Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Deputies called to tribal office
Klamath tribal leaders determined who would be let into the building
by LEE JUILLERAT, Herald and News 1/17/10
CHILOQUIN — Visitors to the Klamath Tribes administration office in Chiloquin were screened Tuesday to determine who could enter.
Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said four deputies were sent to the office at the request of tribal leaders, who determined who was admitted to the locked office.
Two tribal factions have been disputing leadership since November.
A large group of Klamaths claim the existing tribal council was legally recalled at recent general council meetings.
Bureau of Indian Affairs officials in Portland said in a letter they would not intervene in the dispute. Both factions have requested the BIA recognize their groups.
While the dispute continues, plans for a regularly scheduled election a re moving ahead.
Nominations for the tribal council will be taken at 10 a.m. Saturday in the administration building. All board posts are up for election. Ballots will be taken over a 60-day period.
Roberta Frost, one of the people who claimed the current tribal council was recalled, said the group would issue a news release detailing its concerns later this week.
Attempts to contact current tribal spokesmen Tuesday were not successful.
Various tribal members unhappy with the current leadership have criticized tribal chairman Joe Kirk and other tribal leaders for poor communication. Some claim a lack of transparency regarding tribal finances.
Evinger said some people pounded on administration office windows Tuesday, but when told to stop, they complied. No arrests were made.
“It was not the sheriff ’s office who determined who could and who couldn’t be let in,” he said.
Sheriff: Law gives jurisdiction
Although some tribal members claim the sheriff’s office has no jurisdiction, Sheriff Tim Evinger said state law gives his agency authority because the Tribes are not on a reservation and do not have law enforcement staff.
He said the same rules apply to all other Oregon tribes, except the Warm Springs.
“This is not new territory,” he said of providing law enforcement services to a tribe.
“It is a strain on resources,” Evinger said of sending deputies to Chiloquin. He said he plans to seek financial reimbursement.
Evinger asked to speak at a future general council meeting about creating a government-to-government contract for police services similar to contracts made with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Page Updated: Thursday February 18, 2010 02:44 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2010, All Rights Reserved