Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation


Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation Water Rights Settlement


Fort Peck Indian Reservation




Missouri River Basin


In the Matter of the Adjudication of Existing and Reserved Rights to the Use of Water, both Surface and Underground, of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation 2ithin the State of Montana in Basins 40e, 40ej, 40o, 40q, 40r, & 40s, No, WC-1992-1,In the Water Court of the State of Montana, Upper & Lower Missouri River Divisions, Special Fort Peck Compact Subbasin

Document Type

Post-settlement court orders/ decree


MT Water Court

Publication Date



Post Settlement Court Opinion: Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, MT, Montana, Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission, United States. Opinion disposes of three objections to settlement/Compact. It concludes that Compact is analogous to consent decree; objector has the initial burden of production; standard for approving a consent decree is that it is at least fair, adequate and reasonable, made in good faith, with arms-length negotiations and conforms to applicable laws; settlement must be in public’s interest but not necessarily in the public’s best interest, if otherwise reasonable; objectors must show that they claimed rights are materially injured. Provisions of compact and review have limited precedential value. Opinion discusses standing to object; Indian reserved water rights; authority of Montana legislature to enter into reserved water rights compacts; quantification of Ft Peck water rights; rights to groundwater; changes in use; instream use; off reservation diversion; off reservation use; marketing; Indian Non-Intercourse Act; and equal protection. The court entered its order approving and confirming the Fort Peck-Montana Compact.


Mt. Water Court Opinion, 43 pages.

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