The Isleta Tribal Council is not consistent about notifying the community of any new laws, policies or procedures that it enacts. Further, you cannot rely on the Isleta Tribal Courts, the Isleta Appellate Courts or the Governor’s office to have the most current version of any laws, policies or procedures. The Isleta Tribal Council is also often unaware of its own laws etc.
Since our government does not have any standard system in place to give the community FAIR NOTICE of newly enacted laws, policies or procedures; you MIGHT have the right to challenge the enforcement of those laws against you or your family. The Council’s failure to give you fair notice MAY constitute a violation of due process and equal protection under the Isleta Tribal Constitution and the Indian Civil Rights Act. You should confer with an attorney for legal advice on such questions.
Meanwhile, the next time you see your favorite Council Member, Governor, Lt. Governor, Tribal Court Judge or Justice ask them to make the Tribe’s laws public by posting them on the Pueblo’s website and making them available at the Isleta Library. Also, ask them to publish a notice in the Isleta Tribal Newsletter to notify the community of any newly enacted laws, policies and procedures including any amendments to those laws. This will allow you and your family to have fair notice of the Council’s laws.
Indeed, the Council’s laws should not take effect unless they publish notice of those laws in the Tribal Newsletter. This would help protect you and your family. Make a difference by asking your favorite tribal official to publish the Council’s laws.
By Christopher Abeita