CRIT Attorney General hits back at Town of Parker over COVID-19 orders

The Attorney General of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, Rebecca Loudbear, has hit back at the Town of Parker, calling the Town’s statements on the Tribes’ recent COVID-19 order “a complete misstatement”, exposing decades-old jurisdictional complexity.

The Town of Parker is located within the CRIT reservation, so CRIT’s strict stay-at-home order does apply to Indians within the Town, according to Loudbear. While acknowledging that the legal issues are “complex”, Loudbear said that the Tribes’ order also applies to non-Indians living on “fee lands”, those parcels within the Town of Parker that are part of land held in trust for the Tribes.

“The Town of Parker is located entirely within the boundaries of the Colorado River Indian Reservation,” she wrote in a public statement Tuesday. “The one square mile boundary of the Town of Parker is completely surrounded by lands held in trust for the Colorado River Indian Tribes and also contains a substantial amount of trust land within its boundaries. The Colorado River Indian Tribes always has jurisdiction over trust land within the Town of Parker, and Indians within the Town of Parker, regardless of land status upon which an Indian resides.”

Citing case law, Loudbear said the Town of Parker is “considered Indian Country”, and that the State of Arizona has “no civil or criminal jurisdiction over Indians within the Town of Parker.”

Loudbear was responding to two public statements posted by the Town of Parker last week in which the Town asserted that it is governed by state law rather than CRIT law, implying that the CRIT order does not apply within its boundaries.

“The Town of Parker Police Department wants to remind all residents that the Town of Parker is governed by the laws of the State of Arizona,” said the Town’s April 4th post. The Arizona Governor’s order is “the only order the Town of Parker can and will follow,” it continued.

But Loudbear disagrees.

“Only the Stay at Home Resolution approved by Tribal Council applies to Indians, whether they reside on fee or on trust land within the Town of Parker,” she said. “Additionally, those non-Indians who reside on trust land are subject to civil authority of the Tribes and in this circumstance of a pandemic, those that reside on fee land are also subject to the CRIT order. The Colorado River Indian Tribes also owns several fee lots within the Town of Parker and the Governor’s order does not apply to the Colorado River Indian Tribes as a separate sovereign.”

Parker Live has reached out to the Town of Parker for comment and will update this article with additional comments upon response.

The full text of Loudbear’s statement is as follows.

The statements issued by the Town of Parker and the Parker Police Department in response to the Stay at Home Resolution No. 54-20 passed April 1, 2020 by the Tribal Council of the Colorado River Indian Tribes are a complete misstatement on the application of law within the Town of Parker. The Town of Parker is located entirely within the boundaries of the Colorado River Indian Reservation. The one square mile boundary of the Town of Parker is completely surrounded by lands held in trust for the Colorado River Indian Tribes and also contains a substantial amount of trust land within its boundaries. The Colorado River Indian Tribes always has jurisdiction over trust land within the Town of Parker, and Indians within the Town of Parker, regardless of land status upon which an Indian resides.

The Town of Parker is considered Indian Country (Colorado River Indian Tribes vs. Town of Parker, 705 F.Supp. 473 (D.Ariz 1989)). In other words, the fee lands within the Town of Parker have not been disestablished and therefore are Indian Country for purposes of determining jurisdiction over Indians and non-Indians. Since the Town of Parker is within Indian Country, the State of Arizona has no civil or criminal jurisdiction over Indians within the Town of Parker. Therefore, only the Stay at Home Resolution approved by Tribal Council applies to Indians, whether they reside on fee or on trust land within the Town of Parker. Additionally, those non-Indians who reside on trust land are subject to civil authority of the Tribes and in this circumstance of a pandemic, those that reside on fee land are also subject to the CRIT order. The Colorado River Indian Tribes also owns several fee lots within the Town of Parker and the Governor’s order does not apply to the Colorado River Indian Tribes as a separate sovereign.

