Swinomish Tribe Fails in Land and Jurisdictional Land Grab Attempt!

The Swinomish Tribe, not known for being a cooperative neighbor, having taken lead in a Supreme Court case that robbed rural Skagitonians of their water rights, https://nwtreatytribes.org/state-supreme-court-rules-swinomish-tribes-favor-water-dispute/  it was such actions that caused alarm across Skagit County when people were able to read the wording of the Swinomish proposed tribal constitutional changes and became concerned with such language as:

The proposal to modify Article I [of the SITC Constitution] presents significant changes to this section with expansive language to the jurisdiction and territory of the Tribe. The changes do present contradictions to applicable law. Additionally, potential conflicts may arise if this amendment is enacted. The proposed amendment first defines the Tribe's territory and then secondly defines the Tribe's jurisdiction.

In the section defining territory, the proposed changes delete all the reference to the Executive Order of September 9, 1873 (Executive Order), in pursuance of Article III of the Treaty of Point Elliott, January 22, 1855 (12 Stat. 928). The Executive Order (Attachment 3) defines the northern boundary of the Swinomish Indian Reservation. Removal of this language is in contradiction to the Executive Order.

Next, the section on jurisdiction includes "all persons, subjects, property and activities occurring within its territory as defined by this Article." A potential expansion in territory as defined in the first section allows for a potential expansion of jurisdiction and regulatory authority as defined in the second section. If the proposed amendment is enacted, this expansion of tribal jurisdiction may lead to conflicts as the Tribe flexes its regulatory authority within an expanded tribal territory  https://www.skagitcounty.net/Home/Documents/Press/3702P5-Response%20to%20Swinomish.pdf

Repeated attempts to communicate with the Swinomish Tribal leadership were constantly rebuffed.

In the concerted efforts to have clear determinations from the federal government in the Skagit Washington Swinomish Tribes constitutional changes, Save Family Farming took the lead in protecting property rights.http://www.savefamilyfarming.org/  Skagit County Commission was likewise concerned and asked for specific clarification of the feds. https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/Home/press/SITCexpansion.htm  CAPR took a role in garnering interest, providing information, and the letter writing campaign. http://proprights.org/blog/elaine-willman-and-invasion-tribal-justice-warriors   When citizens work together and clearly define a problem, success can be had!  Excellent work all! 



July 18, 2017