Indian Land Opinions

 

Helpful Hints for Submitting a Request for an Opinion Letter to the Office of General Counsel

 

Indian tribes may only game on Indian lands that are eligible for gaming under the IGRA. Such lands must meet the definition of “Indian lands” at 25 U.S.C. § 2703, which requires that the land be within the limits of a tribe’s reservation, be held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribe or its member(s), or that the land be subject to restrictions against alienation by the United States for the benefit of the tribe or its member(s). Additionally, the tribe must have jurisdiction and exercise governmental powers over the gaming site.

 

The IGRA, 25 U.S.C. § 2719, contains a general prohibition against gaming on lands acquired into trust after October 17, 1988 (the date the IGRA was enacted into law). Tribes may game on such after-acquired trust land if the land meets one of the exceptions laid out in § 2719. Indian lands opinions are issued by either the Commission or the Department of the Interior, Division of Indian Affairs, Office of the Solicitor in accordance with their Memorandum of Agreement. Below are the Indian lands advisory opinions issued by the NIGC and the Department of the Interior on whether a tribe may game on certain lands.

 

These reports are presented in PDF format which requires the free Acrobat Reader available from Adobe. Click on any column heading to sort this page by that heading.

 
Tribe Parcel Opinion Date Legal Theory Theory Accepted
Akiachak Native Community - 6/2/1995 Governmental Power No
Alturas Rancheria - 9/9/1999 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisiton Yes
Bay Mills Indian Community Vanderbilt Casino 12/21/2010 Jurisdiction Opinion No
Bay Mills Indian Community Vanderbilt Casino 12/21/2010 Solicitor Office Letter No
Bear River Band Rohnerville Rancheria - 8/5/2002 Restored Lands Yes
Big Sandy Rancheria McCabe Allotment 9/6/2006 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisition Yes
Blackfeet Tribe - 12/3/1990 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians - 6/30/2005 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma - 9/21/1993 Oklahoma-Former Reserve Yes
Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians Cloverdale Parcels 12/12/2008 Restored Lands Yes
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians Hatch Tract 10/21/1999 Restored Lands No
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians Hatch Tract 10/21/1999 Contiguous to Reservation No
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians Hatch Tract 12/5/2001 Restored lands Yes
Cowlitz Tribe 11/23/2005 Restored Lands Yes
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians Sho-Ka-Wah Casino 9/2/1998 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma Biscuit Hill Site 7/30/2001 Oklahoma-Former Reserve No
Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma - 7/30/2001 Contiguous to other Trust or Restricted Lands No
Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma - 12/22/1999 Within Reservation Boundaries Undetermined
Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma - 12/22/1999 Jurisdiction No
Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo River Rock Casino 4/9/2003 Within Reservaton Boundaries Yes
Elk Valley Rancheria Betty Green Trust Land 3/2/2000 Pre-IGRA trust Acquisition Yes
Elk Valley Rancheria Martin’s Ranch 7/13/2007 Restored Lands Yes
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma Akela Flats 5/19/2008 Initial Reservation of Acknowledged Tribe No
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma Akela Flats 5/19/2008 Last Recognized Reservation No
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma Akela Flats 5/19/2008 Restored Lands No
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma Akela Flats 4/30/2009 Restored Lands No
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma (Opinion Withdrawn by Settlement Agreement) 3/29/1996
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma (Settlement Agreement Withdrawing Opinion) 3/8/2007 Oklahoma-Former Reserve Yes
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians - 8/31/2001 Restored Lands Yes
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians - 8/31/2001 Last Recognized Reservation No
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Highway 20 Site 11/21/2007 Restored Lands Yes
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Whitecloud Allotment 1/7/2010 Jurisdiction Yes
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Whitecloud Allotment 1/7/2010 Oklahoma Former Reserve Yes
Karuk Tribe of California - 10/12/2004 Restored Lands No
Karuk Tribe of California Yreka Property 4/9/2012 Restored lands Yes
Kenaitze Indian Tribe - 5/12/1995 Governmental Power No
Kialegee Tribal Town Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 5/25/2012 Jurisdiction No
Kialegee Tribal Town Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 6/8/2012 Jurisdiction No
Kialegee Tribal Town Neal Freeman parcel 7/18/2013 Jurisdiction No
Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma 11/15/2005 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisiton Yes
Klawock Cooperative Association - 11/15/1993 Within Reservation Boundaries No
Klawock Cooperative Association - 11/15/1993 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisition Yes
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians - 4/1/2002 Within Reservation Boundaries Undetermined
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Manistee Orchard 3/1/1998 Restored Lands Yes
Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians Mackinaw City Tract 11/12/1997 Restored Lands Yes
Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians Victories Tract 8/5/1999 Restored Lands Yes
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Halberg Addition 7/11/2008 Contiguous lands Yes
Lower Lake Rancheria Koi Nation 10/7/2008 Restored Lands No
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan 6/25/2003 Initial Reservation of Acknowledged Tribe Yes
Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria 3/14/2003 Restored Lands Yes
Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria 2 parcels totaling 626.55 acres, Northeast of California Highway 99 1/24/2014 Restored land Yes
