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Bass_fishingguy
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 07:45 PM 07/09/06 (CST)
I guess we are not equal in this state at all. With sovereign immunity there are one set of rules for one group of people and another set for other people. I know that is the question I will be asking any and every person running for any and all offices, what is your stand on sovereign immunity? If they don't know what it is I will thank them and close the door or walk away. I am not going to tell them anything about this, I want them to tell me what they know. If they don't know anything about this I will tell them they have no reason to run for any office I will be voteing for.
This is where I hold everyone of these guys feet to the fire.
I like to gamble as much as anyone but I do mine in Navada not in Minnesota. I fish in waters that are everyones, not in waters where if you are a white person there are one set of rules but if you are a non-white there are a whole new set of rules.
If this keeps up I'll write you guys from a new home much farther south.









Bass Wishes
Mike
www.expage.com/owensbassfishing



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Ted
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 07:30 AM 07/10/06 (CST)
"Two Minnesota Supreme Court cases that were issued in 1997 are very helpful in understanding the scope of Public Law 280, particularly to the extent that it does not confer general civil regulatory power over Indian lands.(63) In State v. Stone, the issue was whether Minnesota laws regarding speeding, driver licensing, vehicle registration, seatbelt use, child restraint seat, motor vehicle insurance, and proof of insurance were civil regulatory laws for purposes of Public Law 280. The Minnesota Supreme Court held that the state did not have jurisdiction under Public Law 280 to enforce those laws against members of an Indian tribe for conduct occurring within the boundaries of the reservation and that no exceptional circumstances justified the state's enforcement of those laws.

Similarly, in State v. Robinson, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that the state law dealing with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle could not be enforced against a tribal member for conduct occurring on tribal land. However, the court held that the state did have jurisdiction to enforce the law dealing with underage consumption of alcohol, finding that it was a criminal law for purposes of Public Law 280 rather than a state regulatory provision."

http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/departments/scr/report/bands/CIVIL.HTM


Ted

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BigBite
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 07:38 AM 07/10/06 (CST)
Reporter Arrested on 'Indian Territory'

Controversy brews on whether suit against band can be heard in U.S. court

In 1997, a police officer working for an American Indian tribe arrested a newspaper reporter who was covering a meeting of tribal leaders at Grand Casino Mille Lacs. He was jailed until the meeting ended.

Criminal charges against the reporter, a non-Indian, were dismissed in district court.

But a controversy is brewing over a civil-rights suit filed by the reporter against the police force of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Does the reporter have the same right as Americans outside reservations to have such cases heard in federal court? Minnesota legislators were told that those rights would remain intact for non-Indians when they gave state recognition and greater responsibilities to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe's police force.

The significance of the issue goes beyond the Mille Lacs reservation. Two other Minnesota bands with large casino operations, the Fond du Lac Chippewa and Lower Sioux, run police departments under statutes modeled after the Mille Lacs example. Other bands are considering doing the same.

When the Mille Lacs band sought that recognition eight years ago, then-Rep. Art Seaberg of Eagan asked a spokeswoman for the band during a committee hearing: "This bill does not give any civil or criminal jurisdiction to the tribal court over nonmembers of the band, is that correct?"

"Yes, that's correct," was the reply.

The Legislature signed off on a police force that has grown to 14 officers with authority to enforce state laws on the thousands of non-Indians who enter the reservation to visit Grand Casino Mille Lacs. The federal government gave it $1.3 million in grants.

State statutes recognizing the Mille Lacs, Lower Sioux and Fond du Lac police forces say they agree to be responsible for the on-the-job actions of their officers "to the same extent as a municipality," and that each band agrees "to waive its sovereign immunity" from claims arising out of this liability.

Former Rep. Kathleen Vellenga, DFL-St. Paul, was on the House Judiciary Committee when it considered the Mille Lacs bill. She said legislators were concerned that citizens who were arrested by tribal police or who sued tribal police should "know what [their] rights were."