The issue of jurisdiction over the conduct of non-Indians while on fee lands within the Town of Parker is complex and limited. The two primary exceptions are a tribe may regulate and tax “the activities of nonmembers who enter consensual relationships with the tribe or its members” and a tribe may regulate conduct of nonmembers that “threatens or has some direct effect on the political integrity, the economic security, or the health or welfare of the tribe.” (Montana v. U.S., 450 U.S. 544 (1981)). A pandemic caused by a virus as contagious as coronavirus knows no boundaries. As the Town of Parker is entirely surrounded by the Colorado River Indian Reservation, the conduct of residents, Indian and non-Indian alike, will have a direct effect on the health and welfare of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. Therefore, the Stay at Home Resolution applies to ALL residents within the Town of Parker.
Additionally, the Tribes also has the inherent authority to exclude non-Indians from its lands for any conduct whether of a criminal or civil nature. (Water Wheel Camp Recreational Area, Inc. v. LaRance, 642 F.3d 802 (9th Cir. 2011)). This is a power the Tribes has always used sparingly. However, if the health and welfare of its membership is at stake, an exclusion ordinance could be enforced.

This is also a prime opportunity to remind any individual interacting with an officer of the Colorado River Indian Tribes that CRIT Officers have AZ Post certifications and are authorized to investigate and arrest for violations of state law. Therefore, do not assume they are only enforcing Tribal laws and afford them the same respect you would give any Town or County officer.

This is a time for us to come together as a community in a united approach to slowing the spread of coronavirus. We are grateful for everyone who is abiding by both the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and the CRIT Stay at Home Resolution.

Sincerely,
COLORADO RIVER INDIAN TRIBES

Rebecca A. Loudbear

.

98 comments

  1. Lorrie Ann Muriel

    I don’t think the Town’s order was a misstatement. I just think the CRITAG didn’t understand it. Basically, if you call CRITPD for service, you fall under their order. If you call ParkerPD for service, you fall under the Town’s. Simple. Well as simple as jurisdictions are here at any rate….

  2. Dewey White

    A good ol, traditional, pissing match between crit and the town. Why doesn’t the town council and the tribal council sit down and figure out what the root cause of the problems are? Does the tribe want all non tribal members within their reservation boundaries to leave?

  3. Dave Vaverka

    Clear as mud, and I work in legal field.

  4. Marie Gonzalez

    Joshua Banuelos interesting. Sarah Aranjo Mona Reyna Duran sarah this answers your question you had the other day.

  5. Mona Reyna Duran

    Dewey White i dont think they’d like the answer

  6. Merial Scott

    Keeping everyone safe…looking out for ALL people within TOP, how hard is that

  7. Lorena Jimenez

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  8. Martin Sudicky

    Certain parcels of the town were established when the railroad came thru and the Indians are butt hurt but there is nothing they can do about it unless those parcels are abandoned. Easements were established so they have no authority to restrict the flow of traffic either. Most of the tribal police are white boys anyway and laugh when the tribe tries to exercise and measure of authority. Besides that, they’re to busy giving drunk Indians rides home in their squad cars to give a frock. 😂

  9. Shirley Copley

    Dewey White, Its a small tribe of 5000 – they are only trying to protect & preserve their tribe. Respect their wishes OR make them flex their muscle. The choice is yours.
    Is funny to me that y’all don’t understand who’s really in charge here.

  10. Shirley Copley

    Dave Vaverka, Lemme help you; CRIT runs the show & put out a statement a few days ago with their temp rules/closures…town of Parker tried to be “the cool parent” with their own statement about how crits rules don’t apply in the top. CRIT is now subtly making it clear who runs the show. Next step is CRIT to show their muscle & I can promise-all the vacation home people who pushed….ain’t gonna like it.

  11. Dave Vaverka

    Shirley Copley my point is not clear at all!

  12. Dewey White

    Shirley Copley who exactly is y’all? I am merely pointing out a recurring impasse between both councils. I’m not taking sides although I totally agree that steps must be taken to protect people and life.

  13. Elizabeth Lorina-Mills

    Martin Sudicky there’s actually a federal case that explicitly holds the town of Parker was not disestablished from the reservation. It’s conveniently cited in the statement.

