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#1440033 --- 03/15/14 01:27 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Timbo]
kyle585 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 19801
Loc: Somewhere out there
Originally Posted By: Timbo
Originally Posted By: kyle585
Originally Posted By: Rich_Tallcot
I had a thought of elaborating examples and show where people in a dozen or more states were told their situation was unique only to discover they all had the same situation. But replying to a waste of space and time is a waste of space and time.
Use you time wisely Rich. You have a lot more important irons in the fire that arguing with a knucklehead or two on FL1.
And the way the tide is turning, he's going to need every minute of it.
LOL. I see no evidence of that. Can your provide a fact or two? grin

#1440052 --- 03/15/14 03:24 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
The whole 32 page ruling is on the URL link
[Note: in always trying to learn by example the history of the following case shows just how convoluted the BIA and FIP have been. It would make for an excellent TV series but only for showing the gross negligence and disregard for the bureaucracies own regulations. Sadly anyone else could end up in jail for violating CFR’s (Code of Federal Regulations) which are written by the bureaucracies themselves with no congressional oversight.

One minor example: several years ago I was in a conference with Attorney Penny Coleman, who was one of Senator McCain’s staff. She was patting herself on the back for a regulation she had rewritten and changed the wording from and to or. When we exposed the error of her ways she got all huffy, yelled that and and or mean the same thing and declared the meeting over.

Furthermore, this is about a settlement agreeing to allow a tribal casino on non-tribal lands, similar to the recent Prince Cuomo settlement.]

Reversing the district court’s summary judgment, the panel held that the State of California did not violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act by failing to negotiate in good faith for a tribal-state gaming compact with Big Lagoon Rancheria.

The panel held that a tribe must have jurisdiction over “Indian lands” in order to file suit to compel negotiations under IGRA. Specifically, the tribe must have jurisdiction over the Indian lands upon which the gaming activity is to be conducted.

[Note: well that would rule out the NY Oneida because their casino is on fee simple land under State sovereignty. Should that change the question becomes when did they purchase the land? After 1988 it would not qualify. ]

The panel held that although the State's objection to the "Indian lands" requirement could be waived because it was not a matter of subject matter jurisdiction, the State preserved this issue for review. The panel held that the parcel at issue was not Indian lands, which include lands held in trust for a tribe, because under Carcieri v. Salazar, 555 U.S. 379 (2009), the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ authority to take lands in trust for a tribe extends only to tribes under federal jurisdiction in 1934.

Because Big Lagoon was not such a tribe, the BIA lacked authority to purchase the parcel in trust for Big Lagoon in 1994. Accordingly, Big Lagoon could not demand negotiations to conduct gaming on the parcel, and it could not sue to compel negotiations if the State fails to negotiate in good faith.

Dissenting, Judge Rawlinson wrote that the parcel was Indian lands under IGRA because under Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians v. NGV Gaming, 531 F.3d 767 (9th Cir. 2008), the State could not collaterally attack the BIA’s designation of trust lands years after its administrative and legal remedies had expired.

BLOCK, District Judge:

The State of California ("the State") has entered into an agreement allowing Big Lagoon Rancheria (“Big Lagoon”) to operate a casino on an eleven-acre parcel of land in Humboldt County, California. It did so, however, only because the district court ordered it to negotiate with Big Lagoon under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”), 25 U.S.C. §§ 2701–2721. The State appeals that order and, for the following reasons, we reverse.

A. Historical Background and Carcieri

Big Lagoon is situated on two parcels of land along the shore of the eponymous lagoon in Northern California. The eleven-acre parcel on which Big Lagoon proposes to operate a casino was acquired by the United States, acting through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”), in 1994.

[Note: why the BIA bought this 11 acres and placed it into trust is anybody’s guess.]

However, to understand the background of the case, we must go further back in time to 1918, when the BIA purchased another parcel, a nine-acre tract adjacent to the eleven-acre parcel, as a homestead for James Charley and his family.

[Note: but within two years Charley died and his wife and kids left. ]

According to contemporaneous BIA records, the purchase was paid out of an appropriation “to purchase land for village homes for the landless Indians of California.” By 1921, Charley had died and his widow had moved, with their children, to Trinidad, California. Charley’s son Robert may have lived on the nine-acre parcel from 1942 to 1946, but the land was otherwise vacant for more than 30 years. In 1954 or thereabouts, Thomas Williams, Robert’s nephew by marriage, and his wife, Lila, received the BIA’s permission to camp on the land, but made no claim to ownership.

The 1950s ushered in a major change in Indian policy, from isolation to assimilation. As part of the change, the federal government moved to dissolve reservations and other tribal entities and distribute their lands to individual tribe members. The policy came to California with the enactment of the California Rancheria Termination Act, Pub. L. No. 85-671, 72 Stat. 619, in 1958.

The Act mandatorily dissolved some 43 rancherias, the term for small Indian settlements in California, although some were later restored. See TillieHardwick v. United States, No. 79-1710 (N.D. Cal. Stipulated judgment entered 1983). A 1964 amendment to the Act allowed any rancheria to request dissolution and distribution. See Pub. L. No. 88-419, 78 Stat. 390.

The Williamses apparently came to consider the nine-acre parcel a rancheria because they applied for dissolution and distribution in 1967. A 1968 BIA memorandum, by contrast, notes that the parcel "was not set aside for any specific tribe, band or group of Indians" when it was acquired in 1918. It further notes that the occupants "have not formally organized" and did not have "allotments or formal assignments." The BIA in 1968 nevertheless approved distribution to the Williamses and their daughter and son-in-law—who were also living on the land.

[Note: are you following this? The land was NEVER designated Indian Land because it was never assigned to any tribe and those that had resided on it never organized as a tribe.]

The proposed distribution never took place because, for reasons unknown, the Williamses withdrew their request. But the 1968 distribution list forms the basis for membership in Big Lagoon as it exists today. The tribe first appeared on a 1979 list of "Indian Tribal Entities That Have a Government-to-government Relationship with the United States." 44 Fed. Reg. 7325 (Feb. 6, 1979). It has consistently appeared on similar lists since. See, e.g., 78 Fed. Reg. 26384-02 (May 6, 2013) ("Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs").

[Note: I find it strange how tribes mysteriously appear on federal recognition lists and how even the Iroquois tribes never appeared on such list until about 1980 and why such recognition list had a note attached to it to keep this hidden and filed in an erroneous file on the west coast in the National Archives in California. Not all of the requirement to be recognized as a tribe could be met by all of the Iroquois tribes. I suspect the Big Lagoon may be in a similar situation. But that is a side issue.]

[Note: so the distribution that never took place, even though the BIA approved it, on land that was never assigned to a tribe is the basis for membership in the Big Lagoon tribe. But this gets better. ]

Its roughly two dozen members trace their ancestry, not to Charley, but to his son's wife’s nephew.

[Note: I assume that Charley had Indian ancestry which would follow that his son would have Indian ancestry which may be diminished but it wasn't even his son's kids that formed a tribe, but his son's wife's nephew. They may or may not have Indian ancestry but there is no blood connection here, let alone any tribe or tribal history. Is that like saying only your hairdresser knows for sure? ]

As noted, the BIA purchased the eleven-acre parcel in 1994. It took the land "in Trust for Big Lagoon Rancheria, a Federally Recognized Indian Rancheria" pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 2202. That statute, in turn, is based on 25 U.S.C. § 465, which authorizes the BIA to acquire land "for the purpose of providing lands to Indians." Title is "taken in the name of the United States in trust for the Indian tribe or individual Indian for which the land is acquired." Id. Section 465 was enacted as part of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ("IRA”), ch. 576, 48 Stat. 985. Another section of the IRA defines "Indian" as including all persons of Indian descent who are members of any recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction, and all persons who are descendants of such members who were, on June 1, 1934, residing within the present boundaries of any Indian reservation, and . . . all other persons of one-half or more Indian blood. Id. § 19, 48 Stat. 988 (codified at 25 U.S.C. § 479).

