Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Can Tribes Absolve The Federal Govt. of its Legal Agreements with Tribal Members by Disenrolling Them?

Frequent commenter to our blog, Allen L. Lee asks the question in a comment on another post and I thought I would give it its own post

Can the tribes absolve the federal government of it's legal agreements with tribal members by dis-enrolling them? I think the answer is, No!

Though the tribes as seperate sovereigns may absolve themselves of any legal relationship with a member by dis-enrolling them, the tribes can not absolve any legal relationship a tribal member may have with the federal government on behalf of the federal government. This would include who the federal government agrees to recognize as citizens of a tribe.

If it were accurate that the Federal government leaves membership solely up to the tribes , then the following prosecutions covered at this link, http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-20-tribe-fraud_N.htm would not have happened.

I will paraphrase an important statement from this link which says that the BIA denied recognition for this fake tribe because it had no historical characteristics, etc. It also said that even if they did recognize the tribe, tribal granted membership to an illegal alien would not confer U.S citizenship to the member.

This is a point demonstrating that how the U.S. recognizes a tribal citizen can be independent of how a tribe recognizes a tribal citizen

Please help expand the points with your comments

12 comments:

t'eetilawuncha! said...

This is a great insight and someone looking outside the box.

To do an end around of a corrupt government.

I'm sure the CPP had thought we would just wither away.

Sorry it won't happen. We are here to stay.

Bryan Galt said...

The Tillie Hardwick decision established that the Federal Government could not terminate its relationship with Native American Tribes, it did not specify anything about the people in those Tribal groups being 'card members' to maintain that relationship.

'aamokat said...

As I said in the other thread that I think is relevant here as well:

Any members of our family, the Hunters of Pechanga, who have gone through probate for a share of our ancestor Paulina Hunter's land allotment received an official Dept of Interior document that says the following:

NOTICE IS GIVEN "That on "Specific Date" a decision was entered in the estate of "Deceased Person's Name," a deceased Luiseno Mission (Pechanga Band) Indian, a copy of which is attached hereto."

EVEN OUR FAMILY MEMBERS WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH PROBATE AFTER MARCH 16, 2006, THE DAY WE WERE DISENROLLED FROM OUR TRIBE, STILL HAVE THEIR DECEASED LOVED ONES LISTED AS BEING OF THE PECHHANGA BAND.

Clearly the BIA still considers us Pechanga even if our tribe now does not.

What we can do with this information, I don't know, but what I have stated is fact that is officially docmented.

'aamokat said...

This is how fair the proceedings in our disenrollment cases were.

1. Before our hearings with the Pechanga enrollment committee we received letters that said we could not have our lawyers present.

2. We were denied any official copies of any of the disenrollment proceeding transcripts. So despite the fact that key steps of the disenrollment procedures were not followed, we had no concrete proof that it was the case.

3. At our appeal hearings in front of the tribal council we received beforehand letters that again said our lawyers could not be present at the hearings and also that "no writing implements of any kind would be permitted in the hearing room." SO WE WERE NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO TAKE NOTES!

3. In July 2005 the entire general membership of the tribe, which is supposed to be the final authority of Pechanga law, voted to end disenrollment as a part of Pechanga law but we, the Hunters, were disenrolled in March 2006 anyway.

4. Also In March 2006, in fact two days before our disenrollment, the tribal council sent a letter to the general membership saying that the new law passed the previous July didn't apply to my family despite the fact that Chairman Mark Macarro had said, "all means all," when asked at the July 2005 meeting in which the petition to end disenrollment was passed if my family was covered.

5. Every piece of evidence that supported our case including probate records, census records, as well as a noted expert on local Indian geanology and history that was hired by the enrollment committee to research our family line, Dr. John Johnson of the Muesum of Natural History in Santa Barbara, Ca, was ignored by the committee in their decision against us.

In fact Dr Johnson has said that no family today has more of a right to be Pechanga Indians than my family.

ANYWAY, AS MY COUSIN SAID, WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY BUT ON A LIGHTER NOTE, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPEY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!
This fight is not nor will be over until there is precedent set over Native rights.

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