Osage Nation sets trial to remove chief
PAWHUSKA, Okla. (AP) _ The Osage Nation Congress has scheduled a Jan. 13 trial on proceedings seeking the ouster of Principal Chief John Red Eagle.
Red Eagle faces charges stemming from six allegations. He's accused of malfeasance in office, arrogation of power and disregarding his constitutional duties and oath of office, according to The Examiner-Enterprise. He has also been accused of abuse of the government process and undermining the integrity of the office.
Members of a congressional committee had initially recommended Red Eagle be removed from office after they investigated 15 accusations against the chief since he took over the position of executive leader of the tribe in mid-2010.
A report from the Osage Congress' Select Committee of Inquiry alleges Red Eagle interfered with and tried to stop a tribal attorney general's investigation; refused to uphold a tribal law; improperly forbade disciplinary action against a tribal Election Board employee; and that he misused more than $73,000 in Osage Nation money.
Red Eagle is also accused of failing to comply with news media requests under the tribe's open meetings law and put used Osage money to pay an employee to develop and maintain his personal website.
Red Eagle has called the panel's action an overreach of power.
Before the trial starts, the Osage Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling examining the tribe's removal process. Red Eagle filed a lawsuit against Speaker of the Osage Nation Congress Raymond Red Corn and Alice Buffalohead, chairwoman of the select committee. The tribal court said last week that a ruling would be issued by the end of the year.
The Osage Congress voted unanimously earlier this month to hold a removal tribal for Red Eagle that would be conducted by the Congress. A justice from the tribal Supreme Court would preside over the proceeding. A judgment for removal of Red Eagle would require concurrence of five-sixths of the members of the Congress.
Hardin man denies murder charge
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A 40-year-old Hardin man has denied a second-degree murder charge in the death of a man whose body was found near the Bighorn River on the Crow Indian Reservation.
The Billings Gazette reports John Harold Holds III entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Carolyn Ostby on Nov. 27. Ostby ordered Holds to remain in custody.
Prosecutors allege Holds killed 42-year-old Franklin Red Wolf of St. Xavier. Red Wolf's body was found on Nov. 2 by the caretaker of the Two Leggins fishing access site south of Hardin.
Big Horn County Deputy Coroner Robbie Seykora said Red Wolf died of stab wounds.
Officials have released little information about the case and an affidavit filed in support of the charges remains sealed by the court.
Protesters block megaload at Port of Umatilla
UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) — Protesters locked themselves to a transport rig bearing a 450-ton piece of oil refinery equipment and blocked its departure Sunday night from the Port of Umatilla.
It was bound for a tar sands oil development in western Canada. Environmentalists object to the shipment for its potential to worsen global warming, and tribal members say they're worried about the possibility of environmental damage in Eastern Oregon, where they assert a treaty interest and say they weren't adequately consulted.
Two protesters were arrested after they used heavy steel tubes to lock themselves to the truck, the East Oregonian reported (http://bit.ly/IAGuWa ). It took police two hours to remove the men, and by the time they finished it was 11:30 p.m.
Because it blocks traffic, the 380-foot-long megaload is allowed to move only at night, mainly on Highways 395 and 26 through sparsely populated parts of Eastern Oregon.
A crowd estimated at about 50 environmentalists and tribal members had gathered at the port.
Once the shipment appeared ready to hit the road, the group crossed into the lot carrying signs and chanting, “No tar sands on tribal lands!'' The two protesters were then able to lock onto the truck.
The paper reported that an announcement the load would not move came shortly before midnight.
It is the first of three planned megaload shipments. A call to a representative of the moving company, Omega Morgan of Hillsboro, Ore., was not immediately returned.
The two people arrested were identified as Leonard George Higgins, 61, and Arnold George Schroder, 35. Undersheriff Jim Littlefield said they were arraigned Monday on misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges and released without bail with a stipulation they not go back to the port.
A departure last Tuesday also was protested. The company said the equipment didn't move before the Thanksgiving holiday because it took longer than expected to load and secure it.
The water purification equipment is destined for Alberta. From eastern Oregon it will travel through Idaho and Montana.
Environmentalists are fighting the shipment to draw attention to fears that pollution from developing the tar sand oil in western Canada will contribute to global warming.
A member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation said the load's route runs on lands ceded in the Treaty of 1855. A statement about the treaty on the tribal website said the tribes reserved rights to hunt, fish and gather food on 6.4 million acres in Oregon and Washington and “maintain a keen interest and involvement in the activities that occur in that area.''
Tribal member Linda Sampson of Pendleton said the concern is with a lack of consultation and the potential for environmental damage.
“This can't be a major corridor through our land,'' she said. “Everything through here has a meaning and purpose for everybody.''