Now it's not clear what those rights are.

The reporter's story

The Mille Lacs dispute involves Jeff Armstrong, a reporter for the Native American Press, a paper that has long been critical of tribal governments in Minnesota.

On Oct. 22, 1997, Armstrong went to the Grand Casino Mille Lacs Hotel to cover a meeting of the six-band Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The agenda included a controversial $20 million offer from the federal government to settle a land-claims dispute.

According to Armstrong's suit in federal court, the president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe asked him if he were an Indian. Armstrong didn't respond. A Mille Lacs tribal police officer then asked him to leave the meeting. Armstrong refused. The officer arrested him and led him from a meeting room into the casino lobby, where Armstrong was frisked and handcuffed. He was then driven in a tribal squad car about 30 miles to the Mille Lacs County jail, which holds people arrested by tribal police.

The tribal officer instructed county jailers to hold Armstrong for four hours, until after the meeting would be over, the lawsuit alleges. He was booked on a state charge of trespass shortly after 10 a.m. and released at about 2 p.m.

Under the deal approved by the Legislature, Mille Lacs officers are licensed by the state, share policing responsibilities with the county sheriff and may arrest Indians and non-Indians. Crimes involving Indians on the reservation can be heard in state district court or prosecuted in tribal court.

Criminal cases involving non-Indians are heard in state court.

A state district court judge eventually dismissed the criminal charge against Armstrong. But the related civil-rights case tests whether non-Indians can sue the tribal police in federal court.

While the band assured legislators that lawsuits by non-Indians wouldn't be heard in tribal court, it signaled a different direction this August in a letter to Armstrong.

"It is our position that the U.S. District Court does not have jurisdiction to hear your claims against the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department," the band or the tribal officer who arrested him, wrote tribal attorney Joseph Marshall. "The proper forum for testing your . . . claims is in the tribal court."

Former Rep. Seaberg, a lawyer, said he worried about the reach of the Mille Lacs tribal court to nonmembers because he feared that such courts might be biased in favor of a tribe. Mille Lacs officials over the years have defended their court system as competent, fair and independent of political influence.

Rules vary

Tribal courts have their own rules. Employment of judges varies from reservation to reservation, but tribal judges generally lack the independence of federal judges, who serve for life, or of state judges, who work in a system with a long history of separation of powers.

The Mille Lacs band runs lower and appellate courts. According to tribal statutes, the lower-court judge must have a law degree. The three appellate judges must be members of the band, have high-school diplomas or be at least 55 years old. The judges are appointed to six-year terms and can be removed by the band if it determines they violated a tribal judicial code or constitution.

Armstrong sued last December, arguing that his First Amendment rights to cover a government meeting were violated. He also claimed violations of his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights against illegal seizures and police harassment. His publisher, Red Lake tribal member Bill Lawrence, joined the suit, which also names the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office as a defendant.

The case moved along in U.S. District Court for several months before Marshall wrote Armstrong's lawyer, Craig Greenberg, saying the federal court lacked authority to hear the case because the band was a "sovereign entity."

Marshall cited U.S. Supreme Court rulings granting tribes immunity from lawsuits, adding, "Any waiver of immunity must be first decided by the tribal courts, and in this case the tribal courts have not ruled on . . . whether or not it has waived its immunity from suit . . ."

Three weeks ago, Marshall wrote Armstrong's lawyer to tell him formally that the band objected "to further discovery [in the case] on the grounds of sovereign immunity."

Marshall last week declined to discuss the tribe's position. Tribal Solicitor General Adam Altman also declined to comment on whether the band will seek to have Armstrong's lawsuit heard in tribal court.

In response to the suit, the band said federal court lacks jurisdiction in the case and that the band is immune from the claims. The band also denied that it violated Armstrong's civil rights, and it accused him of harassment.

However, Altman released a statement last week that appeared to contradict earlier statements on immunity. He wrote: "The Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe Indians will not be asserting the defense of sovereign immunity in the case. . . . The band will litigate the matter in the courts rather than in the press, and will have no further comment."

