[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 248 (Thursday, December 28, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 61450]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-28062]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

25 CFR Part 11


Court of Indian Offenses Serving the Wind River Indian 

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Waiver of certain regulations.


SUMMARY: This document accompanies the final rule establishing a Court 
of Indian Offenses (also known as a CFR Court) for the Wind River 
Indian Reservation published today and waives the application of 
certain regulations for the Court of Indian Offenses serving the Wind 
River Indian Reservation.

DATES: This waiver is applicable on December 28, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth Appel, Director, Office of 
Regulatory Affairs & Collaborative Action--Indian Affairs, (202) 273-
4680; [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Generally, Courts of Indian Offenses operate 
in those areas of Indian country where Tribes retain jurisdiction over 
Indians exclusive of State jurisdiction, but where Tribal courts have 
not been established to fully exercise that jurisdiction. The Eastern 
Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe have an equal joint 
interest in the Wind River Indian Reservation. However, since October 
of 2016, the former Shoshone & Arapaho Tribal Court has operated only 
with the support of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. The Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) is taking the next step to provide all residents on the 
Wind River Indian Reservation with comprehensive judicial services, and 
ensure the permanent administration of justice and public safety.
    Therefore, the Secretary has determined, in his discretion under 5 
U.S.C. 301, 25 U.S.C. 2 and 9, that it is necessary to waive 25 CFR 
11.104(a), (b) and 11.201(a), (e), and (f), as well as a portion of 25 
CFR 11.108, as applied to the Wind River Indian Reservation. This 
waiver will ensure that a BIA Court of Indian Offenses can effectively 
operate and serve all of the residents of the Wind River Indian 
    The Secretary has determined that, for the Wind River Reservation, 
it is necessary to waive 25 CFR 11.201(a), (e), and (f)--requirements 
that a magistrate must be confirmed by a tribal governing body, or, in 
the case of multi-tribal courts, confirmation by a majority of the 
tribal governing bodies; and requirements regarding training or other 
qualifications for CFR Court Magistrates--to ensure that the Bureau has 
the ability to hire and staff the Court with qualified employees 
    Additionally, 25 CFR 11.104, which provides that the regulations in 
part 11 continue to apply until either: (1) The BIA and the tribe enter 
into a contract or compact for the tribe to provide judicial services; 
or (2) [t]he tribe has put into effect a law-and-order code that 
establishes a court system, is waived in part as applied to the Wind 
River Indian Reservation. Due to the shared nature of the Wind River 
Indian Reservation, the practical consequences of separate courts with 
overlapping jurisdiction will be further confusion about the authority 
of each court and exponentially increase the difficulty of maintaining 
law and order on the Reservation. While the Tribes are free to operate 
judicial systems independently, the Department will not acknowledge or 
enforce acts of those judicial systems entered after the publication of 
this waiver, with the exception that the Department will acknowledge 
any emergency restraining or protective issued by the Northern Arapaho 
Court within ten (10) days of the publication of this waiver, until 
such time as both tribes jointly petition under 25 CFR 11.104.
    Finally, 25 CFR 11.108 is waived to the extent necessary for the 
Court of Indian Offenses for the Wind River Indian Reservation to 
enforce Titles II, III, V, VII, VIII, IX, Title XI Chapters 3 and 4, 
Title XII Chapter 2, Titles XIV, and XVI of the Shoshone and Arapaho 
Law and Order Code as it existed on October 1, 2016. To the extent that 
the Shoshone and Arapaho Law and Order Code, as written, requires an 
action of the Joint Business Committee as a predicate for a criminal 
offense or the regulation of an action, e.g. the determination of the 
hunting season, that authority is hereby vested in the BIA 
Superintendent of the Wind River Agency.
    The authority for publication of this document is: 5 U.S.C. 301; 
R.S. 463, 25 U.S.C. 2; R.S. 465, 25 U.S.C. 9; 42 Stat. 208, 25 U.S.C. 
13; 38 Stat. 586, 25 U.S.C. 200.

    Dated: December 5, 2017.
John Tahsuda,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, Exercising the 
Authority of the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2017-28062 Filed 12-27-17; 8:45 am]