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S. 1499 (98th): Mashantucket Pequot Indian Claims Settlement Act


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 18, 1983 (Passed Congress).


PUBLIC LAW 98-134—OCT. 18, 1983                            97 STAT. 851

Public Law 98-134
98th Congress
                                 An Act
                                                                           Oct. 18, 1983
         To settle certain claims of the Mashantucket Pequot Indians.
                                                                            [S. 1499]
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representative of the
                                                                 Mashantucket
United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act mayPequot
be cited as the "Mashantucket Pequot Indian Claims Settlement Indian Claims
Act".                                                            Settlement Act.
                       CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS                            25 u s e 1751
                                                                         note.
 SEC. 2. The Congress finds that—                                        25 u s e 1751.
      (a) there is pending before the United States District Court for
   the District of Connecticut a civil action entitled "Western
   Pequot Tribe of Indians against Holdridge Enterprises Incorpo-
   rated, et al.. Civil Action Numbered H76-193 (D. Conn.)," which
I involves Indian claims to certain public and private lands
   within the town of Ledyard, Connecticut;
      (b) the pendency of this lawsuit has placed a cloud on the
   titles to much of the land in the town of Ledyard, including
   lands not involved in the lawsuit, which has resulted in severe
   economic hardships for the residents of the town;
      (c) the Congress shares with the State of Connecticut and the
   parties to the lawsuit a desire to remove all clouds on titles
   resulting from such Indian land claims;
      (d) the parties to the lawsuit and others interested in the
   settlement of Indian land claims within the State of Connecticut
   have reached an agreement which requires implementing legis-
   lation by the Congress of the United States and the Legislature
   of the State of Connecticut;
      (e) the Western Pequot Tribe, as represented as of the time of
   the passage of this Act by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal
   Council, is the sole successor in interest to the aboriginal entity
   generally known as the Western Pequot Tribe which years ago
   claimed aboriginal title to certain lands in the State of Con-
   necticut; and
      (f) the State of Connecticut is contributing twenty acres of
   land owned by the State of Connecticut to fulfill this Act. The
   State of Connecticut will construct and repair three sections of
   paved or gravel roadways within the reservation of the Tribe.
   The State of Connecticut has provided special services to the
   members of the Western Pequot Tribe residing within its bor-
   ders. The United States has provided few, if any, special services
   to the Western Pequot Tribe and has denied that it had jurisdic-
   tion over or responsibiUty for said Tribe. In view of the provi-
   sion of land by the State of Connecticut, the provision of paved
   roadways by the State of Connecticut, and the provision of
   special services by the State of Connecticut without being
   required to do so by Federal law, it is the intent of Congress that
   the State of Connecticut not be required to otherwise contribute
   directly to this claims settlement.

97 STAT. 852 PUBLIC LAW 98-134—OCT. 18, 1983 DEFINITIONS 25 use 1752. SEC. 3. For the purposes of this Act— (1) The term "Tribe" means the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe (also known as the Western Pequot Tribe) as identified by chapter 832 of the Connecticut General Statutes and all its predecessors and successors in interest. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe is represented, as of the date of the enactment of this Act, by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council. (2) The term "land or natural resources" means any real property or natural resources, or any interest in or right involv- ing any real property or natural resources, including without limitation minerals and mineral rights, timber and timber rights, water and water rights, and hunting and fishing rights. (3) The term "private settlement lands" means— (A) the eight hundred acres, more or less, of privately held land which are identified by a red outline on a map filed with the secretary of the State of Connecticut in accordance with the agreement referred to in section 2(d) of this Act, and (B) the lands known as the Cedar Swamp which are adjacent to the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation as it exists on the date of the enactment of this Act. Within thirty days of the enactment of this Act, the secretary of the State of Connecticut shall transmit to the Secretary a certified copy of said map. (4) The term "settlement lands" means— (A) the lands described in sections 2(a) and 3 of the Act To Implement the Settlement of the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Land Claims as enacted by the State of Connecticut and approved on June 9,1982, and (B) the private settlement lands. (5) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior. (6) The term "transfer" means any transaction involving, or any transaction the purpose of which was to effect, a change in title to or control of any land or natural resources, and any act, event, or circumstance that resulted in a change in title to, possession of, dominion over, or control of land or natural resources, including any sale, grant, lease, allotment, partition, or conveyance, whether pursuant to a treaty, compact, or stat- ute of a State or otherwise. (7) The term "reservation" means the existing reservation of the Tribe as defined by chapter 824 of the Connecticut General Statutes and any settlement lands taken in trust by the United States for the Tribe. APPROVAL OF PRIOR TRANSFERS; EXTINGUISHMENT OF ABORIGINAL TITLES AND INDIAN CLAIMS 25 use 1753. SEC. 4. (a) Any transfer before the date of enactment of this Act from, by, or on behalf of the Tribe or any of its members of land or natural resources located anywhere within the United States, and any transfer before the date of enactment of this Act from, by, or on behalf of any Indian, Indian nation, or tribe or band of Indians of land or natural resources located an3rwhere within the town of Ledyard, Connecticut, shall be deemed to have been made in accord- ance with the Constitution and all laws of the United States,
