Hagen v. Utah, 510 U.S. 399, 4 (1994)

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Opinion of the Court

1151, and the Utah state courts properly exercised criminal jurisdiction over petitioner, an Indian who committed a crime in Myton.


On October 3, 1861, President Lincoln reserved about 2 million acres of land in the Territory of Utah for Indian settlement. Executive Order No. 38-1, reprinted in 1 C. Kappler, Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties 900 (1904). Congress confirmed the President's action in 1864, creating the Uintah Valley Reservation. Act of May 5, 1864, ch. 77, 13 Stat. 63. According to the 1864 Act, the lands were "set apart for the permanent settlement and exclusive occupation of such of the different tribes of Indians of said territory as may be induced to inhabit the same." Ibid. The present-day Ute Indian Tribe includes the descendants of the Indians who settled on the Uintah Reservation.

In the latter part of the 19th century, federal Indian policy changed. See F. Cohen, Handbook of Federal Indian Law 127-139 (1982 ed.). Indians were no longer to inhabit communally owned reservations, but instead were to be given individual parcels of land; any remaining lands were to be opened for settlement by non-Indians. The General Allotment Act, Act of Feb. 8, 1887, ch. 119, 24 Stat. 388, granted the President authority "to allot portions of reservation land to tribal members and, with tribal consent, to sell the surplus lands to [non-Indian] settlers, with the proceeds of these sales being dedicated to the Indians' benefit." DeCoteau v. District County Court for Tenth Judicial District, 420 U. S. 425, 432 (1975).

Pursuant to the General Allotment Act, Congress in 1894 directed the President to appoint a commission to negotiate with the Indians for the allotment of Uintah Reservation lands and the "relinquishment to the United States" of all unallotted lands. Act of Aug. 15, 1894, ch. 290, 22, 28 Stat. 337. That effort did not succeed, and in 1898 Congress directed the President to appoint another commission to nego-

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