Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Legality of Tribal Disenrollments

Blogger Erick RHOAN (name corrected now) has a series of posts about Tribal Disenrollments and the Law. For those of you that may think the consequences of disenrollment is like being kicked out of the country club, Erick points out, it's much more than that.

What is disenrollment? Disenrollment is the end result of a tribal proceeding whereby a particular federally recognized Indian tribe strips an individual tribal member of their status as a Native American with eradication of all rights and privileges that he or she may have previously enjoyed as a member.

In effect, the disenrolled is no longer a Native American. That in itself is shocking to say the least because most people, even I, have always been led to believe that one’s lineage is unalterable. When you fill out forms or applications you will sometimes see an optional section of the form dealing with race or ethnicity; one bubble or checkbox will usually say “Native American,” or “American Indian.” If you are a disenrolled tribal member you can technically no longer check this box. No person living inside the United States has to worry about such a thing happening to them except Native Americans.

There’s more to being a disenrolled Indian than just loss of ethnic identity. Disenrolled Indians no longer have access to specially arranged healthcare that, under normal circumstances, they could not have afforded in the first place. Access to education is substantially impaired as there are many funding sources that are only available to federally recognized Indian students.
In certain cases, the disenrolled are ejected from the tribal grounds and can never return.

Erick's site is at: Strict Liability in Blog please take a look


Anonymous said...

He raises a good point. I add that ive known my whole life I am Native American, when they took that from me. I might be 1/8th indian but it was a very important 1/8th to me....

Paul Whitten said...

When I graduated High School, I applied for a job with the State of Washington. I marked Native American on the application. When my application was processed I was asked to get a letter from my tribe showing I was enrolled. In 1988 Jenny Miranda signed a letter saying that I was formally enrolled and recognized as a member of the Pechanga band of mission indians.

Now or family is disenrolled, what would we mark now?

Erick said...


Thanks for the attention your blog is giving mine! I hope to have the articles done in a month or so - sounds like a long time but school is keeping me from publishing as much as I would like.

Minor Correction: in August of 2008 I changed my name from Erick Regalado to Erick Rhoan. No big deal. Wordpress won't let me change my URL to reflect the change.

Keep up the good work!

'aamokat said...

In our Record of Decision that disenrolled us from the Pechanga tribe the enrollment committee stated that it was making no determination of our status as Native Americans, just wrongly, that we are not Pechanga Indians.

I still have a roll number from the BIA as an Indian from the 1968 judgement that clearly states I am a California Indian.

In fact I had this roll number even before I was an enrolled member of the Pechanga tribe.

I think our designation is tribeless Indians just like the people who are members of tribes awaiting federal recognition.

So I don't think our status as Native Americans has been taken from us.

But regardless, we know we are the descendant of real original Pechagna Indians and no signing of a pen can take that from us.

O Pechanga said...

Erick, I've made the name change. Thanks for the good subject matter. If you can tell your readers about this sites, we'd sure appreciate it!

cideways said...

Right, you will always be Indian, even Luiseno, which is what Pechanga Indian's really are. Pechanga is the Reservation not the people.
But everyone knows that even the CPP.

O Pechanga said...

Haven't members of the Apish clan received letters denying them their rights?

PHunter said...

Good article from Erick. Good example of our youth and the future.

Our Pechanga youth doesn't compare.

Allen L. Lee said...

