Red Lake Reservation Boundary Dispute

HRA senior historian Ian Smith submitted an expert historical report and served as an expert witness at trial in a case involving the alleged diminishment of the Red Lake Indian Reservation under a 1905 law that authorized the sale of a tract of reservation land to a railroad company. Mr. Smith provided trial testimony in federal court on behalf of the United States in August 2013, and his report analyzing congressional intent in the passage of the 1905 law was offered as an exhibit at trial. The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota found in favor of the United States in May 2014, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling in April 2017. Judges in both the U.S. District Court and the Eighth Circuit relied on Mr. Smith’s report and testimony in their rulings in the case.

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