  14. Dave Vaverka

    I also will get a kick out of CRIT attempting to close BLM land. That should be fun to watch

  15. Steve Loritz

    Indians can go bite me , I don’t follow there rules

  16. Shirley Copley

    Dewey White, Y’all is the people who don’t agree with the tribes original statement (temp rules/closures) & are trying to find loopholes so they don’t have to abide… if it had been respected & backed up by top Crit wouldn’t have had to make this second statement & shown a lil muscle.

  17. Martin Sudicky

    Elizabeth Lorena-Mills
    Not entirely.

  18. Concerned citizen

    Thank you CRIT for looking out for everyone…when the rest are just looking to be reelected…I appreciate the foresight to do the right thing when the others are just looking for votes….tribal or not…thx!

  19. Steve Loritz

    And I will be on my boat this weekend on the American waterway

  20. Shirley Copley

    Dave Vaverka, I don’t see in any of their statements where they even mention they’re going to do anything with BLM areas. Did I miss something?

  21. Shannon Dzieciuch

    So in regards to this disestablishment, is there an asterisk on the deeds to land in the town of Parker, that is not Tribal, that says “ you own this land, unless CRIT decides you don’t”?
    Seems like it would make it harder to get a mortgage for a home there?

  22. Jacquie Hall

    The town of parker and the parker police department have different LAWS they HAVE to abide by.. that was the point of their statement. They are not allowed to make up their own rules like the tribes can! And for clarification, I am not saying by any means the tribes original statement wasnt in the best interest of everyone because I know it was.. BUT the town has to follow the governors orders, not the tribes.

  23. Dalton Lusk

    Steve Loritz Taking a poll: how many affliction shirts do you own and who is your favorite character on Entourage?

  24. Dave Vaverka

    Shirley Copley no my point is CRIT has no control or muscles on the water and upriver Especially on the CA side…they may claim big boss status but it is only a claim…fed wins when it finally becomes a federal order so CRIT is a big fish in a very small pond! Fed has allowed this to be handled by states, but if CRIT pushes FEDS win end of game!

  25. Dave Vaverka

    Shannon Dzieciuch tell that to the guy that bought the land Jack in the box is on. Doubt seriously title is that clouded

  26. Mona Reyna Duran

    Merial Scott I agree with Merial this shouldn’t even be about jurisdiction and about all of our health and welfare of everyone in TOP, CRIT even LaPaz. But yes, TOP has not exercised jurisdiction over Native Americans for many years. Its not if your tribal member its if your federally recognized as Native American you fall under CRIT jurisdiction. CRIT ofc ate also duly sworn officers and can cite non tribal members as well.

  27. Kimberly Venegas

    We ALL just need to get along and protect our community. Stay home & be safe everyone!

  28. Merial Scott

    Jacquie Hall make up their own rules?? Hmm, ok…A FEDERALLY recognized Tribe, a Sovereign Nation…have a Constitution & By-Laws they have to follow. The TOP is SMACK DAB in the MIDDLE… so keep a look out for others & work together for the safety of EVERYONE…

  29. Jacquie Hall

    I dont think anyone ever disagreed to look out for each other or for the safety of each other! Just because TOP is “smack dab” in the middle of the reservation doesn’t mean their police department can follow or enforce the certain rules set out by CRIT. If they could, none of this would be an issue.

  30. Teri Lindsay

    Andrew Bergstrom David Bergstrom >>>> good perspective of Big River…..

  31. Carissa Hartless

    Steve Loritz who are you? You don’t even live here, and the proper term is Native American, have some respect.

  32. Shannon Dzieciuch

    Dave Vaverka I was asking, I genuinely don’t know. But the statements above seem like that’s what they are saying. I was just trying to understand

  33. Dion Alli

    CRIT has NO jurisdiction over deeded land. GTFO

  34. Dave Vaverka

    Shannon Dzieciuch I was being sarcastic, CRIT has no jurisdiction over deeded land. I know the party that sold that property I mentioned and believe me CRIT had no interest or control of that land.

