Opinion of the Court
settlement, avoiding hostilities and extinguishing aboriginal title by agreeing to a reservation that included the submerged lands." Id., at 1107.6
This, in summary, was the background for the 1873 Executive Order's inclusion of submerged lands, which in turn were the subject of the 1888 request by the Senate to the Secretary of the Interior for advice about the Tribe's rights over the "navigable waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Coeur d'Alene and St. Joseph Rivers," S. Misc. Doc. No. 36, 50th Cong., 1st Sess., at 1. As noted, the Secretary answered in the affirmative, S. Exec. Doc. No. 76, 50th Cong., 1st Sess., at 3, consistently with the survey indicating that the submerged lands were within the reservation. Thus, the District Court remarked that it would be difficult to imagine circumstances that could have made it more plain to Congress that submerged lands were within the reservation. 95 F. Supp. 2d, at 1114.
The manner in which Congress then proceeded to deal with the Tribe shows clearly that preservation of the land within the reservation, absent contrary agreement with the Tribe, was central to Congress's complementary objectives of dealing with pressures of white settlement and establishing the reservation by permanent legislation. The Tribe had shown its readiness to fight to preserve its land rights when in 1858 it defeated a force of the United States military, which it misunderstood as intending to take aboriginal lands. See H. R. Rep. No. 1109, 51st Cong., 1st Sess., at 2-3. The concern with hostility arose again in 1873 before the reservation boundaries were established, when a surveyor on the
6 See also Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report (1873), reprinted in App. 45 (explaining that Tribe was dissatisfied with a previous reservation and that the 1873 agreement was required "[f]or the purpose of extinguishing [the Tribe's] claim to all the tract of country claimed by them"). See generally Montana v. United States, 450 U. S. 544, 556 (1981) (creation of Indian reservation is appropriate public purpose justifying defeat of state title to submerged lands).Page: Index Previous 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Next
Last modified: October 4, 2007