Hagen v. Utah, 510 U.S. 399, 2 (1994)

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the provision of a sum certain payment to the Indians, when coupled with a statutory expression of intent, can certainly provide additional evidence of diminishment, the lack of such a provision does not lead to the contrary conclusion. Throughout the diminishment inquiry, ambiguities are resolved in favor of the Indians, and diminishment will not lightly be found. Pp. 410-412. (c) The operative language of the Act of May 27, 1902, ch. 888, 32 Stat. 263—which provided for allotments of some Uintah Reservation land to Indians, and that "all the unallotted lands within said reservation shall be restored to the public domain" (emphasis added)—evidences a congressional purpose to terminate reservation status. See, e. g., Seymour v. Superintendent of Wash. State Penitentiary, 368 U. S. 351, 354-355. Solem, supra, at 472-476, distinguished. Contrary to petitioner's argument, this baseline intent to diminish was not changed by the Act of March 3, 1905, ch. 1479, 33 Stat. 1069. Language in that statute demonstrates that Congress clearly viewed the 1902 Act as the basic legislation upon which the 1905 Act and intervening statutes were built. Furthermore, the structure of the statutes—which contain complementary, nonduplicative essential provisions—requires that the 1905 and 1902 Acts be read together. Finally, the general rule that repeals by implication are disfavored is especially strong here, because the 1905 Act expressly repealed a provision in the intervening statute passed in 1903; if Congress had meant to repeal any part of any other previous statute, it could easily have done so. Pp. 412-416. (d) The historical evidence—including letters and other statements by Interior Department officials, congressional bills and statements by Members of Congress, and the text of the 1905 Presidential Proclamation that actually opened the Uintah Reservation to settlement—clearly indicates the contemporaneous understanding that the reservation would be diminished by the opening of the unallotted lands. This conclusion is not altered by inconsistent references to the reservation in both the past and present tenses in the post-1905 legislative record. These must be viewed merely as passing references in text, not deliberate conclusions about the congressional intent in 1905. Pp. 416-420. (e) Practical acknowledgment that the reservation was diminished is demonstrated by the current population situation in the Uintah Valley, which is approximately 85 percent non-Indian in the opened lands and 93 percent non-Indian in the area's largest city; by the fact that the seat of local tribal government is on Indian trust lands, not opened lands; and by the State of Utah's assumption of jurisdiction over the opened lands from 1905 until the Tenth Circuit decided Ute Indian Tribe. A contrary conclusion would seriously disrupt the justifiable expectations of the people living in the area. Pp. 420-421. 858 P. 2d 925, affirmed.

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