  35. Martin Sudicky

    Annika Boucher Elizabeth Lorena-Mills

    Like all Reservations, there are certain easements built in for the benefit of the Nation. Mostly for roads, electrical transmission lines, and railroads. Such was the case on the CRIT Res when the railroad came through in 1905. The Government carved out a 1 square mile plot for a railroad township. Aside from the Railroad property, the Govt. auctioned off (deeded) lots within the Town. CRIT later sued and all unsold lots reverted to Reservation land. However, the township boundaries and the Town remained. Those lots which were already sold and deeded remained deeded land. (Which is why I own my deeded property in the town) Roads, streets, and alleys within the town are eased land, meaning if they cease to be used as roads, streets, and alleys, they will revert to Reservation (CRIT) control. Other facilities, such as schools, parks, athletic fields, etc. are also easements or low/no cost “leases”, which would revert to CRIT control if abandoned.

  36. Shannon Dzieciuch

    Dave Vaverka ahhh, thank you 😊

  37. Isabel Mariscal De Leon

    Jacquie Hall its called “Sovereignty” – the right to govern itself.

  38. Dion Alli

    “Tribal Jurisdiction over Nonmembers: A Legal Overview Congressional Research Service Summary Indian tribes are quasi-sovereign entities that enjoy all the sovereign powers that are not divested by Congress or inconsistent with the tribes’ dependence on the United States. As a general rule, this means that Indian tribes cannot exercise criminal or civil jurisdiction over nonmembers. There are two exceptions to this rule for criminal jurisdiction. First, tribes may exercise criminal jurisdiction over nonmember Indians. Second, tribes may try non-Indians who commit dating and domestic violence crimes against Indians within the tribes’ jurisdictions provided the non-Indians have sufficient ties to the tribes. There are three exceptions to this rule for civil jurisdiction. First, tribes may exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers who enter consensual relationships with the tribe or its members. Second, tribes may exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers within a reservation when the nonmember’s conduct threatens or has some direct effect on the political integrity, the economic security, or the health or welfare of the tribe. These first two exceptions, enunciated in the case of Montana v. United States, are based on the tribes’ inherent sovereignty, and exercises of jurisdiction under them must relate to a tribe’s right to self-government. Third, Indian tribes may exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers when Congress authorizes them to do so. Congress may delegate federal authority to the tribes, or re-vest the tribes with inherent sovereign authority that they had lost previously. Indian tribes may also exercise jurisdiction over nonmembers under their power to exclude persons from tribal property. However, it is not clear whether the power to exclude is independent of the Montana exceptions. The question of a tribe’s jurisdiction over nonmembers can be very complex. It is fair to say, however, that tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians is quite limited” In other words, on the Rez, you abide the CRIT rules, on deeded land, you’re under State of Arizona jurisdiction as the Town of Parker has already stated..

  39. The tribal police can arrest and cite non natives if they commit a crim on native land like down in the valley or at the casino or in Blue Water Lagoon but they are charged with state charges and booked into the county jail. Tribal cops dont have jurisdiction in Big River its a PL 280 state n falls under Cali laws. The river is a federal water way n not controled by tribes. Non natives can not be charged with tribal codes unless for speeding on the rez. No non native living in the jurisdiction of parker can be delt with by tribal cops only by Parker PD for calls for service. Loudbear knows nothing about this and the crit police chief knows even less he isnt a certified police officer and has never been a police officer in the state of Az.

  40. Mona Reyna Duran

    Dewey White lol i told you, you wasn’t gonna like the answer😂 big hugs though. I miss hearing ya sing to.

  41. Dewey White

    Mona Reyna Duran this is all super interesting.

  42. Steve Loritz

    Carissa Hartless who cares what u think , it’s Indian , I have a house in Parker so bite me

  43. Steve Loritz

    Dalton Lusk I almost laughed

  44. Steve Loritz

    Carissa Hartless Do you know what CRIT means ? The letter I is Indian not Native American

  45. Carissa Hartless

    Steve Loritz you’re so special because you have a house here but I’m sure you don’t actually live here full time, so take your California ass back home because we don’t want you here

  46. Lawny Reese Caracci

    And blah blah blah.. sound like Trump vs Pelosi.
    Took our minds off the corona virus for a minute. Thank God.. but yeah.. I vote that God’s in charge..

