Hagen v. Utah, 510 U.S. 399, 23 (1994)

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Cite as: 510 U. S. 399 (1994)

Opinion of the Court

Indian country seriously burdens the administration of state and local governments." Solem, 465 U. S., at 471-472, n. 12. Of the original 2 million acres reserved for Indian occupation, approximately 400,000 were opened for non-Indian settlement in 1905. Almost all of the non-Indians live on the opened lands. The current population of the area is approximately 85 percent non-Indian. 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Summary Population and Housing Characteristics: Utah, 1990 CPH-1-46, Table 17, p. 73. The population of the largest city in the area—Roosevelt City, named for the President who opened the reservation for settlement— is about 93 percent non-Indian. Id., Table 3, p. 13.

The seat of Ute tribal government is in Fort Duchesne, which is situated on Indian trust lands. By contrast, we found it significant in Solem that the seat of tribal government was located on opened lands. 465 U. S., at 480. The State of Utah exercised jurisdiction over the opened lands from the time the reservation was opened until the Tenth Circuit's Ute Indian Tribe decision. That assumption of authority again stands in sharp contrast to the situation in Solem, where "tribal authorities and Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel took primary responsibility for policing . . . the opened lands during the years following [the opening in] 1908." 465 U. S., at 480. This "jurisdictional history," as well as the current population situation in the Uintah Valley, demonstrates a practical acknowledgment that the Reservation was diminished; a contrary conclusion would seriously disrupt the justifiable expectations of the people living in the area. Cf. Rosebud, supra, at 604-605.


We conclude that the Uintah Indian Reservation has been diminished by Congress. Accordingly, the town of Myton, where petitioner committed a crime, is not in Indian country and the Utah courts properly exercised criminal jurisdiction


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