IBIA RENDERS DECISION REGARDING CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHO TRIBES
– Interior Appeals Court Confirms Governor Hamilton in Charge –
(JULY 14, 2014 – CONCHO, OK) – The Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) has issued a decision regarding numerous appeals involving the legitimacy of the Cheyenne and Arapaho administration and court system (Bighorse v. Southern Plains Regional Director by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA), 59 IBIA 1). The IBIA noted that their decision involved eight different appeals from five different decisions of the Southern Plains Regional Director. The parties involved included the Arrow Court, former Governor Boswell, former Lt. Governor Leslie Harjo’s claims to be Governor and the Third Legislature.
The decision accomplished the following:
1. The IBIA vacated the Superintendent’s and Regional Director’s earlier decisions to recognize the Arrow court, calling them arbitrary and capricious, and lacking any reasoning.
2. The court went on to dismiss as moot all prior claims by Leslie Harjo, recognizing she lacks any claim to the governorship and failed to run in the 2013 election.
3. Finally, the court wholly rejected the appeals of the bogus Flyingman Third Legislature because they lacked any standing to make claims under
a) the Tribe’s Constitution, b) judicial principles of standing, and
c) IBIA regulations
“We are extremely pleased with the Interior Board of Indian Appeals’ ruling and see it as fully vindicating the authority of our administration and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Court system,” stated Eddie Hamilton, Governor of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. “Our expectation is that the dismissal of these appeals in the Tribe’s favor will free up important time and resources that can be better used to meet the needs of our tribal members.”
The IBIA also recognized as undisputed the 2013 election, where Eddie Hamilton was elected as the Tribe’s Governor, in an election participated in by 1500 tribal members. This election was affirmed by the only legitimate and functioning Tribal Supreme Court – the final arbiter of all questions of tribal law.
The decision of the IBIA clarifies that the BIA must defer to decisions of the tribal officials and court forums lawfully carrying out the responsibilities of tribal government.
The IBIA decision is posted on www.c-a-tribes.org.
IBIA Decision July 10, 2014