Alaska Native rural justice commission appointed

The Department of Justice has appointed the members of a commission that will study law enforcement and jurisdiction issues in rural Alaska. Only one member will represent tribal governments.

The members of the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission are:
• U.S. Attorney Tim Burgess, federal co-chair
• Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes, state co-chair
• Juneau mayor Bruce Botelho, representing municipal governments
• Alaska Department of Public Safety director Bill Tandeske, representing state
• Loretta Bullard, president of the Nome-based Kawerak Inc., representing Native non-profits
• Bering Straits Native Corp. vice president Gail Schubert, representing the Alaska Native Justice Center
• Northwest Arctic Borough Mayor Ross Schaeffer Sr., representing rural boroughs
• Tanana Chiefs Conference President Buddy Brown, representing the Alaska Federation of Natives
Wilson Justin of the Mount Sanford Tribal Consortium, representing tribes

The commission was created through an appropriations rider written by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). He has told tribes that "sovereignty is not the answer" to social service, child welfare, health care and other issues.

Get the Story:
Tribes defend governing entities (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 9/4)
Bush law conflict hot topic for panel (The Anchorage Daily News 9/5)

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