Yakama Nation Chairman Denied Entry to the United States Supreme Court Due to His Traditional Regalia

Published October 30, 2018

WASHINGTON — Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy has been denied entry to the United States Supreme Court hearing Washington State Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc. due to traditional dress. In a live feed via Facebook Chairman Goudy is shown talking to one of the security guards outside the hearing. The security guard explains Chairman Goudy cannot enter unless he removes his headdress. The security guard states “the court cannot be subject to outside influence” he continues to say that the headdress “draws attention to you.”

Chairman Goudy was told that his headdress also causes “obstruction issues for other people who are trying to watch the court”. Chairman Goudy asks, “for the record I am being denied access to the Supreme Court if I do not take off my headdress” to which the security guard states “correct you can go inside the court room without the headdress”. Chairman Goudy peacefully left the courtroom area and went outside to pray.

“Yakama Nation treaty case is on trial at the Supreme Court today. I cannot wear my traditional regalia before the Supreme Court for the reasons that were stated, but I refuse to take off my traditional regalia” stated Chairman Goudy.

Yakama Naiton Tribal Council Chairman JoDe Goudy at the Native Nations Rise March on Washington to fight Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock in March 2017. Native News Online photograph by Levi Rickert

The case argued before the Supreme Court concerned the Yakama Nation’s Treaty-reserved right to travel outside the Yakama Reservation to take goods to market free from state tax, conditions, or encumbrance. The State of Washington ignored these sacred rights and argued that it could prevent Cougar Den, Inc., a Yakama-licensed corporation, from traveling on public highways without first paying a tax for the transportation of goods to the Yakama Reservation. The State’s argument relies on cases that can be directly traced back to the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, which is a racist and genocidal doctrine that is being wielded against Native Nations by the State of Washington and United States to this day.

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