In my opinion, the Board of Trustees of our Umatilla Confederated Tribes made a serious mistake in
 criminalizing non-compliance of tribal pandemic social gathering guidelines. Chuck Sams, pandemic 
incident commander, claimed that the guidelines were never intended to punish anyone, but were 
enacted out of community health concerns.

However, there are provisions in the guidelines that clearly have the intent of being punitive. For
 example, only after admitting, or being found guilty, or pleading no contest, in tribal court a violator
 could be sentenced to up to a year in jail, and be fined up to $5,000. Jail time could only be 
interpreted to be punitive. I fail to see how a year in jail could be considered a health concern.

Also, Kyle Daley, tribal prosecutor, has a documented record of recommending severe sentences to 
tribal court for tribal member defendants. For example, not too long ago the Confederated Umatilla 
Journal, our tribal newspaper, reported Daley recommended a lengthy jail sentence for a tribal male 
involved in a minor incident with another tribal male.

The criminal pandemic guidelines, and an overzealous prosecutor, set the stage for a divisive tribal
 community situation that is ongoing and will get much worse before it gets better. Daley charged 
immediate members of a tribal family, and about 15 of their guests, for attending a traditional tribal
 ceremony in alleged violation of pandemic guidelines.

Without due process, the tribal newspaper has already found the defendants guilty as it reported the 
primary defendant "admitted" violating the pandemic guidelines. In the context of the law, this is only 

There has already been a community march in protest of the charges, and in support of the family
 and the others charged. This clearly is a negative and divisive situation that should not have
 happened. It is important to the situation to know there were no outbreaks of COVID-19 a a result of this gathering.

Bob Shippentower


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