Ex-leaders not budging after losing Alaska tribal dispute

Former officials in an Alaska Native village are refusing to relinquish their old office and tribal records, despite a federal appeals panel’s finding that they’re no longer in charge.

Andy Patrick is a member of the old tribal council in the Yup’ik Eskimo community of Newtok that is no longer recognized as legitimate. Patrick said Wednesday he’d like to see village elders polled to determine who should be in charge.

Last week, the new leadership asked a federal judge to have Alaska State Troopers enforce a Nov. 4 court ruling that ordered former leaders to stop representing themselves as the governing body.

In August, a federal appeals panel also sided with the new tribal council. The Interior Board of Indian Appeals had stepped in to review a 2013 ruling by the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognizing the new faction.

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