Summary: H.R.7919 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/22/1980)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 - Declares that Congress approves and ratifies any transfer of land or other natural resource located anywhere within the United States from, by, or on behalf of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, or any of their members. Prohibits the United States from asserting any Indian claims arising from any transfer of land or natural resources and arising before the date of enactment of this Act, on the grounds that such transfer violated laws of the State of Maine.

States that Congress approves any such transfer within the State of Maine from, by, or on behalf of an individual Indian prior to December 1, 1873. Extinguishes the aboriginal title and any Indian claims to such lands.

Establishes in the Treasury the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Fund to be held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior equally for the benefit of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation. Directs the Secretary to accept reasonable terms for investment and administration of such Fund proposed by the Tribe or Nation.

Prohibits the distribution of the principal of the Fund to either Tribe or Nation or to their members. Requires the Secretary to make available, on a quarterly basis, any income derived from such Fund to the Tribe or Nation, and directs that a specified amount be expended annually for the benefit of members who are over the age of sixty.

Establishes in the Treasury the Maine Indian Claims Land Acquisition Fund to be held in trust by the Secretary. Sets forth the apportionment of the principal of such Fund to be held in trust for each Tribe. Provides that lands acquired for the Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe within the boundaries described in the Maine Implementing Act shall be held in trust by the United States, and all lands acquired outside such boundaries shall be held in fee by the Nation or Tribe. Restricts the acquisition of land for the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, to be held in trust by the United States, until the State of Maine has enacted appropriate legislation for such acquisition. Provides that should the Houlton Band terminate its interest in any such acquired lands, the Tribe and Nation shall have one-half undivided interest in the corpus of such trust.

Authorizes the Secretary to participate in negotiations between the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and the State of Maine in securing agreement on lands to be acquired for the Band. Sets forth the limitations on the agreement and the legislation to be enacted by the State.

Authorizes the Secretary to acquire land and natural resources from the ostensible owners and to institute condemnation proceedings thereto in order to perfect title satisfactory to the Attorney General.

Prohibits the Secretary from expending any monies from the Settlement or Acquisition Funds until the Tribe, Nation, or Band has relinquished all claims necessary under this Act.

Exempts, with specific exceptions, any Indian lands in Maine from restraint on alienation by virtue of being held in trust.

Makes void any transfer of land or natural resources within the Passamaquoddy or Penobscot Indian Territories, except takings for public use or transfers of individual Indian use assignments within each Tribe.

Allows each Tribe, Nation, or Band to lease, sell, or exchange their lands in accordance with provisions of this Act.

Requires the Secretary to accept reasonable terms from the Tribe or Nation for management and administration of lands acquired and held in trust for such Indians.

Provides that trust or restricted land or natural resources within the Passamaquoddy or Penobscot Indian Reservations and trust lands outside such reservations may be condemned for public purposes in accordance with the Maine Implementing Act. Requires the United States to be a party to any such condemnation proceedings. Directs that any proceeds from such proceedings be deposited into the Land Acquisition Fund.

Declares all Indians, other than the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation and their members, to be subject to the civil and criminal laws of the State. Subjects the Tribe and Nation to the jurisdiction of the State to the extent provided by the Maine Implementing Act. Declares that Congress approves, ratifies, and confirms such Act.

Directs the Secretary to submit a report on the Federal and State funding provided the Tribe and the Nation compared with similar funding in other states.

Prohibits the Federal Government from asserting criminal jurisdiction in the State of Maine for certain Indian offenses.

Makes the Tribe and Nation, including their officers and employees, immune from suit to the extent provided in the Maine Implementing Act. Authorizes the Secretary to pay from the Settlement Fund any judgment entered against such Indians.

Consents to some amendments to the Maine Implementing Act made with the agreement of the Tribe or Nation. Authorizes such Indians to exercise jurisdiction, separate and distinct from the civil and criminal jurisdiction of Maine, to the extent authorized by such Act.

Directs the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, and the State of Maine to give full faith and credit to the judicial proceedings of each other.

States that the laws which accord special status or rights to other Indians shall not apply to the State of Maine. Makes the Tribe, Nation, and Band eligible to receive all financial benefits provided to other Indians under the same eligibility criteria. Deems such Indians federally recognized Indian tribes for purposes of Federal taxation.

Authorizes the Tribe, Nation, and Band to adopt a written document to govern their affairs consistent with the Maine Implementation Act and this Act.

Authorizes the Tribe or Nation to assume exclusive jurisdiction over Indian child custody proceedings after the approval by the Secretary of a petition to that effect. Provides that such assumption shall not affect any proceeding over which a court has already assumed jurisdiction. Deems such Indians to be bonafide reservations and tribes for purposes of such child custody proceedings.

Prohibits: (1) any payments to the Tribe, Nation, or Band from being considered in computing the State of Maine's eligibility for financial aid programs; (2) any payments from Maine to such Indians from being computed in determining such Indians' eligibility for financial aid programs; and (3) the availability or distribution of funds under this Act from being considered income for the basis of denying any federally assisted housing programs or other financial aid to which such Indians would otherwise be entitled. Stipulates that an administering agency is not barred from considering the actual financial situation of any applicant when such financial aid programs are dependent upon a showing of need.

Grants a deferral of capital gains to any private owners who transferred lands to the Secretary for moneys from the Land Acquisition Fund.

Directs the transfer of tribal trust funds held by the State of Maine to the Settlement Fund.

Declares that this Act constitutes a general discharge and release of obligations of such State arising from any treaty or agreement with any Indians of the State, including a specified action pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.

Provides that any conflict of interpretation between the Maine Implementing Act and this Act shall be governed by this Act.

Declares that any Federal law enacted after this Act for the benefit of Indians shall not apply with the State of Maine, unless such Act is specifically made applicable within such State.