Monday, October 3, 2016

One Reservation, two tribes, and two courts

I've written several times recently about the breakdown over the Tribal Court at Ft. Washakie.  This past week, things seemed to move along towards where they were seemingly headed.

The BIA determined to set up a new CFR Court for the Shoshone nation. Therefore the Wind River Reservation Tribal Court will no longer have jurisdiction over members of the Shoshone nation.  The Court will retain, however, jurisdiction over Shoshone tribal members who had cases pending in the court prior to the establishment of the CFR Court, which has now been established.  Otherwise, the Tribal Court will have jurisdiction only over members of the Arapaho nation.

The Court, it should be noted, has under advisement penalties for members of the Joint Business Council, all Shoshone right now, who were recently found in contempt due to trying to dissolve the court.  A hearing was recently held and, according to the Casper Star Tribune, those individuals did not appear but lawyers for the Arapaho tribe did and they urged jail sentences for those found in contempt.

All of this, while it may be a temporary resolution, is hardly a satisfactory one.  Two tribes, one shared reservation, two courts.  This seems to be guaranteed to be problematic.

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