United States Commission on Civil Rights

Confidential Draft Report
“Enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968”

May 1990


Indian Civil Rights, page 18
1977: The Department of Justice prepared to sue the Red Lake Tribe regarding the tribal law requiring attorneys to be members of the tribe.  The suit was dropped when the Martinez decision came down. [38]

1979: The council removed the tribal treasurer.  ... This sparked an uprising which resulted in the
__________
     [37] (...continued)
language in the contract requiring compliance with the ICRA was then discussed. Id at 28-31; cf. 61 (Testimony of U.S. Attorney Jerome G. Arnold).  On the issue of the Red Lake Tribal Court contract, see Memorandum to Assistant Secretary -- Indian Affairs from Acting Associate Solicitor, Division of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior (Nov. 13, 1987), reprinted as Exhibit 2, Portland Hearing, supra note 25, at 119-122 [hereinafter "Solicitor's Memorandum"] ("In summary, it is clear that the Red Lake Tribe has no intention of operating its court in accordance with the requirements of the Indian Civil Rights Act. ... Given the past record of the Red Lake Tribe, it is unlikely that it will operate the court in compliance with the Indian Civil Rights Act unless compelled to do so.  We recommend that the problem be addressed at the outset by insisting on specific language in the contract rather than waiting until individual Indians seek to hold us accountable for the foreseeable actions of the tribal court. ... By taking a firm position in this instance where a serious civil rights problem clearly exists, we can seriously reduce the risk that federal courts will force us to become routinely involved in internal tribal disputes." (Emphasis added)).
     For a critical analysis of this article, see Testimony of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians for the Record of the Hearing on Enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act Conducted by the Civil Rights Commission in Washington, D.C., on January 28, 1988, reprinted as Exhibit 18, Washington, D.C. Hearing, supra note 4, at 321 (hereinafter cited as Red Lake Tribe Statement).  The article was mentioned by a Commission staff for the above reasons and not necessarily as a general endorsement of its contents.
     [38]  United States v. Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, CIV 6-72-125 (D. Minn., filed March 20, 1978, voluntarily dismissed after Martinez, May 19, 1978.


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