Chukchansi Indians Chairman Issues Statement

FRESNO, Calif.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2012


Coarsegold, Calif. -- Statement by Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians Chairman, Morris Reid:

We are issuing an emergency call to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services and the Attorney General of the United States to send federal Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers to the Picayune Rancheria, and to exercise the law enforcement authority granted to the United States over Tribal lands within California under section 221 of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. This federal statute unquestionably authorizes the United States to assume and exercise concurrent law enforcement authority over the reservation until such time as the duly elected Tribal government is no longer being harassed and threatened. Failure by the Federal government to respond positively to this emergency call will be in violation of President Obama's commitment to Tribal sovereignty and the stated policies of his Administration.

As the duly elected leaders of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, charged with protecting the inherent sovereignty of the Chukchansi people, we strongly oppose the action of the Madera County Sheriff and other local non-Indian law enforcement officials ordering the removal of elected Tribal officials from a Tribally-owned Tribal Government building on federal trust land. This action by local non-Indian law enforcement is in excess of their authority under Federal law and is a flagrant violation of Tribal sovereignty and an affront to Tribal governments and Indian people across this country. To curtail this dangerous precedent, we are asking the Federal government to assume law enforcement authority over the Picayune Rancheria immediately.

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