Fairbanks v. United States,
223 U.S. 215 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fairbanks v. United States, 223 U.S. 215 (1912)

Fairbanks v. United States

Nos. 112, 113

Argued January 18, 19, 1912

Decided February 1, 1912

223 U.S. 215


The Nelson Act of January 14, 1889, 25 Stat. 642, c. 24, providing for allotment of lands of Chippewa Indians in the White Earth Reservation, was still effective as to those Indians who had not received allotments thereunder when the Steenerson Act of April 24, 1904, 33 Stat. 589, c. 1786, was enacted, and such Indians were not required to await proceedings under the Steenerson Act to obtain their original allotments under the Nelson Act.

The Steenerson Act is part of a plan of legislation in regard to Indian allotments, and modified and changed the prior general allotment acts of February 8, 1887, and February 28, 1891, by superseding certain of their provisions and enlarging the quantity of land to be allotted, and the scheme of legislation of which it is a part is to have existence and continuity of action until its purpose shall have been fulfilled. Oakes v. United States, 172 F. 304.

Under the Nelson Act and the other acts relating to Indian allotments in the White Earth Reservation, in force August 8, 1904, children born on the reservation subsequent to the final order and who had not had allotments were entitled to allotments of eighty acres.

Indians who had already received allotments under the Nelson Act were not entitled, prior to August 8, 1904, to make selections of additional land under the Steenerson Act to the exclusion of one who had not received any allotment under the Nelson Act.

In a continuous proceeding in the Land Department under the Indian Allotment Acts, all parties are chargeable with notice of the different steps taken.

Quaere whether a decree can be made in a suit against the United States by a party claiming a selection under Indian allotment acts which would affect the rights of other claimants to the same land who are not parties to the suit.

The facts, which involve the title to lands in the White Earth Indian Reservation, allotted under the Chippewa Indian Treaty of 1867, and various acts of Congress relating thereto, are stated in the opinion.

Page 223 U. S. 216

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