[Note: So the BIA who knew it was not and stated in writing it was not a Rancheria placed land into trust which did not qualify to have land placed into trust for a tribe that was magically created out of thin air who wanted their own casino. But it has done this for years and now several tribes fall under the Carcieri clarification of what the law really meant that the BIA had been violating. ]

In Carcieri v. Salazar, 555 U.S. 379 (2009), the Supreme Court held that the phrase "now under Federal jurisdiction" "unambiguously refers to those tribes that were under the federal jurisdiction of the United States when the IRA was enacted in 1934." Id. at 395. Thus, under Carcieri, the BIA lacks authority to acquire land in trust for tribes that were not under federal jurisdiction in 1934. See id. at 388 ("[T]he Secretary's authority to take the parcel in question into trust depends on whether the Narragansetts are members of a 'recognized Indian Tribe now under Federal jurisdiction.'").

Indian Gaming and IGRA

Beginning in the 1970s, the State and several Indian tribes came into conflict over the operation of bingo halls on Indian lands. The conflict culminated in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, 480 U.S. 202 (1987), in which the Supreme Court held that state regulation of gaming on Indian lands "would impermissibly infringe on tribal government." Id. at 222.

Congress responded by enacting IGRA, which assigns authority to regulate gaming to tribal and state governments according to the class of gaming involved. “Class III” gaming—which includes the casino-type gambling at issue here—is allowed on Indian lands only if "conducted in conformance with a Tribal-State compact entered into by the Indian tribe and the State." 25 U.S.C. § 2710(d)(1)(C). Such compacts are the result of negotiations requested by the “Indian tribe having jurisdiction over the Indian lands upon
which a class III gaming activity is being conducted, or is to be conducted." Id. § 2710(d)(3)(A). "Upon receiving such a request, the State shall negotiate with the Indian tribe in good faith to enter into such a compact." Id. 2 The Court rejected the argument that § 2202, cited above, is an independent grant of authority to acquire land: "Rather, § 2202 by its terms simply ensures that tribes may benefit from § 465 even if they opted out of the IRA pursuant to § 478, which allowed tribal members to reject the application of the IRA to their tribe." Carcieri, 555 U.S. at 394.

If negotiations are successful, the resulting compact goes to the BIA for approval. See id. § 2710(d)(3)(B). If not, the tribe may sue in the district court. See id. § 2710(d)(7)(A)(i). If the district court concludes that the State has failed to negotiate in good faith, it must order the parties to reach an agreement. See id. § 2710(d)(7)(B)(iii). If no agreement is reached after 60 days, the court orders each party to submit a proposed compact to a court-appointed mediator, who selects "the one which best comports with the terms of [IGRA] and any other applicable Federal law and with the findings and order of the court." Id. § 2710(d)(7)(B)(iv). If the State is unwilling to accept the mediator's selection, the matter is referred to the BIA, which must then develop procedures “under which class III gaming may be conducted on the Indian lands over which the Indian tribe has jurisdiction.” Id. § 2710(d)(7)(B)(vii)(II).

A unifying thread running through the statutory provisions relating to class III gaming is the concept of “Indian lands.” Such lands are where the gaming activities are to take place and it is the tribe "having jurisdiction" over those lands that requests negotiations and, if necessary, institutes legal action. IGRA defines “Indian lands” as

(A) all lands within the limits of any Indian reservation; and

(B) any lands title to which is . . . held in trust by the United States for the benefit of any Indian tribe or individual . . . and over which an Indian tribe exercises governmental power. Id. § 2703(4).

C. Negotiation History

In 1998 and 1999, the State proposed a model compact to tribes seeking to offer class III gaming on their lands, including Big Lagoon. Most tribes accepted the State’s model compact; Big Lagoon did not. Instead, it filed suit in the district court, alleging that the State had failed to negotiate in good faith under IGRA.

As the litigation proceeded, the State and Big Lagoon continued to negotiate in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Those negotiations bore fruit in 2005, when the parties agreed that Big Lagoon, along with another group, would be allowed to operate a casino on non-Indian lands in Barstow. As part of the settlement, the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice.

The settlement proved illusory, however, because the California Legislature did not ratify the agreement, as required by state law. The so-called Barstow Compact lapsed
by its own terms in September 2007.

On September 18, 2007, Big Lagoon sent the State a written request for new negotiations "for the purpose of entering into a Tribal-State compact governing the conduct of Class III gaming activities on the trust lands that constitute the Big Lagoon Rancheria." A principal point of contention that arose during the resultant negotiations concerned the site of the casino. The State was reluctant.

On January 21, the 9th Circuit said the tribe can't pursue a casino on its trust land because it wasn't "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.

[Note: neither was the NY Oneida.]

Tribes claim the decision threatens their rights, but the reality is they never had those rights.

There is no guarantee that the 9th Circuit will rehear the case. But even if it does, the losing side will likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, putting land-into-trust back before the justices only a few years after their decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.

Tribes have been lobbying Congress to rewrite legislation passed in 1934 since it was explained in 2009 that the word now means now.

Edited by Rich_Tallcot (03/15/14 03:40 AM)
Edit Reason: Change 1668 to 1968

#1440217 --- 03/16/14 10:05 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Timbo]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
LOL...yet another "utterly", and one more of your trademark " crazy " insults. You must have swapped "ABSOLUTELY" and "CERTAINLY" for them. You still seldom know what you're talking about, though, even as you preach and squawk, louder and more abrasively, and try to convince people that you do. Have at it, Reverend; you're good for comic relief, if nothing else.

Meanwhile, back in reality, another reasonable, factual, informative post from Rich.
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.

#1440293 --- 03/17/14 03:40 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: VM Smith]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 14706
Loc: CNY
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
LOL...yet another "utterly", and one more of your trademark " crazy " insults. You must have swapped "ABSOLUTELY" and "CERTAINLY" for them. You still seldom know what you're talking about, though, even as you preach and squawk, louder and more abrasively, and try to convince people that you do. Have at it, Reverend; you're good for comic relief, if nothing else.

Meanwhile, back in reality, another reasonable, factual, informative post from Rich.

Yes, utterly.

As in "this is utterly ridiculous": completely, totally, absolutely, entirely, wholly, fully, thoroughly, quite, altogether, one hundred percent, downright, outright, in all respects, unconditionally, perfectly, really, to the hilt, to the core; dead.

That idiotic argument eschews facts as the underlying basis.

I can think of no better description. But hey, since you're so "talented" at inventing your own words and definitions, have at it. grin LOL!
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

#1440329 --- 03/18/14 09:01 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Timbo]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Have you ever considered getting psychiatric help?
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.

#1440339 --- 03/18/14 10:19 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: VM Smith]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 14706
Loc: CNY
Originally Posted By: VM Smith
Have you ever considered getting psychiatric help?

Not if your psychiatrist is the current state of the art in mental health treatment.
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

#1440583 --- 03/21/14 12:48 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Henrietta says 'no' to casino

Previously: Senecas buy 32 acres in Henrietta for possible casino

Q&A: The proposed casino in Henrietta

Board member Ken Breese added: "The input was pretty clear. This community doesn't want it."

Phil Pantano, spokesman for the Seneca Gaming Corp., gave no indication after the vote whether the Senecas would continue to seek Henrietta as a site for the casino. "Time will tell," he said.

The Gaming Corp, which represents the Seneca Nation of Indians in gambling matters, issued a statement after the vote saying that a new Seneca casino could bring $200 million in private capital investment and more than 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs.

