Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota has introduced a measure to amend the 1934
Indian Reorganization Act. The bill would affirm the Secretary of Interior's
authority to take land into trust for all tribes, regardless of when they were
Dorgan said when he introduced the bill, "Congressional inaction could
significantly impact planned development projects on Indian trust lands,
resulting in a loss of jobs in an already challenging economic environment and
create costly and unnecessary litigation."
This is good news for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Their chairman, Cedric
Cromwell, said in a statement "We're very encouraged by the amendment introduced
by Senator Dorgan and we are hopeful that Congress will take this opportunity to
resolve the inequitable situation caused by Carcieri v.
Salaza," referring to the Supreme Court decision last February that limits the
federal government's authority to hold land in trust for Indian tribes.
The court's decision was a setback for the Wampanoags. It stalled their
application to put more than 500 acres in Middleboro into federal trust for an
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