Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington : Government Printing Office, 1941.
|Chap. 275||Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska.|
|Sec. 2||Claims of, may be submitted to Court of Claims.|
|Sec. 2||Settlement and determination of amounts due.|
|Sec. 2||Jurisdiction conferred.|
|Sec. 3||Presentation of claims.|
|Sec. 3||Time for filing suit.|
|Sec. 3||Final judgment; effect.|
|Sec. 3||Authority of court.|
|Sec. 3||Employment of attorneys for Indians.|
|Sec. 4||Hearings and settlement of claims.|
|Sec. 4||43 Stat., 253, vol. 4. 420; U.S.C., p. 121.|
|Sec. 4||Prior payments.|
|Sec. 5||Public records as evidence.|
|Sec. 6||Commissioner to take testimony, etc., authorized.
43 Stat., 964; U.S.C., p. 899.
43 Stat., 965.
|Sec. 7||Indians entitled to share in judgment.|
|Sec. 7||Tribal roll to be prepared.|
|Sec. 7||Approval of roll; effect.|
|Sec. 8||Apportionment of benefits.|
|Sec. 8||Deposits and expenditures,|
|Sec. 8||Provisos. Use of interest.|
|Sec. 8||Per capita payments.|
|Sec. 9||Attorneys' services.|
|Sec. 10||Notice to Attorney General, etc.|
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That for the purposes of this Act the Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska shall be defined to be all those Indians of the whole or mixed blood of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes who are residing in Russian America, now called the Territory of Alaska, in the region known and described as southeastern Alaska, lying east of the one hundred and forty-first meridian.
All claims of whatever nature, legal or equitable, which the said Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska may have, or claim to have, against the United States, for lands or other tribal or community property rights, taken from them by the United States without compensation therefor, or for the failure or refusal of the United States to compensate them for said lands or other tribal or community property rights, claimed to be owned by said Indians, and which the United States appropriated to its own uses and purposes without the consent of said Indians, or for the failure or refusal of the United States to protect their interests in lands or other tribal or community property in Alaska, and for loss of use of the same, at the time of the purchase of the said Russian America, now Alaska from Russia, or at any time since that date and prior to the passage and approval of this Act, shall be submitted to the said Court of Claims by said Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska for the settlement and determination of the equitable and just value thereof, and the amount equitably and justly due to said Indians from the United States therefore; and the loss to said Indians of their right, title, or interest, arising from occupancy and use, in lands or other tribal or community property, without just compensation therefor, shall be held sufficient ground for relief hereunder; and jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon said court to hear such claims and to render judgment and decree thereon for such sum as said court shall find to be equitable and just for the reasonable value of their said property, if any was so taken by the United States without the consent of the said Indians and without compensation therefor; that from the decision of the Court of Claims in any suit or suits prosecuted under the authority of this Act an appeal may be taken by either party, as in other cases, to the Supreme Court of the United States.
That the claim or claims of said Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska may be presented and prosecuted separately or jointly in one or more suits, by petition or petitions setting out the facts upon which they base their demands for relief and judgment or decree; the petition or petitions may be amended when necessary more fully or specifically to set forth their said claim or claims, and said suit or suits shall be filed in said Court of Claims within seven years after the date of the passage of this Act; such suit or suits shall make the said Indians parties plaintiff and the United States party defendant, and the final judgment or decree shall conclude and forever settle the claim or claims so presented; the Court of Claims shall have full authority by proper orders and process to bring in and make parties to such suit or suits any and all parties deemed by it necessary or proper to the final determination of the matters in
controversy; such petition or petitions may be verified by any attorney or attorneys employed by said Indians, under contract approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior, and said contract shall be executed in behalf of said Indians by a committee chosen by them under the direction and approval of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior; verification may be upon information and belief as to the facts alleged; a true copy of the written contract or contracts by which such attorney or attorneys are employed by said Indians to represent them in such suit or suits shall be filed in said Court of Claims, as their authority by the said attorney or attorneys to so appear in said suit or suits for said Indians and to prosecute their said claim or claims in said Court of Claims.