Criticizing the board for acting "prematurely," the statement said that the "first step in developing a project is to engage the community" and "to discuss the projects benefits with the Henrietta community."

The Senecas declined to appear before the Town Board Wednesday, with Kevin W. Seneca, chairman of the Gaming Corp, saying that "under the circumstances, we feel there is little benefit to make the presentation at this point."

Wednesday's vote came after recent Town Board meetings have been packed with opponents of the casino and after the Gaming Corp., on March 3, purchased 32 acres of vacant land for $2.75 million on Clay Road for a casino development site in Henrietta.

Henrietta Town Supervisor Jack Moore said the invitation is open for the Senecas to make a presentation at a future date. Both Moore and Henrietta Town Attorney Daniel Mastrella said the town's vote can't stop the casino.

"All we can do is advise," said Moore. "The reason that we are going to do this resolution tonight is to say that we don't want gaming here in Henrietta."

The Town Board's resolution would be considered in a complicated approval process for a casino that involves state and federal officials.

Elected officials as well as the Secretary of the Interior are supposed to be notified of the town's opposition.

The resolution sites "concerns about the negative impacts" that a casino would have on "the quality of life in Henrietta," as well as the long-term economic effect.

Some of these concerns were noted by the speakers in the public comment session before Wednesday's vote.

"This is not a harmless activity," said Henrietta resident Robert Goldstein, a psychologist who had directed a unit at Strong Memorial Hospital that treated addictive behavior.

Goldstein objected to the term "gaming," adding: "We're talking about gambling."

Henrietta resident Goody Freed was one of four residents who spoke in favor of the casino. "It will only bring jobs," Freed said.

He also questioned whether the casino would be disruptive to the community.
"We're not talking about a stadium. People trickle in. People trickle out," Freed said.

But other speakers questioned the value of having a casino in Henrietta. "How is Henrietta going to benefit?" asked town resident David Christensen.

#1440614 --- 03/21/14 05:23 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools intelligent post. Thanks, Rich!
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.

#1440618 --- 03/21/14 05:47 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Boudicca Offline

Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 61
Loc: Thames LockCS4
Yes~Thank you Mr. T. I don't know what any of us could possibly say to thank you enough...sometimes I think that you carry all of the sorrow that we feel in our hearts, on your mind. Every informative post that you've brought to this thread DOES NOT go unappreciated:)You are admired by many for your dedication to inform us on these complicated and complex issues.

#1440620 --- 03/21/14 06:39 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Boudicca]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 38160
Loc: Ship of Fools
Many notes and refs:

Terry Anderson
Jane S. Shaw
Series Editor

"To claim that Indians lived without affecting nature
is akin to saying that they lived without touching anything,
that they were a people without history."

--Louis S. Warren


Over the past three decades, the environmental movement has promoted a view of American Indians as the "original conservationists"--that is, "people so intimately bound to the land that they have left no mark upon it" (White and Cronon 1988, 417). References to this image abound:

"The Indians were, in truth, the pioneer ecologists of this country," said Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.(1)
"I think most people in Indian country hold a set of ideals we should all learn from," said law professor Charles Wilkinson in a recent speech.(2) According to Wilkinson, these ideals teach human harmony with the natural environment.
Calling for an environmental ethic patterned after that of Native Americans, Senator John H. Chafee recently quoted words allegedly spoken by Chief Seattle: "Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand of it."
"For many thousands of years, most of the indigenous nations on this continent practiced a philosophy of protection (first) and use (second) of the forest," says Herb Hammond in the Sierra Club book Clearcut. "In scientific terms, we recognize that their use of the forest was ecologically responsible--meaning that it kept all the parts."(3)
Appealing as this image of a Native American environmental ethic is, it is not accurate. The spiritual connection attributed to Native Americans frequently does not mesh with the history of Indian resource use. By focusing on this myth instead of reality, environmentalists patronize American Indians, disparaging their rich institutional heritage which encouraged resource conservation. By missing this history of Indian institutions, the environmentalists' interpretation deprives Indians and non-Indians alike of a full understanding of how we can conserve our natural heritage.

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it will put to rest the myth of a unique and romantic American Indian environmental ethic. Second, it will illustrate how American Indians used complex and evolving institutions to conserve scarce natural resources and to survive in a sometimes hostile environment. By institutions, I mean the traditions, rules, laws and habits that guided Indian societies. Though the actual laws and customs vary among societies, all societies have such institutions to guide them.

A Vision Imposed on Chief Seattle

The impression that American Indians were guided by a unique environmental ethic often can be traced to words widely attributed to Chief Seattle. "All things are connected like the blood which unites one family," Senator Chafee quotes him as saying. "Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of earth."

Yet the words in the oft-quoted speech are not actually those of Chief Seattle. They were written by Ted Perry, a scriptwriter. In a movie about pollution, he paraphrased a translation of the speech that had been made by William Arrowsmith (a professor of classics). Perry's version added "a good deal more, particularly modern ecological imagery," according to one historian who has researched the subject (Wilson 1992, 1457). Perry, not Chief Seattle, wrote that "every part of the Earth is sacred to my people." (Perry, by the way, has tried unsuccessfully to get the truth out.)

The speech reflects what many environmentalists want to hear, not what Chief Seattle said. The romantic image evoked by the speech obscures the fact, fully acknowledged by historians, that American Indians transformed the North American landscape. Sometimes these changes were beneficial, at other times harmful. But they were a rational response to abundance or scarcity in the context of institutions that governed resource use. Like Europeans and all people everywhere, American Indians responded to incentives.

For example, where land was abundant, it made sense to farm extensively and move on.

It was common for Indians such as the Choctaw, Iroquois, and Pawnee to clear land for farming by cutting and burning forests. Once cleared, fields were farmed extensively until soil fertility was depleted; then they cleared new lands and started the process again (see White and Cronon 1988, 419-21).
From New England to the Southwest, wherever Indian populations were dense and farming was intense, deforestation was common. Indeed, the mysterious departure of the Anasazi from the canyons of southeastern Utah in the thirteenth century may have been due to depletion of wood supplies used for fuel (see Ambler 1989).
Similarly, where game was plentiful, Indians used only the choicest cuts and left the rest.

When buffalo were herded over cliffs, tons of meat were left to rot or to be eaten by scavengers (see Baden, Stroup, and Thurman 1981).
Samuel Hearne, a fur trader near Hudson's Bay, recorded in his journal in the 1770s that the Chipewayan Indians would slaughter large numbers of caribou and muskox, eat only a few tongues, and leave the rest to rot.
Indians also manipulated the land to improve hunting.

Upland wooded areas from east to west were burned to remove the undergrowth and increase forage for deer, elk, and bison. Indeed, because of this burning, there may have been fewer "old growth" forests in the Pacific Northwest when the first Europeans arrived than there are today.
In some cases, however, the improvements sought by burning were short term because these human-caused fires altered the succession of forests. In the Southeast, for example, oak and hickory forests with a higher carrying capacity for deer were displaced by fire-resistant longleaf pine which supported only limited wildlife.
Generally, the demand for meat, hides, and furs by relatively small, dispersed populations of Indians put little pressure on wildlife. But, in some cases game depletion resulted from what is known as the "tragedy of the commons." This term, coined by biologist Garrett Hardin, describes what happens when no one has ownership of a resource and anyone has access to it.

Wild animals represented a "commons." They belonged to no one until they were killed. If anyone left an animal, in the hope that it would be there later, someone else was likely to kill it. Without ownership, no one had an incentive to protect the animals. Thus, they were overhunted, and wildlife populations fell.

