Monday, December 31, 2012

May There be JUSTICE for Disenrolled Native Americans in 2013

THEY HAVE THE ROLEXES, we have the time. We will keep fighting.   Thanks to KCBS reporter Cristy Fajardo for bringing this story out. Also look at http://palawatch.com to learn more about Pala's actions PLEASE watch and share

Friday, December 28, 2012

Minister's Join Fight Against OFF Reservation Casino at North Fork


It's all about money.  And the greedy, corrupt leaders of nearby Chukchansi certainly don't like it.

A new legal challenge has been filed against the North Fork Mono Indians' proposed casino and resort project near Madera -- and more legal challenges may be on the way.

In a federal lawsuit filed last week in Washington, D.C., three Madera residents -- two of them ministers -- joined the Madera Ministerial Association and Stand Up For California, an opponent of off-reservation casinos, to challenge the federal government's approval of the project.

The lawsuit contends the U.S. Department of the Interior and its Bureau of Indian Affairs overstepped their authority earlier this month when federal officials put 305 acres along Highway 99 north of Madera in trust for the North Fork tribe to build a massive $200 million casino and hotel project. The lawsuit contends federal officials failed to consider the effects the casino could have on the environment or nearby residents.
It was the second lawsuit filed to stop the Madera casino in the past month.

Federal officials agreed earlier this month to put the land in trust for the tribe -- a key step necessary for the project to move forward. The decision came three months after Gov. Jerry Brown said the project could proceed, and he approved a compact with the tribe. The state Legislature still must sign off on the compact.
The new lawsuit -- and a similar suit challenging a casino proposal near Oroville -- is testing a U.S. Supreme Court decision from six months ago that rejected a federal trust decision involving a Michigan tribe. A Michigan man argued that the federal government did not properly consider the casino's effect on neighbors.
The suit also claims that the federal government can only put land into trust for tribes recognized before 1934. The suit contends the government did not provide proof that the North Fork Mono Indians were federally recognized before then.

"Citizens have put forth some objective evidence that will affect the (secretary of the interior's) decision about putting a casino in this location," said Cheryl Schmit with Stand Up For California.
Critics like Schmit say approval of the off-reservation casino will lead to a rush in applications for more.
But it has taken the North Fork Mono Indians nine years to get this far in the process, and they still haven't broken ground on their casino, North Fork officials said.

The 1,900-member tribe has 61 acres in North Fork, an area tribal members say is too remote for successful gaming. That's why they applied to the federal government for casino land 36 miles away.
Elaine Bethel Fink, the tribal chairwoman, said she expected legal challenges.
"We are disappointed because every day of delay costs the tribe and local community not only thousands of jobs but roughly $300,000 in lost economic activity," she said. "We are working through the process, and we hope to have this settled and bring these jobs as soon as possible."

Nedra Darling, a Department of Interior spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., said she couldn't comment.
The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians filed its own challenge Nov. 30. The tribe contends that a state environmental review is needed in addition to the federal review because land for the project was owned by Station Casinos when the federal study was done.

David Quintana, a Sacramento-based spokesman for Chukchansi, said more lawsuits are coming, including one from Chukchansi's bondholders.

The Chukchansi tribe has struggled to pay down debt from its hotel and casino project. The tribe refinanced more than $250 million of debt earlier this year.


Read more: http://india.nydailynews.com/newsarticle/8205a443877c980485614004d33098aa/ministers-join-lawsuit-against-madera-casino#ixzz2GN5ExRYX