That if any claim or claims shall be submitted to said court it shall hear and settle the equitable and just rights therein, notwithstanding lapse of time, or statutes of limitations, or the fact that the said claim or claims have not been presented to any other tribunal, or the fact that said Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska may have been made citizens of the United States by the Act of Congress of June 2, 1924 (43 Stat. L. 253), or by any other law of the United States, or the fact that the said Indians, or any of them, collectively, prior to the passage and approval of this Act, may have severed their tribal relations with the said Tlingit and Haida Tribes. Any payment which may have been made by the United States or moneys heretofore or hereafter expended to date of award for the benefit of the said Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska, made under specific appropriations for the support, education, health, and civilization of said Indians, including purchase of lands, shall not be pleaded as an estoppel but may be pleaded by way of set-off.
Official letters, papers, documents, and public records, or certified copies thereof, from the files and records of the United States, or the Territory of Alaska, and Russian documents and similar records, and historical data and books prepared by American or other standard historians or authors, relating to the subject matter in controversy in said suit or suits, may be used in evidence by either party, and the departments of the United States Government shall give the attorneys for both parties access to such papers, correspondence, and documents as are in the files.
The Court of Claims shall appoint at the proper time a commissioner or commissioners under the provisions of the Act of February 24, 1925 (43 Stat. L. 964), and Acts supplemental thereto, who shall have the aid of a stenographer to take the testimony to be used in the investigation of such claims. In addition to the present powers of such commissioner to take such testimony, he is hereby authorized to take the testimony of said Alaska Indians and their witnesses at such place or places in Alaska as are most convenient for said Indians and their witnesses; that the said Alaska Indians shall produce their witnesses in Alaska at such times and places as said commissioner shall direct, at their own expense, but the expenses of said commissioner and stenographer shall be paid by the United States out of the funds provided for such purposes in the said Act of February 24, 1925, and said supplemental Acts.
That Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska who are entitled to share in any judgment or appropriation made to pay said claim or claims shall consist of all persons of Tlingit or Haida blood, living in or belonging to any local community of these tribes in the territory described in section 1 of this Act. Each tribal community shall prepare
a roll of its tribal membership, which roll shall be submitted to a Tlingit and Haida central council for its approval. The said central council shall prepare a combined roll of all communities and submit it to the Secretary of the Interior for approval. Approval of the roll by the said Secretary of the Interior shall operate as final proof of the right of such Indian communities to share in the benefits of this Act as set forth in section 8.
The amount of any judgment in favor of said Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska, after payment of attorneys fees, shall be apportioned to the different Tlingit and Haida communities listed in the roll provided for in section 7 in direct proportion to the number of names on each roll, and shall become an asset thereof, and shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of each community, and such funds shall bear interest at the rate of 4 per centum per annum, and shall be expended from time to time upon requisition by the said communities by and with advice and consent of the Secretary of the Interior, and under regulations as he may prescribe, for the future economic security and stability of said Indian groups, through the acquisition or creation of productive economic instruments and resources of public benefit to such Indian communities: Provided, however, That the interest on such funds may be used for beneficial purposes such as the relief of distress, emergency relief and health: Provided further, That none of the funds above indicated or the interest thereon shall ever be used for per capita payments.
That upon the final determination of any suit or suits instituted under this Act, if there is judgment for the plaintiff Indians the Court of Claims shall inquire into the agreement or contract which said Indians have made with their attorneys for compensation for their services in said suit or suits, and if said Court of Claims shall find that such services have been faithfully performed by said attorneys, it shall make a finding to that effect and adjudge that said attorneys' compensation shall be paid as agreed upon in said contract out of the appropriation made for the payment of the sum found due to said Indians, but in no case to exceed 10 per centum of the amount of the total recovery, and said sum so found to be due to said attorneys shall be paid in full out of the sums so found due to said Indians and the remainder of said total sum due to said Indians shall be expended as provided in section 8 of this Act.
A copy of the petition and other pleadings and briefs in said suit or suits brought under this Act shall be served upon the Attorney General of the United States, and he, or some attorney from the Department of Justice to be designated by him, is hereby directed to appear and defend the interests of the United States in such case or cases.
Approved, June 19, 1935.