BIA Must Take Land Into Trust For Calif. Tribe, Judge Says

By Andrew Westney (November 16, 2020, 10:33 PM EST) -- A California federal judge has ruled that the Bureau of Indian Affairs must take land into trust for the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians' casino, saying the tribe qualifies for a mandatory trust acquisition under a 1983 land claims judgment.

The Buena Vista tribe had asked the court to order the BIA to take lands restored to the tribe into trust, after the agency repeatedly rejected the tribe's request and said it must instead apply for a discretionary land-into-trust acquisition.

U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen sided with the tribe in an order Friday, ruling that it fulfilled the requirements...

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