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.