Armstrong says he opposes sending his case to tribal court because "there wouldn't be any independence" from political pressure. The sentiment is shared by political dissidents within the tribe.

Seaberg recalled recently that his question about the authority of Mille Lacs tribal court was prompted by bad experiences he had with tribal courts elsewhere. In one divorce case, a Sioux tribal court awarded child custody to a tribal member while the case was pending in Ramsey County District Court.

"I was concerned because of the power tribal courts seemed to have," Seaberg said. "They weren't always accountable. Just expanding the jurisdiction of the tribal court. . . . I didn't think the jurisdiction should extend to nonmembers. I thought maybe it would be a little too easy to support the members of a tribe, which is what I kind of found."









Scrunch
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 07:48 AM 07/10/06 (CST)
Quotes from Testimony Concerning S. 1691 "The American Indian Equal Justice Act" made by WILLIAM J. LAWRENCE, J.D., publisher of the Native American Press/Ojibwe News, Bemidji, MN before The Committee On Indian Affairs, United States Senate concerning S. 1691 "The American Indian Equal Justice Act"


"Democracy is not simply the existence of free and fair elections, which I would argue often do not exist in tribal elections. Democracy is also defined by limiting the power of the government by such things as the rule of law, separation of powers, checks on the power of each branch of government, equality under the law, impartial courts, due process, and protection of the basic liberties of speech, assembly, press, and property. These do not exist on Indian reservations.

A given tribal government may claim these protections exist, but closer analysis usually reveals that claim to be a charade. And where one tribal government may extend some rights to its citizens, the next regime may not be so kind and can instantly reverse or ignore any tribal law or tribal constitutional protection, in the name of self-determination, and with the defense of sovereign immunity.

James Madison, a founding father and signer of the U.S. Constitution, said that government with no separation of powers and no checks and balances is the very definition of tyranny. That is what we have on America's Indian reservations.

Tribal government opposition to a free press in Indian Country is very strong. Over half of Minnesota's tribal governments do not allow the Native American Press/Ojibwe News to be sold on their reservations, and tribal interests have harassed and attempted to intimidate our advertisers and retail outlets. The paper has been confiscated from newsstands on numerous of occasions.

We are currently in state court fighting charges of trespass against one of our reporters for attending a meeting of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe at a casino on the Mille Lacs reservation. He was arrested, handcuffed, and put in jail until the meeting they did not want him reporting on was adjourned. The state recognizes and enforces tribal police actions such as this.

Tribal sovereign immunity gives Indian people less rights and more government corruption, unaccountability, discord, and abuse of power. With the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which has overlaid a multi-billion dollar cash industry on top of an unaccountable government, the abuse of power has taken on new ferocity.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said recently, "The guiding mechanism of a free market economy ... is a bill of rights, enforced by an impartial judiciary." There can be no denying that the lack of civil rights, the lack of legitimate courts, and the lack of government accountability is the single biggest reason there is so little economic activity on America's reservations.

I first exposed the abuses of tribal court in 1972 in a law review article. Even after the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights put the BIA on notice of these abuses, the BIA's only response was to increase funding to the tribal court. Since then I have personally been the victim of the Red Lake Tribal Council's use of the sovereign immunity defense on five occasions.

On four separate occasions I have tried to get tribal financial statements which, according to our Constitution, are supposed to be available to tribal members. Tribal officials would order hearings to be postponed seconds before they were scheduled to occur, switch judges without notice, deny a right to a jury, change from a scheduled pre-trial hearing to a full trial without notice, deny an opportunity to call witnesses, and come to the first day of trial with a typed decision already in hand. Needless to say, I was denied my right to see tribal financial records.

In 1994, three tribal members asked me to represent them in Red Lake tribal court in an election dispute. Despite my legal background and eligibility in every way, I was denied a license to represent people in my own tribal court. They were afraid I would take cases against the council for violating people's rights.