Susan Bradford on BLM Obstruction of Oil on Indian Land

We like to help our friends with their blogs, here's an article from investigative reporter Susan Bradford on the fracking issue. There's a new movie out that's anti-fracking with Matt Damon. FINANCED BY Middle East Oil Interests. Susan's website is SusanBradford.org Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has earned a place in the hall of infamy for backing three ridiculous Alex Gibney documentaries which purport to educate and entertain the public while generating heaps of profits for the investors, including Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, and Casino Jack, a film about Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff. All three films amount to blatant propaganda designed to advance false, media-generated narratives surrounding targets of scandals manufactured by special interests for private gain, two of which emanated from Indian Country, the bastion of socialism and liberal entitlement. Enron, a leading fundraiser for the Republican Party and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, imploded in scandal after the energy giant attempted to tap into the lucrative energy markets in Indian Country. Abramoff, the nation’s leading tribal lobbyist, was railroaded into prison for routine lobbying behavior after he successfully enlisted wealthy tribes to become powerful champions of conservative political interests and economic causes. Now Cuban is back in the game, this time directing his network, AXS-TV, which he co-owns with Ryan Seacrest, CAA, and AEG, to pick the rights for FrackNation, so that they can “make the case that dangers associated with fracking, a technology for extracting energy from rock formations (that was previously unreachable), are way overblown,” the Hollywood Reporter opined. While Cuban reportedly eschews discussing politics nowadays, he certainly doesn’t mind allowing his films to speak for him. “Of course the timing is relevant,” he told the Reporter. “We want people talking and using AXS-TV when they watch and discuss it.” Of course. “We don’t take a position one way or another,” he continued. “If there was an anti-fracking OpEdocumentary, we would show it as well.” Luckily for Cuban, the film just happens to benefit his allies in Indian Country who brought him the Enron and Abramoff scandals from which he profited through films. Just a few months ago, back in April, the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs held hearings on the “Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule’s Impact on Indian Tribal Energy Development.” Citing the pervasive poverty and unemployment on Indian reservations, the Committee documented that tribal lands hold significant amounts of oil and natural gas that would enable tribes to create jobs, spur economic development and improve their heath, education, and infrastructure. Much to the dismay of oil-rich tribes, the BLM established rules that could obstruct the ability of tribes to tap into those resources, which stand to generate profits for them that far exceed those generated by casinos. As a result, “while non-Indian landowners will prosper, the tribes will lose,” remarked Committee Chairman Don Young. “This would be nothing less than another breach of the United States’ trust responsibility to Indians.” Among the groups promoting oil development in Indian Country is the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, whose address, until recently, was the Colorado office of Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s former employer, which held a reception for CERT and the Western Energy Alliance around the time of the hearings. The WEA has taken to publicizing Cuban’s latest film on its website. As the Alliance alleged, the new federal fracking rules could cost oil companies in the United States over $ 1 billion. Cuban’s associates have taken an interest in tapping unrecovered oil, including, for example, Mike Muckerloy, a whistleblower who appeared in the Smartest Guys in the Room after being fired from Enron.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: BIA Doesn't Operate in the Best Interest of the Native Americans

From the recently posted article on the Snoqualmie Tribe: But that’s exactly what the Bureau of Indian Affairs wants you to think, says Stephen Gomes. “The reality of the BIA—and I hate to say this—is that it doesn’t operate in the interest of the Native Americans. It never has,” he says. “The whole goal of the BIA was to encourage assimilation as fast as possible. And it’s a complete surprise to them that the Indians didn’t assimilate. Now they look at it as a burden, as a huge withdrawal of resources from the United States. The BIA has been completely uncooperative with the true, traditional Snoqualmie people.” In other words, a group of people that was victimized and marginalized for centuries is being victimized and marginalized again—not just from the outside, but from within as well.

BAD BLOOD at Snoqualmie. Snoqualmie Leadership Flouts Laws


 Marvin Kempf lives on a massive piece of land in Rockport, Washington, that can only be described as picturesque. To the north, the Cascades begin their sharp ascent on the way to piercing the clouds. The Skagit River runs just to the south, and at times the quiet on his property is so absolute that, if you listen closely, you can almost make out the sound of the water slapping the rocks as it flows down from the mountains. Spend a couple hours up here, in the shadow of the tepee that stands outside Kempf’s home, and you almost forget where you are or what century you’re living in. In fact you get lulled into a sense of peace so overpowering that it’s hard to believe this has become base camp in a bitter war for the soul of the Snoqualmie Indian tribe.

Kempf is, he says, three-quarters Snoqualmie. And as the descendant of Chief Sanawa, who led a portion of the tribe in the 1800s, he’s the Snoqualmie’s rightful hereditary chief. “I’ve got the papers to prove it,” Kempf said as he sat at a picnic table smoking cigarettes near that tepee on a sunny day in September. “I’m big-time Snoqualmie.” Normally, Kempf says, he wouldn’t draw attention to what he calls his “inherent birthright,” because that’s just not the way a chief should carry himself; respect is earned in Indian country, not demanded. And besides, vanity isn’t in his nature. “We wasn’t brought up that way,” he says. “We weren’t supposed to brag or boast.”

