Fletcher Paper on “Tribal Justice Systems”

I drafted a paper titled “Tribal Justice Systems” for the Allegheny College Undergraduate Conference “Democracy Realized? The Legacies of the Civil Rights Movement” and posted it on SSRN. You can download here.

Here is the abstract:

This short paper is produced for the Allegheny College conference Democracy Realized? The Legacies of the Civil Rights Movement (March 28-29, 2014).

United States Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, authored the Court’s opinion in Williams v. Lee, a decision hailed as the opening salvo in the modern era of federal Indian law. The Williams decision was the work of the liberal wing of the Court, with important input by Chief Justice Warren and Justices Brennan and Douglas. Williams, a ringing endorsement of inherent tribal governance authority, more specifically endorsed tribal justices systems as embodied in tribal courts. Without Williams and similar cases, it is unlikely that tribal governments and Congress would act to develop tribal justice systems. Williams, and the tribal courts that arose as a result, was a powerful civil rights decision that commentators rightfully have linked to Brown v. Board of Education.

This paper will survey several tribal justice systems in an effort to identify commonalities and complexities. There are hundreds of tribal justice systems in the United States; each of them unique in the details, but many of them similar to other tribal, state, and federal courts.

The paper is divided into three sections. The first two parts include a section on adversarial tribal justice systems and a section on non-adversarial tribal justice systems, often called restorative justice systems. The third part involves greater discussion of the complexities of incorporating tribal customary and traditional law into tribal common law.

In case one wonders, “Representing Justice” by Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis influenced the paper.

 

GTB Eliminates General Counsel Position

We agree with John Wernet.

From the Record-Eagle:

Published: February 03, 2010 08:05 am

Longtime GT Band attorney let go

By BILL O’BRIEN
bobrien@record-eagle.com

SUTTONS BAY — The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians cut ties with longtime legal counsel John Petoskey.

The band’s Tribal Council on Monday voted to “restructure” its legal department and make its general counsel a contracted position. The move effectively ended Petoskey’s 23-year tenure with the band.

“They said it was a restructuring, but in my view it wasn’t a restructuring,” Petoskey said Tuesday. “They wanted to get rid of me.”

The move was approved with votes from tribal councilors Sandra Witherspoon, David Arroyo and Rebecca Woods. Councilor Sandy Anderson abstained, and council members Brian Napont and Connie TwoCrow were absent.

Tribal Chairman Derek Bailey only votes to break a tie on the council, and declined comment Tuesday on the council’s decision.

“For me, the vote has been made,” Bailey said. “The action has been put in place.”

Petoskey said the decision was discussed in a closed session Monday that he did not attend. He informed other tribal staff of the move in an e-mail Monday afternoon.

“I have been dismissed by the Council with notice that my last day is Feb. 28,” Petoskey said in the brief note. He asked for any pending legal matters to be forwarded to the band’s legal department to assure a “smooth transition” to a new staff.

Petoskey described a deteriorating relationship with the tribal council in recent months. He would not cite specifics because of his attorney-client relationship with the council, but said he witnessed an increasing number of closed sessions on various topics. He said he urged officials to be more open and transparent.

“We had real differences of opinion on how the council elected to do things … it was not advice that was accepted,” Petoskey said. “As far as I know, it’s not an example of (me) doing something wrong.”

Petoskey said his annual salary is just over $100,000, but doubts the band will realize any cost savings by shifting to contracted legal help.

“A contract attorney is going to cost much more than the work that I do,” he said.

John Wernet, deputy legal counsel for Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her liaison to Michigan’s Indian tribes, described Petoskey as “one of the most-respected tribal attorneys in the country.”

“I have the utmost respect for his knowledge, ability and integrity,” Wernet said.

Petoskey said he enjoyed his career working for the band. It evolved from a small Indian tribe that operated on a shoestring budget for years after its federal recognition in 1980 to a major economic powerhouse and employer in northern Michigan that runs two casinos and the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.

“It’s certainly been rewarding,” Petoskey said. “I’m from here, I spent my whole life working here.

“Years ago the band was nothing. Now it’s something,” he said.

Written Testimony in SCIA Hearing on Trust Land Acquisition Delays

From SCIA:

Panel 1
MR. GEORGE SKIBINE
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Accompanied by: MS. VICKI FORREST, Deputy Bureau Director for Trust
Services, Ll.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Panel 2
MR. CARL J. ARTMAN
Esquire, Professor of Practice, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

THE HONORABLE DEREK BAILEY
Chairman, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Ind ians, Peshawbestown, Michigan

SCIA Hearing on Trust Acquisitions — Witness List

From the SCIA (there might be a typo down there… 🙂):

Panel 1
MR. GEORGE SKIBINE
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Accompanied by: MS. VICKI FORREST, Deputy Bureau Director for Trust
Services, Ll.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC

Panel 2
THE HONORABLE CARL J. ARTMAN
Updated: Esquire, Professor of Practice, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

THE HONORABLE DEREK BAILEY
Chairman, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Ind ians, Peshawbestown, Michigan

Chief Judge Opening at Grand Traverse Band

Chief Tribal Judge – Attorney licensed to practice before the state courts of any state in the U.S. Tribal Court, management experience preferred. Duties primarily include acting as the Chief Tribal Judge for a variety of civil and criminal mattes in the context of Federal Indian Law and Tribal Law. Detailed knowledge of Federal Indian Law required. At least 10 years of post JD experience in the practice of law. Native American preference will apply. Salary is negotiable. Submit cover letter, resume and references to John Petoskey, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, 2605 NW Bay Shore Drive, Suttons Bay, MI 49682, (231) 534-7279, fax (231) 534-7600 or email John Petoskey@gtbindians.com.

