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The Lake Superior Chippewas, for the most part, became permanently settled in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota on reservations established for them under the 1854 treaty. Reservations were established for the various Minnesota and Mississippi Chippewas by treaties concluded between 1855 and 1867. The majority of the descendants of the Mississippi and Lake Superior Chippewa Treaty Bands have continued their tribal affiliation and identify with the reservations established for them. Each reservation group organized separately or as a confederation under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. All members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe are enrolled by historic band and reservation affiliation designations. Each enrollee is limited to a designation as a descendant of a single band regardless of mixed band ancestry. A change in band designation is not permitted by the tribe for judgment fund purposes. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved this practice.
Those entitled to share in dockets 18-S and 18–U include members of seven Lake Superior Chippewa tribal organizations on reservations in Wisconsin and Michigan and the Lake Superior and Mississippi descendants enrolled with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and affiliated with the tribe's designated reservation.
We note that S. 2177 provides for the apportionment and distribution of funds belonging only to the seven Lake Superior and Mississippi groups enrolled with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Proposals for the disposition of the apportioned shares of the other seven groups would also require legislation. If the committee so desires, we are prepared to work with your staff on appropriate amendments to S. 2177 which would include all fourteen beneficiary groups to eliminate the need for separate legislation.
This concludes my prepared statement and I would be pleased to respond to any questions you may have.
Senator MELCHER. Mr. Fritz, please hold your statement for just a few moments. Senator Boschwitz has a statement he would like to make on the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe from Cass Lake in Minnesota.
STATEMENT OF HON. RUDY BOSCHWITZ, A U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF MINNESOTA
Senator BOSCHWITZ. Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for holding this hearing. I was going to make a statement on S. 2177 which concerns the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and the distribution of certain judgment funds to which they are legally entitled. It is my understanding that the department will accept the bill, and rather than read a rather long statement just as a matter of form, since the substance has been taken care of, both through your help, Mr. Chairman, and the help of the department-for which I thank them I would just like to submit my statement for the record. With that, I thank, once again, all concerned for getting done what we wanted to get done.
[The prepared statement follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. RUDY BOSCHWITZ, A U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I wish to extend my thanks to you for scheduling an early hearing on S. 2177, sponsored by myself and Senator Durenberger.
This measure provides a method for the distribution of certain judgment funds which the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, my constituents, are legally entitled to share. Ordinarily, the distribution of these funds would have been handled through a plan prepared by the Secretary of the Interior and submitted to Congress pursuant to the Indian Judgment Funds Distribution Act.
In the absence of a plan, the Secretary is required by statute to submit ap propriate legislation to the Congress to provide for distribution of the judgment funds. Because the Department has not met either of these requirements, I agreed to sponsor legislation, drafted by the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, which will permit eligible Minnesota Chippewa tribal members and their governments to utilize these funds at the earliest possible date.
The provisions of the bill are consistent with the distribution plan for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 1979 for judgments awarded in Dockets 18-S and 18-U. My understanding is that the distribution of that portion of funds to be awarded to eligible members of the tribe, however, will require an updating of the tribal roll.
I wish to point out that the judgment funds involved are to be shared by other tribal groups who are not affiliated with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. My bill does not affect their respective shares of the funds in question, but authorizes the distribution and use only of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's share of such judgment funds.
The Committee is aware of the painstaking judicial procedure that must be followed in the resolution of Indian claims. The Minnesota Chippewa people have demonstrated great patience through the prolonged process that resulted in the successful resolution of their claims. It is unfortunate that, for whatever reason, the Department has not been able to submit either the distribution plan or legislation that would have permitted the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and its members to enjoy the use and benefit of these long-awaited funds. I hope the Committee will be able to report this bill out at an early date so that we may move it out of the Senate to the House of Representatives for early action and enactment during the second session of Congress.
Senator MELCHER. I have a statement by Senator Moynihan on S. 2061 which, at this time, without objection, I will introduce into the hearing record.
[The statement follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, A U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to comment on S. 2061, a bill that Senator D'Amato and I introduced on November 4, 1983.
In 1973, the New York State Legislature passed a statute authorizing the commissioner of transportation to convey certain parcels of land to the Seneca Nation in exchange for a highway easement across the Allegany Reservation that was needed for the Southern Tier Expressway. The State conveyed roughly 800 acres of replacement land adjacent to the Reservation and granted it official recognition as tribal land for the purposes of State law.