The 1990 U. S. Civil Rights Commission Report was published without one word about the abuses in the Red Lake courts, in spite of the fact that their investigation resulted in a 31-page description of civil rights problems at Red Lake. They left it out of the final report because the Red Lake government didn't want it made public.

Former Washington Congressman Lloyd Meeds wrote a well-thought-out dissent to the 1977 American Indian Policy Review Commission Final Report, in which he said:

"If Indian governments are to exercise governmental powers as licensees of the United States, it is imperative that they be fully answerable for the improper exercise of those powers. Tribal sovereign immunity should ... not be allowed to interfere with Federal court enforcement of federally protected civil rights."

And a 1989 report of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs made the following accurate observation:

"Since Congress has the ultimate responsibility for federal Indian policy, we in the Senate and House must accept the blame for failing to adequately oversee and reform Indian affairs. Rather than becoming actively engaged in Indian issues, Congress has demonstrated an attitude of benign neglect. ...[B]y allowing tribal officials to handle hundreds of millions in federal funds without stringent criminal laws or adequate enforcement, Congress has left the American Indian people vulnerable to corruption."

Let it be said right now that sovereign immunity has nothing to do with Indian culture or tradition. It is a concept that developed in the Roman empire and was used by European monarchs to protect them from challenge or criticism. Tribal sovereign immunity has essentially told a generation of tribal leaders that once they are in office they are above the law and can do whatever they please. The only culture that tribal sovereign immunity is protecting is a culture of corruption, denial of rights, and unaccountability.

In closing, I would like to quote a great American, the late Dr. Martin Luther King. He said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
john
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 02:30 PM 07/12/06 (CST)
You guys ought to join PERM ( Proper Economic Resource Management)...

http://www.perm.org/

PERM believes that allowing special privileges, for any group, to our public natural resources is unconstitutional. Allowing a non-public entity, in which we the public have no voice, management authority and control over publicly owned fish and game is not sound conservation policy. If the tribes' claims for hunting, fishing and gathering unregulated by State law are successful, there will be unaccountability in management, a decline in fish and game, and great economic harm to the area.

"Save Minnesota" is an ambitious fundraising effort by former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Bud Grant and PERM to protect our public natural resources as well as the interests of sportsmen, property owners, and small businesses who depend on sound natural resource management for their enjoyment and livelihoods. A goal of $1.5 million has been set to be used in both the Mille Lacs and Fond du Lac treaty cases.



John
CrappieKeith
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Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 03:00 PM 07/14/06 (CST)
Perm is a great freind of the outdoors.It is great to see sportsmen&women standing up for all of us minnesotans.

Minn. official called treaty rights 'apartheid'
TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2003

The head of Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources told an anti-Indian group last month that tribal hunting and fishing rights are based on a system of "apartheid."

DNR commissioner Gene Merriam spoke at an April 27 fund-raiser for Proper Economic Resource Management (PERM), a group opposed to treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. "I think that any system of apartheid based upon race is inherently misdirected," he was quoted as saying in the May 2 issue of the Outdoor News, a weekly publication.

Although Merriam said he wasn't making official state policy, eight tribal leaders have asked for his resignation. In a letter to Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), they called the remarks "outrageous."

"Comparing the legal exercise of treaty rights with one of history's most brutal and racist systems of government is outrageous and should be condemned by all Minnesotans," the tribes wrote.

But Pawlenty, in a subsequent statement, said he wouldn't fire Merriam. And Merriam, who was appointed by Pawlenty in January, offered an apology to the tribes. "I fully respect and recognize the importance of their treaty rights," he said in a separate statement.

As a state senator, Merriam opposed a proposed treaty rights settlement with the tribes. As DNR commissioner, he is responsible for overseeing the state's recognition of those rights.

In a April 30 article published in The Mille Lacs Messenger, Merriam said PERM raised "good questions" about way his department is carrying out the settlement. According to the article, he is seeking legal guidance from the state attorney general.