But the last two years have been anything but normal. First Kempf lost his tribal membership in March 2010. Since then he’s watched the Snoqualmie leadership routinely flout its own laws, refuse to hold tribal elections while clinging to their positions of power, and boot anyone who challenged them. And then came the bizarre announcement in December 2011 that the Snoqualmie had partnered with an overseas developer to build a new casino in, of all places, Fiji, making it the first tribe to expand its gaming enterprise outside of the United States. But that’s not what’s prompted him to speak out. What really galls him is his belief that many of the people who have been making these decisions have been lying about their tribal ancestry for years.



Conflict is nothing new for the Snoqualmie. The tribe of roughly 650 members earned federal recognition in 1999, but only after the Tulalip tribe—which isn’t a traditional tribe so much as an amalgam of several Northwest Indian peoples—filed a lawsuit to prevent it. (The Tulalip tribe argued unsuccessfully that many of their members were descended from the Snoqualmie people, thereby negating the need for the government to recognize another group.) Five years later, the Snoqualmie were feuding with the Snoqualmoo—a smaller, as-yet unrecognized tribe that shared some history with them—over a proposed expansion of the Salish Lodge.

But it’s rancor from within that has defined the Snoqualmie tribe for decades, and virtually all of it stems from members’ claims to Native American bloodlines. In the early ’90s, a tribal council chairman had his membership revoked after challenging another member’s ancestry. A few years later another council person was removed for the same reason. Then, in 2008, eight more members, many of them in leadership positions, were removed, although they successfully sued to be readmitted. (They had to take the case to the federal level, though, in part because the tribe shut down its own court system.) The tribe’s constitution states that “membership is a privilege that may be revoked…for cause as determined by the acts and resolutions of the tribe,” but what constitutes just cause isn’t stated. And in practice the process has been equally vague and at times arbitrary. In some cases, a select group of the membership will vote to remove someone. In others, it’s the nine-member tribal council that votes. But in virtually all cases, those who lose their membership have no opportunity to face their accusers or plead their case.

The current imbroglio, the one that’s got Marvin Kempf so fired up, is much grander in scope and even more contentious. For the first time since the tribe was recognized, the blood of every single Snoqualmie has been placed under the microscope. Blood, it bears noting, is almost exclusively a figurative term in Indian country. The literal definition—which in the context of Native American history conjures images of war and violent genocide—is, ironically, an afterthought now. These days the word refers to something less tangible but much more complex and valuable. An Indian’s blood quantum, or degree of Native American ancestry, not only represents a link to family, but it’s also proof of membership in the tribe. And with membership comes voting rights and access to health care and subsidized housing.

The terms of enrollment in the Snoqualmie tribe are simple. According to a 2002 amendment to its constitution, members must be able to demonstrate they are at least one-eighth Snoqualmie and descended from someone on Roblin’s Rolls, a 1919 Indian census. And yet despite having been federally recognized for more than a decade, no one really knows for sure who in the Snoqualmie tribe is actually Snoqualmie. Plenty of people claim to know, but with few exceptions they can’t prove anything—and virtually all of the blame for the confusion rests at the feet of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA, which acts as the federal liaison to the more than 550 tribes across the country, recognized the Snoqualmie without obtaining an enrollment list and the blood quantum of everyone on it. Chaos has reigned ever since.

“This is Indian country on steroids,” says Jay Miller. He knows from experience. An anthropologist and former University of Washington professor, Miller began trying to untangle the tribe’s family tree last summer. “There are disputes like this in many tribes, but nothing like what’s going on among the Snoqualmie. It’s…” He pauses for a moment, as if trying to wrap his mind around the magnitude of the problem. “It’s over the top. Incredibly over the top.”