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma 10/31/2002 Jurisdiction No
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma 5/23/1995 Jurisdiction No
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma 5/23/1995 Governmental Power No
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma 5/12/1997 Jurisdiction No
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma 5/12/1997 Governmental Power No
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma 11/10/1998 Governmental Power Yes
Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California Feather Falls Site 10/25/2007 Restored lands Yes
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Holdenville Site 4/23/2008 Jurisdiction Yes
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Kellyville Parcel 1/6/2009 Former Oklahoma Reserve Yes
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Twin Hills Parcel 1/6/2009 Former Oklahoma Reserve Yes
Native Village of Akiak 3/2/1995 Governmental Power No
Native Village of Barrow 4/10/1995 Governmental Power No
Native Village of Barrow 4/10/1995 Jurisdiction No
Native Village of Barrow - Appeal to Commission 2/1/1996 Governmental Power No
Native Village of Barrow - Appeal to Commission 2/1/1996 Jurisdiction No
Native Village of Barrow - Appeal to Commission 8/12/1997 Governmental Power No
Native Village of Eklutna 5/17/1995 Governmental Power No
Nottawaseppi Huron Potawatomi Band Sackrider Property 12/13/2000 Initial Reservation of Acknowledged Tribe Yes
Organized Village of Kake Harris Deed Parcel 4/18/2000 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisition Yes
Organized Village of Kake Harris Deed Parcel 7/2/1998 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisition Yes
Osage Nation North Tulsa, Bartlesville 7/28/2005 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Osage Nation Pawhuska Indian Village (Section 3, T25N, R9E) 7/7/1997 Jurisdiction No
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma - 8/9/2012 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians 4/18/2000 Restored Lands Yes
Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians 3/2/2000 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians 12/3/2001 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tallapoosa Site 5/19/2008 Restored Lands Yes
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians 9/19/1997 Restored Lands Yes
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Carter Lake Site 10/22/2007 Restored Lands No
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Carter Lake 12/31/2007 Restored Lands Yes
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Crofton 11/22/2002 Restored Lands Yes
Pueblo of Nambe Tract 1 9/19/2008 Contiguous to Reservation Yes
Puyallup Tribe Fife Property 11/12/2004 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Puyallup Tribe Fife Property 11/12/2004 Jurisdiction Yes
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe 9/27/2005 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Quapaw Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma Cherokee County, KS 11/21/2014 Last recognized reservations Yes
Quinault Indian Nation Sampson Johns Allotment 9/25/1996 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisition Yes
Red Lake Band 9/2/1992 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Redding Rancheria Strawberry Fields and Adjacent 80 Acres 12/22/2010 Restored Lands No
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians St. Ignace Parcel 2/14/2006 Contiguous to Reservation No
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians St. Ignace Parcel 7/31/2006 Restored Lands No
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians St. Ignace Parcel 9/1/2006 Restored Lands No
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians St. Ignace Parcel 12/8/2006 Contiguous to Reservation No
Seminole Tribe of Florida Palm Beach Farm Plat No. 3 5/13/1997 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisition Yes
Seneca Nation of Indians Buffalo parcels 11/12/2002 Settlement of a Land Claim Yes
Seneca Nation of Indians Buffalo parcels 7/2/2007 Settlement of a Land Claim Yes
Seneca Nation of Indians Buffalo parcels 1/20/2009 No Section 20 Prohibition Yes
Shawnee Tribe of OK Oklahoma City 11/10/2010 Restored Lands No
Shingle Springs Rancheria 11/25/2003 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Shingle Springs Rancheria 11/25/2003 Pre-IGRA Trust Acquisition Yes
Sitka Tribe of Alaska 6/23/1993 Jurisdiction No
Table Mountain Rancheria 60 acre parcels 1/10/2014 Contiguous to reservation Yes
Tetlin Reserve 4/6/1995 Governmental Power No
Tule River Indian Tribe 6/4/1996 Within Reservation Boundaries No
Tule River Indian Tribe 6/4/1996 Settlement of a Land Claim No
Tule River Indian Tribe 6/4/1996 Restored Lands No
Tule River Indian Tribe 6/4/1996 Initial Reservation of Acknowledged Tribe No
Tule River Indian Tribe 6/4/1996 Contiguous to Reservation No
United Auburn Indian Community Resultant Parcel B 1/18/2000 Restored Lands Yes
United Auburn Indian Community 1/3/2002 Restored Lands Yes
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians 9/29/2000 Jurisdiction No
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Tahleqhah, Oklahoma site 7/18/2011 Jurisdiction No
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Tahleqhah, Oklahoma site 7/18/2011 Within Reservation Boundaries No
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Cranberry Lands, Face of the Cliff and Herring Creek 8/23/2013 Settlement of a Land Claim Yes
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Cranberry Lands, Face of the Cliff and Herring Creek 10/25/2013 Settlement of a Land Claim Yes
White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians 3/14/2005 Within Reservation Boundaries Yes
Wyandotte Nation Shriner Tract 9/10/2004 Last Recognized Reservation No
Wyandotte Nation Shriner Tract 9/10/2004 Settlement of a Land Claim No
Wyandotte Nation Shriner Tract 9/10/2004 Restored Lands No
Wyandotte Nation Shriner Tract 7/19/2004 Last Recognized Reservation No
Wyandotte Nation Shriner Tract 7/19/2004 Settlement of a Land Claim No
Wyandotte Nation Shriner Tract 7/19/2004 Restored Lands No

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