The Montana Supreme Court has found that the Bureau of Indian Affairs could be held liable for a sexual assault committed by one of its officers on the Northern Cheyenne reservation.
Aaron Bolton has more.
According to court documents, in 2015 BIA officer Dana Bullcoming threatened to jail a women for violating local alcohol laws at her home, and used that threat to pressure her for sex.
Bullcoming was later convicted for the assault, but the woman, known only as LB, later filed a civil suit for damages.
The judge in that case did award some damages, but found that the BIA can’t be held liable as the assault was out of Bullcoming’s official duties.
Both federal district and appeals courts agreed, but the case was then passed to the Montana State Supreme Court last year.
Montana’s highest court found that Bullcoming used his official capacity to coerce someone into sex, that the BIA can be held liable.
A Native woman won the Democratic nomination in Wyoming’s primary last week for U.S. House and will face Republican Harriet Hageman, Congresswoman Liz Cheney lost her seat.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Taylar Stagner reports.
Lynette Grey Bull won the Democratic Party’s nomination for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat.
Grey Bull won the nomination in 2020 against Cheney as well. She says she’s ready to fight for the seat again.
“It’s definitely a David and Goliath type of campaign.”
Grey Bull is Northern Arapaho and resides on the Wind River Reservation. She wants to use her platform to shed light on the importance of renewable energy and social issues.
“I want to gear my campaign towards values, family values, values that concern humanity, values that concern the marginalized communities such as the Indigenous community and the LGBTQ Two Spirit community.”
Grey Bull says it’s important to her to give voters in Wyoming a choice, and Hageman is spreading misinformation about former president Donald Trump winning the 2020 election.
The two will go against each other in November.
The Canadian government has agreed to release Catholic entities from their pledge to raise $25 million for residential school survivors.
As Dan Karpenchuk reports, Indigenous leaders and some legal experts are questioning the decision.
The deal was made in 2015, but was not widely publicized.
It meant Ottawa, under the previous Conservative government, agreed to forever discharge 48 Catholic church entities from paying the $25 million in compensation to residential school survivors, a commitment that was made in 2006. It also agreed to pick up their legal bill.
The Catholic Church raised only $4 million and is off the hook the remainder.
At least one Indigenous leader says the request to discharge the pledge came from the Catholic Church after it said it couldn’t raise the money.
Percy Lezard is with the Indigenous studies program at Wilfrid Laurier University.
“It undermines the labor of 6,000 folks who were brave enough under the conditions of colonialism to come forward and share their experiences and the 126 years of Indian residential schools.”
Indigenous leaders have questioned why the Canadian government gave up its appeal of a court decision in which Catholic entities were let off the hook for paying their remaining financial obligations under the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.
Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller had said he would find out why the government abandoned its appeal.
He has hinted that he’s open to a review of the 2015 decision, but some Native leaders say it’s unlikely that Ottawa can compel the Catholic entities to meet their financial obligations.
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