Mille Lacs reservation boundary update

By Clare Fitz
Mille Lacs County Tea Party

Mille Lacs County and the First National Bank of Milaca have filed appeals in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The County and the Bank contend that Judge Rosenbaum of the Eighth District Federal Court erred in dismissing the case filed by the County and the Bank. The case involves the controversy over the legal status of the former 1855 Mille Lacs Indian Reservation. The County and the Bank believe that subsequent treaties and acts of Congress disestablished that reservation and that previous cases in the Eighth Circuit have established precedence for declaratory judgments on such controversies. The Court, they contend, misconstrued the County’s and the Bank’s argument and dismissed the case on standing and ripeness grounds.

Recently the offices of the Attorney General of both the State of Minnesota and the State of South Dakota, have filed amicus curiae, or “friends of the Court” briefs in support of the County. The oral arguments in the case are scheduled to be heard October 24, 2003, at 8:30 am, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Editor's note: For more information on this issue, please read Minnesota, South Dakota join county in suit against Ojibwe.