Anthropologist Paul Martin (1968 and 1984) believes that the extinction of the mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth, and the saber-toothed cat were directly or indirectly due to "prehistoric overkill" by exceptionally competent hunters.
With the advent of the Europeans, who wanted furs, Indians were able to trap furs and trade them for European goods such as beads, cloth, knifes, and firearms. Where there were no institutions that limited entry into the common trapping grounds, fur-bearing populations were decimated (see Carlos and Lewis 1995).
Louis S. Warren drives the final nail in the coffin of the "living in harmony with nature" myth:

"to claim that Indians lived without affecting nature is akin to
saying that they lived without touching anything, that they were
a people without history. Indians often manipulated their local
environments, and while they usually had far less impact on their
environments than European colonists would, the idea of
"preserving" land in some kind of wilderness state would have
struck them as impractical and absurd. More often than not,
Indians profoundly shaped the ecosystems around them. . . ."
(Warren 1996, 19)
Getting the Incentives Right

While there were exceptions that led to the "tragedy of the commons," generally American Indians understood the importance of getting the incentives right. Personal ethics and spiritual values were important, as they are in any society, but those ethics and values worked along with private and communal property rights. These rights strictly defined who could use resources and rewarded good stewardship.

It is sometimes difficult to fit the pre-Columbian Indian institutions into the modern context of law, government, and property rights. For example, the term nation is applied to Indian tribes as if the tribes were organized into formal governing structures for the entire group of Indians similar to governments that manage modern nation states. But most Indian tribes were made up of relatively independent groups with little centralized control except at specific times, when the bands might gather for such events as ceremonies or hunts. Similarly, since Indians seldom had a written language, rules could not be codified into formal laws.

The lack of familiar modern institutions, however, by no means implies that Indians lacked rules, customary or formal. American Indian tribes were able to produce and sustain abundant wealth because they had institutions that made clear who had rights to land, fishing and hunting territories, and personal property. Pre- and post-Columbian Indian history is replete with examples of how property rights conditioned the human interface with the natural environment. Consider the following:

Land and Water Rights: Some Communal, Some Private

Indian land tenure systems varied considerably, "ranging from completely or almost completely communal systems to systems hardly less individualistic than our own with its core of fee simple tenure" (Copper 1949, 1). The degree of private ownership reflected the scarcity of land and the difficulty or ease of defining and enforcing rights. Julian H. Steward (1938, 253) concludes that "Truly communal property was scant" among American Indians.

Because agricultural land required investments and because boundaries could be easily marked, agricultural land was often privately owned. However, unlike most private land ownership today, Indian property was usually held by families or clans rather than individuals.

For example, families among the Mahican Indians in the Northeast possessed hereditary rights to use well-defined tracts of garden land along the rivers. Europeans recognized this ownership, and deeds of white settlers indicate that they often approached lineage leaders to purchase this land. Prior to European contact, other Indian tribes recognized Mahican ownership of these lands by not trespassing (Brasser 1974, 14). Away from the rivers, however, where the value of land for crops was low, it was not worth establishing ownership. As one historian put it, "no one would consider laying out a garden in the rocky hinterlands" (Brasser 1974, 7).

In the Southeast where Indians engaged in settled agriculture, private ownership of land was common. "The Creek town is typical of the economic and social life of the populous tribes of the Southeast," writes historian Angie Debo.

"Each family gathered the produce of its own plot and placed it
in its own storehouse. Each also contributed voluntarily to a
public store which was kept in a large building in the field and
was used under the direction of the town chief for public needs."
(Debo 1970, 13-14)
Private garden plots were common in the East, as were large community fields with plots assigned to individual families. Because there were economies of scale in planting and cultivation, these tasks were done communally under the direction of a chief, but harvesting on each plot was done by the owning family, with the bounty stored in the family's own storehouse.

The Omaha tribe in what is now Nebraska cultivated private garden patches along streams. Plots were allocated on the basis of occupancy, and "as long as a tract was cultivated by a family no one molested the crops or intruded on the ground" (Fletcher and La Flesche 1992, 1:269). When the Omaha obtained the horse, as did other Plains Indians, they became more nomadic, abandoning most crop cultivation. However, their tradition of private garden plots carried over into the reservation era when the tribe again allotted land to families and clans.

The Havasupai in the Southwest also considered ownership of farmland private as long as it was in use, and the Hopi Indians assigned to the various matrilineal clans of the village exclusive rights to the fields. "[E]ach clan allotment was marked by boundary stones, set up at the corners of the fields, with symbols of the clans painted on them" (Kennard 1979, 554), wrote one anthropologist. Another notes that clan lands were marked "by numerous boundary stones . . . placed at the corners and junctions points" and "engraved on their faces with symbols of the appropriate clan" (Forde 1931, 367). The clan allotments were usually assigned to the women and became associated with a specific household through inheritance. To spread the risk associated with lack of rain or sudden flooding, each clan generally had plots in more than one location.(4)

"Dispersal of the lands of each clan over a number of sites is of
very great practical importance since it reduces the risk of crop
failure; where one group of fields may be washed out there
remains the chance that the others may be spared."
(Forde 1931, 369)
The Hopi and Zuni branches of the Pueblo Indians living in the Upper Colorado Basin also developed property rights reflecting their environment and production techniques. The Hopi made use of periodic flooding of their lands during the summer months by building small stone walls to check the water flow, increasing soil moisture but preventing flooding of crops. Because flood control and irrigation systems required extensive capital investment and provided economies of scale, construction was communal. Where water flowed constantly from springs on family-owned land and required little or no investment, water rights were privately owned. Florence Ellis (1979, 355) writes:

"Technically the irrigated farmlands belonged to the Pueblo as
a whole. Through assignment by the Isleta governor, an
individual usually obtained a single acre of land [and the
necessary water rights], but if the governor or his captains
found that the assignee left the land within a year or did not
farm it, the plot and accompanying water rights were returned
to Pueblo possession and reassigned."
Fruit and nut trees, which required long-term investment and care, were privately owned and usually inherited.(5) "So important were the pi¤on resources that groves of trees were considered family property in several locations" within the Great Basin area of the West, says a historian (Fowler 1986, 65). In one case a Northern Paiute reflected that his father "paid a horse for a certain pinon-nut range" (Steward 1941, 440), suggesting that the property rights were valuable and tradable.

Among Indians in California, families owned pi¤on, mesquite, screw-bean trees, and a few wild-seed patches, with ownership "being marked off by lines of rocks" (Lowie 1940, 303). Though permission to gather food was sometimes given during times of abundance, trespass was not tolerated, "the owner rebuking him [the trespasser] with such words as, Don't pick pine nuts here! They are not yours, but mine'" (Lowie 1940, 303). John Muir reports that the owner of a pi¤on tree killed a white man for felling his tree (reported in Steward 1934, 305).(6)

Hunting: Avoiding the "Tragedy of the Commons"

Where Indians depended on hunting and fishing, it was imperative that they controlled access to general hunting territories and to specific harvest sites. Without that control, the hunting grounds would be a commons that would lead to overhunting. The customary rights that governed hunting, trapping, and fishing "were often expressed in terms of religion and spirituality rather than of science as we understand it today," writes Peter Usher. "Nonetheless, the rules conserved the resource base and harmony within the band" (Usher 1992, 50). Territorial hunting rights in the north arose through use and occupancy. Often outsiders were allowed to use an area for a short period of time.

Hunting groups among the Montagnais-Naskapi of Quebec between Hudson Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence recognized family and clan hunting areas, particularly for beaver when it became an important trade item (Rogers and Taylor 1981, 181). Similar hunting groups and rules existed in other regions.

Quoting Indian informants, anthropologists Frank G. Speck and Wendell S. Hadlock (1946, 362) report that for Indians in New Brunswick,

"It was . . . an established "rule that when a hunter worked a
territory no other would knowingly or willfully encroach upon
the region for several generations." Some of the men held
districts which had been hunted by their fathers, and presum-
ably their grandfathers."
They even had a colloquial term that translates to "my hunting ground."

