Indian tribal leader on being denied visa to attend US congress
The head of a Cherokee Indian tribe has been denied entry into the US for attending a Congressional hearing on tribal rights.
The tribe is suing the Trump administration, alleging it violated a treaty signed between the US and the tribe in 1851 by denying it access to US soil to testify on the Indian treaty.
The Trump administration’s response was released Friday, in a court filing, which also said it was unable to guarantee the tribe’s right to be present at the hearing.
A judge ruled that tribal representatives could not attend the hearing, but they had to travel to Washington to speak at a Native American history event sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.
The president of the Cherokee Nation, William B. Tabor, had previously said he was interested in attending the hearing to discuss the treaty and other issues, but he had to cancel because he was unable.
The federal judge wrote in his ruling that Tabor “has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the treaty, and the need to consult with the Cherokee Tribal Council and the Cherokee Tribe prior to the appointment of a representative.”
The tribal council is the tribal government’s governing body, and it is unclear why tribal representatives were excluded from the hearing in Washington, but tribal officials have not yet responded to a request for comment.
“This is about an individual who is a very knowledgeable person who is here to speak about the treaty.
We would like to be able to participate in the hearing and to participate with him,” Tabor told the Washington Post in April.
The hearing was intended to examine the Indian treaties of 1776 and 1851, which are the basis of the US-Indian relationship.
Tuba, who is also president of Cherokee Nation’s governing board, told the Post he was invited to speak to the committee to “share the concerns of the community,” and said that he would be “interested in the committee’s findings, its recommendations and its recommendations for how to resolve issues.”
In the past, tribal leaders have been granted visas to attend congressional hearings, but not to sit in on them.
Last year, the tribal council and tribal leaders unsuccessfully tried to attend the House hearing on the proposed reopening of the Flint River.
The tribal members had been told by the US government they could only attend when the meeting was open to the public, but the hearing was held behind closed doors.
On Wednesday, the tribe was able to attend but was not able to speak.
It was the first time a Native american was denied entry to the US to testify at a Congressional committee, and tribes have previously been denied visas to speak in court, to attend public hearings, and to hold public meetings.
Native Americans have faced a series of legal challenges, including the death of a Navajo woman in 2016 and the death in 2015 of a tribal member of the Navajo Nation, who was shot by a federal officer in Arizona.
Last week, a federal judge in Arizona said that the tribe should be allowed to return to the tribal lands to fight the claims of land theft and land use violations by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
But the tribe has not returned to the land since then.
The case is Tuba v.
Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Arizona, No. 11-1699.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.