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Jaime Barrientoz on a Part-Time GTB Council

From Indianz:

A member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians says the tribal council should only serve part time.

Jaime Barrientoz thinks the chairman position should remain a full-time job. But the other six members of the council are wasting time and money, he says.

“I think that they have too much time on their hands,” Barrientoz told The Traverse City Record-Eagle. “Put them back to part time and you’d save about $1 million a year.”

Barrientoz served on the council when it was a part-time job. Full-time status started in 1998.

Get the Story:

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GTB Chair Derek Bailey on the White House Consultation

From Indianz:

Derek Bailey, the chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, was among dozens of tribal leaders who attended listening sessions at the White House on Monday.

Bailey, who has served on the tribal council since 2004 and as chairman since 2008, said the sessions were just the beginning of an ongoing dialog with the Obama administration. He hailed White House officials for inviting tribes to Washington, D.C.

“Across the table, we saw indigenous faces, those that are from Indian Country, that understand when we speak as leaders from our own upbringing,” Bailey said in an interview yesterday. He called the meeting “inspiring.”

Jodi Gillette (Standing Rock Sioux) and Kim Teehee (Cherokee) from the White House, along with Indian Health Service Director Yvette Roubideaux (Rosebud Sioux) and Del Laverdure (Crow) of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, participated in the session that Bailey attended. He said they paid close attention as tribes shared a wide range of concerns.

“Never once did i feel that they were not interested listeners,” Bailey said. “They really were engaged.”

During the session, Bailey talked about regional approaches to providing health care, improving access and use of technology and appointing Native Americans to federal judgeships. He also spoke of the need to have a better understanding of the federal-tribal relationship.

“That is part of the consultative process,” he said. “The more of a cornerstone you have of tribal understanding, the better footed you’ll be.”

Bailey, who met with President Barack Obama in Michigan in July, said he has already noticed a change in atmosphere with the new administration. “From my understanding, there’s a huge turnaround, a very noticeable turnaround, and very much appreciated,” he said of the developing relationship.

During the campaign, Obama promised to hold an annual summit with tribes. The issue was raised yesterday but the White House has not said when the first meeting will occur.

GTB Plans for Winery

From Indianz:

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan might get into the wine business.

The tribe conducted a $104,000 feasibility study to determine whether to start a vineyard and winery. “We’re looking at different economic ventures in the area,” Chairman Derek Bailey told Crain’s Detroit. “I think that we need to, especially during these economic times, to explore new ventures.”

The winery would be located near the Grand Traverse Resort and the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel.

Get the Story:

Grand Traverse tribe considers winery (Crain’s Detroit Business 8/12)

TV Coverage of Grand Traverse Band Revenue Sharing Projects

From GTB Chairman Derek Bailey (Bailey Blast July 31 2009):

This past Wednesday, July 29th, the 7&4 News channel did an excellent feature story on the Grand Traverse
Band’s recent 2% allocation. The positive message is a necessary reminder of how through 2% allocations,
citizens of northern Michigan truly benefit from tribal gaming. To view the 7&4 News broadcast, please click
on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_9PEjiKTyk. Especially during these tougher economic
times, the tribes continued financial contributions to schools, organizations, counties equates to communities,
families and individuals being better served and living with more opportunities.
This cycle’s allocation amount was $791, 179.75 and was awarded to 34 applicants (65 applications were
received with a totaled request of $2,642,065.00). Twice a year, 2% gaming revenue allocations are made to
local units of government, resulting from terms of the consent decree which settled Tribes v. Engler (Case no.
1:90-CV-611, U.S. District Court, Western District Michigan).

This past Wednesday, July 29th, the 7&4 News channel did an excellent feature story on the Grand Traverse Band’s recent 2% allocation. The positive message is a necessary reminder of how through 2% allocations, citizens of northern Michigan truly benefit from tribal gaming. To view the 7&4 News broadcast, please click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_9PEjiKTyk. Especially during these tougher economic times, the tribes continued financial contributions to schools, organizations, counties equates to communities, families and individuals being better served and living with more opportunities.

This cycle’s allocation amount was $791, 179.75 and was awarded to 34 applicants (65 applications were received with a totaled request of $2,642,065.00). Twice a year, 2% gaming revenue allocations are made to local units of government, resulting from terms of the consent decree which settled Tribes v. Engler (Case no. 1:90-CV-611, U.S. District Court, Western District Michigan).