Seventh Circuit Says Hands Are Tied in Tribe’s Fight With EPA Over Mine

A Seventh Circuit panel ruled Monday that federal law offers no recourse for a Wisconsin tribe challenging a permit which would allow runoff from a Michigan sulfide mine into a river on the border between Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, leaving the tribe to fight administratively in Michigan.

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Chinook Tribe Still Fighting Government Erasure

Bronze-cast carvings depicting the heroes of Chinook Indian mythology will soon greet visitors entering Seattle’s Burke Museum, their exploits having been passed through oral history for millennia. But the federal government claims the tellers of those stories – people who ran the major trade hub where the mouth of the Columbia River spills into the Pacific Ocean and who received Lewis & Clark at the end of their journey – do not qualify for federal recognition as a legitimate Indian nation.

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Intergalactic Foreign Trade

The Fifth Circuit dismissed as frivolous a lawyer’s claims brought on behalf of the “Atakapa Indian de Creole Nation” that Louisiana and the federal government have “monopolized ‘intergalactic foreign trade.’” A lower court dismissed the claims based on sovereign immunity but the circuit court ruled it “need not go that far” to resolve the appeal.

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