Chief Lambert pushes for stronger elder justice and trafficking laws
Department of Justice funding request would support much needed Tribal Code development
Principal Chief Patrick Lambert drafted a letter of support recently directed at the United States Department of Justice’s (USDOJ) Division on Tribal Justice that would create an avenue for the Cherokee Court and Tribal Legal teams to develop new code that would address areas that are currently vague or inadequate within the Cherokee Code. Areas needing stronger laws include elder justice and human trafficking, and are at the front of Chief Lambert’s plan to protect Tribal members of all ages.
“We cannot continue to allow our people to be taken advantage of because of vague or missing Tribal code,” said Chief Lambert. “With the funding from this request from the Department of Justice, we can finally have some concrete laws written that will create the foundation for our people to feel safe and for justice to be served.”
For years, the Cherokee people have asked for more to be done in these areas, and with Chief Lambert showing support to the cause, there may finally be some resolve in these issues.
The request for funding will allow for assistance from outside legal counsel to draft the new laws and present materials to the public once implemented. Additional areas of law being addressed deal with land matters and creditor issues on the Qualla Boundary. These are commonly disputed issues in the Cherokee Court, and resolve is often not met due to the inadequate laws currently written.
“I will continue to seek out funding, support, and direction for Cherokee families to have the protections they deserve. We need stronger laws, and I will continue to work collaboratively with the Cherokee Court and Tribal Council to bring that to the public,” Chief Lambert added.
Chief Lambert recently supported another DOJ request for funding called the Cherokee Court Peacemaking Program, which will help peacefully resolve child custody disputes through family and culture-centered mediation. That funding was approved and the program is currently under development.
– EBCI Communications