It has been a long road for Tribes like the Narragansett Indian Tribe that faced the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Salazar v. Carcieri in 2009 that ruled tribes not under federal jurisdiction at the time the Indian Reorganization Act was enacted in 1934 could not take land into trust. This ended for the tribe the dream of a housing project on tribal land. Today the project stands in ruins. On Wednesday this week, the House of
Representatives passed a clean Carcieri Fix, reinforcing the authority of the Department of the Interior to take lands into trust for all tribes. Now, the bill H.R. 375 goes to the Senate. The House action comes after 10 years of advocating by Tribes to correct the decision that went against long standing federal policy.
It is a big step to righting a wrong and correcting an inequity against tribes that were blocked from taking their land into trust. After the Supreme Court decision, many tribes have spent precious resources defending their homeland, and threats to projects they developed on their land.