Established May 20, 1886

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Mdewakanton Sioux Indians of Minnesota

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Submitted Comments Received
From Members Of The
Minnesota Mdewakanton Dakota Oyate



My name is Carl Leith. My grandfather Walter Leith as well as other Minnesota Mdewakanton people, who reorganized PIIC under the 1934 IRA gave consent and surrendered some of their rights to Congress in order to care for the other Sioux that came back to Minnesota. The PIIC IRA Constitution only applied to those living at that location; it didn't apply to those not living there. See:

PIIC 1937 IRA Constitution

PIIC Corporate Charter

There isn't anything written or stated anywhere that says there can't be another Mdewakanton Entity. I've traced Halfbreed and Mixedblood descendants from Walter McLeods 1886 census to the Halfbreed Roll. Walter McLeod was one of them. A majority of the people on the Halfbreed Roll descend from Dakota Chiefs.

The U.S. already stated in Wolfchild I in Federal Register Volume 77, Number 190 (Monday, October 1, 2012) [Notices] during the preliminary meeting for distribution, what rolls were acceptable by the U.S. They are listed below:

  (1) The 1886 McLeod Census
  (2) The 1889 Henton Supplemental Census
  (3) The 1917 McLaughlin Roll (with additional proof of
        Mdewakanton descent for persons appearing on that roll)
  (4) Certificates assigning 1886 lands
  (5) The Birch Cooley Censuses prepared by Robert Henton
  (6) The 1899 roll prepared by Inspector McLaughlin.

Notice: There is no IRA Tribal Roll listed above.
All these pre-1934 rolls were compiled by U.S. agents.

I'm in support of seeking federal acknowledgment with the revised rules for acknowledgment which can be found on the Office of Federal Acknowledgment Website. These rules were revised by the DOI in 2015. See:

25 CFR 83 - Federal Acknowledgement Process

The acknowledgement process will require everyone to submit their family and ancestry documentation on two OMB approved forms to the Office of Management and Budget. See below:



Congress didn't require this process, so people under the old 1934 IRA weren't required to do this documentation.




However which way the 1886 Lands lawfully came into existence in the State of Minnesota . . . . is not the issue at this time. The issue is this . . . . the 1886 lands were there, our ancestors were on them, and we have rights to them. In 1934 our ancestors voted for federal organization under the Indian Reorganization Act.

Exhibits submitted by Erick G. Kaardal who is representing Plaintiffs in the current proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reveal the following:

  • The 1886 lands were purchased for the Mdewakanton Sioux residing in Minnesota on May 20, 1886 and their descendants. They were identified by two censuses of 1886 & 1889 as Mdewakanton Sioux Indians in Minnesota, hence the MSIM.

  • Communities formed around these 1886 lands and collectively were comprised of individuals that included those eligible for land assignments on the 1886 lands; and those that were not.

  • Many of these individuals were Mdewakanton; and some were not.

  • The members of those communities who held land assignments on the 1886 reserved lands did so, on condition of abandoning their tribal rights. As a consequence of this, in 1934, when collectively as a group the Mdewakanton Sioux in Minnesota voted for approval of federal reorganization under the Indian Reorganization Act, the United States Solicitor General opined that organization as a Tribe could not be effectuated under the provisions of that Act.

  • To effectuate the reorganization of these two groups of individuals, those Mdewakanton who held land assignments of 1886 reserved lands and those that did not; the Solicitor General opined a legal opinion that the only basis for reorganization was "as Indians residing on a reservation." In other words, the 1886 reserved lands became the legal basis for the Solicitor's legal opinion.

  • As a consequence of this legal opinion, the Secretary of Interior along with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs set apart "additional lands" in Trust at three Mdewakanton Sioux communities: in Redwood County (Lower Sioux Indian Community); in Goodhue County (Prairie Island Indian Community); and later in Scott County (Shakopee Mdewakanton Indian Community). Not coincidentally, these additional Trust lands bordered the "restricted fee, reserved" 1886 lands.

  • The government has acknowledged that this created two classes of people on two legally different held lands: (1) land held in restricted fee status, the 1886 lands; and (2) lands held in Trust under the 1934 IRA. This created the "checkerboard" effect and led to the 1980 Act which added the 1886 "reserved" lands into Trust for the three Communities. The two classes of people should have become one.

  • The Mdewakanton Sioux Indians in Minnesota, or the Loyal Mdewakanton, or whoever you want to designate them as . . . in our case our ancestors on the rolls of the two censuses of 1886 & 1889 of Mdewakanton Sioux Indians in Minnesota (MSIM), were promised and given lands to occupy. Whether they were lands in "restricted fee" or "lands added to existing reservations."

  • 25 USC 5110, formerly 25 USC 467, states in part:


  • THIS IS OUR CASE IN A NUTSHELL. We, as descendants of those on the rolls of Mdewakanton Sioux Indians in Minnesota (MSIM); on the censuses of 1886 & 1889 who voted to accept and federally organize under the provisions of the 1934 IRA are entitled to enrollment at the three Mdewakanton Communities. The basis for their existence was as "Indians residing on a reservation." That reservation was the 1886 "reserved lands" and "the "lands were added to it," and we are entitled to them.

  • Section 3 of the 1980 Act states that "Nothing in this Act shall . . . .
    (1) alter, or require the alteration of, any rights under any contract, lease, or assignment entered into or issued prior to enactment of this Act, or
    (2) restrict the authorities of the Secretary of the Interior under or with respect to any such contract, lease, or assignment."

  • We demand the SOI establish new revised tribal rolls, inclusive of the descendants of those found on the censuses of 1886 & 1889 Mdewakanton Sioux Indians in Minnesota, at the three Mdewakanton Sioux Indians in Minnesota (MSIM) communities and then call for a Secretarial Election.

  • "For it is settled that "the United States is neither bound nor estopped by acts of its officers or agents . . . . to do or cause to be done what the law does not sanction or permit."

James J. Ashe III
Wolfchild I Plaintiff

Note: Some minor grammatical and punctuation edits were made to the article on 1/19/2017.

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