We reported this story back in July with "Worthless BIA Allows Shadow Government...."
a story that generated over 150 comments from those banished and those who supported destroying families..
By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times staff reporter
Former members of the Snoqualmie tribe took the stand in federal court this week to fight what they say was an illegal banishment from the tribe.
They include the former chairman of the tribe, as well as several council members and an Indian tribal spiritual leader among nine former members in all seeking to overturn their banishment.
After hearing a day and a half of testimony, U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart won't rule until March at the earliest.
At issue is whether the banished tribal members received due process, including adequate notice and an opportunity to speak on their own behalf.
The judge would not take testimony on other issues, including a disputed election before the banishment last April, or which tribal leaders were the legitimately elected ones.
The controversy has embroiled this tribe of about 650 members, which opened a $375 million casino in November just a half-hour drive from downtown Seattle.
The dispute dates back to a council election in May 2007, which some tribal leaders contend had serious irregularities.
Banishment is a rare practice among Coast Salish tribes, and is the most extreme punishment within Indian Country. A banished person is no longer a member of their tribe and cannot go on tribal grounds or receive tribal benefits.
The banished took the stand to say they were barred from entering the meeting by armed Issaquah police officers hired as security by the tribe. OP: Sounds like what happened at San Pasqual, see video on the sidebar.
"We were treated like criminals," said Carolyn Lubenau, a former council member who was banished that day by her tribe.
She and others testified that they stood outside in the cold for nearly four hours, without any chance to enter the meeting and defend themselves, or hear the charges against them.
Read the full article in the SEATTLE TIMES