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Tribes sign cross-deputization agreements with state

The Omaha Tribe and the Winnebago Tribe signed cross-deputization agreements with the state of Nebraska on Friday.

The agreements give tribal and state police the authority to arrest offenders on reservation land regardless of race. Non-Indians will be prosecuted in state court while Indians will be tried in tribal court, according to an opinion [PDF] released by the state attorney general.

Tribal and state officials said the agreements clear up jurisdictional questions that have arisen in recent years, particularly on the Omaha Reservation. Some non-Indians claim the some, if not all, of the reservation has been diminished and that the tribe lacks authority.

Officials in Thurston County, where Indians make up 52 percent of the population, criticized the deal with the Omaha Tribe. They said a lawsuit might be possible.

Get the Story:
Press Release:Gov. Heineman, Attorney General Bruning Sign Cross-Deputization Agreements (State of Nebraska 8/12)
Nebraska State Patrol Will Help Police Reservations (AP 8/12)
State Patrol will help police reservations (The Sioux City Journal 8/13)
Thurston County officials unhappy with agreement (The Sioux City Journal 8/13)
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Related Stories:
Omaha Tribe near law enforcement agreement (07/08)
Sheriff says tribe politicizing law enforcement (03/11)
Lance Morgan: The politics of fear and racism (02/19)
Non-Indians question Omaha Tribe's jurisdiction (01/21)
White rancher in Neb. arrested by tribe's police (11/21)
Farmer indicted for ramming into Omaha officials (10/24)
Farmer rams tractor into car carrying tribe officials (10/21)
Dispute over Omaha Reservation boundaries simmers (09/05)