United States Commission on Civil Rights

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

May 1990


Indian Civil Rights, page 21
been denied counsel, bail, and the right to a trial by jury. [45]

August 1985: The Red Lake Council began requiring that attorneys be members of the Red Lake Tribe, understand Chippewa, and be a resident of the reservation. [46]  In 1985 also, the
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      [45] See Good v. Graves, Civil no. 6-85-508 (D. Minn. May 20, 1985).  The court noted:
The evidence in this case leads this court to the inescapable conclusion that the rights guaranteed petitioners by the Indian Civil Rights Act were trampled upon by the officials of the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses.
Id. at 5.  See also, 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 119-22 ("The federal court ordered the prisoners in one such case released because they had not been given a right to counsel, were told they would have to pay for a jury trial if they wanted one, and were denied the right to post bail -- all in violation of the Indian Civil Rights Act.  (Emphasis added; citation to Good v. Graves deleted.).

     [46] Red Lake Tribal Council Resolution No. 237-85 (Aug. 29, 1985).  Area Director Earl Barlow wrote to the field superintendent:
Although Tribal Resolution NO. 237-85 has established criteria for purposes of admission to practice before the court, the criteria are so restrictive that it is a virtual certainty that no professional attorney could qualify for admission to practice.  Imposition of those criteria would have the effect of denying the right to counsel, and accordingly, the Bureau of Indian Affairs can neither approve nor recognize the criteria in Resolution No. 237-85.  The existing Tribal Code provision (Chapter 1, § 4(1)) is equally restrictive because it limits licensing to Band members."
(continued...)

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