The Hunting and Fishing case titled: The Reber Case

Dear Editor,

Some of you may not be aware of the Hunting and Fishing Case involving Rickie L. Reber, who is a plaintiff in our case, Felter v. Kempthorne.

The Nations highest Court, the U.S. Supreme Court in August “denied Rickie's petition” to have his case heard after the Utah Supreme Court reinstated his 2004 conviction for poaching a deer with his son in Uintah County. Mike Humiston, Rickie’s attorney stated, “It not a judgement on the merits (of the case) they simply have too many cases!

The Utah Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Utah Court of Appeal and reinstated Rickie’s conviction and reaffirming the agreement between the state and the Ute Tribe. In this agreement the Ute Tribe handed over all authority and jurisdiction over the original boundaries of the reservation known as the exterior, to the State of Utah.

What this case was about was not poaching, in my opinion, but about jurisdiction and treaty rights. Rickie Reber and his attorney should be applauded for the stand they took even though the outcome was no in Rickie’s favor.

The results of the actions taken by the Ute Tribe only shows the contempt the tribe has for the terminated mixed-bloods. Last year the Ute Tribe gave Kermit Hackford, Rickie’s uncle and a terminated Uinta, a ticket for hunting elk. They not only ticketed Kermit but took his elk, gun, and here’s the kicker, his lawfully issued tribal hunting permit.

We, as mixed-blooded Uinta, need to support each other in cases such as this. Without vision there can be no future.

Earl Denver
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The Mixed Bloods Direction
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