La Roque v. United States,
239 U.S. 62 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

La Roque v. United States, 239 U.S. 62 (1915)

La Roque v. United States

No. 240

Argued October 15, 18, 1915

Decided November 8, 1915

239 U.S. 62


The Nelson Act of January 14, 1889, c. 24, 25 Stat. 642, for allotment to Chippewas of the White Earth Indian Reservation contemplated only selections on the part of living Indians acting for themselves or through designated representatives. There was no displacement of the usual rule that incidents of tribal membership, like the membership itself, are terminated by death.

Page 239 U. S. 63

While not conclusive, the construction given to an act of Congress relative to Indian allotment in the course of its actual execution by the Secretary of the Interior is entitled to great respect, and ought not to be overruled without cogent and persuasive reasons.

The fact that the act provided for a census of the Indian is not conclusive that the allotments were to be made to all those included in the census. Fairbanks v. United States, 223 U. S. 215.

The Act of March 3, 1891, c. 561, 26 Stat. 1099, establishing a six-year limitation for actions by the United States to annul patents, has been construed as being part of the public land laws, and refers to patents issued for public lands, and does not relate to suits to annul trust patents for allotments of reserved Indian lands.

The Act of April 23, 1904. c. 1489, 33 Stat. 297, limiting and defining the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to correct mistakes in, and to cancel, trust patents for Indian allotments does not restrict or define the powers or jurisdiction of the court to cancel such a patent.

198 F. 645 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the Nelson Act of 1889 and an allotment to a Chippewa Indian in the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota, are stated in the opinion.

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