Suspended KBIC judges reinstated

Suspended KBIC judges reinstated

The controversy within the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community has subsided after two suspended judges were reinstated and a possible lawsuit was set aside.

In a 7-5 vote, the Tribal Council voted to lift the suspensions of Cheif Judge Brad Dakota and Associate Judge Violet Friisvall Ayres, and reopen the court building.  Ayres was ordered to lift the temporary restraining order she had issued to suspend the result of a tribal referendum approving the purchase of the Baraga Lakeside Inn and marina.

In a statement, KBIC President Donald Shalifoe said that he and Treasurer Eddy Edwards were working within their constitutional framework on behalf of the tribal council.

“According to our constitution, the tribal court is subordinate to tribal council and always has been. If changes to our constitution are warranted, they can only be made by ratification of the people, as per the constitution,” Shalifoe said.

Shalifoe said the KBIC will move forward on the purchase of the Baraga Lakeside Inn.