Interior Board of Indian Appeals Decides Newtok Village Leadership Dispute

IBIA order affirming the decision of the Acting Alaska Regional Director here.  The Board held that the Acting Alaska Regional Director’s decision was not arbitrary or capricious.

Newtok Village Council suit in federal court to prevent further interference from Newtok Traditional Council previously reported here.  No new updates on that case.

The Newtok Village in Alaska needs to be relocated nine miles inland to avoid erosion, but a leadership controversy was preventing the release of $6.5 million from the federal government.  The Tribe elected a new council in October 2012 and reaffirmed the election in a membership meeting June 2013, but the old council was still requesting funds and contracts with the BIA.  The old council appealed the Regional Director’s decision to the DOI in August 2013.  The new IBIA order will now allow the Tribe to move forward with the planning stages of the relocation, but many financial issues that arose under the old council’s mismanagement still need to be settled and at least one old council member has said that he will appeal: “It’s not even close to over yet.  We are going to the highest court, even to the top of the White House.”