VAWA Tribal Trial Advocacy Skills Training at Eastern Band Cherokee


August 24-26, 2016
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation Cherokee, North Carolina

The BIA Office of Justice Services and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation present a free training for tribal judges, prosecutors, public defenders and tribal leaders in trial advocacy skills and the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Special Domestic Violence Jurisdiction over Non-Indians.

Presenters Include:

Jill Rose, United States Attorney, Western District of North Carolina
Hon. Steve Aycock, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
John Pritchard, Assistant United States Attorney and Tribal Liaison, Western District of North Carolina
Leslie Hagan, National Indian Country Training Coordinator for the Justice

The Training is free of charge, but travel and lodging are at the participant’s expense. Rooms have been reserved at the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort at a conference rate of $129 a night. Call 1-866-503-3904 to reserve rooms and use the conference code S08VAWA.

Please email and return the attached registration form to Tessa Turnbow at

Osley Bird Saunooke Jr. Walked On


Osley Bird Saunooke Jr. 71, died March 2, 2015 with his loving bride of 50 years sitting by his side.

Osley, affectionately known by his friends as “Butch”, was born in Jacksonville, Fla. on April 6, 1943. He was the son of the Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  His mother was the first woman member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council.   From them, he learned how to build and serve his Native American family.  Butch grew up in western North Carolina on the Eastern Cherokee reservation where he attended and graduated from Swain County High School.  An all-around athlete, Butch was a standout in every sport which ultimately led him to attend Brigham Young University where he was a place kicker for the BYU football team.

Butch served in the United States Navy and was honorably discharged shortly after the untimely death of his father Chief Saunooke.  Shortly thereafter, he traveled west to Provo where he attended BYU under a scholarship from the American Indian program.  While at BYU, Butch met the love of his life – an Australian beauty named Elizabeth Anne Hodson.   They married in 1964 and began a wonderful life together which resulted in six children, 24 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.  A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (“LDS”), Butch served in every capacity within the church as Home Teacher, President, Bishop, Teacher and Temple Worker.

Butch attended the University of New Mexico School of Law graduating in two years.  He moved his family to Florida becoming the first director of the newly created United Southern and Eastern Tribes in Sarasota, Fla..  He continued in that position assisting tribes throughout the southeast including the Seminole, Miccosukee, Cherokee, Poarch Creek and Mississippi Choctaw.  His efforts led to new economic development that helped pull the Tribes out of poverty and into self-determination and their own economic success.  Butch began planting seeds of financial independence that spread throughout Indian Country resulting in the successful casino, manufacturing plants, agro business and energy resources now a permanent fixture with Tribes.

Butch helped create the Florida Governor’s council on Indian Affairs with then Governor Rueben Askew and was its first Director.  He served as First Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians, was nominated for Assistant Secretary of the Interior, received numerous honors and awards throughout the Native American community and spent his entire life working to help improve the lives of Native Americans throughout the United States.   Just prior to his passing, the United Southern and Eastern Tribes honored Saunooke with its highest honor, the “Earl Barbry Lifetime Achievement Award”.

Butch loved life and, most importantly, loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  When not working tirelessly for Native Americans, he spent every free minute spending time with them teaching them the importance of serving others and making the world a better place.  His love for life and his people were evident in his spirit and example as a true Native American Warrior

Services will be held in Sarasota, Fla. with a viewing on March 13 from 6-8pm at Toale Brothers Funeral Home, 6903 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL.  Services will be March 14 at 10am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 7001 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL.   A fund has been set up through the American Indian Graduate Center in his name.   At his request, donations in his honor may be made to the American Indian Graduate Center, Inc. 3701 San Mateo Blvd., NE #200, Albuquerque, NM 87110 or by going to, 505-881-4584

Oklahoma Federal Court Transfers Cherokee Freedmen Suit to D.C. District Court


2013-08-19 Order Re-Transferring Case to DC

Materials later. It’s lunchtime.:

DCT Order Denying Motion to Transfer — 3-15-13

Cherokee Freedmen Motion to Reconsider

Cherokee Nation Opposition

Interior Response in Support of Motion

Cherokee Freedmen Reply

Cherokee Nation Reply to Interior

Eastern Band Cherokee v. Wolfe et al. — Attorney Disbarment

The Eastern Band tribal court disbarred Robert Saunooke, an Eastern Band member and a Florida-licensed attorney, for noncompliance with the tribal court licensure rule that requires a North Carolina bar license.

Here is that order:

order on disbarment 042711

Materials in North Carolina Gaming Case

Here are the State’s briefs at least in McCracken and Amick, Inc. v. Perdue, the appeal of a trial judge’s decision in North Carolina finding it unconstitutional under state law for the State to enter into gaming compacts with tribes but not with other citizens of the State. The lower court opinion is here.

North Carolina Brief

North Carolina Reply Brief

Eastern Cherokee Judge Martin on Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction

Here is the article from the ABA Judicial Division Record — inside-the-maze.

This story highlights the problem of violence against women in Indian Country, with the Amnesty Report (available here) as a jumping off point.

Nokomis Learning Center News Coverage in Indian Country Today

From ICT:

OKEMOS, Mich. – Chilly temperatures and gloomy skies didn’t darken the spirits of the more than 50 people who attended the inaugural spring feast and fundraiser at Nokomis Learning Center April 13.

The feast brought several members of the American Indian community together and helped to raise funds for the 19-year-old American Indian cultural learning center in Okemos.

”The truth is that [Nokomis Learning Center] is kind of poor right now,” said Theron Moore, who serves as president of the center’s board of directors and helps run a construction company in Holt. ”We need to raise money to make sure it keeps operating.”

Continue reading

Future Per Cap Income as Restitution in Criminal Case

In United States v. Roach et al., the Western District of North Carolina used future, expected tribal per cap to calculate restitution in a murder case.

DCT Order – US v. Roach et al.

US v. Littlejohn — Garnishment of Tribal Per Cap

This is how the United States goes after the tribal per capita payments of convicted criminals. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians argued they were immune from the order of garnishment, but there is no sovereign immunity from suit by the United States.

Notice of Garnishment

Convict’s Response to Notice of Garnishment

Tribal Response to Notice of Garnishment

United States Response

District Court Garnishment Order and Opinion