The Nez Perce Tribe’s Treaty Rights are under attack. For too long, individual Nez Perce Indians have had no legal recourse but to accept the public defenders, who have little or no experience with federal Indian law and Tribal Treaty Rights, assigned to their cases when those individuals have been arrested for Treaty Hunts. Tribal members (individual Indians) are arrested by state officials for continuing to exercise their Treaty Right to hunt for subsistence in their Treaty Territory. Individual Indians have the right to continue to hunt, fish, and gather in their traditional homelands protected in their Treaties with the United States.
Unfortunately, many tribal governments like the Nez Perce Tribe do not defend the rights of individual hunters when they are arrested by state and county law enforcement officials. This leaves individual tribal members on their own to defend their Treaty Rights. I am endeavoring to remedy this situation by engaging in a legal project to enforce the Nez Perce’s Treaty Right to hunt for our subsistence.
This Treaty-based legal project is unique and timely for the fight to protect Nez Perce hunters’ Treaty guarantee to be able to hunt, fish, and gather in our 1855 Treaty Territory. A competent tribal member-owned law firm is preparing to defend the right of individual Indian Nez Perces to hunt in our Treaty Territory. These hunters of the Nez Perce People (Nez Perce Tribe) retained that Treaty Right by the efforts of their grandfathers in the 1855 Treaty between the Nez Perces and the United States.
Recent wins for tribal members in both the Supreme Court and Washington state courts give rise to new applications of law to this fight to protect the Nez Perces’ Treaty Right to hunt, fish, and gather for subsistence.
The legal team is preparing to take on this legal effort to protect the Nez Perces’ Treaty-reserved rights. With the recent rulings in favor of tribal hunters, the legal team is researching and formulating applications of law in order to enforce and preserve the rights of Nez Perce hunters.
The funds raised for this project will be applied to billable hours that the legal team is utilizing to formulate a novel legal defense of Nez Perce individual Indian hunter Treaty Rights.
In order to pursue this Treaty Rights enforcement project, I am humbly seeking any financial assistance you might be able to provide for the legal costs for this effort.
Any funds not expended will be applied toward future defenses of Nez Perce Individual hunter Treaty Rights.