Fight For Justice

On the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Reservation

July 1997

Read from buttom up

July 8, 1997

Tribal council tries to give more sovereignty rights away.

The tribal council is so afraid of what FFJ might do, they are willingly giving away sovereignty rights without blinking an eye. The tribal council has wanted the Marquette police to assist in protecting the Marquette casino from FFJ and to arrest FFJ member in Marquette. They haven't been able to do so because it is off the reservation. Well, they have found a way to do it, they will give up the tribe's sovereignty rights. In entering an agreement with the Sheriff of Marquette County who will do anything the tribal police want for money, they have agreed to give up jurisdiction of tribal lands.

In the letter below dated March 17, 1997 to tribal attorney Joseph O'Leary from the sheriff of Marquette county shows just what kind of person the sheriff is.

Mr. Joseph P. O'Leary, Tribal Attorney Route #1, Box 45
Baraga, MI 49908

RE: Semi-annual 2% Gaming Revenue Request

Dear Mr. O'Leary

First, let me thank you, the tribal council, and the members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community for your generous and continued support of our department! Your important contributions positively affect the safety and security of all Marquette County residents.'

The $150,000.00+ you have provided over the last two years has allowed us to continue vital community policing and crime prevention programs such as D.A.R.E and MCTV and to maintain an adequate level of road patrol services. I am totally committed to maintaining and expanding these types of prevention programs. I firmly believe prevention is a more cost effective alternative to enforcement actions, however, also understand that when prevention fails we must have a dedicated, trained and committed enforcement presence.

I am looking at almost doubling our Public Safety Division with Community Policing Officers under an approved COPS Universal Hiring Grant. This grant will pay salary and fringe benefits for 15 officers for three years. I am currently looking at how I can cover operational and capital costs for these officers (approximately an additional $100,000.00 per year) and how I can continue funding these positions at the end of the grant period. This is where I am asking for your help in continuing KBIC's generous semi-annual 2% revenue sharing with funds earmarked specifically for this department.

This is not a one-way street. I understand KBIC expects, or should expect, something in return. Let me tell you what I have done since taking office on January 1st and what I propose to do for you in the future.

I have taken your Marquette Tribal Officer on as a part-time deputy in order to initiate his state certification. Also, I have deputized him so he has full enforcement authority while he is on-duty as a Tribal Officer. I am providing him with "in service" law enforcement training through my department and have incorporated him into other training and planning activities within the department. Further, I have made an on-duty supervisor available to him at any time should he have questions or concerns.

I have directed my Detective Division to provide follow-up services, through a detective identified as a Tribal Liaison, on any request from your Tribal Officer and to be available on a "call-out" basis for any crime scene processing or evidence technician assistance your officer may need. This detective is available at any time, all you need to do is ask!

I have committed to Captain Chosa our back-up and support on any criminal activity occurring on your land in Marquette County. If your officer calls for help you can be assured our department will respond; that includes any attempted takeover's or subversive activities. I have asked Captain Chosa to research the possibility of having our road patrol deputies cross-deputized so there is no jurisdictional questions regarding our authority and tribal members on tribal property in a takeover situation. However, no matter what the jurisdictional questions are, if your officer calls for help, he will receive it!

I will provide your community with any Community Policing or Crime Prevention programs they desire. I can do this through one of my grant funded officers, by training your Tribal Officer in crime prevention techniques, or a combination of both. I want to be responsive to your law enforcement needs without overstepping my bounds, threatening your sovereignty, or invading upon your Tribal Officers, responsibilities. You tell me what you need and want and I will do my very best to provide it for you!

I am willing to meet with you, the Tribal Council, or the Tribal Chairman at any time to discuss these issues. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call me. I look forward a continuing, growing relationship with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Michael H. Lovelace

July 1997

Dakota Resigns

Dakota turned in his resignation during a closed session of an executive tribal council meeting. But Dakota will continue as the tribe's CEO. In a letter to the council, Dakota referred to his recent conviction. "Due to the legal circumstances I am in, I feel that it is in the best interest of the tribe as well as myself, to submit this letter of resignation as tribal chairman and council member. ( I wonder if Fred has to pay back the hundreds of thousands of dollars the council gave him to pay for his attorneys under the guise that the trial was about sovereignty rights and not about a crook taking bribes and cheating on his taxes?)

When Dakota was first elected to the tribal council he consolidated the two positions. This consolidation removed the checks and balance from the CEO position, which was answerable to the chairman. The KBIC constitution states that a person who is a felon may not serve on the council. The KBIC personal policy states that a person who is a felon will be terminated immediately. When questioned why Fred wasn't fired, council members stated he was going to appeal. (What does that have to do with it? He is a convicted felon.)

Wayne Swartz, the tribes vice president, will assume Dakota's position as tribal chairman. Also at the executive session, the council appointed Mr. (Bill?) Chosa to replace the vacant position on the council and appointed Wayne's niece, Terri Denomie, council member to the executive council.

To read a brief summary of FFJ and it's begining read Tina Lam's Detorit Free Press article

Copyright 2001 by Rose Edwards. All Rights Reserved.