How the situation in the Snoqualmie tribe got so out of hand is complicated. But the why is fairly straightforward: money. Whoever controls the tribe controls its casino, which opened in Snoqualmie in 2008 and, according to some within the tribe, now brings in north of $200 million a year. And, in the future, members will be eligible for a cut of the profits—as much as $2,000 per person per month, according to talk that circulated earlier this winter. That explanation makes the power struggle a little easier to understand, but it doesn’t make it any easier to believe for outsiders who have witnessed it. “You almost feel like you’re going crazy,” says one genealogist who has worked with the tribe. Another puts the conflict in even starker, more ominous terms: “There isn’t anyone you can trust. The problem is that every one of these people that you’re going to talk to has an agenda. Every. Last. One of them.”

Read the REST of the story HERE

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Native Tribes Dislike Cantor's Version of VAWA BECAUSE.....

It provides for action against tribes that violate civil rights.    We wouldn't want that would we?  Especially since we know first hand about having our civil rights violated.

The question should be to Anderson Law:  Why don't you support action against tribes that violate the civil rights of its members, or any other citizen for that matter?

Here is the text from Cantor's version:


‘(f) ACTION FOR REDRESS OF VIOLATION OF
22 RIGHTS.—Every person who, under color of any statute,
23 ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any partici-
24 pating tribe, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any de-
25 fendant in a criminal prosecution under the special domes
1 tic violence criminal jurisdiction of the participating tribe
2 to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
3 secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to
4 the party injured in an action at law,

Here's what Anderson Law has said:


OPPOSE THE DRAFT CANTOR VAWA BILL (Cantor Draft)
Prepared by Anderson Indian Law
We strongly urge tribes to reject the Cantor draft VAWA bill because it is a diminishment of tribal sovereignty.

9. It provides a private right of action against tribal governments for violating civil rights and subjects tribes to suit (p. 12, line 21) DEAL BREAKER
  1. Private right to suit against tribes
  2. Qualified immunity. How long will it take to dismiss cases against tribal judges and officials if defendants file against them
  3. Overrules Santa Clara v. Martinez case

It is past time for there to be some recourse by tribal members over the thugocracy that runs many tribes now.    No right of action, No bill.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians Close To Memorandum of Understanding With Riverside County

Riverside County supervisors Tuesday approved an agreement with the Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians securing guarantees about what steps the tribe will take to counteract the impact of future gambling operations.

The Ramona band, whose tribal territory is centered east of Hemet, is negotiating with the state on a compact to permit Class III gaming activities defined by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Class III operations include slots, card games and other casino-style gambling.

A half-dozen tribes in Riverside County operate casinos.

Supervisor Jeff Stone, in whose district the Ramona tribe's operation is proposed, introduced a memorandum of understanding endorsing the band's gaming plan and conceptually identifying what it would need to do to help the county mitigate any negative impacts to the "off-reservation environment."

The memorandum states there are "economic, environmental, social, technological (and) other considerations."

According to the document, the county would expect the tribe to "compensate for law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical services and other public services ... provided by the county to the tribe as a consequence of the gaming activities."

A framework would have to be established defining how reimbursement would be made, according to the memorandum.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cherokee Freedmen Prevail in Court Hurdle: Tribal Officers CAN BE SUED in Federal Court

Tribal officers can be sued in federal court regarding black Cherokee's rights to continuing tribal membership under 1866 treaty. In 2008, the DC appellate court had stated that the tribe had treated away its right to discriminate against the freedmen.

From the judges decision in the Cherokee Freedmen case:  


As a practical matter, therefore, the Cherokee Nation and the Principal Chief in his official capacity are one and the same in an Ex parte Young suit for declaratory and injunctive
relief. As a result, the Principal Chief can adequately represent the Cherokee Nation in this suit, meaning that the Cherokee Nation itself is not a required party for purposes of
Rule 19.
By contrast, if we accepted the Cherokee Nation’s position, official-action suits against government officials
would have to be routinely dismissed, at least absent some statutory exception to Rule 19, because the government entity in question would be a required party yet would be immune from suit and so could not be joined. But that is not how the Ex parte Young doctrine and Rule 19 case law has developed.



In light of our disposition, we need not reach the Freedmen’s argument that the Cherokee Nation waived its
sovereign immunity by filing a related suit in Oklahoma. We reverse the judgment of the District Court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Trial Order Bribery at Pechanga; No Action of Pechanga's OWN THIEVES Who Stole Hundreds of Millions.


