The Tribal Council of the Colorado River Indian Tribes has passed a strict new resolution in an effort to protect the large number of at-risk tribal members from exposure to the coronavirus.
The unprecedented resolution includes strict stay-at-home orders, a curfew from 10pm until 5am, closure of all access to the Colorado River within the reservation, a ban on boating, fishing, camping and other recreational activities, closure of all non-essential services, person limits for buildings, and hefty fines of up to $1,000 per incident for those who repeatedly violate the order, with the ultimate option to remove individuals from the reservation.
It applies equally to all CRIT reservation residents, both tribal and non-tribal. This includes the long stretch of the Colorado River from the Badenoch’s area just north of BlueWater Resort & Casino south to Ehrenberg, AZ.
(The square-mile Town of Parker is an anomaly. Although it is surrounded by reservation land, it is governed separately, with patchwork stretches of CRIT land within it. According to the Town of Parker, it will be governed by the State of Arizona order which went into effect Tuesday.)
“The Tribal Council is committed to the continued response to this unprecedented pandemic and global crisis,” CRIT said in a Facebook post. “Extensive efforts have been made in attempt to prepare our emergency service providers; however, we fear that the delayed response from our Indian Health Service provider has not given this tribal community an opportunity to aggressively combat the battle yet to come. The Council has diligently contemplated all enacted actions and continues to develop future protocol in an attempt to restrict access to our community from recreational visitors and impose action necessary to keep people in their houses.”
The Indian Health Service (IHS) has only limited ability to monitor and investigate coronavirus cases across reservations, slowing its ability to respond to outbreaks and raising fears that a lack of reliable data could compromise efforts to eradicate the virus. Decades of underfunding and lack of resources have, according to some, left IHS ill-prepared to manage a large-scale health emergency.
Public health experts say Native populations are particularly exposed to the risk of severe outbreaks like coronavirus. CRIT’s resolution says many of its members are in the “high-risk category”.
The resolution reads, in part, as follows:
“WHEREAS, the Colorado River Indian Tribes is a sovereign government. According to the United States Supreme Court, “a tribe may also retain inherent power to exercise civil authority over the conduct of non-Indians on fee lands within its reservation when that conduct threatens or has some direct effect on … the health or welfare of the tribe.” Montana v. U.S., 450 U.S. 544, 1981; and
WHEREAS, the outbreak of Covid-19 is a grave danger to the Colorado River Indian Tribal members and non-tribal community, as many members of the community as a whole are in the high-risk category for high rates of mortality due to Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus; [….]
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Tribal Council of the Colorado River Indian Tribes that the Colorado River Indian Tribes hereby approves implementing the following orders within the exterior boundaries of the Colorado River Indian Reservation:
1) All individuals are required to stay at home, with the exception of essential personnel. Individuals may only leave their homes out of absolute necessity for their health, safety or welfare—such as obtaining medical care, food, or traveling to an essential job function. Only one individual in the household should be sent out to conduct essential business, such as grocery shopping, except where assistance is required or no one is in the home to care for young children.
2) All non-essential business shall close to the public.
3) Essential businesses include the following:
a. Hospitals and medical offices and providers of related medical supplies, home-based care, and prescriptions;
b. Health and social welfare offices and workers;
c. Residential care, daycare, shelters, and detention facilities for children, adults and seniors;
d. Food banks;
e. Daycare services to the extent they are providing care for individuals serving in essential services;
f. Electric, gas, water, septic, and sewer utility workers;
g. Businesses which sell food or supplies necessary for life sustaining activities;
h. Businesses and services which deliver supplies or food;
i. Hard wired and wireless voice communications systems, fiber, cable, and satellite providers for television and internet services and repair personnel;
j. Gas stations, auto repair shops, and auto-supply;
k. Transportation services;
l. Restaurants must only provide take out or drive-thru service and eliminate all dining area seating, to include outdoor seating;
m. Agricultural services and related water irrigation services;
n. Newspaper and media resources;
o. Banks and related financial institutions;
p. Professional legal, accounting, real estate, and insurance services;
q. Hardware stores and construction service providers;
r. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators and others who provide services necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential operation;
s. Mailing and shipping services;
u. Pet supply and veterinary services;
v. School staff may continue to work only for the purpose of preparing meals and coordinating at home school services;
w. Government services and operations;
x. Hotels and motels;
y. Funeral services subject to the limitations set forth herein;
z. A petition to the Tribal Council to be included as an essential service shall be considered
4) All essential services listed above shall enact limits on either the number of persons permitted to be present within the building at one time, based on the size of the building; if that is impractical, the place of business shall enforce the minimum six-foot spacing limitations during line formation.
