Disputed tribal council members take over administration building
CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Narragansett Indians who were elected to the tribal council months ago say they took control of the tribe’s administration building this morning, and while a crowd swelled nearby, a tribal leader said it was “a peaceful transition.”
Bella Noka, the tribal election committee chairperson, said in a perfect world the transition would’ve happened after the new council was elected in July. But Matthew Thomas, who was impeached as chief by the council in October, called its members “imposters” and according to an active federal lawsuit, did not cooperate with the change of power.
“We were trying to follow the protocol,” Noka said. “We didn’t want to be confrontational. And we wanted to practice diplomacy. But it didn’t happen. We had to take action.”