Justice is being sought in what is now a BRIBERY case at Pechanga.  But unfortunately, NO JUSTICE is being sought by the THIEVES of Pechanga, who have stolen over 300 MILLION dollars from ousted tribal members.


A March 5 retrial date was confirmed today for two men accused of bilking the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians out of $4 million by skimming funds intended for the Temecula-based tribe's casino insurance.

In July, a Riverside jury deadlocked on whether to convict James William Riley, 49, of Corona and Ryan Jay Robinson, 42, of Temecula on all of the felony charges against them, resulting in a mistrial.

The men's attorneys, along with Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Jeanne Roy, appeared today before Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez for a conference to set a date for a new trial, settling on the first week of March.

Hernandez ordered that both sides be ready to proceed then.  Riley and Robinson were indicted in February 2010 on multiple felony charges stemming from a scam that the District Attorney's Office alleges the pair perpetrated in 2005 and 2006.

Riley, a former insurance broker and partner at Riley, Garrison & Associates, faces several years in prison and six-figure fines if he's convicted of three counts of commercial bribery.

Robinson, the Pechanga tribe's former chief financial officer, faces the same penalties if convicted of the same crimes.

The jury in July voted 8-4 for acquittal on charges of grand theft and money laundering. Those counts have since been dropped, leaving only the bribery charges. On those, the jury hung 10-2 for guilty.

"The facts just aren't there regarding an intent to steal," Chris Jensen, Robinson's attorney, told City News Service at the time. "The prosecution seems bothered by the profits that (Mr. Riley) made, and they're trying to equate profits to theft ... The tribe might have been overcharged (on insurance premiums), but is that stealing?"

Roy alleged Riley and Robinson began their illicit activity shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck in September 2005. Commercial insurance rates skyrocketed following the disaster, enabling the defendants to justify exorbitant insurance costs from which they gained, according to the prosecutor.

She said Riley allegedly artificially inflated the tribe's property and risk insurance premiums to pocket large sums disguised as fees, with Robinson's complicity.

The prosecution contended that Robinson received $190,000 under the table for his participation. Jensen characterized the payments as "loans" that his client needed to pay down divorce-related debts.

According to Riley's attorney, Souley Diallo, his client never committed a crime, and the prosecution's case boils down to a misunderstanding of complex financial arrangements.

Both defendants are free on $25,000 bail.

Chukchansi Disenrolls More, Has Manipulated Election


A tribal council election Dec. 1 at the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in Coarsegold voted in
two new members -- Charles "Charlie" Sargosa and Carl "Buzz" Bushman -- and re-elected Nancy Ayala,
who's been serving as the tribe's chairperson since this fall.

The new election comes about a month after more disenrollments at the rancheria -- 43 tribal members
ousted from a Chukchansi allotment near Hensley Lake. The disenrollments were made even though the
tribe's constitution protects the enrollment of individuals from the Chukchansi allotments -- awarded by the
government in the late 1800s through the early 1900s.

A phrase in the constitution about needing a "special relationship" to remain in the tribe is being
manipulated, putting all Chukchansi people in jeopardy of disenrollment, many tribal members have said.
A new election ordinance was also created in September by tribal council.

The ordinance prohibited at least two candidates from running in the Dec. 1 election, and goes against
Chukchansi's constitution that outlines criteria needed to be a candidate, said Dora Jones, who was elected
last year as the tribe's new vice chair but was never allowed to be seated -- along with the three other
winners of that election -- who are all opposed to recent Chukchansi disenrollments.

The new Chukchansi election ordinance increased the minimum candidate age to 25 -- what is 18 in their
constitution -- and requires all candidates to have attended eight tribal council meetings throughout the
previous election year. The Chukchansi constitution only requires eight meetings for those running for a
tribal council office, not for those running for a "member at large" position.

