Federal judge wants Interior to review Oneida land into trust decision

By WKTV News

A federal judge is asking the Department of the Interior to go back and review its 2008 decision that placed 13,000 acres of land in Madison and Oneida Counties into trust for the Oneida Indian Nation.

Trust land is not subject to taxes, and U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence F. Kahn told the Interior to review its land decision in regard to a Supreme Court decision in 2009 that reversed the department's previous interpreting of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, limiting the Interior's ability to put land into trust for Native American tribes.

There are questions as to whether or not the Oneida Indian Nation was under federal jurisdiction in 1934 .

The Oneida Indian Nation responded with the following statement:

"The action was a procedural direction by the court asking for a supplemental finding by the federal agency that has already placed 13,000 acres of Oneida Indian Nation land into federal trust. The evidence is overwhelming that the federal government recognized the Oneida Nation in 1934, and the courts and the Department of Interior repeatedly have stated that the Oneida Indian Reservation has remained intact since 1794. It is time to move beyond these legal conflicts and instead work to build a more prosperous path for the future of all of our communities."

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