U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer says remarks he made about reservation safety during a recent meeting with American Indian officials were misconstrued, though he is apologizing for his tone.
Spirit Lake Nation Victim Assistance Director Melissa Merrick claims that Cramer said tribal courts are dysfunctional and a non-native person could not get a fair trial on a reservation.
Cramer tells the Grand Forks Herald (http://bit.ly/11WnXb2 ) that he was trying to explain why he had sought to improve legislation aimed at extending protections to gay couples and Indian women. And the North Dakota Republican disputes that he used the word "dysfunctional."
Cramer says he's trying to arrange a conversation with Merrick to apologize for the misunderstanding and the tone of his remarks.