Interior official blasts 2009 tribal land ruling
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Obama administration remains opposed to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limits the ability of Indian tribes to acquire land.
That was the message from Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes, who spoke Tuesday at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention in Portland, Ore.
Hayes says the 2009 Supreme Court decision stands in the way of basic rights for tribes.
The ruling says tribes recognized by the federal government after 1934 cannot put land into federal trust, leaving the land under the purview of state governments.
Brian Patterson, president of the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc., says the Supreme Court ruling unfairly creates two classes of tribes -- those with recognition before 1934 and those without.
Hayes' comments were met by cheers from attendees of the convention, which continues through Friday.