"The issues aren't always clear and there's no guarantee that with your input we'll make good public policy decisions," he was quoted as saying.

Merriam also said he would be open to ending commercial fishing by tribal members.

"It merits approaching the tribes that wish to do this and exploring alternatives," he told the group, the article reported. "What will it take the state to offer to get them not to do that? It's worth exploring."

Prior to the PERM fund-raiser, Merriam met with a lawyer for the group. He also said he met recently with Curt Kalk, the natural resources commissioner for the Mille Lacs Ojibwe Band.

Treaty rights in the Midwest have long been a sore point, occasionally leading to violence. But anti-tribal sentiments seemed to have abated after the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision issued March 1999, upheld the off-reservation treaty rights of the eight Ojibwe tribes.

Before the decision was reached, the state proposed a settlement with the Ojibwe tribes but it was defeated in the Legislature. At the time, PERM praised Merriam for voting against it.

Several anti-Indian groups, including PERM and the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA), have close ties to organizations like the United Citizens for Equal Rights (UCE), which has recently made inroads in upstate New York, and United Property Owners of Washington (UPOW). The latter group was started by former U.S. congressman Jack Metcalf (R), a vocal opponent of treaty rights.




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CrappieKeith
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Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 03:18 PM 07/14/06 (CST)
After reading this I began to wonder why The Indians give us so much grief over that lake. We get to use 17% of the upper lake & we spent all of our money to bring it back. It seem there is no responsibility on their end for what happened. I am screwed up or am I on the right tr
The walleye fishing season opens this weekend across the state. That's a big deal for communities on Upper Red Lake in northern Minnesota. Walleye fishing has been banned on Red Lake since 1999. The walleye population crashed in the mid-1990s due to overfishing.

Walleye fishing has been the lifeblood of the lakeside town of Waskish. When the walleye disappeared, businesses shut down, property values dropped and people moved away.

Now, Waskish residents are hoping their first walleye opener in seven years will mean a return to prosperity.


Waskish, MN — Only about 100 people live in the tiny town of Waskish. When the walleye population crashed, many thought the town would, too. The local gas station shut down. The number of resorts in the area dwindled from more than a dozen to just two. There was nowhere to buy groceries. Joe Corcoran, a retired Twin Cities police officer, bought lakeshore property on Upper Red Lake a year before the walleye moratorium took effect. Corcoran says things looked pretty grim.

"It was devastating to watch how it impacted the community, and especially the business people who had, you know, relied on the tourism industry to help them and to stay afloat," said Corcoran. "It was not good up here."

Corcoran says despite the economic depression, there was a lingering hope the walleye would come back. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources joined with the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe on an unprecedented recovery plan. The joint effort was necessary because all of Lower Red Lake and most of the upper lake is on the reservation. Those waters are controlled by the tribe and are open only to Indian anglers. Seventeen percent of Upper Red Lake is open to non-Indian fishing. The recovery plan included massive walleye stocking campaigns on both lakes in 1999, 2001 and 2003.



Joe Corcoran

Now, two years ahead of schedule, the walleyes are back.

Business is already picking up at North Country Food and Fuel. Jana Duresky and her husband built the convenience store a few years ago, partly in anticipation of a successful walleye recovery. Duresky says she expects thousands of people will flock to Waskish for the walleye opener this weekend.

"I guess just the fact that the town is going to be busy again and just all the people back, I think we all have that feeling coming back that Waskish is going to be alive again and be a booming town," Duresky said.

The past few years haven't been all bad for the town of Waskish. When the walleyes disappeared, something unexpected happened. The crappie population exploded. Over the past few years, thousands of ice anglers have come to Waskish to take advantage of the crappie boom.



Jana Duresky

DNR regional fisheries manager Henry Drewes says crappies probably saved the town of Waskish. He says the explosion began in 1995 with an extraordinarily large hatch of young crappies. The success of the species was partly a result of the absence of predatory walleye in the lake. But Drewes says it was mostly just plain luck.