PUBLIC LAW 98-134—OCT. 18, 1983 97 STAT. 853 including without limitation the Trade and Intercourse Act of 1790, Act of July 22, 1790 (ch. 33, sec. 4, 1 Stat. 137, 138), and all amendments thereto and all subsequent reenactments and versions thereof, and Congress hereby does approve and ratify any such transfer effective as of the date of said transfer. (b) By virtue of the approval and ratification of a transfer of land or natural resources effected by subsection (a), any aboriginal title held by the Tribe or any member of the Tribe, or any other Indian, Indian nation, or tribe or band of Indians, to any land or natural resources the transfer of which was approved and ratified by subsec- tion (a) shall be regarded as extinguished as of the date of such transfer. (c) By virtue of the approval and ratification of a transfer of land or natural resources effected by this section, or the extinguishment of aboriginal title effected thereby, any claim (including any claim for damages for trespass or for use and occupancy) by, or on behalf of, the Tribe or any member of the Tribe or by any other Indian, Indian nation, or tribe or band of Indians, against the United States, any State or subdivision thereof or any other person which is based on— (1) any interest in or right involving any land or natural resources the transfer of which was approved and ratified by subsection (a), or (2) any aboriginal title to land or natural resources the extin- guishment of which was effected by subsection (b), shall be regarded as extinguished as of the date of any such transfer. (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to afiect or eliminate the personal claim of any individual Indian (except for Federal common law fraud claim) which is pursued under any law of general applicability that protects non-Indians as well as Indians. (eXD This section shall take effect upon the appropriation of Effective date. $900,000 as authorized under section 5(e) of this Act. (2) The Secretary shall publish notice of such appropriation in the Notice, Federal Register when the funds are deposited in the fund estab- publication in Federal lished under section 5(a) of this Act. Register. MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT SETTLEMENT FUND SEC. 5. (a) There is hereby established in the United States Establishment. Treasury an account to be known as the Mashantucket Pequot 25 u s e 1754. Settlement Fund (hereinafter referred to in this section as the "Fund"). The Fund shall be held in trust by the Secretary for the benefit of the Tribe and administered in accordance with this Act. (bXD The Secretary is authorized and directed to expend, at the Expenditure request of the Tribe, the Fund together with any and all income accruing to such Fund in accordance with this subsection. (2) Not less than $600,000 of the Fund shall be available until Private January 1, 1985, for the acquisition by the Secretary of private settlement settlement lands. Subsequent to January 1,1985, the Secretary shall lands. determine whether and to what extent an amount less than $600,000 has been expended to acquire private settlement lands and shall make that amount available to the Tribe to be used in accordance with the economic development plan approved pursuant to para- graph (3). (3)(A) The Secretary shall disburse all or part of the Fund together Disbursement, with any and all income accruing to such Fund (excepting the
97 STAT. 854 PUBLIC LAW 98-134—OCT. 18, 1983 amount reserved in paragraph (2)) according to a plan to promote the economic development of the Tribe. Economic (B) The Tribe shall submit an economic development plan to the development Secretary and the Secretary shall approve such plan within sixty plan. days of its submission if he finds that it is reasonably related to the Disapproval economic development of the Tribe. If the Secretary does not ap- notice. prove such plan, he shall, at the time of his decision, set forth in writing and with particularity, the reasons for his disapproval. Waiver of (C) iTie Secretary may not agree to terms which provide for the liability. investment of the Fund in a manner inconsistent with the first 25 u s e 162a. section of the Act of June 24,1938 (52 Stat. 1037), unless the Tribe first submits a specific waiver of liability on the part of the United States for any loss which may result from such an investment. (D) The Tribe may, with the approval of the Secretary, alter the economic development plan subject to the conditions set forth in subparagraph (B). (4) Under no circumstances shall any part of the Fund be distrib- uted to any member of the Tribe unless pursuant to the economic development plan approved by the Secretary under paragraph (3). Trust (5) As the Fund or any portion thereof is disbursed by the Secre- responsibility. tary in accordance with tms section, the United States shall have no further trust responsibility to the Tribe or its members with respect to the sums paid, any subsequent expenditures of these sums, or any property other than private settlement lands or services purchased with these sums. Terms. (6) Until the Tribe has submitted and the Secretary has approved the terms of the use of the Fund, the Secretary shall fix the terms for the administration of the portion of the Fund as to which there is no agreement. (7) Lands or natural resources acquired under this subsection which are located within the settlement lands shall be held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribe. Trust (8) Land or natural resources acquired under this subsection responsibility. which are located outside of the settlement lands shall be held in fee by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and the United States shall have no further trust responsibility with respect to such land and natural resources. Such land and natural resources shall not be subject to any restriction against alienation under the laws of the United States. Land or natural (9) Notwithstanding the provisions of the first section of the Act of resources, August 1,1888 (25 Stat. 357, chapter 728), as amended, and the first acquisition. 