Blogger: Turtle Mountain Band bans dissent

"On May 11, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa's tribal council banished me from their reservation because of a column I wrote for the “Dakota Beacon” magazine (and my own political blog) called “The Appalling State of Our Indian Reservations.” To do this, the council used a bit of tribal law called the “exclusion code,” which they created ostensibly to ban criminals such as drug dealers and sex offenders from their reservation.

Now, it's apparently going to be used to ban those with political opinions that they don't like.

But when I say the council “used” that code to ban me, I mean that very loosely, as the council members apparently didn't bother to follow many of the requirements set out in their own law. Section 39.0110 of their tribal code requires that notice of any banishment hearing be delivered “by personal service, or if such service is not reasonably possible, by registered mail, return receipt requested” to the person to be banned. I got no such notice.

That section also requires that any banishment hearing be held by an Exclusion Order Board, which is appointed by the tribal council. No such board was convened, to my knowledge. Further, that section requires that the person to be banned be afforded a chance to attend the hearing, present evidence and speak on his or her own behalf. No such opportunity was afforded to me.

I was, to sum it up, banned from the Indian reservation without any level of due process (something that by itself is unconstitutional, in my humble opinion) and without the tribe following its own laws as written. Vice Chairman Ted Henry told the Herald that I won't be allowed back on his reservation, so clearly he feels as though the council fulfilled its obligations under the law.

It didn't. Even a legal novice can see this."

Get the Story:
Rob Port: ‘Banished' in America? For writing? (The Grand Forks Herald 5/18)

Relevant Links:
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians -

Related Stories:
Editorial: Blogger banned and Turtle Mountain Band (5/17)
Turtle Mountain Band bans blogger for comments (5/16)