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Wolfchild v. Redwood County

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 5, 2015

Sheldon Peters Wolfchild et al., Plaintiffs,
Redwood County, et al., Defendants

Page 1094

Erick G. Kaardal and James V.F. Dickey, Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A., Counsel for Plaintiffs.

Joseph F. Halloran, Mary B. Magnuson, and Sara K. Van Normand, Jacobson, Magnuson, Anderson & Halloran, P.C., and Michael L. Murphy, Jacobson Law Group, Counsel for Defendant Lower Sioux Indian Community in Minnesota.

Bradley N. Beisel and David J. Krco, Beisel & Dunlevy, P.A. and Leif E. Rasmussen, Steffens & Rasmussen, Counsel for Defendants Dennis A. Auslam and Michelle D. Auslam, Lyle Black Living Trust, Scott A. Olafson and Kimberly A. Olafson, John H. Reynolds and Jeanne A. Reynolds, Allen J Kokesch and Jacalyn S. Kokesch, Prouty Properties, LLC, Thomas J. Heiling, Paul W. Schroeder and Karen J. Schroeder, John Hogan, Bruce Robert Black, Lila L. Black, Douglas Scherer and Brenda Scherer, Charles Case, Enid Guggisberg, et al., Marlene A. Platt Revocable Living Trust, William Schmidt and Norma Schmidt, Simmons Valley Trust, Willard Scherer and Eugenie Scherer, Henry G. O' Neil and Judith A. O' Neil, Lee H. Guggisberg Trust, Harold Guggisberg, Julie Anna Guggisberg, George F. Schottenbauer, Sandra Clarken, et al., Keefe Family Farm LLC, John C. Simmons and Mary J. Simmons, Neil and Donna Berger Family [Trust], TJ & CC Properties LLC, Sherman Acres, LLC, and Charles D. Neitzel; Robert G. Benner, Dunlap & Seeger, P.A., Co-Counsel for Defendant Kenneth Larsen.

Garth J. Unke and Louise A. Behrendt, Stich, Angell, Kreidler, Dodge & Unke and Richard A. Duncan, Christiana M. Martenson and Michelle E. Weinberg, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Counsel for Defendants Elmer C. Dahms and Barbara L. Dahms, Melvin W. Maddock and Kerry D. Maddock, Timothy Kerkoff and Theresa J. Kerkoff, Brent Prouty (Prouty Properties, LLC) Charles Case, Kim M. Cunningham and Mitchell H. Unruh.

Michelle Christensen and C. Todd Koebele, Murnane Brandt, Counsel for Defendants Janie K. Crooks, Rockford L. Crooks, Eugene A. Engstrom, Alice Goelz, Francis Goelz, John Goelz, John Goelz III, Nancy S. Hansen, Patrick T. Hansen, Dawn R. Helmer, Steven R. Helmer, Cynthia Johnson, Allen J. Kokesch, Jacalyn S. Kokesch, Kelly M. Lipinski, Amy M. Lund, Chad M. Lund, Jon Lussenhop, Larry Lussenhop, and Michael R. Rasmussen.

Ken D. Schueler, Robert G. Benner and Jennifer M. Peterson, Dunlap & Seeger, P.A., Counsel for Defendants Julie Anna Guggisberg, Dale R. Hanna, Nancy Hanna, Robert D. and Lori A. Rebstock, Jon Lussenhop, John C. Simmons, and Mary J. Simmons, Lee H. Guggisberg Trust UWT, Scott A. Olafson and Kimberly A. Olafson.

Jack H. Hieb, Richardson, Wyly, Wise, Sauck & Hieb, LLP, Counsel for Defendant Edward J. Gaasch.

Jessica E. Schwie and Allison A. Lindevig, Jardine Logan and O'Brien, PLLP, Counsel for Defendants Redwood County, Renville County, Sibley County, Paxton Township, Sherman Township, Honner Township, Birch Cooley Township and Moltke Township; Glen Jacobsen, Renville County, Co-Counsel for Defendant Renville County (" Municipal Defendants" ).