5) Recreational activities are suspended on the Colorado River Indian Reservation. This includes permitted and open access to the Colorado River, and orders temporary suspension for fishing, hunting, camping, and other recreational permits. This is necessary to reduce seasonal visitors from out-of- state who are non-compliant with the stay-at-home orders issued from other jurisdictions. This does not include individuals or family units from walking around their neighborhood, playing outside in their yard, running or biking provided social distancing is practiced. This does exclude large groups playing group sports, contact or not.
6) No one is permitted to access the Colorado River within the boundaries of the Colorado River Indian Reservation for recreational purposes, including but not limited to fishing, swimming, or boating.
7) All departments or entities that house individuals are hereby officially closed to visitation from the public until further notice to protect those that are currently in population, to include all detention facilities and the Children’s Residential Center.
8) No overnight parking shall be allowed in the parking lots of any of the businesses. The exception shall be that semi-trucks shall be permitted to stop and sleep in commercial parking lots and the Running Man parking lots, being aware that the building itself is closed to the public from 11 pm to 5 am.
9) All housing development managers, apartment landlords, and RV and Mobile Home Park Managers shall ensure no congregation of people within their establishments with the exception of the members of a single household. A congregation is defined as 6 or more people and requires the practicing of social distancing. Managers are authorized to close areas of congregation within their establishments including parks and playgrounds.
10) All RV and Mobile Home Parks shall not permit new RV’s or seasonal residents into their respective parks and shall not grant any extensions or RV permits.
11) All places of worship and churches are to stop holding in-person services immediately.
12) Funeral rites that are non-compliant with the Cemetery Committee Recommended Practices shall not be permitted.
13) A curfew for all individuals shall be enacted from 10 pm to 5 am with the exception of travel for essential work or medical care. This provision does not otherwise expand the curfew for minors outlined within Law and Order Code Section 361;
14) Libraries and youth clubs shall be closed;
15) No new CRIT business permits or licenses for roadside vendors and peddlers shall be issued;
16) All private gatherings, including wakes and funerals, of more than 6 people shall be postponed excluding members of the same household;
17) All essential government services, such as but not limited to; Police, Fire, Courts, Fish and Game, and CHR will remain staffed and operational.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that for violations of any of the requirements of this Resolution shall be punishable by civil penalty as follows:
1) For any individual person that violates the stay at home order, any curfew, or any spacing requirement, a civil fine of up to $100 for the first offense per incident, per day.
2) For any non-profit business that continues operation after this order has come into effect, a civil fine of up to $250 per incident, per day.
3) For any for-profit business that continues operation after this order has come into effect, a civil fine of up to $500 per incident, per day.
4) Violators shall be subject to fines of up to $1,000 per incident, per day in the event of intentional or repeat violations.
5) Repeat violators may be subject to exclusion from the Colorado River Indian Reservation.
6) Upon the expiration of this order, a hearing will be scheduled for these violations in the Tribal Court of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. Any judgement entered due to failure to appear shall result in domestication of any Tribal Court Order in State Court.
7) CRIT Police Department and CRIT Fish and Game are permitted to issue civil citations for any violation of this Order.
8) Nothing contained herein prohibits additional or alternative civil or criminal enforcement permitted under currently enacted Ordinances such as the Law and Order Code, Natural Resources Code, and Health and Safety Code.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall replace Resolution No. 50-20; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until April 30, 2020, or until Tribal Council, in consultation with public health officials, determines that the threat has decreased and these restrictions can be lifted; and
BE IT FURTHER AND FINALLY RESOLVED that the Tribal Council Chairman and Secretary, or their designated representatives, are hereby authorized and directed to execute any and all documents necessary to implement this action.”
CRIT’s statement on Facebook framed the need for action in historical terms.
“Our ability to help one another has remained strong and has brought Native American people to this day and age.”
Upriver doesn’t fall into the reservation right?
Jennifer De Jordy The Tribal Reservation boundary on both sides of the River is approximately 3-4 miles up from Town.
Would be nice if a boundary map was published
Kathy Denton I live by JA Johnny. I just want to make sure I can still go to the gas station and walk my dog at night when she needs to potty
Jennifer De Jordy your fine upriver there.
Boundary upriver on HWY 95 is approximately mp148 (lakeside Blvd)
The square-mile Town of Parker is an anomaly, mostly governed separately. Otherwise, the order applies within these boundaries
Sorry to say but the Resolution put in place by that Tribe is meant for the safety of their Tribal Members but, if this pandemic doesn’t change your schedule and that little preventive safety measure wouldn’t benefit you to stay in at night feel free to roam anywhere outside off reservation! Prayers be with you too!
Pauline Garcia Abendroth I’m not worried about roaming. I am a homebody as it is but I do take my dog out at high when it’s cool for her feet.
