United States Commission on Civil Rights

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

May 1990

Indian Civil Rights, page 30
     BIA Attempts to Rectify Problems at Red Lake
     The Bureau of Indian Affairs attempted to address the right to counsel along with other problems in the CFR courts by issuing a memorandum to its Area directors on November 12, 1985.  The memorandum, by Hazel E. Elbert, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, stated that:

It has come to our attention that courts of Indian offenses may be violating mandates set forth in the Constitution of the United States; the Indian Civil Rights Act ...
     ... Therefore, you are directed to take appropriate steps to have reviewed the conduit and responsibility of court personnel and their operations to ensure violations are not occurring and will not occur in the courts of Indian offenses under your administrative responsibility[.] [66]

The memorandum then listed the following items by which CFR personnel were required to support and abide by:

1. Employees in courts of Indian offenses are prohibited from willfully and unlawfully removing, concealing, destroying or falsifying public records (i.e. court proceedings, maps, books, papers, court documents. ...
     [66] U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Memorandum from Hazel E. Elbert, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs to all Area Directors (Nov. 12, 1985), reprinted in Portland Hearing, supra note 25, at 128-129.

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