In Response to Non-Member Drug Dealing on the Rez, TGB Passes Removal Ordinance
By Joe Morey
Effective immediately, the LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) approved an ordinance known as the Exclusion and Removal of Non-Tribal Members from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Reservation.
The Order states its purpose is, “To provide a procedure for excluding and removing nonmembers from the Reservation when it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the Band, or its members, to do so, including the exclusion and removal of nonmembers who act in disregard of tribal or other applicable law, destroy tribal fish and game, trespass upon tribal trust property, pollute tribal lands and waters, destroy real or personal property of the Band, its members or Reservation residents, or endanger or harm the natural, social, psychological or physical well-being of members or other persons on the Reservation.”
The reason for the new ordinance came about in recent TGB meetings discussing their efforts to combat the drug epidemic in the community and reports of non-tribal members distributing drugs on the Reservation.
The Order does address property owners within the boundaries stating, “Any person having an interest in real property on the Reservation may be excluded from any portion of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Reservation as long as he or she is not denied access to or the use of such property.”
The Order goes on to describe the petition process of requesting an exclusion and removal action which shall be commenced by any member of the Tribe or TGB upon the presentment of an oral or written Petition for Exclusion and Removal in an open meeting of the Tribal Governing Board.
“The Petition shall include the name of the nonmember sought to be removed and a statement of the reasons which individually or collectively are justifiable cause for exclusion and removal,” the Order describes.
“No nonmember considered for possible exclusion or removal has any right or privilege to personally appear before the Tribal Governing Board in either the initial consideration of a Petition for Exclusion and removal or in any subsequent appeal of an Order for Exclusion and Removal before the Tribal Governing Board. However, the Tribal Governing Board may, in its discretion, grant a nonmember the right to appear before it in either proceeding,” the Order continues.
Grounds for Exclusion and Removal
“Upon consideration of a Petition, the Tribal Governing Board may enter an Order of Exclusion and Removal if it finds that it is in the best interests of the Band to do so. The Tribal Governing Board may consider whether the nonmember's conduct threatens or has some direct effect on the political integrity, institutional process, economic security, or health, safety or welfare of the Band, its members or Reservation residents,” the Order reads. “In determining whether to issue an Order of Exclusion and Removal, the Tribal Governing Board may consider the number and pattern of acts committed and the history, circumstances and/or significance of each act. Acts for which a nonmember may be excluded and removed from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Reservation may include but are not limited to the following:
(a) Doing or attempting to do any act upon the Reservation which unlawfully threatens the peace, health, safety, morals or general welfare of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Band, its members, Reservation residents, or other persons;
(b) Any act causing physical loss or damage of any nature to the property of the Band, any member or Reservation resident;
(c) Entering an area in violation of any order of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians or any entity thereof designating such area as closed;
(d) Failing or refusing to pay any taxes, rents or other charges justly due the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Band or an entity thereof, after reasonable notice and an opportunity to pay, unless such charges or fees are related to an interest in real property;
(e) Mining, prospecting, cutting timber or vegetation or other use, abuse, talcing of or damage to tribal property without authorization;
(f) Committing a fraud, to wit: meaning a false representation of a matter of material fact by words, conduct, false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of a fact which should have been disclosed which is intended to and does in fact deceive another to his legal injury or detriment.
(g) Trading or conducting business within the Reservation in violation of tribal law;
(h) Hunting, fishing or trapping without lawful authority or permission or in violation of tribal or federal law;
(i) Disturbing or excavating items, sites or locations of religious, historic or scientific significance without the authority of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lalce Superior Chippewa Indians or in violation of tribal or federal law;
G) Failing to obey an order of the Tribal Court; or
(k) Committing any criminal offense as defined by state, federal or tribal law.”
The Ordinance also describes the process for removing any non-member upon the issuance of an Order for Exclusion and Removal. It states the TGB delivers the order to any qualified law enforcement officer, who will then serve notice upon the nonmember and direct the nonmember to obey the Order. If, after the time specified in the Order, the nonmember does not comply with the Order, the Tribal Governing Board shall request relief through the appropriate federal, state or tribal courts:
(a) ·Referring the matter to the Tribal or other prosecutor for appropriate action, including prosecution or other action authorized under any applicable tribal, federal or state law;
(b) Directing any law enforcement officer to remove the nonmember from the Reservation covered by the Order at the nonmember's expense;
(c) Directing law enforcement to remove the nonmember bodily, using only so much force as is reasonable and necessary to effect the removal; and
(d) Directing any law enforcement officer to prevent the nonmember from reentry onto any Reservation lands covered by the Order for so long as the Order remains in effect.
And finally, the Order goes on to describe the Appeals process.
“Any nonmember to whom art Order for Exclusion and Removal has been issued pursuant to this ordinance may be appeal such Order to the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribal Governing Board. The nonmember must apply to the Tribal Governing Board in writing within ten (10) days of his or her receipt of said order, requesting revocation or amendment of said Order. Upon receipt of such a request, the Tribal Governing Board shall call a special meeting for the purpose of allowing the nonmember to address the Tribal Governing Board regarding the reasons for constituting the justifiable cause for his or her exclusion and removal and to show cause why he or she should not be excluded and removed from the Reservation. Unless the Tribal Governing Board has specifically granted the nonmember the right to personally appear before it in the special meeting, the nonmember must set forth his or her position, arguments and proofs in writing and provide same to the Tribal Governing Board in advance of the special meeting. Appropriate notice of such a special meeting shall be delivered to the nonmember not less than five (5) days prior to the meeting. Decisions of the Tribal Governing Board on appeal shall be final.”