Feds consider taking Alaska tribal land into trust

AP News
Posted: May 01, 2014 11:34 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Department of Interior says it's considering taking Alaska tribal land into trust.

The Anchorage Daily News reports (http://is.gd/bUHu9y) the move could lead to pockets of "Indian country," where tribal courts and governments would have authority to create their own laws and justice systems.

Currently, the only Indian country community with a reservation in the state is Metlakatla, in southeast Alaska.

The state opposes the move.

A judge in Washington, D.C., last year agreed with Alaska Native tribes, supported by nonprofit law firms, that sued in federal court saying the Interior Department should have been taking land into trust years ago.

The department is opening a 60-day comment period on the subject.

Acceptance of Indian country in Alaska was among recommendations last year from the Indian Law and Order Commission, which was born from a 2010 federal law.


Information from: Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.adn.com