Impasse at Rhode Island Indian tribe office enters fifth day

AP News
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Posted: Dec 24, 2016 12:32 PM

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (AP) — A faction of the Rhode Island Narragansett tribe is occupying a tribal government building for a fifth day in a dispute over the tribe's leadership.

The occupying group is led by elected tribal council members who impeached Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas and want him to step down. He is refusing to do so.

One of the occupiers, Councilwoman Chastity Machado, said Saturday that tribal elders and community members are meeting daily to find a solution.

Machado said there has to be some kind of resolution to allow the tribe to continue functioning as a nation. She said that process is ongoing and is will take a lot of negotiations.

Charlestown Police Chief Jeffrey Allen said Friday that federal attempts to find an independent mediator have been slow as Christmas approached.