CRIT seal

The Colorado River Indian Tribes have extended their ‘stay at home’ order during the coronavirus pandemic until May 31. In a notice posted on the Manataba Messenger Facebook page Tuesday evening, April 28, it was announced the extension was approved by the Tribal Council at a special meeting Monday, April 27.

The order, which had been put in place April 1, was set to expire Thursday, April 30.

Among its provisions, the order required all non-essential businesses to close and non-essential personnel to stay home. This applied to all people who reside on the reservation, Tribal members and non-Tribal members alike. All organized recreational activities are cancelled. Access to the Colorado River from the CRIT reservation is closed, gatherings of more than six people are banned if they are not from the same household, and only one person from a household may go out on ‘essential business’ at a time. There is also a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for reservation residents.

The Tribes noted earlier this month that they have the right to exercise civil authority over the conduct of non-tribal members on their lands according to the 1981 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Montana v. U.S. That ruling also stated they can regulate the behavior of non-tribal members on fee lands (privately owned) lands within the boundaries of a reservation if that behavior affects the health and welfare of tribal members.

The Tribes also cited the 1989 case of Town of Parker v. CRIT, where the federal courts ruled the Town of Parker was not “disestablished” from the CRIT reservation.

According to the original order, people violating the tribe’s order may be fined up to $100 per incident per day. For nonprofits, the fine will be $250 per day per incident. A for-profit business will be fined $500 per incident per day. For intentional or repeat violations, the fine will be $1,000 per incident per day.

CRIT Tribal Councilman Tommy Drennan had some comments about the matter on his Facebook page.

“Resolution 54-20 ("stay at home" & essential business provisions) of the Colorado River Indian Tribes has been extended until May 31, 2020,” he said. “Stay strong, stay safe and stay in your homes with exception of essential conduct that isn't prohibited. We will revisit these provisions when warranted by facts and data.”

“Part of our attempts to curve and stop the spread of this disease depends on honesty,” Drennan said. “People being honest and reporting their possible exposures; reporting trips away from the area and reporting attended engagements where there is potential risks. That information is helpful to continue providing safe response and monitoring. As testing becomes available, this information is also helpful when reported to demonstrate a need for further allocation of collection and testing kits. You can voluntarily subject yourself for screenings at health centers and hospitals. Reporting this to your employers is extremely helpful. We live in a time where physical contact can be deadly for some. Let's do our part to keep our community safe.”

The following is the text of the Tribal Council resolution passed April 27:

A Resolution to Extend Resolution No. 54-20 Requiring All Non-Essential Businesses to Close and all Non-Essential Personnel to Stay at Home Until May 31, 2020.


Be it resolved by the Tribal Council of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, in special meeting assembled on April 27, 2020

WHEREAS, the Colorado River Indian Tribes (hereinafter "CRIT" or "Tribes") is a federally recognized Indian Tribe, duly organized with a tribal governing body known as the Tribal Council according to the provisions contained in the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934; and

WHEREAS, Article VI, Section 1(v) of the Constitution of the Colorado River Indian Tribes authorizes the Tribal Council to promulgate ordinances and resolutions providing for the administration of the health, education and welfare of members of the tribes.

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020; the United States Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on January 31, 2020; the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic due to COVID-19 on March 11, 2020; and the United States declared a National Emergency on March 13, 2020; and CRIT also declared an emergency for the Reservation on March 13, 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Colorado River Indian Tribes approved Resolution No. 54-20 on April 1, 2020 requiring all non-essential businesses to close and all non-essential personnel to stay at home until April 30, 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Colorado River Indian Tribes continues to be in a state of emergency and the risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 continues to be a grave danger to the Colorado River Indian Tribal member and non-tribal community;

WHEREAS, the closure of non-essential businesses and stay at home order approved by Resolution No. 54-20 must continue in effect to mitigate and slow the spread of COVID-19.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Tribal Council of the Colorado River Indian Tribes that the Colorado River Indian Tribes hereby approves extending Resolution No. 54-20 until May 31, 2020; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until May 31, 2020, or until Tribal Council, in consultation with public health officials, determines that the threat has decreased and these restrictions can be lifted; and

BE IT FURTHER AND FINALLY RESOLVED that the Tribal Council Chairman and Secretary, or their designated representatives, are hereby authorized and directed to execute any and all documents necessary to implement this action.

 

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