Legal Battle Unfolds Over Banishment of Former Educators from Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation Amid Child Abuse Allegations

Three officials from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe are facing a federal court challenge for banishing two former educators, Sarah Shaff and Keith Fodness, over allegations of child abuse.

The educators filed a lawsuit against tribal judges and police chief, claiming the tribe lacked the authority to ban them as the school is not on tribal land.

The complaint argues that the “checkerboarded” nature of the reservation makes it difficult to determine tribal boundaries.

The alleged abuse, reported by parents Lance Frazier and Harold Hollow, resulted in banishment decisions, but only one was reversed in civil court.

The educators argue lack of jurisdiction in tribal court, citing the Montana v. U.S. precedent.

The lawsuit seeks to prohibit enforcement of the ban and dismiss tribal court action.