- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Eastern Shoshone tribe’s liaison to the Wyoming Legislature and governor’s office has resigned, saying officials showed little respect for the position and discriminated against her because she is an Indian woman.

“Being a woman in Wyoming is hard with all the boundaries; they follow you wherever you go,” Sara Robinson told the Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Tribal Affairs on Monday.

Robinson said she was promised meetings with Gov. Matt Mead, but they never materialized. The lack of “process, procedure, policy and professionalism and courtesy” by the Legislature and the governor’s office made the liaison job difficult, she said.

Mead disputed Robinson’s statements and said she was treated fairly.

“I have, both as U.S. attorney and as governor, had a good relationship with the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone and their liaisons,” Mead said in a statement to the Casper Star Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/mof62a3). “I continue to work with both tribes on issues of mutual concern.’

Tony Young, Mead’s deputy chief of staff, said scheduling conflicts on both sides prevented any meetings between Mead and Robinson.

Young cited miscommunications between state officials and tribal liaisons. Robinson’s resignation presents an opportunity to review the liaisons’ roles, he said.

“This is a good thing because what we have now is an opportunity to look at and spend time on what we want the tribal liaisons to do,” Young said. “We want to be very responsive to the tribes.”

Rep. Patrick Goggles, D-Ethete and co-chair of the committee, said Monday that several racial boundaries still exist in Wyoming and that Robinson was put at a disadvantage as a woman in the position.

Members of the Joint Select Committee on Tribal Relations said they want to work on better defining the position’s role going forward.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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