Tuesday, May 20, 2014

U.S. v. Winans case brief

120, SCOTUS (1905)
Subject: Indian Law - Yakima Indians - Washington State
  • Treaty gave Yakima Indians right to fish “at the usual places in common with citizens of Washington.” 
    • Whites were using “fish wheels” which made it very hard for Yakima to get any fish
    • If “in common” meant the same rights as non-Indians, the treaty would be meaningless
  • Court held that Indians had exclusive fishing rights on Reservation and equal fishing rights off Reservation.
    • Reserved Rights Doctrine – treaty is a grant of rights FROM Indians to Americans, not a grant FROM Americans
    • Canon of Construction: treaty construed as Indians would have interpreted it

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