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Lawyer fighting sovereignty advising justice panel

An Alaska lawyer who is fighting the sovereignty of the state's tribes is advising the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission.

The appointment of Anchorage attorney Don Mitchell to an advisory working group prompted the resignation of Ross Schaeffer Sr., a former Native corporation president. "Most of us Alaska Natives view Don Mitchell just like you view the Ku Klux Klan," Schaeffer told The Anchorage Daily News. "He's anti-Native, and most of us don't want to have anything to do with him."

Mitchell is behind a lawsuit that challenges whether the Bureau of Indian Affairs had a right to recognize the state's 220-plus tribes. He believes that Alaska tribes do not have the same rights as those in the Lower 48.

The commission was created by Congress to sort out some of the jurisdictional questions that have arisen as rural tribes exercise their sovereignty.

Get the Story:
Rural Justice panelist resigns in protest (The Anchorage Daily News 2/9)

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