Meghan Sigvanna Topkok is a staff-attorney at Kawerak and spent about a year organizing the three-day summit. She says the tribal justice summit’s goal was to help tribes understand what their options are for building a tribal court.
“We’ve also had a lot of people bring up the idea of also doing a regional tribal court or developing a sub-regional model or even if we did an appellate regional court which I think really help us pull our resources… The advantages would be you could pull judges from different communities if you have a conflict of interest, somebody from another community could step in and be a judge, or review a case if it needs to be appealed.”
But what exactly is a tribal court? There isn’t one singular model, as Tribal Justice Program Director for the Association of Village Council Presidents Rick Garcia explains:
“Tribal courts are really our courts. They are courts in our community that seek to provide restorative justice to our tribal members.”
View full article HERE.