Idaho v. United States, 533 U.S. 262, 14 (2001)

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Cite as: 533 U. S. 262 (2001)

Opinion of the Court

In the Court of Appeals, Idaho also conceded one point covered in this second part of the enquiry. It agreed that after the Secretary of the Interior's 1888 report that the reservation embraced nearly "all the navigable water of Lake Coeur d'Alene," S. Exec. Doc. No. 76, 50th Cong., 1st Sess., at 3, Congress was on notice that the Executive Order reservation included submerged lands. Opening Brief for Appellant in No. 98-35831 (CA9), at 11 ("[Congress was] informed that the Coeur d'Alene Reservation embraced submerged lands"). Again, Idaho's concession was prudent in light of the District Court's findings of facts. 95 F. Supp. 2d, at 1114 ("The evidence shows that prior to Idaho's statehood, Congress was on notice that the Executive Order of 1873 reserved for the benefit of the Tribe the submerged lands within the boundaries of the Coeur d'Alene Reservation").

The District Court did not merely impute to Congress knowledge of the land survey, but also explained how the submerged lands and related water rights had been continuously important to the Tribe throughout the period prior to congressional action confirming the reservation and granting Idaho statehood. And the District Court made the following findings about the period preceding negotiations authorized by Congress:

"The facts demonstrate that an influx of non-Indians into the Tribe's aboriginal territory prompted the Federal Government to negotiate with the Coeur d'Alenes in an attempt to confine the Tribe to a reservation and to obtain the Tribe's release of its aboriginal lands for settlement. Before it would agree to these conditions, however, the Tribe demanded an enlarged reservation that included the Lake and rivers. Thus, the Federal Government could only achieve its goals of promoting

them—a reservation of those not granted"). The Tribe does not press its unextinguished-aboriginal-title argument here. See Brief for Respondent Coeur d'Alene Tribe 25, n. 12.


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