United States Commission on Civil Rights

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

May 1990


Indian Civil Rights, page 39
Indian offenses on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.  [84]

     Plaintiffs, the court said, had chosen the wrong means to complain of the failures of the CFR court to accord them their rights:

The injustices which plaintiffs allege occur in the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses are likely real and distressingly so.  But, given the unique and complex character of Indian tribes as quasi-sovereign nations and the extraordinarily broad authority of Congress over Indian matters, the role of the courts in matters between tribes and their members, even where redness of violations of rights under § 1302 of the Act is sought, is quite restrained.  Claims for redress of the injustices of the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses which plaintiffs allege are today best directed to Congress.  Unless and until Congress states otherwise, this court is constrained to offer only the remedy of habeas corpus for injustices in the Red Lake court of Indian Offenses and is forced to stand as an idle observer of those injustices which habeas corpus will not remedy.  [85]

     Of particular importance is that in contracting with the Red Lake Tribe to provide funds for a tribal court, the

__________
     [84] Washington, D.C. Hearing, supra note 4, at 204-04 (citation omitted).
     [85]  Id. at 206-07 (citation omitted).



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