News From Indian County 03 01 2017 E Edition Page 1

MARCH 2017 NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY: www.IndianCountryNews.com PAGE 1 Pope Francis: Native People have rights over their lands, Page 2 Water Protecters are Everywhere, by Winona, Page 22 Canada $3/U.S. $2.00 www.IndianCountryNews.com March 2017 - Vol. XXXI No. 3 Navajo officer's death reflects dangers for tribal officers By SEAN MURPHY OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A n Oklahoma-based tribe filed a lawsuit in its own tribal court system during March accusing several oil companies of triggering the states largest earthquake that caused extensive damage to some near-century- old tribal buildings. The Pawnee Nation alleges in the suit that wastewater injected into wells operated by the defendants caused the 5.8-magnitude quake in September and is seeking physical damages to real and personal property, market value losses, as well as punitive damages. The case will be heard in the tribes district court with a jury composed of Pawnee Nation members. We are a sovereign nation and we have the rule of law here, said Andrew Knife Chief, the Pawnee Nations executive director. Were using our tribal laws, our tribal processes to hold these guys accountable. Attorneys representing the 3,200-member tribe in north-central Oklahoma say the lawsuit is the first earthquake-related litigation filed in a tribal court. If an appeal were filed in a jury decision, it could be heard by a five- News From Indian Country 8558N County Road K Hayward, WI 54843-5800 Officer James Largo, 27, of the Navajo Nation police was shot on March 11th and passed away the next morning. Photo by Officer.com By MARY HUDETZ ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP/CJ Project) T he first time Houston Largo faced deadly gunfire as a Navajo police officer, he and other tribal police had swarmed a patch of desert near the Chuska Mountains to pursue an armed domestic violence suspect. The 40-mile chase that began near Shiprock, New Mexico, had crossed into Arizona, where the suspect armed with an assault rifle crashed his vehicle that March 2015 night and opened fire. One officer was killed and two were wounded, See Navajo Officer's death Page 5 member tribal Supreme Court, and that decision would be final. Usually tribes have their own appellate process, and then, and this surprises a lot of people, there is no appeal from a tribal supreme court,'' said Lindsay Robertson, a University of Oklahoma law professor who specializes in Federal Indian Law. Once a tribal court judgment is inalized, it can be taken to a state district court for enforcement just like any other judgment, Robertson said, but that enforcement action would not subject the judgment to any appeals in state court. Curt Marshall, one of the attorneys representing the Pawnee Nation, said the lawsuit was filed in tribal court primarily so that the Pawnee Nation could assert its sovereignty. The tribe has jurisdiction over civil matters to enforce judgments within its jurisdiction, including judgments over non-Indians, Marshall said. While experts say major civil judgments against non-Indians in tribal courts are rare, the U.S. Supreme Court last year left in place the authority of Native American courts to judge complaints against people who are not tribal members. In that case, Dollar General Corp. was sued in tribal court for $2.5 million over allegations that the manager of a store on tribal land made sexual advances toward a 13-year-old boy placed in the store by a tribal youth employment program. The case was returned to tribal court for a ruling on the merits. Scientists have linked the dramatic spike in earthquakes in Oklahoma to the underground disposal of wastewater that is a byproduct of oil and gas drilling. Oklahoma Corporation Commission regulators have directed oil and gas producers to either close injection wells or reduce the volume of fluids they inject. The quake, located about 9 miles from the center Pawnee, damaged buildings across the north-central community of about 2,200 residents. The sandstone By GILLIAN FLACCUS LOSTINE, Ore. (AP) T hese speckled, rose-tinted fish havent been spotted in this bubbling river in remote northeastern Oregon for more than 30 years - until now. But during March, the waters of the Lostine River suddenly came alive as hundreds of the 4- and 5-inch-long juvenile coho salmon shot from a long white hose attached to a water tanker truck and into the frigid current. The fish jumped and splashed and some, momentarily shell- shocked, hid along the bank as onlookers crowded in for photos. All of us are speaking from the heart and our gladness for these fish coming back into this river, bringing something that has vanished, but has come back, Nez Perce tribal elder Charles Axtell said. We take care of each other and thats what we are doing - taking care of this fish. We are the circle of life. The cohos' baptism in this far-flung river marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another - an attempt to restore a lost species to a tribe and to a region. The fish, raised by state wildlife Truckloads of baby Salmon hauled to river in restoration plan In this March 9, 2017 photo, hundreds of juvenile coho salmon are released into the Lostine River from a water tanker truck. The Nez Perce tribe and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife worked together to restore 500,000 juvenile coho salmon to the Snake River Basin in northeastern Oregon, where they haven't been seen for more than 30 years. The smolts were trucked in nine tankers from a hatchery outside Portland 300 miles inland to the Lostine River in northeastern Oregon. AP Photo by Gillian Flaccus officials in a hatchery outside Portland, were trucked 300 miles inland in nine water tanker trucks equipped with highly See Truckloads of baby, Page 5 Oklahoma Pawnee file lawsuit against oil companies in tribal court over quake Scientists have linked the dramatic spike in earthquakes in Oklahoma to the underground disposal of wastewater that is a byproduct of oil and gas drilling. Oklahoma Corporation Commission regulators have directed oil and gas producers to either close injection wells or reduce the volume of fluids they inject. See Oklahoma Pawnee, Page 4

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