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NCJ Number: 65669 Find in a Library
Title: TRIBAL INJUSTICE - THE RED LAKE COURT OF INDIAN OFFENSES
Journal: NORTH DAKOTA LAW REVIEW  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:(SUMMER 1972)  Pages:639-659
Author(s): J W LAWRENCE
Corporate Author: University of North Dakota
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND 58201
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF THE MINNESOTA RED LAKE COURT OF INDIAN OFFENSES IS REVIEWED; THE COURT IS CRITICIZED FOR FAILURE TO PROVIDE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO INDIAN TRADITION OR FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS.
Abstract: ESTABLISHED IN 1884, THE RED LAKE COURT OPERATES OVER A JURISDICTION LIMITED BY RACE AND GEOGRAPHY ON A CODE OF INDIAN OFFENSES LAST REVISED IN 1952. THE COURT MAY DEAL ONLY WITH CRIMES COMMITTED BY INDIANS ON THE RESERVATION; IT IS SERVED BY THREE JUDGES, WHOSE APPOINTMENTS DEPEND ON TRIBAL POLITICS AND THE AVAILABILITY OF BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS (BIA) FUNDS. BESIDES INADEQUATE SALARIES, THE JUDGES' PERFORMANCE IS FLAWED BY A LACK OF EDUCATION, FAILURE TO GRASP LEGAL CONCEPTS AND ABSENCE OF KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL CUSTOMS. THE COURT LACKS INDEPENDENCE AND IS SUBJECTED TO BIA AND LOCAL POLITICAL PRESSURES. MOREOVER, THE RED LAKE COURT IS NOT A COURT OF RECORD; THUS, IT CANNOT BE GUIDED BY PRECEDENT. IN PRACTICE, THERE IS NO APPEALS SYSTEM, DUE PROCESS, ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS, OR FEDERAL REVIEW. ABOVE ALL, THERE IS NEARLY TOTAL APATHY TOWARD THE COURT FROM THE BIA, TRIBAL OFFICIALS, THE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY, AND MEMBERS OF THE TRIBE. TWO CASE STUDIES EXEMPLIFY THE INABILITY OF THE RED LAKE COURT TO EFFECT JUSTICE. PROVISIONS OF THE INDIAN BILL OF RIGHTS ACT OF 1968 ENUMERATE SPECIFIC RIGHTS THAT ARE NOT TO BE ABRIDGED BY TRIBAL GOVERNMENT. TO COMPLY WITH THIS LAW, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE EXISTING COURT BE REPLACED BY AN ENTIRELY NEW COURT. THIS NEW COURT SHOULD BE INDEPENDENT OF BIA AND TRIBAL PRESSURE GROUPS AND HAVE INCREASED JURISDICTION OVER TRIBAL AND FEDERAL OFFENSES, PLUS SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE JUDGMENTS. FOOTNOTES ARE NOT INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): American Indians; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Indian affairs; Indian justice; Minnesota; Socioculture; Tribal court system; Tribal history
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65669

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