Congressional delegations back bill that would return land to Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Nov 13, 2023, 10:37 AM | Updated: 10:57 am

FILE - The Capitol in Washington, is seen at sunrise, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott...

FILE - The Capitol in Washington, is seen at sunrise, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The congressional delegations from Nebraska and Iowa have thrown their support behind legislation that would return land to the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska that the federal government took decades ago but never developed.

The Army Corps of Engineers took the roughly 2.5-square-mile (6.5-square-kilometer) tract of land along the Missouri River in Iowa in 1970 through eminent domain for a recreation project, but it was never built. The tribe has been trying to get it back.

“The Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to condemn and seize land from the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska was a classic case of government overreach,” Republican Sen. Pete Ricketts, of Nebraska, said in a statement last week. “My colleagues in the Nebraska and Iowa delegations and I want to see this wrong corrected, and the land returned to the Winnebago people.”

In recent years, some tribes in the U.S., Canada and Australia have gotten their rights to ancestral lands restored with the growth of the Land Back movement, which seeks to return land to Indigenous people. Minnesota is in the process of returning to the Upper Sioux Community tribe part of a state park that holds secret burial sites of the Dakota people.

The U.S. federal government has never transferred a national park to a tribal nation, but several are co-managed with tribes, including Grand Portage National Monument in northern Minnesota, Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona and Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.

The land that would be returned to the Winnebago Tribe if the legislation passes was originally part of the reservation created for the tribe in northeastern Nebraska by a treaty in 1865. Part of the land wound up in Iowa because the Missouri River has shifted west over the years.

Another parcel of land on the Nebraska side of the river that was taken at the same time has already been returned to the tribe, but the Iowa land remains in the federal government’s hands. Neither the Corps nor the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which has been managing the land, objects to returning the land to the tribe, which should help clear the path for the proposal to pass.

“We have been waiting for this wrong to be made right, and we are grateful for the leadership demonstrated by our congressional delegation,” said Winnebago Tribal Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

WII veteran Ed Carroll at Pearl Harbor. (Courtesy: Ed Carroll)...

Erin Cox and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Utah veteran honored for service at pearl harbor 82 years ago

A Utah WII veteran shares his experience of Pearl Harbor as he returned to the island to be honored for his duty to his country.

7 hours ago

A University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student talks on his cellphone after a shooting reported on camp...

Dan Rascon and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Nervous UNLV students return back to campus after fatal shooting

UNLV students and teachers describe the terrifying moments of the mass shooting that killed three professors on Wednesday.

10 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidates from left, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov....

Bill Barrow and Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press

The GOP debate field asked about Trump, but two candidates focused on Nikki Haley

The latest Republican presidential debate has demonstrated how firm Donald Trump's grip remains on their party.

12 hours ago

A customer who threw a burrito bowl in a Chipotle worker's face in September has been sentenced to ...

Chris Isidore, CNN

Woman who threw bowl of food at Chipotle worker sentenced to work 2 months in fast food job

A woman who threw a bowl of hot food in the face of a Chipotle worker has been sentenced to a month in jail — and two months working a fast food job.

14 hours ago

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko,

Henderson agrees to extend Utah ballot access deadline to March 5 after RFK Jr. lawsuit

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said she will give independent presidential candidates until at least March 5, 2024, to turn in the required signatures in order to gain ballot access in the state after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. alleged the original deadline of Jan. 8, 2024, was unconstitutional.

14 hours ago

An eight-week-old sea otter rescued from Seldovia, Alaska, peaks out of his enclosure at Shedd Aqua...

Erin Hooley, Associated Press

A sea otter pup found alone in Alaska has a new home at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium

A northern sea otter who was found alone and malnourished in the remote Alaska town of Seldovia in October has a new home in Chicago.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Congressional delegations back bill that would return land to Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska