The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 does not apply to the State of New York
The Indian Reorginzation Act of 1934 (IRA) was not intended to encompass Indian nations or tribes in New York State
The IRA was enacted to address the disastrous effects of the Allotment Act (24 Stat 388).
The Allotment Act only applied to Indians whose land was under federal supervision and it specifically
exempted New York Indians (24 Stat 391, sec. 8). If the Allotment Act did not apply to New York Indians,
its remedial act could not, by definition, apply to New York Indians either.
The Indian Reorginzation Act of 1934 (IRA) was rejected by the Indian nations and tribes in New York and therefore by its own term does not apply to Indian nations or tribes in New York State
Click here to read the information on what Indian nations and tribes accepted the Indian Reorganization Act.
From the events surrounding the enactment of the Indian Reorginization Act (IRA) there is a viable argument that it was not intended to apply to New York. However, I do not believe that issue needs to be decided. Section 18 of the IRA conditions application of the IRA on a majority vote of the affected Indian nation or tribe within one year of the effective date of the act (25 U.S.C. 478). I am not a aware of any New York Indian nation or tribe that voted in favor of this act applying to them In fact there have been historical accounts that this act was overwelmingly rejected by the Indian nations and tribes in New York.
Put quite simply they cannot claim the benefit of an act that was rejected by them and the BIA would be acting in excess of its authority if it took land into trust for either the Oneidas or Cayugas under this act.
What is Land-Into-Trust
Land-Into-Trust is a process whereby the Federal Government seizes property in a State and then places that property under the control of an Indian Tribe. The "sovereign" laws of a tribe then govern this land - the US Constitution and NY laws would not apply to this land. If you were to be injured on Indian Trust Land, you would not be able to sue the tribe for damages. The tribe would not have to pay State taxes, but they would continue to benefit from State services. Tribes could open brothels or engage in any business whatsoever without State approval. Once land is taken into trust, there is very little possibility of that land ever going back under State jurisdiction. This is a VERY SERIOUS problem that your government is about to create!
What Land-Into-Trust Applications are pending in New York?
Currently the Oneida Indian Nation of New York and the Cayuga Indian Nation of New York has a land into trust pending.
What Can We Do?
- Write letters to your local State representatives and the Governor.
- Demand that NY's laws be followed equally by all.
- Attend UCE's informational meetings when announced here.
- Plan to attend the BIA hearings as they are announced and held the next one is at February 6th in the Oneida claim at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School starting at 6 p.m. when the U.S. Department of the Interior will receive comments on its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed fee-to-trust transfer of Oneida Indian Nation of New York land in Oneida and Madison Counties, New York. This notice also reminds the public that the public comment period for the DEIS has been extended to February 22, 2007, as announced in the Federal Register on January 5, 2007, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and in local media by the BIA..
DATES: Written comments on the DEIS must arrive by February 22, 2007. The public hearing will be held February 6, 2007, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., or until everyone who wishes to do so has the opportunity to speak.
ADDRESSES: You may mail, hand carry or fax written comments to Mr. Franklin Keel, Regional Director, Eastern Region, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 545 Marriott Drive, Suite 700, Nashville, Tennessee 37214, Fax (615) 564-6701. Please include your name, return address and the caption, ``DEIS Comments, Oneida Indian Nation of New York Trust Acquisition Project,'' on the first page of your written comments.
Electronic submission is not available. The public hearing will be at the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill School, 5275 State Route 31, Verona, New York 13478. Copies of the DEIS are available for viewing at Web site http://www.oneidanationtrust.net and at the following locations: (1) Oneida Nation Annex Building, 579A Main Street, Oneida, New York 13421 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday except holidays); (2) Oneida City Hall, 109 N. Main Street, Downstairs Basement Room, Oneida, New York 13421; and (3) Town of Verona Town Hall, 6600 Germany Road, Back Conference Room, Durhamville, New York 13054.
Get involved before it's too late!