Corey J. Ayling, McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb, Chartered, Counsel for Defendant Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota.

Page 1095


Michael J. Davis, Chief United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' motions to dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, this matter will be dismissed with prejudice.

I. Introduction

A. Background

In the early 1800's, the Minnesota Sioux consisted of four bands that lived along the

Page 1096

Mississippi River from the Territory of Dakota to the Big Sioux River. (Id. ¶ 10.) The Mdewakanton and Wahpakoota bands were referred to as the " lower bands" and the Wahpeton and Sisseton bands were referred to as the " upper bands." (Id. ¶ 11.)

On September 29, 1837, the Minnesota Sioux entered into a treaty with the United States by which they ceded all their land east of the Mississippi River and the islands in said river in consideration of $300,000. (Id. ¶ 12, citing Treaty of Sept. 29, 1837, arts. I-II, 7 Stat. 538 (" 1837 Treaty" ).) Under the 1837 Treaty, the United States was required to pay an annuity to the Minnesota Sioux at a rate of not less than five percent interest, to be paid forever. (Id. ¶ 13.)

In 1851, the lower bands ceded all of the lands in the Territory of Minnesota and the State of Iowa. (Id. ¶ 14, citing Treaty of August 5, 1851, 10 Stat. 954, art. 1 (the " 1851 Treaty" ).) The 1851 Treaty further provided that the United States would provide the lower bands a trust fund of $1,160,000, with interest set at five percent, to be paid annually for fifty years. (Id. ¶ 15, citing 1851 Treaty, art. IV, ¶ 2.) The upper bands signed a similar treaty on July 23, 1851, by which they ceded all lands in the Territory of Minnesota and the State of Iowa and all lands owned in common by the four bands by natural boundaries. (Id. ¶ 16, citing Treaty of July 23, 1851, art. II, 10 Stat. 949.) In exchange, the upper bands were to receive a trust of $1,360,000 and interest at 5% to paid out annually for fifty years. (Id. ¶ 17.) Both of these treaties provided for the creation of a reservation to run along the Minnesota River. (Id. ¶ 18.) The United States Senate, however, amended the compensation provided under the treaties, instead providing that the Minnesota Sioux would be paid 10 cents per acre of the reservation land, which sum was added to the trust funds created by the treaties. (Id. ¶ 20.) The Senate also authorized the President to set aside another reservation outside the limits of the ceded land. (Id. ¶ 21.) The President did not set aside another reservation, and the Minnesota Sioux continued to live on their reservation along the Minnesota River, which reservation was confirmed by the Act of July 31, 1854, 10 Stats. 326. (Id. citing Medawakanton and Wahpakoota Bands of Sioux Indians v. United States, 57 Ct.Cl. 357 (Ct. Cl. 1922)).

In 1858, the United States entered into another treaty pursuant to which the lower bands agreed to cede part of their reservation lying on the north side of the Minnesota River in exchange for money and goods. (Id. ¶ 24 citing Treaty of June 19, 1858, arts. I-III, 12 Stat. 1031 (" 1858 Treaty" ).) The 1858 Treaty created a new reservation on land then occupied by the bands along the Minnesota River in south-central Minnesota. (Id. ¶ 25.) In addition, the lower bands agreed to preserve friendly relations with the citizens of the United States and to commit no injuries or depredations on their persons or property. (Id. ¶ 26, citing to 1858 Treaty, art. VI, 12 Stat. at 1031.)

In August 1862, the four bands engaged in an outbreak during which a large number of white settlers were massacred and a significant amount of property was destroyed. (Id. ¶ ¶ 27, 28.) The outbreak was in response to the failure of the United States to furnish the money and supplies promised to the bands in the above referenced treaties. (Id. ΒΆ 27.) The United States determined that the Sioux had breached the treaties by their actions during the uprising, and as a result, ...

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