The Christian Science Monitor has a story on the huge number of Native American's that belong to unrecognized tribes, that make them virtually invisible to the Federal Government:
Sisk-Franco is the spiritual leader and chief of the Winnemem Wintu, a small traditional native American tribe of 123 people, and she is also a well-known Indian doctor, or shaman. But one of Sisk-Franco's spiritual doctoring tools is technically illegal. This March, the US Fish and Wildlife Service revoked her right to possess eagle feathers because her tribe isn't recognized by federal authorities.
For thousands of years, the Winnemem Wintu have practiced their culture among the sentinel pines and glacial waters of the McCloud River watershed, but that history is legally moot because they don't appear on the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) list of recognized tribes.
As the story continues: Unrecognized tribes like the Winnemem – one of several tribes that traditionally spoke the Wintu language – can't access the billions in federal benefits (as of 2005, the total was $4 billion), such as scholarships, Indian Health Services, housing grants, and other funding available to the 565 recognized tribes. Recognized tribes can also open casinos in some states and can more easily use federal laws to protect their religious ceremonies and land
MONEY QUOTE: IT'S TERMINATION BY ACCOUNTANT
The divide between recognized and unrecognized tribes grew this December when President Obama endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but excluded unrecognized tribes in the administration's position paper. Critics say it was an effort to reduce financial commitments.
It's also an eye opener as to why, those of us who have been terminated from tribal roles, often against tribal constitutions, are met with silence, or with a "we can't do anything posture by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Fewer Indians mean less problems. It's easier to turn a blind eye to the abuses than to meet them head on.
As by President Obama deliberately leaving out the individual Indian, he is giving is tacit approval to the disenrollments,and to the slow movement of Federal recognition. As as we know many of the tribes that donate to his party, including the Pechanga Band, money talks, human rights...walk