Native America, Discovered and Conquered
Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny
by Robert J. Miller

Was the Oneida Nation reservation terminated?

March 7th, 2013

The United States Supreme Court has requested the opinion of the U.S. Solicitor General on the need to hear an appeal of a case regarding the status of the Oneida Indian Nation’s 300,000-acre historic reservation.

The case involves a petition from Madison and Oneida counties in New York for the Supreme Court to review the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Oneida Indian Nation’s reservation remains intact.  The lower court issued this ruling in 2003 and affirmed it in 2010 and 2011.

The counties’ claim that Oneida's reservation was “disestablished” by the 1838 Treaty of Buffalo and by provisions in the Supreme Court’s ruling in City of Sherrill v. Oneida Nation.

The Oneida Nation argues that the counties’ request should be denied because the issue is factually unique only to the Oneida Nation and would have no impact on the wider area of law called "Indian law." The Supreme Court usually only reviews cases that might apply widely. 

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