The legislation that Senator D'Amato and I have introduced formally designates the 800 acres as part of the Allegany Reservation, and gives the acreage the status of tribal land for the purposes of Federal law.
Mr. Chairman, Representatives Lundine and Kemp introduced a companion measure, H.R. 3555, on July 13, 1983. The House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs held a hearing on H.R. 3555 on September 15, and reported the measure on October 19. The full House passed H.R. 3555 by voice vote on November 7. The House's action on this measure demonstrates that it is not controversial. Would that the Senate act as expeditiously.
Mr Chairman, I urge that you report this legislation favorably, and I think you once again for the opportunity to comment.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN FRITZ, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ON S. 2061
Mr. Fritz. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Department, I am pleased for the opportunity to present our views on S. 2061, a bill: “To declare certain lands held by the Seneca Nation of Indians to be part of the Allegany Reservation in the State of New York.”
I have, once again, a full statement, and I would like to just give a brief synopsis of our comments.
First, we support enactment of S. 2061. If enacted, S. 2061 would declare approximately 800 acress of tribal land in Cattaraugus County, N.Y., to be part of the Allegany Reservation. These lands were acquired by the Seneca Nation from the State of New York, in exchange for tribal lands, which were utilized by the State of New York, Department of Transportation, for the construction of the Southern Tier Expressway.
The tribes have previously attempted to have the lands added to their reservation administratively. However, since the Department's primary authority for adding lands to Indian reservations is statutorily found in section 7 of the IRA, and because the Seneca Tribe had previously rejected the Indian Reorganization Act in 1935, we found the need for this legislation.
If you have any questions, Mr. Chairman, we would be happy to answer those at the present time.
Senator MELCHER. I do not think we do. I am pleased that the bill will carry out the intent and the agreement between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation. We are sure that the lands involved are treated by State and Federal agencies in the same fashion as lands or persons within the remainder of the Seneca Nation Reservation. We appreciate your testimony on it, Mr. Fritz. It looks like we have a bill.
Mr. Fritz. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is good to see you once again.
[The prepared statement follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF John W. FRITZ, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE
INTERIOR FOR INDIAN AFFAIRS ON S. 2061
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I am pleased to have the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 2061, a bill "to declare certain lands held by the Seneca Nation of Indians to be part of the Allegany Reservation in the State of New York.”
We recommend the enactment of S. 2061.
If enacted, S. 2061 would declare that approximately 800 acres of tribal land located in Cattaraugus County, New York, to be part of the Allegany Reservation and that such lands shall have the status of tribal lands for purposes of Federal law.
The subject lands were acquired by the Seneca Nation from the State of New York as replacement lands for the tribal lands which were utilized by the New York State Department of Transportation for the Southern Tier Expressway which was constructed in the early 1970's.
The tribe has attempted to have the subject lands added to their existing reservation administratively. However, it has been determined that the Secretary of the Interior lacks the statutory authority to do so. The primary authority for adding lands to an Indian reservation is section 7 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (48 Stat. 986; 25 U.S.C. 467). Since the Seneca Tribe, on June 10, 1935, rejected the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act, it does not fall under its provisions. Thus, the need for legislation.
This concludes my prepared statement, I shall be pleased to respond to any questions the Committee may have.
Senator MELCHER. We will return now to the witness list on S. 2177. We are going to hear now from Darrell Wadena, president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Cass Lake, Minn. I believe he is going to be accompanied by George Goodwin, the executive director of the Chippewa Tribe. You have a third person. Would you identify yourself for the record !
STATEMENT OF DARRELL (CHIP) WADENA, PRESIDENT, MINNE
SOTA CHIPPEWA TRIBE, CASS LAKE, MINN.; ACCOMPANIED BY: HARTLEY WHITE, CHAIRMAN, LEECH LAKE RESERVATION, MINNESOTA CHIPPEWA TRIBE; AND JIM HENDRICKSON, CHAIRMAN, GRAND PORTAGE RESERVATION, MINNESOTA CHIPPEWA TRIBE
Mr. WADENA. Mr. Chairman, my name is Darrell Wadena. I am president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and also chairman of White Earth Indian Reservation. On my immediate right is Hartley White, chairman, Leech Lake Reservation, also a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe; and to his right is Jim Hendrickson, chairman of Grand Portage Reservation, also a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
We are here today to support S. 2177. The bill provides for the use and distribution of certain judgment funds awarded to the Lake Superior and Mississippi Bands of Chippewa Indians enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. These judgments were awarded in dockets 18-S and 18-U of the Indian Claims Commission, and funds were appropriated in satisfaction of them by the act of March 8, 1978, 31 U.S.C. 724(a), as amended.
