FAIRBANKS- Tribal, state, and federal officials converged at the Westmark Hotel for the annual Tribal Court Development Conference. They want to expand the role of tribal courts to deal with rampant violence and the lack of safety faced in many Alaskan villages. A commissioner from the Indian Law and Order Commission, Carole Goldberg, says the state of Alaska should encourage more cooperation with Tribal Courts. She says the state of Alaska has not fully respected the authority of Tribal courts and Elder Councils. Conversely, she says village residents may not respect the jurisdiction of the state. "In tribal communities there’s a crisis of legitimacy," Goldberg says, "because state and federal justice systems were imposed on tribes without their consent." She says research shows that without legitimate judicial systems, communities will face more crime.
The tribal court conference will continue at the Westmark through Thursday. For more information follow the link below: