BIA agrees to mediate Chukchansi Tribe's leadership dispute

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has agreed to mediate a leadership dispute within the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in California.

Two factions, one led by Morris Reid and the other by Reggie Lewis, clashed violently at tribal headquarters on Tuesday. Both groups vacated the building on Wednesday after Madera County Sheriff John Anderson negotiated a 48-hour cooling off period.

County deputies are now patrolling the headquarters to keep the peace. It's not clear what will happen next but the BIA has "reached out to the parties and we are supporting the tribe's efforts to reach a peaceful resolution," a spokesperson told the Associated Press.

Lewis, who served as chairman, was apparently voted out of office last year. Reid says he will put an end to future disenrollments if he gains control of the tribe.

Get the Story:
Chukchansi tribal members leave buildings in dispute (The Fresno Bee 2/29)
Access Restricted to Chukchansi Headquarters (KGPE-TV 2/29)
Chukchansi Dispute Continues (KSEE-TV 2/29)
Deputies patrol around site of Calif. tribal fight (AP 3/1)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Plenty of blame to go around in Chukchansi dispute (3/1)
Chukchansi factions cooling off after clashes at headquarters (2/29)
Chukchansi faction occupies tribal headquarters in dispute (2/28)
Disenrollment affects Picayune Rancheria leadership fight (2/27)
Rick Cuevas: Disenrollments nothing short of tribal terrorism (2/17)
Opinion: Quit being sovereign and just become Americans (02/24)
BIA won't get involved in Chukchansi disenrollment dispute (2/10)
Opinion: BIA intervention required for Chukchansi dispute (02/02)
Opinion: Tribe heads in wrong direction with disenrollment (12/15)
Turtle Talk: Intolerance can lead to a weak tribal sovereign (12/14)
Chukchansi Tribe takes one of last fluent speakers off rolls (12/13)
Picayune Rancheria removes dozens of people from the rolls (11/21)
Rande Payne: Disenrollment threatens tribal sovereignty (10/28)
Some tribes turn to DNA tests to help determine membership (10/13)
Picayune Rancheria to vote on DNA tests for new members (6/17)

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