Anchorage, AK - In an address to the Alaska Federation of Natives over the weekend, US Senator Lisa Murkowski called for improvements to the tribal justice system in the state of Alaska. “We can start by ensuring that there is justice for the Fairbanks Four," said the Senator.
It’s unclear what role the Murkowski can play in a review of the Fairbanks Four case. Last week, Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart told the convention he supports a review of the case at the federal level.
Senator Murkowski also used the shooting deaths of two Alaska State Troopers in Tanana and a recent double homicide in Shageluk to argue for improvements to public safety in villages and remote communities in Alaska.
“Every village deserves a full time public safety presence," she said. "Whether that is a VPSO, a tribal police officer, a village police offer or a trooper, every village should have a full time law enforcement presence.”
The senator said she’s working to increase federal funding in addition to already existing state money to recruit more public safety officers.
Murkowski pointed to a 1953 public law transferred legal authority over tribal lands from the federal government to the state. The Senator said that doesn’t mean Alaska’s tribal justice system doesn’t qualify for federal assistance. She said she plans to push the BIA for a review.