Frank Speck says that the Algonkian Indians from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes

"carried on their hunting in restricted, family hunting territories
descending from generation to generation in the male line. It
was in these family tracts that the supply of game animals was
maintained by deliberate systems of rotation in hunting and
gathering, and defended by the family groups as a heritage from
some remote time when the country had been given to their
ancestors by the Creator." (Speck 1939, 258-59)
This ownership, says Speck (1939, 259), led to

"the maintenance of a supply of animal and vegetable life,
methods of insuring its propagation to provide sources of life
for posterity, the permanent family residence within well-known
and oftentimes blazed property boundaries, and resentment
against trespass by the family groups surrounding them who
possessed districts of their own."
Indian tribes of western North America defended their hunting, fishing, and gathering territories against trespass (see Steward 1938, 254). Steward reports that among Paiute Indians of the Owens Valley in California, "communal groups stayed within their district territory," (Steward 1934, 252) which was bounded by natural features such as mountains, ridges, and streams. Each distinct Apache band, says Keith H. Basso (1970, 5),

"had its own hunting grounds and, except when pressed by
starvation, was reluctant to encroach upon those of a nei-
ghbor. . . . Each local group had exclusive rights to certain farm
sites and hunting localities, and each was headed by a chief who
directed collective enterprises. . . . "
Customs and norms regulated the harvest. There was a district head man who determined where and when to hunt based on his knowledge from the past.

Fishing: Well-Defined Rights

In the Pacific Northwest Indians had well-defined fishing rights.(7) To capture salmon returning from the ocean to spawn in freshwater streams, Indians placed fish wheels, weirs, and other fixed appliances at falls or shoals where the fish were naturally channeled (Netboy 1958, 11).

Their technology was so efficient that they could have depleted salmon stocks, but they realized the importance of allowing some of the spawning fish to escape upstream. Robert Higgs (1982, 59) quotes a Quileute Indian born about 1852:

"When the Indians had obtained enough fish they would remove
the weirs from the river in order that the fish they did not need
could go upstream and lay their eggs so that there would be a
supply of fish for future years."
In an important case regarding Indian fishing rights in the Northwest, Judge George Boldt noted that "individual Indians had primary use rights in the territory where they resided and permissive use rights in the natal territory (if this was different) or in territories where they had consanguineal kin."(8) In many cases the fishing sites were inherited by sons from their fathers (Higgs 1982, 59).

Relying on salmon as their main source of food, the coastal Tlingit and Haida Indians established clear rights to fishing locations where salmon congregated on their journey to spawning beds. Access to these locations was limited to the clan or house group. In addition to property rights to the salmon streams, these Indians had rights to "bear- and goat-hunting areas, berry and root patches, hot springs, sea otter grounds, seal and seal lion rocks, shellfish beds, cedar stands and trade routes" (Langdon 1989, 306).

The management units could exclude other clans or houses from their fishing territories. When territories were infringed upon, the trespasser was required to indemnify the owning group or potentially face violent consequences (see Oberg 1973 and De Laguna 1972).(9) Management decisions were generally made by the yitsati, the "keeper of the house," who had the power to make and enforce decisions regarding harvest levels, escapement, fishing seasons, and harvest methods. This eldest clan male possessed superior knowledge about salmon runs, escapement, and fishing technology and therefore was in the best position to be the "custodian or trustee of the hunting and fishing territories" (De Laguna 1972, 464). Though there is debate over just how powerful the yitsati was (see Olson 1967), it is clear that salmon runs were sustained over long periods by rules made locally.

Unfortunately, the white man's law usurped these secure Indian fishing rights and replaced them with a system that encourages the tragedy of the commons. It was "economically inferior to the property system originally established by the tribes," one scholar concludes (Barsh 1977, 23).

Personal Items: Private

Though ownership of land and natural resources varied considerably, personal items were nearly always privately owned. Clothes, weapons, utensils, and housing were often owned by women, for whom they provided a way to accumulate personal wealth. For the Plains Indians, the teepee offers an example. Women collected enough hides (usually between 8 and 20), tanned and scraped them, and prepared a great feast where the hides were sewn together by the participants.

The effort required to produce items of personal use provided an incentive to ensure that they became private property. Weeks or months could be spent collecting buffalo hides for tepees. Time was spent chipping arrow heads, constructing bows and arrows, and weaving baskets. One historian illustrates the point:

"Water, seed, and hunting areas, minerals and salt deposits, etc.,
were freely utilized by anyone. But once work had been done
upon the products of natural resources (mixed labor with them)
they became the property of the person or family doing the
work. Willow groves could be used by anyone, but baskets
made of willows belonged to their makers. Wild seeds could be
gathered by anyone, but once harvested, they belonged strictly
to the family doing the task. . . ." (Steward 1934, 253)
In other cases, the raw materials themselves were scarce, and these, too, were private property. Stone from which arrowheads were chipped was personal property obtained through long-distance trade. Special wood for bows was traded; for this to happen the wood had to be privately owned. In short, property rights reflected the degree of scarcity of the good.

Consider trader Charles Larpenteur's description, written in 1860, of a wealthy Blackfoot man: "It is a fine sight to see one of those big men among the Blackfeet, who has two or three lodges, five or six wives, twenty or thirty children, and fifty to a hundred horses; for his trade amounts to upward of $2,000 a year" (1898, 401). Converting this amount to 1990 dollars, such a man had an annual income of approximately $500,000!

Perhaps the best example of private ownership was the horse, which was acquired by Plains Indians in the latter half of the eighteenth century. The horse revolutionized transportation and hunting. A good horse could be ridden into a stampeding buffalo herd so that arrows could be shot at close range. By following the buffalo, the Plains Indians could live a life of abundance.

The horse became one of the Indian's most important sources of wealth. "A buffalo runner of known ability was worth several common riding horses or pack animals" (Ewers 1958, 78). In Canada in the early 1800s, a buffalo horse could not be purchased with ten guns--a price far greater than any other tribal possession (Barsness 1985, 61).

Given their value, horses were well-cared for and closely guarded. "No system of branding was used, but each person knew the individualities of his horses so that he could recognize them," writes Clark Wissler (1910, 97). Apparently disputes over ownership were few, but if a horse was stolen, the offense was punishable by death. Perhaps more than any other asset, the horse reflects the extent to which Indian culture utilized the institution of private ownership.

Additional Positive Incentives

The above discussion makes clear that property rights were an integral part of Indian culture and that they encouraged resource conservation. But even where activities were communal, positive incentives, including incentives quite similar to ownership, made success possible.

Rabbit hunts among Indians of the Great Basin were conducted communally. These hunts required leadership skills, nets for catching the rabbits, and motivation to succeed. The nets into which the rabbits were driven were privately owned and maintained (Freed 1960, 351). To provide a positive incentive for the communal hunt, the leader of the hunt or the owners of the nets received a bigger portion of the catch (Fowler 1986, 82).

On a buffalo hunt, the successful hunter was "entitled to keep the skin and some choice portion of the meat for his family" (Steward 1938, 253). An elaborate nomenclature was used by the Omaha to describe rewards for those who killed and butchered buffalo. "To the man who killed the animal belonged the hide and one portion of tezhu [side of meat] and the brains." Other portions were as follows: "To the first helper to arrive, one of the tezhu and a hind-quarter; to the second comer, the ugaxetha [includes the stomach, beef tallow, and intestines]; to the third, the ribs [tethi ti]" (Fletcher and La Flesche 1992, 1:273).

