ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It's a delicate and sometimes controversial balance: tribal courts versus the State of Alaska's judicial system.
On Wednesday night, nearly 100 people attended the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center’s forum called “Tribal Courts in Alaska: Past, Present, and Future.”
Panelists from across Alaska addressed such issues as sovereignty, jurisdiction, training and the functions tribal courts perform, with the hopes of giving people a better idea of how tribal courts operate and their significance in the state.
"They're people in the villages,” said Lisa Jaeger, a tribal government specialist with Tanana Chiefs Conference. “They're usually not lawyers; they're just lay people that are trying to take care of their children. They're trying to protect women and children and do it in the most fair way they can."