 15 tribal members selected allotments west of the right-of-way and the area was eventually settled by non-Indians, one of whom founded the Village of Pender. The act required the Secretary to deposit the proceeds of sales to non-Indians in the U.S. Treasury for the Tribe’s benefit.