The hunters marked their arrows distinctively, so after the hunt, the arrows in the dead buffalo indicated which hunters had been successful (Ewers 1969, 160). Disputes over whose arrow killed the buffalo were settled by the hunt leader. Poorer families followed the hunt and depended on the charity of the hunters for meat (Ewers 1969, 162).

It took strong, well-disciplined horses to run into a stampeding herd and keep up with the buffalo. Four or five buffalo cows might be killed "on a single chase by the best Blackfoot marksman with the best horse under him. Most hunters rarely killed more than one or two buffalo at a chase. Men with inferior buffalo horses had to be satisfied with killing the slower running bulls" (Ewers 1969, 159).

If an owner decided to loan his horse for a chase, payment was expected. Three Calf described to John Ewers (1969, 161) the arrangement his father made when loaning his horse. "There was no agreement in advance for any payment to be made to my father. If the man was selfish and offered my father no meat, the next time he wished to borrow horse, father told him, No.'" The chase was dangerous and a loaned horse might be injured. Generally, the responsible borrower who had taken reasonable precautions to prevent injury did not have to pay damages, but the irresponsible borrower was forced to replace the lost horse.

In sum, faced with the reality of scarcity, Indians understood the importance of incentives and built their societies around institutions that encouraged good human and natural resource stewardship. In particular, clearly specified property rights helped encourage conservation of scarce resources. Ethics and spiritual values may have inculcated a respect for nature, but an elaborate set of social institutions that today would be considered private property rights punished irresponsible behavior and rewarded stewardship. As Louis Warren (1996, 22) puts it,

"Among other things, Indian history is a tale of constant innova-
tion and change. . . . If there is a single, characteristic Indian
experience of the environment, perhaps it is the ability to change
lifeways in radical fashion to maintain culture and identity."
Wildlife Management Lessons Lost and Lessons Learned

Today, there are abundant natural resources throughout Indian country. These resources would be better managed if tribes would return to their rich heritage of positive rewards for good stewardship instead of relying on romantic and sometimes mythical world-views promoted by non-Indian environmentalists.

Wildlife management on Indian reservations offers a distinct contrast between lessons lost and lessons learned from the history of Indian culture and institutions. In many respects, Indians on reservations have tremendous assets. They have asserted sovereign claims to fish and wildlife, both on and off reservations. Relying on treaties signed in the nineteenth century, courts have granted Indians rights to large resources. Indians have rights to half the harvestable salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. They may use gillnets not available to non-Indian fishers in the Great Lakes. They may hunt walruses and polar bears without regulation by the state of Alaska. In Wisconsin, they have special hunting privileges on public lands, including an 85-day deer season, and permission to hunt from vehicles.

Unfortunately, wildlife managers on most reservations have lost sight of the value of institutions like those described earlier in this paper. After asserting their claims, they have often created a wildlife "commons," and the consequences have been devastating. Case after case illustrates the decimation of wildlife populations (see Williams 1986, 59-64).

Indian gillnetting for salmon on the West Coast has wiped out major runs of salmon on the Klamath/Trinity river system.
Waste is pervasive. The Alaska Fish and Game Department documented one case of 214 caribou carcasses left to rot and "counted 24 caribou left whole--there was a snow machine track to each one. . . . Most had been there a considerable time" (quoted in Williams 1986, 73).
On most western reservations, big game species are often almost nonexistent. On the Crow Reservation in Montana, for example, there are very few big game animals such as deer and elk, despite the fact that the reservation has excellent habitat. According to a tribal wildlife official, non-Indians are not allowed to hunt on the reservation, but tribal members can hunt year around without limits. The few big game animals that may be found wander in from outside; they are not managed on a sustainable basis.
One writer describes what can happen when wildlife belongs to everyone:

"Over the past 25 years Shoshones and Arapahos, equipped
with snowmobiles, AFV's and high-powered rifles, have
virtually wiped out elk, deer, moose and bighorns on the 2.2
million-acre Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Repeated
motions for modest self-regulation emanating from within
the reservation have been defeated by vote of the tribal
leaders. . . . in one confined area 31 dead elk were found.
In another, a retired Indian game warden mowed down an
entire herd of 14. Meat piled up at local dumps. Antlers
were exported to the Orient where antlers and horns are
ground to a powder and hawked as an aphrodisiac." (Wil-
liams 1986, 63)
Lessons Learned: The White Mountain Apache

Fortunately, one wildlife success story in Indian country illustrates the power of incentives. This is the story of the White Mountain Apache of east-central Arizona. The members of this tribe are managing their trophy elk population and other wildlife opportunities on a sustainable basis--and making a profit.(10)

The Fort Apache Reservation covers 1.6 million acres with a diversity of habitat from oak chaparral at lower elevations to mixed coniferous forests at higher elevations. This habitat supports about 12,000 free-ranging elk.

To get some idea of the success elk hunters enjoy, consider the reservation's track record. From 1977 to 1995, nontribal hunters have taken ninety bull elk that were recorded in either Boone and Crockett or Safari Club record books. (In comparison, this is about the number of record elk that have been taken from the entire state of Montana since record keeping began in 1932.)

Since 1980, hunters on guided trophy elk hunts have enjoyed a 90 to 95 percent success rate. The average score for antlers has been 366 Boone and Crockett points. (This is a figure comparable to a foursome averaging three under par for a round of golf.)

Yes, the resource base is large, the habitat is prime and, according to reservation biologists, the genetics of the herd are ideal for producing trophy elk. But entrepreneurship played a pivotal role on Fort Apache.

Before 1977, elk hunting on the reservation provided good hunting compared with nearby national forest lands, but it was nowhere near the quality of hunting that exists today. At that time, the state of Arizona issued 700 nontribal elk permits priced at $150 each for hunting on the reservation. The state permits were required in addition to a tribal license, but the tribe received none of the revenues collected by the state. Each license entitled the bearer to shoot a bull elk regardless of size. Typical of state agencies, this policy maximized the number of hunter opportunities rather than the value of the hunt.

Fortunately for both the tribe and the elk, tribal leaders decided that they could capitalize on the market for trophy elk. In 1977, tribal chairman Ronnie Lupe, with the backing of the eleven-member tribal council, informed the state that the tribe would allow elk hunting without a state permit and would control all hunting and fishing on the reservation. The state opposed this but acquiesced after a federal court decision.

The tribe's first order of business was to reduce the hunting pressure on immature bull elk by ending the general elk hunt and replacing it with a trophy elk hunt. Permits to hunt elk were reduced from 700 to thirty, and the price per permit rose from $150 to $1500. Revenues from the sale of these reservation permits went to the tribe's general fund.

The trophy elk hunting program blossomed. Mature bulls as a percentage of all bulls increased to 73 percent, and the number of record-book elk taken rose from three in the final six years of state management to eight per season. In addition to promoting trophy elk production, the tribe also designed a quality hunting experience, free from the crowded conditions on public lands.

The tribe tapped into a mother lode of hunter demand. In 1995, revenues from trophy elk hunting exceeded $850,000. Sixty-six hunters paid $12,000 each for a seven-day trophy hunt. A special auction for four additional openings was also held, with an average winning bid of $24,000 and a high bid of $30,000. In spite of the $12,000 price tag, there is a five-year waiting list of hunters willing to pay.

Less expensive hunting opportunities exist, too. These offer a way to maintain the proper bull-to-cow ratio in the herd and help manage other wildlife species. For example, the tribe periodically issues one hundred antlerless permits priced at $300 each, which have a hunter success rate of 80 percent. The tribe also offers hunting permits for bear ($150), javelina ($75), and wild turkey ($750). It costs $50 per season or $5 per day to hunt quail, squirrel, and cottontail rabbit.

