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BIA issues cease and desist as Paskenta Band dispute continues





The Bureau of Indian Affairs continues to recognize the last uncontested council of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians in California.

In an April 15 letter, the BIA told local officials that the council consists of Chairman Andy Freeman, Vice Chairman David Swearinger, Treasurer Leslie Lohse, Secretary Geraldine Freeman and member at large Allen Swearinger.

On Monday, the agency issued an order -- this time to the tribe itself -- confirming that it continues to recognize those same leaders. The BIA said it will keep doing so until the tribe resolves a dispute that appears to escalate by the day.

As a result, the BIA told tribal leaders to cease and desist blocking trust land on the reservation. Chairman Freeman has stationed security guards at the Rolling Hills Casino while the other four council members have hired their own police officers.

"Due to the notifications from law enforcement and business entities of potential serious threats to the health and welfare of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, we are issuing this cease and desist," the BIA said in an administrative order that was posted by Turtle Talk.

Vice Chairman Swearinger praised the BIA's order. But Chairman Freeman is filing an appeal, his attorney said.

Get the Story:
Northern California tribe in tense dispute (AP 6/10)
Fed recognize ousted members of Tribal Council in casino dispute (The Red Bluff Daily News 6/11)
Tribal conflict escalates as groups try to shut down casino (The Corning Observer 6/11)

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