Editorial: Common sense move by Chippewa Cree Tribe
"What better time than "Sunshine Week" to see common sense prevail in the case of the Rocky Boy's slander ordinance?

Enacted in a heated response to some widely circulated anonymous letters critical of tribal council members earlier this year, the ordinance was Draconian in its reach and punishments.

Under it, the council could take action against anyone accusedof making a statement the council considered to be slanderous or libelous. And oh what actions it could take.

"All real property (including but not limited to house, livestock, equipment and land assigns, along with any type of improvements made thereto) owned by the accused and located within the exterior boundaries of the Rocky Boy's Reservation will be seized and held by the tribe pending a final order," the ordinance said.

"If guilty, all real property will be forfeited and sold at public auction; the tribe will distribute proceeds accordingly," it said.

Furthermore, if a tribal member was found to have slandered or libeled a member of the tribal council or a tribal employee, that member was subject to a five-year exclusion from the tribe for the first offense, and a permanent exclusion for a second offense, not to mention substantial fines.

Talk about your chilling effect."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Rescinding slander ordinance a good move by council (The Great Falls Tribune 3/20)

Related Stories:
Chippewa Cree Tribe rescinds anti-slander law (3/18)
Chippewa Cree Tribe's anti-slander law protested (3/13)
Chippewa Cree Tribe passes anti-slander law (2/11)