- LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Hon. Eugene Whitefish, Chief Judge, Forest County Potawatomi — awarded posthumously
- COURT SUPPORT EXCELLENCE AWARD – Raeann Skenandore, Court Administrator, Oneida Nation Judiciary
- JUDICIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD – Hon. Gregory Bigler, District Judge, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
- OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD – Hon. John Romero, Jr., Children’s Court Judge, Second Judicial District of New Mexico
NAICJA would like to share the National Consortium on Racial & Ethnic Fairness in the Courts’ Statement on George Floyd’s Death
June 5, 2020
The Directors and Advisors of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (“National Consortium”) mourns the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our condolences extend to the Floyd family as well as to other families who have lost relatives at the hands of law enforcement officers. The continuing lawful protests around the country represent the public’s frustration with the cycle of excessive force used by law-enforcement officers against Black people and other people of color and the perceived inadequacy of the justice system to impose sanctions, convictions and civil remedies severe enough to deter this conduct. The National Consortium respects the rights of people to assemble to express their disapproval but denounce the use of violence, acts of vandalism and destruction of property that threatens the community and the rule of law.
The goal of the National Consortium is for every state, tribal nation and territory to maintain a judicial system that is accessible, free from bias, fair for all, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or other demographic identifiers. To accomplish this goal, the National Consortium encourages the highest court of each state to establish committees or related entities to assist its courts in ensuring that all court users-including defendants, victims, civil litigants, witnesses and the public– are treated equitably and with dignity and respect. These committees, who comprise the National Consortium membership, exist in approximately half of the states. We encourage the committees to open a dialogue to address the concerns of their residents and court system stakeholders. The National Consortium stands ready to support and assist courts in the United States, its territories and in tribal nations to address concerns with public trust and confidence within their communities.
Hon. Susan F. Maven, Board President
H. Clifton Grandy, Esq., Secretary/Treasurer
The National Consortium is committed to encouraging the highest courts of each state to create commissions to examine the treatment accorded minorities in their courts; sharing the collective knowledge of task forces and commissions with courts, law enforcement, and the community; and providing technical assistance and expertise to commissions, task forces, and other interested organizations and individuals on the subject of racial and ethnic fairness.
Tribal Court Access to Protection Order Registries Could Have Prevented Gun Tragedy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2015
TRIBAL COURT ACCESS TO PROTECTION ORDER REGISTRIES COULD HAVE PREVENTED GUN TRAGEDY
Boulder, Colorado, April 6, 2015– Tribal Courts Call for Immediate Direct Access to Federal and State Protection Order Registries.
As Raymond Lee Fryberg, the father of 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg awaits arraignment on federal charges relating to his son’s use of a gun Fryberg purchased illegally, tribal courts across the country are calling for immediate access to state and federal protection order registries to prevent further tragedy. Jaylen Fryberg killed four students and himself and injured one other student on October 24, 2014 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington.
Fryberg was prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of a permanent protection order issued by the Tulalip Tribal Court in 2002. The Tulalip Tribes are an American Indian nation that neighbors Marysville, the small Washington town where the shooting tragedy occurred. A federal investigation revealed that Fryberg lied on forms when he purchased the gun stating that he was not subject to a protection order. The instant background check of state and national protection order registries did not reveal the existence of the Tulalip order. Currently, there is no national tribal registry for protection orders. Additionally, many, if not most, tribal protection orders are not entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Protection Order File (POF), a federal registry for protection orders. The Tulalip Tribes are a sovereign Indian nation and the Tribal Court exercises civil and criminal jurisdiction pursuant to the Tribes’ powers of self-government. It is because of this separate sovereignty that state protection order registries are closed to tribal courts. This results in the failure of state-wide registration of tribal court protection orders, including the 2002 order issued against Fryberg by the Tulalip Tribal Court.
In the State of Washington, the Washington State Police controls access to the protection order registry. In 2004, pursuant to a state audit, tribal police departments were restricted from accessing the system because the language of state law does not include tribes as approved agencies. Following the decision to bar tribes from entering tribal protection orders in the state database, some tribes in Washington developed a protocol with local county superior courts by which the county court clerk enters the tribal orders into the state system. This system is not flawless and can result in misses and delays in the registration of tribal protection orders. Elsewhere in the country, some tribes have entered into memoranda of understanding or other cooperative agreements with neighboring state jurisdictions so that the tribal protection orders are entered into the state and federal registries.
