Play video

Natural Resource Rights

Learn about natural resource rights, especially water rights, as they pertain to Indian tribes.


I. Natural Resource Rights

Imagine that the United States entered into a treaty that gave a tribe a reservation. The tribe’s reservation had valuable timber and mineral deposits. Later, the United States and the tribe entered into a new treaty where the tribe agreed to cede some of the reservation land to the United States. The treaty was silent regarding natural resources. The United States paid the tribe fair value for the land but didn’t pay for the value of the timber or mineral deposits....