Supreme Court: Dispute needs local resolution

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

The Alaska Supreme Court agrees with a lower court ruling that a village dispute needs to be settled locally.

Reports say the dispute began with a lawsuit filed against Mount McKinley Bank by one group claiming leadership of the Healy Lake Village tribe. Another group also claims it is the rightful leader.

In its decision Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed the case filed by the group led by Robert Fifer, saying the tribe's constitution dictates the establishment of a tribal court that would resolve the dispute.

The court agreed with a November Superior Court ruling at it did not have the jurisdiction to determine who should govern.

The lawsuit was filed after the bank refused to change the signatory authority to reflect the alleged leadership change.

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