Summary: S.3153 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (07/11/1978)

(Reported to Senate from the Select Committee on Indian Affairs with amendment, S. Rept. 95-972)

Rhode Island Indian Claims Settlement Act - Directs that any transfer of lands or natural resources located within the State of Rhode Island outside the town of Charlestown from, by or on behalf of any Indian, Indian nation, or Indian tribe, including but not limited to a transfer pursuant to any statute of any State, shall be deemed to have been made in accordance with the Constitution and all applicable laws of the United States.

Establishes in the United States Treasury the Rhode Island Indian Claims Settlement Fund into which $3,500,000 shall be deposited following the appropriations authorized by this Act.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to accept two-year option agreements negotiated by the Governor of the State of Rhode Island for the purchase of private settlement lands.

Provides for the payment of an option fee equal to five percent of the purchase price to qualified private defendants with claims under this Act.

Stipulates that: (1) to the extent that any such transfer of lands or natural resources described may involve lands or natural resources to which such Indian, Indian nation, or Indian tribe had aboriginal title, such transfers shall be regarded as an extinguishment of such aboriginal title as of the date of said transfer; and (2) by virtue of the approval of a transfer of lands or natural resources effected by such transfers or an extinguishment of aboriginal title effected thereby, all claims against the United States, any State or subdivision thereof, or any other person or entity, by the Indian Corporation or any entity known as the Narragansett Tribe of Indians or any other Indian, Indian nation, or Indian tribe shall be extinguished.

Sets forth criteria which must be met in order to extinquish the Indian claims of the Indian Corporation or said Narragansett Tribe.

States that, once the Secretary purchases private settlement lands with moneys available from the fund and conveys such lands to the State Corporation established pursuant to legislation enacted by the State of Rhode Island, the United States will have no further duties or liabilities under this Act with respect to the Indian Corporation, the State Corporation, or the settlement lands. Stipulates that if the Secretary acknowledges the existence of the Narragansett Tribe, the settlement lands may not be sold, granted, or conveyed or leased to anyone other than the Indian Corporation.

Subjects such lands to the civil and criminal laws and jurisdiction of the State of Rhode Island.

Continues benefits received by the State under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 and the Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act of 1950.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Sets a 180 day statute of limitation for contesting the constitutionality of this Act. Vests exclusive jurisdiction on any such action in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island.

Extinguishes the aboriginal title to land and all claims based on any interest or right involving such land on behalf of Indians, other than the Narragensetts, insofar as lands located within the State but outside Charlestown, Rhode Island, are involved. Makes such extinguishment conditioned upon the absence of any claim brought by such Indians within period of 180 days after enactment of this Act.