“This problem is not a local problem or unique to the Tulalip Tribes. The issue of lack of entry of tribal protection orders in state and federal databases is a national crisis,” said Judge Richard Blake, President of the Board of Directors of the National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA). Tribal courts and tribal court judges have been working for decades to gain direct access to state and federal protection order registries in order to enter their orders. “We had hoped that with the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 which mandated the federal government to provide access to federal databases that this critical gap in public safety would be closed. But here we are five years later and the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI are still in violation of the statutory requirement that tribes be given direct access to the NCIC system. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families of the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting at this very difficult time. Our sincere hope is that immediate direct access is granted to tribal courts to enter protection orders to prevent further harm and loss of life,” said Blake.
NAICJA, established in 1969 and headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which provides a national voice for the more than 332 American Indian and Alaska Native tribal justice systems in the United States and supports those systems by providing resource materials, information, technical assistance, and training.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Judge Richard Blake, President, NAICJA Board of Directors at (530) 515-6245 or email at:
Judge Richard Blake, President
NAICJA Board of Directors
Telephone: (530) 515-6245
NAICJA Seeks Presentation Proposals for the 46th Annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference
The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) invites presentation proposals for the 46th Annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference which will be held on October 6-9, 2015 at Seneca Niagara Resort Casino in stunning Niagara Falls, NY. NAICJA’s Annual Conference offers innovative and timely tribal justice information through high quality presentations by national experts. The theme of this year’s conference is, “Tribal Justice Systems: Pathways to Healing &Sovereignty.” NAICJA is featuring topics that highlight ways in which American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and First Nations justice systems are exercising tribal inherent sovereignty and envisioning their tribal justice systems to better effectuate healing and wholeness. We are especially interested in presentations that focus on promising Indian child welfare practices. We expected a conference attendance of approximately 300 persons from across the U.S.
This is your opportunity to share your expertise and display your creativity by developing an original program for presentation. Proposals specifically tailored to meet the needs of the NAICJA audience are strongly preferred. Proposals are due on or before
March 25, 2015–proposals due
April 3, 2015—all applicants will be notified about the status of their proposals.
Notice Of 2015 Naicja Annual Meeting
In accordance with NAICJA Bylaws, Article V, Sec. 3, you are hereby notified that the Annual Meeting of the National American Indian Court Judges Association (“NAICJA”) will be held on Thursday, October 8, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room C & D at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, 310 4th St., Niagara Falls, NY 14303. The Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with NAICJA’s 46th Annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference, “Tribal Justice Systems: Pathways to Healing & Sovereignty,” which are being held from October 6-9, 2015. The NAICJA Conference will kick off on October 6 at 6:00 pm with a Welcome Reception at the same location. Please remember to pay your annual dues for 2015 and to register (and submit conference fee) for the conference if you plan to attend.
Annual Meeting Agenda
Call to Order: Hon. Richard Blake, President, NAICJA Board of Directors
Roll Call: Hon. Amanda White Eagle, NAICJA Secretary
In Memoriam: Remembrances of NAICJA Members
Presented by: Hon. Kevin Briscoe, Vice-President NAICJA Board of Directors
“The State of NAICJA”: Hon. Richard Blake, President, NAICJA Board of Directors
Treasurer’s Report: Hon. Winona Tanner, NAICJA Treasurer
Certification of Regional Election Results
Hon. Amanda White Eagle, NAICJA Secretary and
Hon. Kevin Briscoe, Vice-President NAICJA Board of Directors
Election of NAICJA officers and Executive Committee At-Large Member (By Board of Directors):
Hon. Susan Wells, NAICJA Board Member, Region 9
Adjourn: Hon. Richard Blake, President, NAICJA Board of Directors
Renew Your 2016 NAICJA Membership Now!
2015 NAICJA Memberships expire on 12/31/15 but you can renew now!
Don’t miss out on great member benefits:
- Discounted Conference Registration.
- Access to a vast network of tribal court judges and other justice system personnel.
- A free subscription to NAICJA’s newsletter.
- Inclusion in our listserv that provides notice of tribal court funding opportunities, position openings, training events, legislative initiatives, and recent judicial decisions of relevance to tribal courts.
You may renew online at: www.naicja.org/membership.
