U.S. Court Approves Agreement Between Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, United States, State of Michigan, Isabella County and City of Mt. Pleasant to Settle Jurisdiction
U.S. Department of Justice Intervened on Behalf of Tribe; Facilitated Settlement to Clarify Indian Country Jurisdiction
WASHINGTON – On Nov. 23, 2010, Judge Thomas L. Ludington, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, approved a settlement of Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and United States v. Granholm, et al. The settlement declares the entire Isabella Reservation to be Indian Country, resolving longstanding disputes over the boundaries and existence of the Isabella Reservation in south central Michigan.
The settlement also encompasses various intergovernmental memoranda of agreement regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act, taxation, regulation, land use, revenue sharing and law enforcement jurisdiction that seek to resolve the manner in which the tribe, state, city of Mt. Pleasant and Isabella County operate on a day-to-day basis.
"This historic settlement brings resolution and clarity to the jurisdictional boundaries of the Saginaw Chippewa Reservation and serves the interests of the people of the state of Michigan, the county of Isabella, the city of Mt. Pleasant, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and the United States," said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. "This will resolve a complex patchwork of jurisdiction, and pave the way for greater coordination and communication that will strengthen public safety for all."
The Department of Justice seeks to facilitate cooperative government-to-government agreements, such as this one, between tribes, states and local governments in order to resolve jurisdictional disputes while avoiding protracted litigation.