State Seeks Delay In Indian Country Expansion

Governor Bill Walker’s administration is seeking more time to assess the potential impact of expanding Indian Country in Alaska.

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The Alaska Dispatch News reports state Attorney General Craig Richards is asking for a six-month delay in a case before a federal appeals court in a long-running battle affecting tribal sovereignty.

In 2013, the District of Columbia appellate court ruled in favor of four Alaska Native tribal governments and one individual who sued the U.S. Interior Department.

The appellate court ruling led to an Interior Department rule to accept land into trust for Alaska tribes and individuals with Native allotments.

Interior is not appealing, but the state is.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Heather Kendall-Miller says the Interior Department’s ability to put land into trust for Alaska Natives is thus on hold.