Other new election ordinance requirements are more vague, including phrases like needing to be in "good
standing" with the tribe to run for office, and demonstrating "active involvement in the affairs of the tribe."
The new Chukchansi tribal council will include the newly-elected Sargosa and Bushman, re-elected Ayala;
Reggie Lewis, who was not up for re-election this year; Karen Wynn and Tracey Brechbuehl, who were
appointed in May to fill the council seats of Jones and Morris Reid, who were suspended from council
shortly after winning last year's election; and Chance Alberta, who lost last year's election and the
subsequent March election for the seat of Harold Hammond's seat (who was also not allowed to be seated
after winning last year's election). Alberta now fills the seventh seat, won by Dixie Jackson last year, who
was also not allowed to be seated on council by others in power.

No charges for February violence -- casino trespassing in March now prosecuted
Many Chukchansi people have expressed frustration that while no arrests have been made regarding a
stabbing and other acts of violence that occurred outside the tribal offices in February, a casino
trespassing charge is now being prosecuted by the district attorney's office.

Read more:
Sierra Star News story on Chukchansi Disenrollment

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LAUGHER: Honoring the Civil Rights of Native Americans



Dear Justice, you forgot to mention how you stand idly by while civil and human rights are abused by tribes such as PALA, Chukchansi, Redding and Pechanga.   We are pointing at you and LAUGHING...through our tears.


Last week the Department of Justice formally recognized Native American Heritage Month with a program based on this year’s theme “Serving Our People, Serving Our Nation: Native Visions for Future Generations.”  As this month of special recognition of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples comes to a close, it is important to remember that the best way we can honor the contributions of tribal communities is through ongoing collaboration and effective enforcement of the civil rights of Native Americans throughout the country.  The department’s work in this area is a year-round effort, with the active engagement of the Civil Rights Division’s Indian Working Group.

For too long, Native Americans have experienced discrimination and injustice, and the federal government can and must stop such discrimination.  The Indian Working Group, with representatives from every section of the division, is a critical tool in that work.  This collaborative effort elevates enforcement, outreach, and educational opportunities concerning Native American issues within the division, within the department, and throughout the country.

The Indian Working Group is just one tool within the Civil Rights Division when it comes to reducing crime and advancing public safety in Native American communities and the Division continues to increase the number of cases affecting Native Americans.

The department confronts daily challenges to the civil rights of Native Americans, including vicious assaults born of hatred, and threats used to drive Native Americans out of their homes. In parts of Indian country, rates of violent crime are two times, four times, even ten times what they are in other communities.  One in three Indian women reports having been raped.  This is profoundly disturbing, and completely unacceptable.

A core part of safe communities is an effective, accountable police department that reduces crime, ensures respect for the Constitution, and earns the trust of the public it is charged with protecting.  This summer, the department  reached a comprehensive agreement with the City of Seattle regarding the Seattle Police Department’s use of excessive force and concerns about discriminatory policing. Seattle must create a Community Police Commission and invite Native American community input on the Seattle Police Department’s training requirements and policies.

The Civil Rights Division’s first case under the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was in New Mexico, where the department successfully prosecuted a group of men who assaulted a 22-year-old Navajo man with a developmental disability and defaced his body with white supremacist and anti-Native American symbols.

The division enforces laws that protect the freedom to practice one’s religion, free from discrimination or persecution while incarcerated. In September, the District Court in South Dakota agreed with us that Native American inmates must be permitted to use tobacco in religious ceremonies in prison, without second-guessing whether tobacco is traditional to Native American religious practices.

In 2010, when minorities were hit particularly hard by the housing crisis, we created a Fair Lending Unit to address credit discrimination.  Particularly in communities where unemployment rates were already high, as with many Native American communities, it is critical that we remain vigilant in enforcing fair housing and fair lending laws to ensure they do not suffer even further.

Using our authority under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we work to ensure state courts and other federally funded programs are free of discrimination and accessible to everyone, regardless of language – including Native Americans.

Finally, the division continues to enforce and defend the laws that enable access to the paramount expression of our democracy – the equal right to vote. The division enforces federal voting laws that protect Native Americans from discrimination based on race or membership in a language minority group.  We have been active in enforcing and defending voting laws in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Alaska.

We do this work, not only because it is our legal responsibility as a government, but because it is our moral responsibility as members of a broader community.  We have the rule of  law and the will of the federal government behind us and we will continue to protect the civil rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives.