Case Analysis Summaries

Muwekma Ohlone Tribe v. Salazar, No. 11-5328, 2013 WL 765009 (D.C. Cir. March 1, 2013).

Adam J. Holcomb

In Muwekma Ohlone Tribe v. Salazar, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the Muwekma's petition to order the Secretary of the Interior to recognize it as an Indian tribe. This case is significant because the Muwekma were previously a federally recognized Indian tribe, but, unlike other similarly situated tribes, they were not allowed to enjoy a summary process to re-attain recognition. The circuit court held the Muwekma case is distinguishable from other cases where previously recognized tribes enjoyed an easier road to recognition because the interaction between Muwekma members and the federal government did not equate to interaction on a government-to-government basis.  See PDF for complete summary.