Who are we?
The North Central Idaho Jurisdictional Alliance (NCIJA) is a group of local governmental entities. The following are present members:
Counties: Clearwater Idaho, Lewis
Cities: Kamiah, Craigmont, Kooskia, Stites, Orofino, Reubens, Nezperce, Winchester
School Districts: Highland #305, Kamiah #304, Nezperce #302
Highway Districts: Central, Evergreen, Prairie, Kamiah, Kidder-Harris, North, Winona, Greencreek
Why do we exist?
NCIJA was formed in December of 1996, out of necessity, to defend the members and citizens of the area from the ever expanding claims of the Nez Perce Tribe to jurisdiction (legal
authority) over the residents and property of the area within the 1863 treaty boundary.
What are the goals?
We intend to vigorously defend against and resist the alleged claims of expanded jurisdiction. This may include court action where deemed appropriate.
How are we funded?
The Alliance operates on local tax dollars and private contributions. We have limited resources and solicit private dollars from individuals and businesses.
Is this an "Anti-Indian" group?
NO. This is a jurisdictional dispute between governments. Our purpose is not to eliminate the tribal government, tribal culture or heritage, but to insure that area residents are not subject to the jurisdiction, regulation or control of this tribal government in which representation, due process of law and civil rights are nonexistent or extremely limited.
Can I be a member?
Membership is limited to governmental entities, however we encourage individual participation and have established associate memberships which are open to all persons who support our cause.
Can I attend meetings and voice my opinions?
Yes, meetings are set well in advance and the public is invited to attend, just as any other governmental meeting.
Is this Alliance really necessary?
Opposition to claims of expanded tribal jurisdiction over us and our property is vital to our security and economic well being. No taxation without representation, due process of law, equal rights and civil rights are concepts which we take for granted in the United States
of American and have for over two hundred years. These are the truths on which our nation was founded, yet as ironic as it may seem, if the Nez Perce Tribe succeeds in is claims of jurisdiction over us, we will not have these basic rights and consequently will be subjected
to many abuses of a non-representative government.
There are numerous examples of claims of expanded jurisdiction by the Nez Perce Tribe, which may not yet be widely known. Lewis County has been sued and forced to defend, in the Nez Perce Tribal Court and in front of a jury limited to only tribal members. The tribal
member, in this case received an award of thousands of dollars in damages against Lewis County which was upheld on appeal in the tribal system. This case, Lewis Co. v John Allen v. Nez Perce Tribe et al, No. 94-35979 is now on appeal in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This Alliance is monitoring and supporting the arguments in the Allen matter.
The Kamiah School District's subcontractors on the recent construction of the new middle school have been ordered by the Nez Perce Tribe to comply with the Tribe's TERO ordinance, which requires the payment of a TERO fee to the tribe, the employment of tribal
members and compliance with other TERO regulations, and paperwork, all at a cost estimated to be in excess of $200,000 for the new middle school. Two of the subcontractors were assessed substantial financial penalties for failure to comply with the ordinance. These
contractors and the school district are resisting this claim with the assistance of NCIJA.
Highway Districts have been ordered to comply with the TERO ordinance in rock crushing and paving projects, adding significantly to the overall cost of the project, all of which is paid with taxpayers dollars.
The Nez Perce Tribe adopted a substantial utility tax in January 1997. However it has been put on hold for the present, and could resurface again when the tribe so desires. "...(The tribe) is feeling a real need for injections of revenue," (Douglas Nash, tribal attorney, Lewiston Morning Tribune, Feb. 27, 1997).
The Nez Perce Tribe has claimed virtually all surface and groundwater within the boundary of the Treaty of 1863 and elsewhere, which includes the Clearwater River and a substantial portion of the Snake River. This issue is currently in litigation in the Snake River Water Rights adjudication process and this alliance is taking a strong interest in the case.
The Nez Perce Tribe also has recently established it's own police force and is attempting to exert criminal jurisdiction over non-members, through vehicle traffic stops. We are looking into
this issue in depth.
Does the tribe have this claimed jurisdiction?
NCIJA feels they do not, however this question may have to ultimately be decided by the State Supreme Court or the highest of the Federal Courts. A number of U.S. Supreme Court Cases have held that in situations very similar to that which exist here within the boundary as established in the 1863 Treaty with the Nez Perce that the tribe does not have jurisdiction.
The first line of authority holds that in situations like ours that the original reservation boundaries no longer exist and therefore there is no jurisdiction, see DeCoteau v. District County Court, 420 U.S. 425 91975); Hagen v. Utah, 510 U.S. 399 (1994), Yankton Sioux V. Southern Missouri Waste Dist., 99 F3d 1439 (8th Cir. 1996) which is now in the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal and the State of Idaho's Attorney General has formally supported this position in a motion filed with the Idaho State Supreme Court, in the Nez Perce County v. Dunn case.
The second line of authority holds that even if the original reservation boundaries still exist, the tribe has only very limited jurisdiction over non- members see, Montana v. United
States 450 U.S. 544 (1981); Solem V. Bartlett, 465 U.S. 463 91984); Brendale
v. Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakima Indian Nation, 492 U.S. 408 (1989); South Dakota v. Bourland, et al, No. 91-2051 (June 14, 1993); Strate et al v. A-1 Contractors No. 96-1872
How do I help?
Become informed on the issues, attend meetings and support your elected officials in dealing with this difficult issue. Associate members are welcomed in the Alliance and financial contributions are greatly appreciated.
Are contributions tax deductible; can they be anonymous?
NCIJA has been advised that contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes as an itemized deduction under IRC Sec. 170, however you should consult your own tax adviser.
For those who have been threatened with termination of farm leases, access roads or business agreements or otherwise wish to remain anonymous, such contributions may be made by check or money order payable to NCIJA and mailed directly to US Bank, PO Box 368, Nezperce, ID 83543, with instruction to deposit the same to our account.
For further information please contact:
North Central Idaho
P.O. Box 36
Nezperce, ID 83543
Phone (208) 937-2454
Fax (208) 621-2727
Dan Johnson - Exec Director
e-mail - Dan@NCIJA.org