Indian reservations

Cherokee Council amends nation's FOI law

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Freedom of Information | News | June 18, 2014
June 18, 2014

The Cherokee Nation Council passed an amendment to its freedom of information law that will extend the response time to records requests about the tribe’s government.

The Freedom of Information Act amendment passed 10-6 Monday night with one councilor not in attendance, after the council also passed an amendment to its Governmental Records Act, which provides government officials access to records.

The amendment creates an information officer that will receive all records requests and will be independent of any office within the government. Under the old act, the attorney general handled records requests from the press and public.

Cherokee Nation council considers changes to FOI law

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Freedom of Information | News | May 29, 2014
May 29, 2014

The Rules Committee of the Cherokee Nation’s tribal council voted 14-3 Wednesday in favor of changes to the tribe’s Freedom of Information Act, extending the government’s records request response time and centralizing requests in a single independent ombudsman.

Cherokee Phoenix photo by Will Chavez

Protesters gather outside a meeting where a legislative committee was considering restrictive amendments to the open records laws of the Cherokee Nation.

Tribal council shuts down Native American newspaper

Aaron Mackey | Prior Restraints | Feature | July 6, 2011
July 6, 2011

A Native American newspaper in a remote region of northern California will not be able to publish again unless editors can justify the publication's budget and content to tribal leaders, one of the paper's editors said Wednesday.

Tribal court strikes down prior restraint on journalist

Rory Eastburg | Prior Restraints | Feature | September 11, 2009
September 11, 2009

A tribal appellate court in Michigan last month vacated a broad injunction that prohibited a Native American journalist from reporting on issues related to tribal membership.

Osage government moves to ensure a free tribal press

Claire Brown | Newsgathering | Quicklink | May 12, 2009
May 12, 2009

The head of the Osage Nation, a tribe located in northern Oklahoma, issued an executive order last week declaring the tribal newspaper, the Osage News, independent of the government. According to the Associated Press, the paper came close to losing its funding last year over its critical reporting on Osage officials.

Tribal court bans reporter from covering fraud claims

Rory Eastburg | Prior Restraints | Feature | March 2, 2009
March 2, 2009

A tribal court in Michigan has issued an injunction ordering a journalist not to report on issues related to “blood quantum” and qualifications for tribal enrollment.  

Severe tribal libel law rescinded

Libel | Quicklink | April 2, 2008
April 2, 2008

The Reporters Committee has always warned journalists that the law, and particularly First Amendment rights, are treated differently on Indian reservations. But a rule enacted by the Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana set a new bar, allowing confiscation of property and banishment from the reservation for defaming tribal officials.