  47. Scott Bishop

    No tribe owns every other lot in town like a checker board. Can’t close hiway but can block access to reservation. Can’t block river. Can’t stop travel

  48. Scott Bishop

    Wait till rain flash floods them out …next

  49. Dion Alli

    Dave Vaverka I know the owner of the Parker Jack, can shoot him a text message tomorrow. just let me know what question we want answered.

  50. Tracy McConnell

    Umm. Not sure why the title of article says “CRIT Attorney General hits back at the Town of Parker”? First of all, if you “hit back” that means you were “hit” first. The Town of Parker never “hit” the Tribes to start with. They were only releasing a statement to clarify where they stood in this matter. Nothing for anyone to flip out over. Also, I’m not sure how this statement from the Attorney General was “hitting back” at all. She just clarifies who their order pertains too. Both parties are basically saying the exact same thing. I’m pretty sure everyone who lives here knows if they live on a deeded lot or if they lease a tribal lot. .. And I guarantee we all know if we are “Indian” or “non-Indian”. Nothing has changed- if you are “non-Indian” follow the laws of the Town of Parker (AZ Governor’s orders), unless you live on a tribal lot, then you must follow the CRIT Tribal Laws/Orders along with all the “Indians” in our community. …the same as always. Not trying to be disrespectful to anyone. When everyone comes together for our community as a whole, the outcome is always outstanding! I am blessed to live in a Town where everyone helps each other. .. Lets focus on that right now. We all have enough stress and anxiety. Stay healthy everyone! ❤

  51. Dion Alli

    Scott Bishop say goodbye to your lease lmao

  52. Scott Bishop

    Dion Alli not on our side there only property managers. Longest lease holder master lease. .tribes only ran br for 1st ownership / managers. Than 9 other property managers ran br.then crit bought back br to manage this time so they lost right to manage by lawsuit .and master lease must be renewed at a fare market value. In 2029. .but no one talks about crit and all Indians losing all rights when treaty with Abraham Lincoln expires.feds have a loan out to tribe for both casinos.still owe over 150 million and used br for collateral.so. they have to pay off dept and be giving new treaty in 2029.

  53. Jennilee Martin

    But wait wasn’t the town of Parker trying to move to parker south for this same issue … They did not want to be dealing with the jurisdictional issues … What was that guy’s name again… You know the one that was pushing for it

  54. Jennilee Martin

    Scott Bishop wow… Really? …

  55. Jennilee Martin

    interesting to read how theeeese people think… Just because they are being told that they temporarily can not do something… They bad mouth our government and belittle who we are … they are not understanding that these temporary orders are for the benefit of all people from our community …

  56. Launa Wilson

    Steve Loritz I thought if you live in Calif Gov Newsome said you have to stay there and not leave to vacation homes? He said one home or the other so traveling wasn’t going on. Just curious ?

  57. Launa Wilson

    Steve Loritz you may want to. They can ticket you and they can throw you in jail. I would be respectful

  58. Uriah Martinez

    Steve Loritz tribes were here before the town so they should have say so around here😂 you should be in quarantine in Cali

  59. Can we just fight this virus and not each other? Come on people. Everyone is stressed, but let’s not fight with each other. Just breathe! Be respectful of others and give each other some space. Please! Let’s keep healthy and happy! 😎

  60. Terilyn Gary

    isn’t that why the town moved to 12 mile junction? 🤔 those that stay acknowledge the jurisdictional situation… just like those that choose to live on the california side of the river… or upriver… or the valley, or anywhere else for that matter…

  61. Terilyn Gary

    Dewey White I’m thinking of that TOP statement that cites the governors order but says they suggest washing hands, social distancing when out and nothing about following or enforcing the governors orders… 🤷‍♀️ that’s more like a leaky bladder…

  62. Terilyn Gary

    Tracy McConnell wrong… if living within the exterior boundaries of the reservation then you follow the crit order and the governors order… did you read the statements at all?

  63. Terilyn Gary

    Steve Loritz or know english either… lol

  64. Norma Ray

    It’s for the good of us all, folks. Just stay home!