Save the Date for the 2016 NAICJA National Tribal Judicial & Court Personnel Conference
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Click on this link
https://www.regonline.com/naicja to read about more details and to register for the conference.
The 2016 National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference will take place at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California on October 18-21, 2016!
The conference theme is Tribal Justice Matters: Role of Tribal Courts in Upholding Indigenous Rights. The conference is open to the public with a fee discount available for all current NAICJA members.
Last year’s conference drew over 200 representatives from tribal justice systems and tribal governments in all ten NAICJA association regions as well as representatives from the non-profit, business, academic, and philanthropic sectors.
Join our mailing list to keep informed on the latest conference news.
Northwest Regional Peacemaking Training
Peacemaking is a traditional, community-based method that allows people to resolve disputes. The National American Indian Court Judges Association, the Native American Rights Fund, and Columbia Law School offer this training that reviews foundational principles of peacemaking, peace circles, and traditional dispute resolution. While justice practitioners have been focusing on how indigenous peacemaking can help state and federal courts, this training brings the focus back to indigenous and tribal principles of peacemaking and how tribes are using and can use these methods in their own communities. One full day will be devoted to experiential training with peacemakers and notable faculty from across Indian Country.
The Northeast Regional Peacemaking Training will take place at the beautiful Sheraton at the Falls in Niagara Falls, NY. NAICJA members receive a 10% discount!
For more information and to register, click here: Northeast Regional Peacemaking Training
RFP: 2016 National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference
Request for Presentation Proposals: 2016 National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference
“Tribal Justice Matters: Role of Tribal Courts in Upholding Indigenous Rights”
The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) invites presentation proposals for the 47th Annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference which will be held October 18-21, 2016, at the magnificent Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, CA. NAICJA’s Annual Conference offers innovative and timely tribal justice information through high quality presentations by national experts. The theme of this year’s conference is, “Tribal Justice Matters: Role of Tribal Courts in Upholding Indigenous Rights.” NAICJA is featuring topics that highlight ways in which American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and First Nations justice systems are exercising and upholding tribal inherent rights. We are especially interested in presentations that focus on social justice and human rights, tribal sovereignty, international frameworks for understanding indigenous issues, promising Indian child welfare practices, court security and topics of interest to court clerks and court personnel.
This is your opportunity to share your expertise and display your creativity by developing an original program for presentation. Proposals specifically tailored to meet the needs of the 300-person NAICJA audience are strongly preferred.
Proposals are due on or before Friday, April 15, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. (MTN).
NAICJA Joins Forces with the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges
Boulder, CO: The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) is pleased to announce that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been memorialized establishing a working relationship between NAICJA and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Importantly, the MOU provides for joint membership in the two organizations, allowing NAICJA members access to the resources of both national judicial membership organizations.
Established in 1969, NAICJA is a non-profit corporation and the only membership association of tribal court judges and tribal court personnel in the nation. NAICJA’s current projects and goals are concerned with: advocating on behalf of tribal justice systems; securing necessary funding for tribal justice systems so they may continue to excel; providing education and training to tribal judiciaries; providing networking and mentorship opportunities for tribal judiciaries; and improving cooperation between tribal, state, and federal judiciaries.
The NCJFCJ, established in 1937, is a non-profit corporation with a primary focus on improving juvenile and family court system practice in the handling of cases involving children, families, and victims of domestic violence. As one of the oldest judicial membership organizations in the nation, the NCJFCJ is unique as a leader in providing continuing education, technical assistance, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice. Among the myriad current NCJFCJ initiatives, several align closely with NAICJA’s projects and goals and hold promise for potential application and implementation in Indian Country, including: a national network of more than 100 juvenile and family courts that develop and test promising practice; the Juvenile Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Project; the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody; and the Family Court Enhancement Project.
Beginning on June 1, 2016, new or renewing members of the NAICJA interested in joint membership will pay a $215 fee directly to NAICJA (existing NAICJA members should contact NAICJA directly for details on upgrading to a joint membership).
NAICJA is excited to join forces with the NCJFCJ as the two organizations work to strengthen the functions and collaborative opportunities of state and tribal court systems, especially as they pertain to juvenile and family courts. NAICJA encourages its members to take advantage of the joint membership opportunity and the incredible resources available from the NCJFCJ.
Justice Richard Blake
President, Board of Directors
National American Indian Court Judges Association
Phone: (303) 449-4112