Alaska State Troopers say they don’t know who the rightful tribal leaders are in a western Alaska village, and they’ve taken no action weeks after a federal judge said the agency could use force to evict former leaders involved in a prolonged power struggle there.
The Jan. 12 ruling was in response to a request by the new leaders in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Newtok who asked the court to enforce a November ruling that ordered the old faction to stop claiming to be the community’s governing body. The former leaders have refused to leave the tribal office or relinquish records.
The dispute began in 2012 and has stalled millions in government funds for relocation efforts for Newtok, among Alaska’s most eroded communities.
A federal appeals panel also sided with the new tribal council in August.