The stay at home order is pretty clear besides noone is really practicing social distancing everyday at work I have to explain it to people when there are signs posted everywhere. Use good common sense people it’s not meant to punish you it’s meant to protect you.
What does this mean for people traveling California hwy 95 between blythe and needles? Part of that road runs on CRIT land. Will they still allow free travel along the hwy if it is non stop.
This was HWY 95 at Buckskin State Park.
I was forced to move into an RV after I was ordered by my Doctor to evacuate my apartment due to mold contamination and ensuing mold illness. I came to the Parker area last November and am staying on private land. I have been in town no more than 8 times since November when I got here. Plz read the below and BE KIND.
As many of you know, I am living out of my RV. I occasionally have to go dump my tanks. The other day as I was on my way to do that, some jerk in an expensive jeep zoomed up on me and started honking his horn – freaked me out, badly – I thought something was wrong. As I pulled into the left turn lane to take my turn into the State Park that had a dump station, he zooms past me honking and as he goes by, rolls down his window and gives me alternating thumbs-down and F-you fingers. What the heck – he scares the bejeezus out of me to voice his displeasure that I am on the road in an RV (that I live in)? WTF was HE doing on the road?
Friday, I must drive 2+ hours to see an ophthalmologist (as no Dr closer would even see me :/ ) as it is likely I am having retinal detachment after my cataract surgery last fall. This is considered an emergency and will likely involve another surgery . I will have to sleep in my RV at this other location because of the need to dilate my eyes and hopefully do what they have to do. I am at risk of losing my vision – yet some azzwipes think they know it all. They don’t know the half of it!
Please people. Be kind. Realize you don’t know everything and don’t have all the answers – and most importantly – everyone is NOT JUST LIKE YOU!
You may not feel a business is essential but to someone else it is. I have seen people upset that certain places are open. It is very simple, if you don’t have a reason to go to that store, don’t. No need to report, simply mind your business.
People need home improvement stores to get tools and parts to fix things in their homes.
Pawn shops sell guns and is protected under the 2nd amendment. Some people may need to sell something to buy food right now.
Fast food may not be healthy but for many it is keeping them fed!
I could go on and on!
Please remember that it is most likely open for reasons that you haven’t thought of. For someone else that store is a lifeline! Be thankful that you are lucky enough not to need the goods or services that are being offered.
Nancy I don’t expect any stop to the flow of traffic on the highway.
CRiT is safE
is this where you are?
Jennifer De Jordy boundary line is near the main light by sand bar
The river is a federal water way, i don’t think they can restrict it’s use.
they can restrict access such as ramps and marinas that are on their land
Jennifer De Jordy dog walking is listed as an ok activity. They are not going to stop you from doing it. I love in Bluewater and although they have restricted the use of the grass by the pool and boat ramp area we can still take dogs out to the dog parks by the gate and parkways.
For how long? ????
At last! Hope this will finally keep the Crazy boaters & Vacationers out! & Jennifer De Jordy upriver is a sneeze width away for CRIT land. Follow the orders. Thank you & be safe.
Until April 30.
Not up here where I am…
I think you’re ok to be at the house, but only 1 person allowed to go to town.
Zachary Holsombach we are good up river ????
You want this over?? STAY HOME!!
The river people are fed up with outsiders!!
Listen to KLPZ, they have give-aways of food & necessities!! AMs starting at 7, M- F.
I would suggest a mandatory fine of $5,000.00
My hat’s off to you this needs to be done hopefully just short term everybody be safe out there
Sending prayers ????
If up river along riverside drive is open, doesn’t that just congregate more boaters, campers, and park model owns to continue to party while ignoring the recommendations?
Stay at home is stay at home! If you live in a self contained rv ,park model ,home and have been sheltering in place since the original mandate from the California and Arizona Governor. Isn’t the in flux of weekend warriors coming from densely populated areas every week just adding to the spread ? While Exposing an already venerable population that live in this community for the sake of your own pleasure is irresponsible for all of the citizens of the United States not just Parker and the Colorado River Reservation.
Maybe those who feel like they are immune and coming here with disregard. Should look at the National cases confirmed and already died and compare to the world wide numbers. It’s astounding.
A bit of knowledge may change some minds and realize they have a choice to do some good in the world. While Saving a few lives with new reasonable actions.
We all have a choice. It’s what makes this country so great. But choosing to take lives who you may never know for your benefit is almost criminal.
Tom Dolan STAY HOME will stop it!
CRIT only cares about its “Tribal Members”! When have we paid enough and to how many generations for our fathers crimes???
I live on a piece of BLM land the CRIT leases…it is NOT on the reservation, yet they have imposed no beach or launch access!?! That is BS and illegal frankly. Thier arrogance is pathetic!