Fort Yuma Quechan Tribal Councilor Dies After Receiving COVID-19

A council member of the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe in Yuma County died on Saturday after the conclusion of COVID-19, the tribe’s president said.

Claudette C. White died almost a month after she was sworn in at the Tribal Council on January 4, 2021. White also served on the tribal courts of Quechan and San Manuel throughout her life. From 2018 to 2020 she was Chief Justice of the Tribal Court of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Posted by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians on Saturday 6th Feb 2021

Quechan President Jordan D. Joaquin wrote in a press release that White was introducing tribal customs and traditions in court and moving away from standard punishments.

She also served as a trial and appeal judge in various tribal courts in Arizona. UCLA’s Native Nation Law and Policy Center called it “a gift to the indigenous legal community” in a Facebook post.

White was known for her expertise in missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The San Manuel tribal government says it has helped tribal youth educate communities and support those affected by human trafficking.

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