Man Banished From Akiak Leaves Town

Sep 1, 2017

A former Village Police Officer who was recently banished from Akiak, and was threatened with eviction proceedings from teacher housing, has now left town.

Jacques Cooper, age 43, has been accused by the local tribal government of bootlegging and selling marijuana to adults and minors, but says that he is innocent of all the tribe's charges. Akiak’s Tribal Council issued a banishment order against him last month and ordered Cooper to leave town on August 10, but Cooper didn’t leave, saying that he needed to find a home for his livestock before he moved.

In an interview last night, Cooper confirmed that he is now staying with his family in Tuluksak, where his wife teaches at the local school. He says that the banishment order is not why he left Akiak; he says that he never intended to stay there to begin with. In a past interview, Tribal Council member Mike Williams Sr. told KYUK that one of the reasons they banished Cooper was that they weren’t sure he would actually leave after his wife moved to another school.

For the time being, Cooper says that his chickens and goats are going to be cared for by Akiak City Council member Ron Andrews until he can transport them to Tuluksak or find another home for them.

Cooper said that the Akiak teacher housing he was living in has been inspected by the Yupiit School District. He says that District personnel saw a bullet hole in the bedroom wall, which, he says, happened when someone shot at his house on the night of August 19, more than a week after the tribal banishment order.

As of this broadcast, it is unclear if an effort in Tuluksak to banish Cooper has been acted on by the local tribe. KYUK’s investigation into this story is ongoing.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Cooper had been evicted from Akiak teacher housing. Upon further reporting, we determined that was not the case.