Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne group forms traditional court

Core group of the Hestaneoo (the Peoples) Camp, now serving as staff for the Northern Cheyenne Traditional Court: Adela Ignacio; Antoinette Red Woman and Crystal Abel Killsnight-Whiteman. Photo courtesy A Cheyenne Voice

Traditional Court formed at Northern Cheyenne
By Clara Caufield
Native Sun News Correspondent

LAME DEER, Mont. –– The arrival of Judge Rudy James, a Tlingit from Kiawock, Alaska, on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation on Nov. 24, 2015 initiated a week-long flurry of public meetings with traditional grassroots Cheyenne, including people from the Hestaneoo (People’s) Camp which formally camped in front of the tribal office.

As a result members from the Northern Cheyenne traditional community formed the Tsistsis & Suhtai Traditional Court, which will be announced in a pubic proclamation in the near future. The name was selected at the recommendation of Tom Rockroads, Jr.

“I’ve never liked the word Cheyenne. It’s not a word in our language," Rockroads said. “We need to begin using the real words for our people.”

Under the guidance of James, the Northern Cheyenne are exercising traditional jurisdiction, particularly as it relates to law enforcement, said Tim Lamewoman who was selected to chair the newly formed group.

“The Cheyenne are trying to find ways for justice and solutions," Lamewoman said. "The sole purpose of the Traditional court is to assist and help people who have been wronged and to do this in a compassionate manner, based upon our traditional law and custom.”

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Traditional Court formed at Northern Cheyenne

(Clara Caufield can be reached at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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