Case Summary Citation

Tulalip Tribes v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, 794 F.3d 1129 (9th Cir. 2015)


In a longstanding battle between two entrenched Indian tribes, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed fishing access doctrines established in the Boldt Decisions. Consequentially, the Boldt Decisions have been confirmed as the preeminent authority in determining tribal fishing rights in conjunction with treaties and inter-tribal conflicts. By applying the Boldt standards of “usual and accustomed,” the Ninth Circuit demonstrated its commitment to giving tribes a wide breadth in establishing claims to fishing grounds off reservation. In the future, fishing treaty litigation will continue with the Boldt standard’s low burden of proof for tribes asserting fishing access rights.

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