Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Eastern Shawnee Tribe v. Ohio

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma filed a 128-page consolidated answer to more than a dozen motions to dismiss and for pleading judgments this past weekend.

Originally filed last June and amended that following September, the Shawnee claim is essentially one for recognition & relief of land interests in large parts of Ohio, which, they’re holding, have never been extinquished or where done so improperly and in violation of federal law. Along with title claims go “due consideration for all benefits & appurtenances associated thereto, including taxes, rents, issues, and profits derived from those lands.”

“This case is about righting centuries of wrongs perpetuated against the Shawnee by the state of Ohio, local governments, and individual landowners,” the Tribe’s answer reads in introductory part. “The goal is simple—to recover its aboriginal homelands in Ohio—but the case is complex.”

The State of Ohio, Governor, and 60 other governmental entities and individuals were named in the suit, including Hamilton, Warren, Butler, and Clermont Counties.

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, in an October 2005 press release accompanying Ohio’s answer and motion to dismiss, said “The State of Ohio was not party to the Indian treaties in question, all of which were between the United States and a number of different Indian tribes—not just the Eastern Shawnee—and neither the U.S. nor those other tribes are parties to the suit.” (Motion)

The Attorney General’s statement also says, “The Eastern Shawnee’s claims are over 150 years old, and it would be inequitable and unconscionable to allow them to set aside property interests of those who have no connection to the treaties at issue.”

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