In addition to hunting, the tribe manages other resources for amenity values and collects fees. While most reservation lakes and streams are open to bait fishing, certain select waters are restricted to flies and lures. Fish species include native Apache, brown, brook, and rainbow trout, and some arctic grayling. Yearly fishing permits are priced at $80, summer permits at $50, and day permits at $5. There is even a rent-a-lake program which allows Cyclone and Hurricane lakes in their entirety to be rented for $300 per day, with a 3-day minimum. Fishing has proved lucrative, generating $600,000 in revenue in 1995.

When revenues from services such as camping, boating, and river rafting are added, amenity-based recreation enterprises generated nearly $2 million in 1995. These enterprises compare well with the tribe's logging operation, casino, and ski resort as important sources of revenues and jobs. Entrepreneurship and management institutions that conserve wildlife have benefited the White Mountain Apache and the wildlife on its territory.

Back to the Future Through Better Institutions

American Indian history teaches us that we must go beyond calls for spiritual awakenings and find workable institutions that provide positive incentives for good stewardship. Because American Indians adapted their institutions to the resource constraints, they were able to sustain life, often in hostile environments. Property rights were an integral part of American Indians' heritage. Refocusing on these institutions, as the White Mountain Apache have done, offers the best way for Native American cultures to manage their resources on a sustainable basis.

Non-Indians also will do well to stop promulgating myths as a solution to modern environmental problems. Especially in a multi-cultural society where world-views vary widely, devolution of authority and responsibility offers the best hope for resource conservation. Rather than shunning property rights solutions, we should embrace them, as did our predecessors on this continent.

Terry L. Anderson has a doctorate in economics from the University of Washington and is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the executive director of PERC and is the author and editor of more than 20 books and dozens of articles for scholarly and popular publications..

- See more at:
If you vote for government, you have no right to complain about what government does.

#1440623 --- 03/21/14 08:25 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Boudicca]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Originally Posted By: Boudicca
Yes~Thank you Mr. T. I don't know what any of us could possibly say to thank you enough...sometimes I think that you carry all of the sorrow that we feel in our hearts, on your mind. Every informative post that you've brought to this thread DOES NOT go unappreciated:)You are admired by many for your dedication to inform us on these complicated and complex issues.
Thank you for the support. I give credit to most of my knowledge to CERA and networking with groups coast to coast in the same situations. Some things are not complicated and merely require reading the actual document whether it is a treaty, regulation, law or the constitution. But it all takes time.

#1440624 --- 03/21/14 08:45 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: VM Smith]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
And a good post by you VM. Unfortunately many people get sucked into believing what they see in the movies is true. It may have a true thread but considerable "artistic license" is used in the production. As long as the grass still grows and water flows was never in any U.S. treaty, but Johnny Cash made money on it, people sucked it up and the tribes ran with it.

#1440682 --- 03/21/14 03:36 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 14706
Loc: CNY
– Thread Jump –

Wrong Kyle.

Here's just one example of a treaty being violated in NY. The State illegally obtained this Indian land.

Only the joint-approval of Indians and Congress can do so legally.

The list goes on.

Thanks for playin'.
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

#1440775 --- 03/22/14 02:29 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Timbo]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
OMG, that’s funny. Links to the Onondaga thinking about filing their land claim in 1999 and the feds just joining the Oneida in theirs, which was filed in 1974. Your Google searches are getting desperate.

It was not Indian land and they both lost their land claims.

#1440863 --- 03/22/14 08:21 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Oneida Nation payments: Who decides where it's spent?

This year, Oneida County is set to get millions of dollars from the agreement signed with the Oneida Indian Nation. But who decides how the money is spent?

County Executive Anthony Picente says it's up to him. The county Board of Legislators' Democratic Minority Leader says it's up to the board.

"If this guy is given the opportunity to hand out millions of dollars, to be the Pied Piper handing out money, that's going to put him in a position of supreme power," Frank Tallarino said of Picente. "That is not granted under the (county) charter."

Picente, for his part, expressed frustration with Tallarino.

"He has been vocal about how he doesn’t want this money, but then he wants to decide how to spend it?" Picente said, referring to Tallarino's dislike of the agreement with the Nation.

He also called Tallarino’s stance "amusing and hypocritical."

The money, which is expected to be about $12.5 million annually, will come from a share of slot machine revenue from the Nation’s Turning Stone Resort Casino. The state will get 25 percent of the revenue, an anticipated $50 million, and then share 25 percent with Oneida County. The Nation also will give Oneida County an additional $2.5 million a year for the next 19 years. Picente said he wants that money to be used to hold the line on property taxes.

Tallarino has asked Republican Board Chairman Gerald Fiorini to establish a committee composed of legislators from each party, the county finance commissioner and an appointee from the county executive to determine what to do with the money.

The full board would then vote on the proposal.

Fiorini has refused.

In a Jan. 31 letter, Fiorini reminded Tallarino that the board must decide on whatever plans Picente puts forward.

"The Board of Legislators has no involvement in the negotiation of contracts, inter-municipal agreements or leases," he wrote. "Those duties are assigned to the executive branch."

Tallarino, however, pointed to another section of the charter that states the board is the "legislative, appropriating and policy determining body of the county."

State government watcher Gerald Benjamin of SUNY New Paltz sided with Picente.

"He is the budget officer,” Benjamin said. “The Legislature reviews it and can alter it as it sees fit."

Picente has not yet said what his plans are for the money.

"We are going to have to see how the revenue flows," Picente said. "This will evolve over time."

[Note: This is almost humorous arguing over money while the deal has yet to be approved by the feds, there are still three lawsuits against the ROD, and if the State has been making the counties whole I would not be surprised if the State did not just take that money back by keeping what it collected which would leave the county with little of nothing. ]

#1442583 --- 03/31/14 11:21 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Sheriff backs plan, others seek state probe
James M. Odato
Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Rochester developer envisioning a major casino project in south Albany got a boost from Albany County's top cop on Thursday, while taking hits from gaming companies seeking a state investigation into his alleged lobbying activities.

As Sheriff Craig Apple made public his letter supporting David Flaum's proposed casino project at Exit 23 of the Thruway, Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track joined Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.'s request for a probe of Flaum's relationship with the Seneca Nation of Indians.

The Batavia-based OTB last month filed a complaint with the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics about Flaum's effort to build a casino for the Seneca gaming company in Monroe County. On Thursday, Finger Lakes Gaming President Christian Riegle wrote to JCOPE, also asking for an investigation of Flaum.

Flaum is threatening a lawsuit over the Western OTB complaint. His lawyer sent a letter to the corporation accusing its top official of making slanderous statements.

Apple said he is comfortable with the Exit 23 project and called it an economic driver that could help provide millions of dollars to local governments. He also praised the opportunities for local people from the 1,800 anticipated jobs at the Albany casino, water park and equestrian center that Flaum promised in a presentation last week to the Albany Common Council.

Apple made public his letter to Flaum and partner John Signor, president of Capital District OTB, in which he extends his full support. "The positives far outweigh the negatives," he said in an interview. Apple said he has received no campaign contributions from Flaum's team.

"It will create opportunity, not additional law enforcement concerns," Signor said.

Western OTB questioned a contract Flaum has with Seneca gaming officials who want to build a casino in his home county. Its complaint to JCOPE alleges Flaum has been an unregistered lobbyist with an improper fee deal with the Seneca gaming corporation.

Flaum's lawyer, Christopher D. Thomas, wrote to Western OTB's lawyer, Albany's Paul DerOhannesian, saying in part, "Legal action will commence unless OTB immediately withdraws the false JCOPE complaint." Thomas demanded that the OTB also retract allegedly "defamatory" statements.

Not only did Western OTB disregard the directive, it got support from Finger Lakes Gaming, a subsidiary of Buffalo-based Delaware North. Both gaming companies run racinos in western New York that could be hurt by a new Monroe County casino.

