Henkel v. United States
237 U.S. 43 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Henkel v. United States, 237 U.S. 43 (1915)

Henkel v. United States

No. 142

Argued January 20, 21, 1915

Decided April 5, 1915

237 U.S. 43

Syllabus

There is no question of the authority of the United States to devote the Indian lands involved in this action to irrigation purposes.

Under the provisions of the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, the Secretary of the Interior had power to acquire all rights and property necessary therefor, including those of allottee Indians, by paying for their improvements and giving them the right of selecting other lands.

The restrictions on alienation of lands allotted to Indians within the area of the Milk River Irrigation Project did not extend to prohibiting an allottee Indian from selling his improvements to the United States and selecting other lands so that the United States could use the lands selected for purposes of an irrigation project as provided by act of Congress.

In this case, held that the mother of Indian minors whose father was not an Indian was the natural guardian, and her relinquishment of the original allotment on their behalf was proper and binding.

196 F. 345 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the rights of allottee Indians and the power of the government to purchase improvements and make new allotments where the land allotted is needed for reclamation purposes, are stated in the opinion.

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