  65. Elizabeth Lorina-Mills

    Martin Sudicky disestablish is a legal term. And the town of Parker is not disestablished from the reservation. Now, it is absolutely true that the Tribes have limited civil jurisdiction over the deeded plots owned by non-Indians. One of those exceptions (also recognized in case law and conveniently cited by the AG), is when the non-members’ conduct “threatens the health and welfare of the tribe.” If people are going to be walking around the reservation like Typhoid Mary,then yes, that threatens the health and welfare of the tribe, and that necessitated the Tribes to enact reasonable restrictions on activity during a PANDEMIC. And perhaps it needs to be said again, the entire 1mi2 of Town of Parker is entirely within the reservation. That’s why if a tribal member commits a crime on deeded land, only the Tribes and feds have criminal jurisdiction.

  66. Christopher M Dobbins

    Good.
    Lock down Parker asap.

  67. John Stephen Lane Sr.

    Dewey White That would be a great solution.

  68. Kim Masterson

    Steve Loritz – out of respect you should. It’s that kind of attitude that makes it harder on those who are cooperating so this mess can come to a halt and things reopen.

  69. Tracy McConnell

    Terilyn Gary nope, didn’t read them at all…. Have a nice day. Stay healthy.

  70. Scott Bishop

    Hey did they close shey road to dry campers. .no why cuz they can’t

  71. Cheryl Hanterman

    Sometimes common sense!! Is hard for some to understand!

  72. Scott Bishop

    Really tribe loses all authority all payments all land in 2029.no more Indians .thats when treaty ends with feds.they were told to assimilate into socitiy within 125 years.

  73. Dewey White

    Jennilee Martin I’m pretty sure they annexed Parker south because central Parker can’t expand due being surrounded by tribal land. You see how excited everybody is to move out there.

  74. I have always supported tribal initiatives and respect the councils decisions for the community. In this pandemic the tribe has taken an aggressive approach to safety by mandating stay at home orders for all community,ity members.

    Given the small population of the tribe and the high comorbitity rate which increases their risk of contracting a virus. It was a needed effort on the part of Tribal council.

    With that said, it is important that the tribe model the expectations put forth in the community. There was an auto accident 2 days ago where 3 civil servent agencies responded. There were pictures posted on social media. None of the direct service individuals, on the scene,were wearing masks. The most visible being CRIT fire department t-shirts worn by the fire department.

    No one was staying safe distances from one another and no one was wearing a protective mask.if those in charge of public safety do not train those working with the public and especially those in “helping fields” and public service, then the efforts of the average individuals is compromised and that is just irresponsible.

  75. Andrew Bergstrom

    Teri Lindsay awesom shot. Can’t wait to jet a jet ski out there 💦 ⛳️

  76. Dave Vaverka

    Dion Alli I know Alex well , he is actually family. We have discussed this in detail

  77. Dion Alli

    Dave Vaverka cool ! He’s a great guy!

  78. Matthew Cruz

    Steve Loritz where is your vacation home? 😂

  79. Beth Weeden Davis

    I’m starting to have feelings of disrespect. And after reading how entitled the non native residents of Parker are. After reading these horrible posts.

    We are all neighbors.
    Shame on you.

  80. Scott Bishop

    I love the tribe they always been straight forward with lease holders. And Curtis gave us all a great lease letter explaining in detail what they are doing to improve br.they have taken 15 plus leases away from bad tenants.but can’t resell lot.but can use it for brde.and 9 years is what we have left.i seen this town for 30 years.its very simple.we lease land that feds own.in end feds rule.but Cal State laws are rock solid.no tribal preference off the reservation.so any tribal member in br can go to Cal prison.

  81. Wanda Goodman

    Why can’t the Town and Tribe work together on this specific issue, the COVID19 pandemic. Our top priority should be the safety of ALL FULL TIME “””RESIDENTS””” in the Town of Parker and on the reservation not jurisdiction over this and that. Jurisdiction cannot get COVID19 but your people can. As a Tribal member, I would rather have my safety as a priority over a jurisdiction issue any time. js

  82. Jane Kendall

    Not necessarily Lorrie. You can live in a home on tribal land and be non tribal or a tribal member and non tribal member can live in the same home that’s say not on tribal land and both departments would be notified. A lot of times both CRIT and PPD have to respond to a home in town.

  83. Wow , take advise from a drug dealer who spent time in military prison

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