Alaska Natives Look to Establish Tribal Courts

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - The move is sought to increase sovereignty according to supporters.

    Some Alaska Native tribes are interested in organizing tribal courts as a way to further exercise their sovereignty.

    Tribal representatives from southeast Alaska recently gathered for a conference to discuss ideas.

    The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska has a tribal court in Juneau. When it began in 2007, it handled child custody hearings. But the Juneau Empire reports the court has expanded over the years, to include divorce, domestic violence and other cases.

    Marina Rose Anderson is the vice president and administrative assistant for the Organized Village of Kasaan. She was among the officials who attended the conference. She says her main goal is to make the tribe as independent as possible.

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