June 17, 2015

9th Circ. Restores Certainty to Recognition of 'Indian Lands'

On June 4, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came to a decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that brings clarity to the definition of "Indian lands" within the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and affirms the IGRA requirement that states negotiate gaming compacts with tribes in good faith.

Faegre Baker Daniels' Richard Duncan, partner, and associates Christiana Martenson and Leah Sixkiller co-authored an article for Law360 discussing the en banc decision in favor of Big Lagoon Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian tribe, and what it means for stakeholders in the gameability of Indian lands.

"The ruling restores certainty to the federal government’s recognition of ‘Indian lands’ and states’ obligations to negotiate gaming compacts in good faith with tribes," the article said, adding that it also "re-established that land that the United States has taken into trust for an Indian tribe constitutes 'Indian lands' under the IGRA."

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