Meskwaki Tribe starts court to resolve internal disputes

The Meskwaki Tribe of Iowa is launching its first court in hopes of resolving internal disputes like the one that led to the shutdown of the tribe's casino.

Civil disputes over politics, casino contracts, family matters and tribal customs and traditions will be handled in the court. Tribal leaders are hiring a chief justice and three trial judges and creating a community panel.

Previously, most matters were settled by the tribal council. But last year, two factions claimed to control the tribe, resulting in the closure of the casino for several months.

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Tribe hopes new court will help avoid disputes of the past (AP 9/5)