June 15 , 2006

For Further Information Contact: Steve Moore, (303) 447-8760

 

KICKAPOO TRIBE FILES LAWSUIT IN FEDERAL COURT TO END 30-YEAR ERA OF SYSTEMATIC DEPRIVATION OF THE TRIBE'S WATER RIGHTS

BOULDER, CO – On June 14, 2006, the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in an effort to enforce express promises made to the Tribe to build the Plum Creek Reservoir Project in the Upper Delaware and tributaries watershed. The Nemaha-Brown Watershed Joint Board # 7, the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, and the State of Kansas made these promises to the Tribe over a decade ago. In the intervening years these parties have been actively developing the water resources of the watershed, resulting in the near depletion of the Tribe's senior federal water rights in the drainage.

The water quality on the reservation is so poor it is harmful to human health and unsuitable for human consumption according to the EPA.

  • The water supply is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, Public Law 93-523 (Dec 12, 1974), 42 USC Section 300j et seq.
  • As a result the Kickapoo people are unable to safely drink, bathe or cook with tap water.

The Kickapoo Tribe is represented in the litigation by the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). Founded in 1970, NARF is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.

For more information contact: Steven Moore, Esq. NARF, (303) 447-8760; Damon K. Williams, General Counsel Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, (785) 486-2131

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The Native American Rights Fund is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist Indian tribes, individuals and organizations with legal advice and representation on issues of national significance to Native Americans. NARF is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado with offices in Anchorage, Alaska and Washington, D.C.


A copy of the complaint is provided.