Standoff over leadership of Rhode Island tribe continues

Photo: Marcos Valentin | WPRI-TV

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (AP) – The occupation of a tribal government building by a faction of the Rhode Island Narragansett tribe that’s demanding a leadership change is now in its seventh day.

One occupier, Bella Noka, says elected tribal council members met with authorities Sunday to discuss vacating while the dispute is resolved through mediation.

She says they didn’t reach an agreement and about 20 people remain inside Monday.

The occupiers include council members who impeached Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas and want him to step down.

Thomas and his supporters don’t recognize the results of a July election or the impeachment.

A federal judge and Rhode Island’s governor have both said they have no jurisdiction over the sovereign tribe.

Noka says a generator is supplying power to the building after someone cut power Friday.