The judgment awards in these two dockets also benefit members of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Bands who are not enrolled in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The bill before the committee does not affect their share of the funds. The bill provides for the distribution of funds, as appropriate, to the following constituent bands and enrollees of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe by their reservation affiliations: Fond du Lac Reservation; Grand Portage Reservation; Nett Lake Reservation, including Vermillion Lake and Deer Creek (Bois Forte Band); White Earth Reservation; Mille Lacs Reservation, and Leech Lake Reservation. The plan embodied in S. 2177 has been endorsed and consented to by the reservation business committee of each of the six bands.
The bill provides that 20 percent of the funds apportioned to the constituent bands of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe must be used by them for community purposes, and 80 percent will be distributed in per capita payments. The provisions of the bill are consistent with the distribution plan for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 1979 for judgments awarded in docket 18-C and docket 18-T.
This legislation is intended simply to expedite the distribution of these judgment funds to the constituent bands and enrollees of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Under section 1(d) of the Indian Judgment Funds Act amendments, Public Law 97-458, the Secretary of the Interior is required to submit legislation to provide for the distribution of judgment funds, if he is unable to meet the statutory deadline for the approval of a distribution plan.
The Secretary has been unable to meet the deadline, and he has not yet prepared legislation to effect the distribution. Because of the Secretary's failure to submit the mandated plan to the Congress in a timely manner, and his further failure to submit the required legislation to Congress, the tribe drafted its own bill and sought introduction by its congressional delegation.
The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe proposes an amendment to section 5 of S. 2177. Our amendment would provide that each constituent band would receive within 60 days of enactment of S. 2177 its share of the 20 percent received for community purposes under the plans previously submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Mr. Chairman, our people have patiently awaited the resolution of these ancient claims through the courts in order to be justly compensated for the past wrongs of the United States. Unfortunately, the final disposition of these claims has been further delayed by the Secretary's failure to meet statutory deadlines that would have authorized the distribution of a portion of the lands to our people and the remainder to be administered by our governments for the benefit of the tribe as a whole.
We, therefore, ask the committee to report out the bill at the earliest portunity to permit our people and governments to put the funds to beneficial use. We stand ready to assist the committee and staff to expedite Senate action on it.
We wish to thank Senator Boschwitz and Senator Durenberger for. sponsoring this legislation and the committee for granting an early hearing on it. That is our testimony, Mr. Chairman.
Senator MELCHER. As I understand your testimony, the tribal rolls are current, and you agree with the recommendation of the BIA to utilize the apportionment formula previously used in the distribution of awards in docket 18-C and 18-T?
Mr. WADENA. Yes, sir, we do.
Mr. WADENA. There was another proposed amendment, I guess by the bureau, Mr. Chairman, in regard to the amendment on the addition of seven other tribes. I do not know if they presented that today.
Senator MELCHER. That is Wisconsin and Michigan?
Mr. WADENA. Yes. We have no objection to that, I guess, as long as it does not change the scope of the Durenberger and Boschwitz bills.
Senator MELCHER. We will work with the Bureau. If everybody is ready, fine, but we do not want to hold it up. You are testifying for six bands; right?
Mr. WADENA. Right.
Mr. WADENA. We are all ready, and we would like it as early as possible.
Senator MELCHER. I think that is the way it is going to be. I do not believe the Wisconsin and Michigan Lake Superior Bands are ready. We are ready to expedite the bill.
Mr. WHITE. Mr. Chairman, my name is Hartley White, chairman of the Leech Lake Reservation.
I would like to go on record supporting S. 2177, the distribution of funds of 18-S and 18-U. I have the resolution from the Leech Lake Reservation in support.
Senator MELCHER. Is there anything further!