Congratulations to the Snoqualmie tribal members who were ousted from the tribe by a shadow government. We detailed the story and how the BIA stood by and watched HERE How embarrassing for the BIA to be exposed like this.
Ousted Snoqualmie tribe members get to present case
Nine ousted Snoqualmie Indians, who claim they were illegally banished by their own tribe in a bitter power struggle, will be allowed to present their case in federal court that they were denied due process.
U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled Sept. 5 that he has jurisdiction to hear the matter brought by the banished tribal members against the sitting tribal council. He denied a procedural motion by the tribe's leadership to dismiss the case.
Some of the banished tribal members say they were thrilled to have the chance to make their case in court.
"I was hoping this was America," said Bill Sweet, the ousted chairman of the council. "Rights are just that, rights. This isn't a communist country, this is the United States, and everyone has the right to be heard."
Sharon Frelinger, elected to the council in May 2007 only to be banished within a year, said, "I am ecstatic."
"This represents hope for other Native Americans that there might be a place where we can be heard. Even though they are a sovereign nation, you still cannot treat your people without due process."
Following a new tribal election in September 2007, the tribe in April "clarified" the enrollment of more than 40 members, cutting off their right to hold office or vote. The tribe also banished nine members, including several elders and a leader of the Indian Shaker church.
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