"It was a gift," Drewes said. "It was a freak of nature to take a walleye, perch, pike lake and have a year class of crappies move from being a background species to a dominant species with a single year class. The moons, the planets, the stars were all aligned."

Drewes says the walleye recovery on Red Lake is perhaps the most successful inland fishery recovery in North American history. He says the walleye crash was the result of rampant abuses. On the tribally-controlled side of the lake, Red Lake band members used gill nets to pull in way more fish than they should have. On the state's portion of the lake, angler's caught walleyes by the boatload and routinely disregarded daily bag limits.

Drewes says people on both sides of the lake participated in a flourishing black market.



Henry Drewes

"It's always been illegal to buy and sell walleye on the streets of Bemidji and the local communities around here," he said. "But it was an accepted practice and it went on all over northern Minnesota and in other towns in further away places. And so we're really trying to put an effort on drying up that market, and increasing people's awareness that you can't buy walleye from somebody in a parking lot."

DNR enforcement officers will be out in full force on Upper Red Lake. There will also be DNR staff stationed at boat landings to keep track of how many fish are caught. Anglers on the state-regulated side of the lake will be limited to two walleyes each day. On tribally controlled waters, Red Lake band members are limited to a daily catch of 10 walleyes.

The DNR has capped the walleye harvest on Upper Red Lake this first summer season at 108,000 pounds. If that limit is reached, walleye fishing will be shut down for the remainder of the season.

Experts say the fishing pressure on Upper Red Lake is expected to be high. Pat Welle, professor of economics and environmental studies at Bemidji State University, did a study on Upper Red Lake to determine whether walleye anglers would come back to the lake after all these years. Welle says the interest was overwhelming.



Pat Welle

"It's hard to overstate how much interest there is in fishing," said Welle. "That evidence is people saying they can't wait to get back on Red Lake and fish for walleyes while there's also this trophy crappie population available. It's really a unique opportunity. Just the perception in a lot of anglers' minds of saying 'here's a fishery that has been untouched, really, for almost a decade.'"

Welle says his study showed how important walleye fishing is to Waskish and other communities in the region. He says crappie anglers alone spent about $4 million in 2004. The study showed that when the walleye population crashed, lakeshore property values plummeted. But as the walleye recovery progressed, property values began to rise. Lakeshore values have tripled the past seven years.

The minnow tanks at West Wind Resort in Waskish are stocked with sucker minnows in preparation for this weekend's opener. Tim Waldo and some partners opened West Wind in 2000 at the height of the crappie boom. They've added campgrounds and cabins, and developed a harbor, all in preparation for the return of walleyes.

Waldo says walleye anglers won't be disappointed this weekend. He says crappie fishermen have been catching and releasing an amazing number of walleyes.

"There's three guys staying down here in our cabin, they went out yesterday," said Waldo. "They went out around noon and they came back in about 6:30 and they said they caught over 100 walleyes."



Tim Waldo

Waldo says he expects the town will be jam packed with people this weekend. He says the real factor for a successful opener will be the weather.

"If we can have a good weather forecast that opening weekend, Waskish is going to be the town where things are happening," he said. "I don't think there's any doubt about that. Now if it's blowing like today, I don't know, it may be a pretty packed bar. But see, either way I win, right?"

Waldo and other local residents say they hope the return of walleye fishing to Red Lake will put an end to the economic rollercoaster they've been on for the past decade.

ack?






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Jiggle
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Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 10:15 AM 01/27/07 (CST)
Considering the Red Lake area is the only sovereign nation in the U.S., it will probably never be dismantled. It is the U.S.'s token to Native Americans. Kind of like... "You see, we gave you something!" I do believe the non-Native Americans are targeted there and over-fined for the smallest infractions, but since it is sovereign and a country unto itself, who are we to complain? The U.S. gave it to them and they can "rule" it the way they see fit, whether we agree or not. Just stay away if you want to stay out of trouble.


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