Littlefield v. U.S. Dep't of the Interior, No. 23-1197 (1st Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to take two parcels of land in Massachusetts into trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe, holding that the BIA's application of its legal interpretation to the facts was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.
Appellants brought this action challenging the Interior's 2021 record of decision reaffirming its 2015 decision to take the land into trust for the Tribe, arguing that the Tribe did not qualify as a "tribe" within the meaning of the Indian Reorganization Act, that the Tribe was not "under Federal jurisdiction," and that the parcel of land was not eligible activities under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The district court granted summary judgment for the Interior and the Tribe. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Appellants were not entitled to relief on any of their allegations of error.