40 u s e 257. section of the Act of February 26,1931 (46 Stat. 1421, chapter 307), 40 u s e 258a. the Secretary may acquire land or natural resources under this section from the ostensible owner of the land or natural resources only if the Secretary and the ostensible owner of the land or natural resources have agreed upon the identity of the land or natural resources to be sold and upon the purchase price and other terms of eondemnation sale. Subject to the agreement required by the preceding sentence, proceedings. the Secretary may institute condemnation proceedings in order to perfect title, satisfactory to the Attorney Greneral, in the United States and condemn interests adverse to the ostensible owner. Involuntary (c) For the purpose of subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of conversion. 1954, any transfer of private settlement lands to which subsection 26 use 1. (b) applies shall be deemed to be an involuntary conversion within 26 use 1033. the meaning of section 1033 of such Code. (d) The Secretary may not expend on behalf of the Tribe any sums deposited in the Fund established pursuant to subsection (a) of this
PUBLIC LAW 98-134—OCT. 18, 1983 97 STAT. 855 section unless and until he finds that authorized officials of the Tribe have executed appropriate documents relinquishing all clauns to the extent provided by sections 4 and 10 of this Act, including stipulations to the final judicial dismissal with prejudice of ite cl£ums. (e) There is authorized to be appropriated $900,000 to be deposited Drogriation authorization. in the Fund. JURISDICTION OVER RESERVATION SEC. 6. Notwithstanding the provision relating to a special election 25 use 1755. in section 406 of the Act of April 11, 1968 (82 Stat. 80; 25 U.S.C. 1326), the reservation of the Tribe is declared to be Indian country subject to State jurisdiction to the maximum extent provided in title I V of s u c h Act. 25 u s e 1321. LIMITATION OF ACTIONS: FEDERAL COURT JURISDICTION SEC. 7. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the consti- eonstitutionality. tutionality of this Act may not be drawn into question in any action 25 u s e 1756. unless such question has been raised in— (1) a pleading contained in a complaint filed before the end of the one-hundrei-and-eighty-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, or (2) an answer contained in a reply to a complaint before the end of such period. (b) Notwithstfiuiding any other provision of law, exclusive jurisdic- tion of any action in which the constitutionality of this Act is drawn into question is vested in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. (c) Any action to which subsection (a) appUes and which is brought in the court of any State may be removed by the defendant to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. (d) Except as provided in this Act, no provision of this Act shall be construed to constitute a jurisdictional act, to confer jurisdiction to sue, or to grant implied consent to any Indian, Indian nation, or tribe or band of Indians to sue the United States or any of its officers with respect to the claims extinguished by the operation of this Act. RESTRICTION AGAINST ALIENATION SEC. 8. (a) Subject to subsection (b), lands within the reservation 25 use 1757. which are held in trust by the Secretary for the benefit of the Tribe or which are subject to a Federal restraint against alienation at any time after the date of the enactment of this Act shall be subject to the laws of the United States relating to Indian lands, including section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (25 U.S.C. 177). (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Tribe may lease lands for Land leases. any term of years to the Mashantucket Pequot Housing Authority, or any successor in interest to such Authority. EXTENSION OF FEDERAL RECOGNITION AND PRIVILEGES SEC. 9. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law. Federal 25 use i758. recognition is extended to the Tribe. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, all laws and r^^ilations of the United States of general application to Indians or Lidian nations, tribes or bands of Indians
97 STAT. 856 PUBLIC LAW 98-134—OCT. 18, 1983 which are not inconsistent with any specific provision of this Act shall be appUcable to the Tribe. Organic (b) The Tribe shall file with the Secretary a copy of its organic governing governing document and any amendments thereto. Such instrument document. must be consistent with the terms of this Act and the Act to Implement the Settlement of the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Land Claim as enacted by the State of Connecticut and approved June 9, 1982. Federal services (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Tribe and and benefits, members of the Tribe sh^dl be eligible for all Federal services and eligibility. benefits furnished to federally recognized Indian tribes as of the date of enactment of this Act. OTHER CLAIMS DISCHARGED BY THIS ACT 25 use 1759. SEC 10. Except as expressly provided herein, this Act shall consti- tute a general discharge and release of all obligations of the State of Connecticut and all of its political subdivisions, agencies, depart- ments, and all of the officers or employees thereof arising fiom any treaty or agreement with, or on behalf of the TVibe or the United States as trustee therefor. INSEPARABILITY Provisions held SEC. 11. In the event that any provision of section 4 of this Act is invalid. held invaUd, it is the intent of Congress that the entire Act be 25 u s e 1760. invalidated. In the event that any other section or provision of this Act is held invalid, it is the intent of Congress that the remaining sections of this Act shall continue in full force and effect. Approved October 18, 1983. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—S. 1499 (S. 366) (H.R. 982): SENATE REPORT No. 98-222 (Comm. on Indian Affairs). CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 129 (1983): Sept. 30, considered and passed Senate. Oct. 4, considered and passed House.