#1442670 --- 04/01/14 02:24 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
kyle585 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 19801
Loc: Somewhere out there
Originally Posted By: Rich_Tallcot
Not only did Western OTB disregard the directive, it got support from Finger Lakes Gaming, a subsidiary of Buffalo-based Delaware North. Both gaming companies run racinos in western New York that could be hurt by a new Monroe County casino.
There are too many lottery games, horse race tracks, racinos, and casinos in upstate NY now. Any more will just be stealing customers from each other. And driving more gamblers into bankruptcy.

#1442810 --- 04/01/14 10:43 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: kyle585]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 14706
Loc: CNY

So much for the feee market. whistle
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

#1442858 --- 04/02/14 06:26 AM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
Seized Artifacts Returned To Custer Battlefield Museum
GARRYOWEN, Mont., March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

Nine years ago today, on March 31, 2005, a government assault of the Custer Battlefield Museum at Garryowen, Montana, was waged, during which armed federal agents and law enforcement officers seized numerous items with eagle feathers, which were said to have been contraband and against the law to possess.

The Custer Battlefield Museum is pleased to announce that nine years of fruitless government investigation and unsubstantiated criminal allegations of wrongdoing have come to an end.

On February 20, 2014, the United States government agreed to return the last of the 19 items that had been seized from the premises of the Custer Battlefield Museum, on the condition that the Custer Battlefield Museum terminate all court proceedings against the federal government and its agents or agencies for damages inflicted as a result of the raid.

Following countless hours of investigation by federal agents, several thousand pages of court documents, and the diligent effort of the Museum's attorneys working to correct the wrongs inflicted on the Custer Battlefield Museum, all court proceedings have come to an end. No charges were ever filed, and the last of the 19 artifacts seized by the federal government have been returned to the Custer Battlefield Museum.

The Custer Battlefield Museum houses an impressive collection of Indian artifacts from the famous 1876 battle that saw the annihilation of five companies of the U.S. 7th Cavalry led by George Armstrong Custer. It also contains memorabilia from those who participated in the battle. Photographs, artifacts, displays, and a video presentation are among the many highlights.

And the future is just beginning at the Custer Battlefield Museum. During the past decade a sister non-profit museum has been created around the collection of the documents of General Custer and his widow, Elizabeth "Libby" Bacon Custer. Following the death of General Custer, Libby spent the rest of her life documenting and building her husband's legacy. Now a new facility has been designed to house the thousands of documents of her collection, which were written over a span of 75 years.

For more information about the Elizabeth Custer Library and Museum, please go to:
The Custer Battlefield Museum is open year round. Summer hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, please go to:

#1442893 --- 04/02/14 02:53 PM Re: Still More Tribal News [Re: Rich_Tallcot]
Rich_Tallcot Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 5586
Loc: Greeneville, TN
City Rolls Through Casino Windfall in Short Order
By Mike Hudson
April 1, 2014

Mayor Paul Dyster, Seneca President, Barry Snyder and Gov. Andrew Cuomo celebrate what will be a spending orgy for Dyster.

(Note, yes the corrupt politicians do seem to flock together. Cuomo is one of the most notorious ones who ramrodded through the latest Oneida settlement using threats and intimidation to vote on a settlement that was not finalized and now they discovered the school district taxes were not included in the agreement. Your tax dollars at play. But this is Niagara Falls which will always be a slum with the present politicians in office.)

It was just last August. The city received $89 million in overdue payments on its share of revenue from the Seneca Niagara Casino, money that had been held up because of a dispute between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York State.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster was elated.

"This is one of the happiest days of my life and, I'm sure, for the city of Niagara Falls," the mayor said.

Dyster said the city tried to remain neutral in the dispute and maintain relations with both the Senecas and state, who he described as "friends" of the city.

"It hurts us to see our friends fighting," Dyster said. "So we tried to play whatever role we could to [help] facilitate a negotiated settlement."

But Dyster's nemesis, State Sen. George Maziarz, had some concerns. He was worried that city officials would blow through the money like so many drunken sailors rather than investing in programs that would create jobs and give a boost to the city's moribund economy.

Maziarz immediately set up a website to detail expenditures coming out of the casino windfall.

And events have proven Maziarz correct. Today, just nine months after the $89 million check arrived, just $29 million remains. Not a single private sector job was created with the $60 million that has been spent, taxes remain outrageously high, and the future of Niagara Falls looks as bleak as it did prior to the settlement.

What happened to the money?

To begin with, $25,363,591 was owed to various entities connected with the city and written into the contract with the state as beneficiaries of the Seneca compact. Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital, the Niagara Falls City School District, the Niagara Falls Tourism & Convention Bureau and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which operates Niagara Falls International Airport, all fall into this category.

Additionally, the scandal-plagued Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Commission-which has yet to account for hundreds of thousands of dollars it received previously-raked in a whopping $1,750,000 to continue to try and find some scant evidence of a link between the city and the pre-Civil War organization that helped slaves escape from the South for freedom in Canada.

Thus far, no unequivocal link has been uncovered.

Another $4,413,777 was used to pay for road improvement projects dating back to 2009.

But what about the rest of the money, you might ask. What happened to the other $40,384,932?

Here's where the drunken sailors come in.

A total of $394,000 was used to help pay for Dyster's disastrous Lewiston Road project and a similar amount was handed over to the city's largely discredited NFC Development Corp. to provide grants and loans to small businesses owned by Dyster campaign contributors and other political insiders.

The bill came due on a mundane rock concert Dyster staged two New Year's Eve's ago which cost $50,000 while a blues festival held on Old Falls Street was a relative bargain at $20,000.

The Hard Rock Cafe's concert series, which primarily benefited the Hard Rock Cafe, cost taxpayers here $179,000, and change orders on the refurbishing of the Hyde Park Ice Pavilion burned up another $185,589. The dedication ceremony for the Legends Basketball Court somehow managed to cost $30,000 as well.

The Desman Associates parking study, which ran to around 5,000 words spread out over 22 pages due mainly to the use of an overly large typeface and plenty of pictures, cost $47,330, and the cringe worthy "Holiday Market" of 2011 was a black hole that sucked down another $225,000 of your money.

Replacing two light poles in the city lot next to Wrobel Towers cost $90,000 and putting a flashing light on Pine Avenue in front of the Como Restaurant ran another $80,500. Phase III construction at Dyster's unopened Whirlpool Street train station burned through another $350,000, and the need for outside consulting engineers because of Dyster's inability to find a real city engineer required the outlay of another $94,000.

The Aquarium got $30,000. The Niagara State 125th Park Parade got $12,284. Niagara Rises Homecoming Party got $7,500. Oakwood Cemetery got $10,000.

Nine new Ford Escapes for the city's Code Enforcement Department cost $210,595, and something called the New Jerusalem Center got $90,000 to do who knows what with.

Hiring a consultant to look at the existing locker rooms at the Ice Pavilion cost another $94,500, and removing and replacing trees at various locations around the city resulted in a bill of $92,495.

About $550,000 went to the owner of the Holiday Inn Hotel Downtown so he could improve his hotel at your expense.

The Niagara Military Affairs Council picked up $40,000.

A hundred thousand here and a hundred thousand there and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

And for the record, this recent spending of some $40 million in discretionary spending is on top of the $54 million the Dyster administration spent in Casino money prior to the latest $89 million windfall, with equally dismal results.

A total of $94 million has been spent under Dyster's direction.

This city could have been rebuilt for this amount had it been spent on serious things other than buying votes and pandering to everyone.

"It's a disgrace," Maziarz told the Niagara Falls Reporter. "[Niagara] Falls city officials are giving drunken sailors a bad name."

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