Judge Orders Compensation to Loyal Minnesota Sioux Tribe after 148 Years

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Mdewakanton Sioux community is set to receive money it’s been owed for more than a century, for siding with the U.S. government when other Indians rose up against white settlers in the 1800s.
 
In a series of treaties between the Minnesota Sioux and the United States government signed between 1837 and 1858, the Sioux agreed to cede land to the government in exchange for compensation, including 5% annual interest on a trust of more than $1 million.
 
By 1862, however, the Sioux became impatient with the government for not living up to its half of the deal. During the Sioux Uprising of 1862 in Minnesota, more than 500 settlers were killed. The Mdewakanton, however, stood down, believing U.S. officials would reward them. After defeating the Sioux, the U.S. government annulled the treaties.
 
In 1868, a new treaty was signed and the government resumed annual payments. However, the Mdewakanton were cut out of the 1868 treaty because they were no longer considered “Sioux.”
 
The government passed legislation in 1888, 1889 and 1890 intended to compensate the Mdewakanton, but more legal complications ensued. The case droned on into the 20th century, and it was decided that because the descendants of the loyal Mdewakanton had dispersed among three separate communities and beyond, there was no longer a legal entity that deserved compensation. Eventually some money was paid out of a trust fund, but the dispute remained unsettled.
 
So, about 9,000 descendants filed a lawsuit against the government, and a judge for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims sided with the tribe. Judge Charles Lettow rejected arguments by federal attorneys that legislation approved by Congress in 1980 allowed the government to avoid payment, and ordered compensation to be made for money earned between 1886 and 1980.
 
Judge Lettow requested that the two sides present a plan for payment by January 19.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
 
Indian Tribe May Collect on 150-Year-Old Trust (by Matt Reynolds, Courthouse News Service)
Sheldon Peters Wolfchild v. United States (U.S. Court of Federal Claims) (pdf)
See all 13 comments

Comments

running bear 3 years ago
IT'S ALL ABOUT IF YOU WERE ON THE 1972 MDEWAKANTON ROLL,IF NOT YOUR OUT
lost feather 3 years ago
We were denied by the supreme court today how dishearting for our people that we again as our ancestors before us are not giving our due monies. How can such intellectual supreme court justices be so blind not to see the unjustificastion they have bestowed upon our tribe again They need glasses.......thanks federal govt for being so dishonest just like the people u let take over john bluestone and his loyal decendents land that is rightfully ours.. thank you erick k for all the hard work u and ur office did for us. Keep up the fight we know we are right that is all that matters...karmas a bitch. They will all get theirs. u cannot take bags of money to the spirit world......,,from the blue eyed papoose
Lost feather 5 years ago
Iam the great great great great granddaughter of john bluestone i am hopfully that this settlement will give back a portion of what they have taken from our ancestors. My mom would tell me stories about her aunts talking about the monies that they were going to receive . But it was never to be for them all the waiting and hoping. It was sad. Now it may happen for us i hope we all appreicate what we get and thank the ones that worked dilligently for this to happen f or us. And remember our ancestors that went through all the heartaches they will always be a part of our spirit.
HAROLD EAGLE TAIL 5 years ago
I THINK THEY SHOULD NOT USE ANY NATIVE AMERICAN SYMBOLS THEY ARE ALL ADOPTED INTO THE TRIBE AND ARE NOT FULL BLOODED NATIVES AS ANY OF THE OTHER TRIBES HERE IN THE UNITED STATES BUT WASICU AND CONTINUE TO USE THE NATIVE AMERICAN AS THERE OWN BENEFIT AS WELL AS MONEY THEY GENERATE FROM GAMBLING
Shelly A. Robertson 6 years ago
i too,am a descendant of the mdewakanton family. my grandfather of that time was a royal mdewakanton native america who stayed to true to the united states government. my family are plantiffs in this ongoing case, and i thought it was hopeless too. what is being done about it? truth and justice is the question.
J. Auge 6 years ago
i am also a descendant and i am confused as to where the amount came from? i am also a bit surprised because the last i heard a year ago, the case was hopeless. since i'd heard nothing since, i assumed it was lost.
Derek S. Cuny 7 years ago
(Im also a James & Lucy Otherday descendant.) Court hearing Oct 22, 2010, Judge Lettow: "The 1886 and acquired lands have created economic wealth for the 1886 mdewakanton and their lineal descendants before and after the 1980 Act. The U.S did collect and retain moneys derived from the 1886 lands which were deposited by the sec of interior in trust accounts for purposes of disbursement to the 1886 mdewakanton and their lineal descendants. The trust accounts have been identified and are U.S Treasury accounts 147436, 147936. This is consistent with the statutory use restriction. The U.S continues to hold certain moneys in these accounts for the lineal descendant. The U.S has a money mandating duty based on 1888-1889-1890 Appropriations Acts for the exclusive benefit of listed 1886 mdewakanton. The Dept of the interior violated the statutory use restriction". This is where the 1 million with 5% interest and the 131,483 plus additional interest since 1980. These two figures are the two Treasury accounts posted above
agal 7 years ago
Aren't there more than 9,000 decendants? Are there some with other attorneys other than those represented by Erick Kaardal?
aguy 7 years ago
Hey there Derek, I am a descendant of Lucy OtherDay. I know the court order is right. But the $1mil is the number I am curious of. How did they get that number? There is nothing at all about that number anywhere.
Derek S. Cuny 7 years ago
To verify authenticity, check out these sites to read related articles and this most recent order of the Federal Court of Claims on Wolfchild V. U.S.(OtherDay Descendant S.D) 1.) http://www.Indians.com/Dakota plaintiffs 2.) http://www.mklaw.com/mdewakanton.htm

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