Iraq War against U.S. Coalition forces
“… UNHCR estimates the war uprooted 4.7 million Iraqis through April 2008 (about 16% of the population of Iraq),”
U.S. Civil War
“…The full restoration of the Union was the work of a highly contentious postwar era known as Reconstruction. The war produced about 970,000 casualties (3% of the population), including approximately 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease.”
Rwanda genocide
“…In 1994, the Rwandan genocide resulted in the deaths of nearly one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu Rwandans – nearly 14 percent of the Rwandan population,
China’s forced population control
“Unfair burdens: impact of the population control policies on the human rights of women and girls
June 30, 1995
China Rights Forum, Fall 1995
One Chinese gynecologist, who worked in hospitals in Beijing and in a provincial city between 1983 and 1993, told HRIC how women in late pregnancy are forced onto the operation table:
"...women who are 7, 8 or 9 months pregnant with their second or third baby are taken to the hospital by regional population control officials for induced abortion...Doctors and nurses in the delivery section are told that when a woman is sent in by officials for induced abortion, her baby should not be let out alive. Otherwise doctors or nurses will face administrative discipline."
The extent of female infanticide is difficult to document, since there has been no known investigation of its scope. But there are indications that this is more than a rare and exceptional occurrence. The practice of prenatal sex identification, primarily through the use of ultrasound but also through amniocentesis and chorionic biopsy, has resulted in the abortion of many female fetuses; according to a recent report in an official magazine, 97.5 percent of all aborted fetuses in the country are female.

If the native nations were showing population declines of 25% to 50% due to a Small Pox epidemic or murder by settlers I would bet the U.S. would consider it a significant number to intervene. The fact that these population declines are causing more emotional trauma than physical doesn’t make them any less a human rights concern. As Sovereign Nations the tribal population decline rates warrant human rights notice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Lee!
I completely concur; America has such a masculine view toward violence.
Listen to it squeal and watch see it circle with blood, only then will it really be dead!
That really sounds insane doesn’t it; so does our view of this violation of human rights. What more do we have to say to get America to wake up???
We are experiencing another episode of Native American genocide within these native lands. Yet again it is being funded by the Fat Rich White man!

Oh come on let me hear it … you can allow exploitation of Native American human rights, but I bet you won’t let me verbally insult the “white” “males”.

'aamokat said...

When are people going to quit blaming the white man for everything?

Indians are to blame for what they have done to their fellow Indians.

We can't blame whitey for this one.

No race has a corner on the market on morality.

Blaming the white man for everything is racist.

Sin is an equal opportunity offender.

'aamokat said...

Follow up to my last post, Martin Lurther King said that people will be truly free when "we are judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character."

That is why Barack Obama becoming president is a good thing as it is a step in the direction Dr. King was talking about.

But we won't truly be there until it isn't a big deal when someone like Obama is elected.

By the way, I didn't vote for Obama but I do except is as our new president as the American people have spoken.

Anonymous said...

Response to Lee ... by the term "big Fat White Man", so you mean Mark Macarro of Pechanga?

All leaders of any nation whether white or native are capable of being opportuntists. Many tribes are responsible for the decimination of their own people. It only comes down to those with power who do not serve but take when they can profit.

Anonymous said...

The CPP is not interested in the Indian People..simply themselves.

stand your ground said...

We just had an Earthquake here in
SOUTHERN CAL as i am reading this blog, blame the white man for this one, and while you are at it, lay the blame for someone pissing on the sidewalk on the white man.


TO quote Pechanga Tribal Leader
the dishonorable Mark Macarro saying this to the Riverside Press
Yes, the CORRUPT Indians are selfdestructing with no help
from anyone.
Enough with the racist attitudes.

Anonymous said...

Hey aamokat, I also have a roll number from the 1968 judgment, way before any was said about the casino, something those casino indians dont have and never heard of !

Anonymous said...

Dear…stand your ground,
I agree the self destructive Indians are destroying themselves, but I disagree with your continued statement,” with no help from anyone”.
I just wish everyone got half as irate over human rights violation as they do over “racist attitudes” spoken toward the white man.
I DO read this blog and I DO see the continual support given to these corrupt tribal members by the rich white men who are bought off by the moneys from this tribe.
I believe if this cash flow were stopped the tribe’s behaviors would be publicized as they should be and our fellow Americans could see the violation of many Native Americans.
As it is the “systems” in power keep the truth slanted and hidden behind their rich white doors!

stand your ground said...

Dear Anonymus,
support is given by their own tribal members,
their Tribal board,
their Tribal enrollment committee,
their Tribal chair
who deny their own families.
As you stated "the system in power"