Friday, December 27, 2013

DISENROLLMENT Doesn't Describe the LOSS of Heritage and Tribal Citizenship

Our government needs to do its job and stand up for the weak and defenseless. Exercising its moral outrage includes:

1. Eliminate funding for tribes who violate the rights of their people.
2. No longer take land into trust for abusive tribes
3. Place enforcement actions into the Indian Civil Rights Act

Tribes have a right to do wrong, but they shouldn’t be supported by our politicians when they do.


I find it disconcerting that in all the years we have had mass terminations of tribal citizenships, no politician has stood up for those Indians who have been harmed by their tribe.  (See:  Like Being Raped and Going to your Rapist for Justice)

When you give it a cute moniker like “disenrollment”, it takes on the context of, say, losing your membership in the P. T. A. or the Kiwanis. And that makes it simpler for a politician to take tribal money and with the phrase, “tribes can choose their own membership” they can avoid taking a closer look at what it really entails.



Take American citizenship, the U.S. Government can strip an American of citizenship for few reasons, here’s one from US CODE 1481:

7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

We are talking about treason or overthrowing the government as a serious offense. No disenrollees have threatened overthrow of their tribal government. No bearing arms against tribal councils. In Indian Country, you can lose your citizenship for simply disagreeing with the tribal council. Putting a “wrong” member on the council or speaking your mind about their business entities can get one stripped of their citizenship.

How many American’s have been stripped of their citizenship, can you name ONE? Did Christopher Boyce, who sold secrets to the Russians, or Robert Hannssen?  NO.  Has Charles Manson lost his citizenship? No. How about American terrorists who advocate death to American and sharia law? Nope, uh-uh, but in Indian Country, the number is in the THOUSANDS. We have tribes like Snoqualmie in Washington, that have stripped citizenship simply for taking a position opposite of the tribal council.

On the Pechanga Reservation in Temecula, Original Pechanga allottee descendents have had their citizenship taken away, along with voting rights, the right to health care, the right to speak at meeting, even when the situation is directly relating to them, such as water rights. It's virtual apartheid. Pechanga, headed my Mark Macarro, the subject of a recall attempt, tried to usurp the water rights of allottees, lying to congressional staffers about how many allottees were still on the reservation. Redding Rancheria even terminated 25% of their tribe, including their FIRST Tribal chairman. We have tribes like Snoqualmie in Washington, that have stripped citizenship simply for taking a position opposite of the tribal council. And the Picayune Rancheria already terminated 50% of their tribe and are looking at more.

We have politicians who turn a blind eye, because stripping citizenship comes now with a cute moniker: disenrollment. The same politicians who rightfully found the apartheid policy of sovereign country of South Africa abhorrent, now side with tribes who are practicing the same apartheid in their own districts. Equally confusing, the NAACP in CA has taken money from tribes that violate their people's civil rights. We can't get the ACLU to be interested and the Native American Rights Fund won't help those Native Americans who have lost their RIGHTS.

Politicians in CA who were vehemently appalled over neighbor state Arizona’s stricter immigration enforcement laws, going so far as to shrilly calling for boycotting that state over ‘possible’ civil rights violation, are supporting tribes who have actually stripped voting rights, health care, per capita (now totaling $500 million), elder care, educational assistance. They recently passed the Dream Act providing educational assistance to non-citizens, yet won’t stand up for actual citizens.

They tell themselves “well it’s only 9 people, or it’s only 75 people”. Yet how many does it have to be to make it wrong? 75 Redding tribal members, stripped of their citizenship is akin to 80 million Americans losing theirs. The Picayune Rancheria took away citizenship to fully 50% of their tribal people. When is it wrong, or rather “wrong enough”. Would they stand up for union members who didn’t get to vote? Or what if say, the GOP got 25% of Democrats excluded? Would it be wrong? Of course it would.

It’s past time to take it seriously and to stand up for the rights of the individual Indian.




See more on Enterprise Rancheria disenrollments  they were rewarded with a casino by Department of Interior.
Robinson Rancheria Disenrollments

originally posted in November 2011

4 comments:

White Buffalo said...

It is tough to expect or believe that the BIA would act any differently than they have since their inception. History repeats its self. The BIA is nothing more than a role keeper for tribes. They will not go against the unstated policy that tribal money will insure non interference. The status-quo and CYA are primary documents.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

White Buffalo,
Your words are wise. Now consider this. If the BIA is the roll keeper for Indians, meaning they maintain the membership rolls, then it is only because they have the rolls of Indian tribes submitted to them for maintenance.

Now the question is: Who has the power and authority to determine blood degree? Is there any document, law, or regulation that states categorically for whom this power is reserved?

I know the BIA issues CDIB's so they can determine blood degree. Since Indian blood degree qualifies individuals for federal benefits, is it only the power of the Department of interior?

This is a very important question since many tribes use blood degree as a qualifier for tribal membership. Tribes can determine their membership as per Santa Clara Pueblos vs. Martinez, but can they also assign blood degree?

Anonymous said...

heir's rights should be held up and if the law was followed early on in the fulfillment of treaty obligations we would not have such a tangled web of corruption. Any other race in the American society can file a probate on their deceased parent and have full rights to their property etc. Why are the First Nations treated different? Their rights are:
Stare Decisis
[Latin, Let the decision stand.] The policy of courts to abide by or adhere to principles established by decisions in earlier cases.

In the United States and England, the Common Law has traditionally adhered to the precedents of earlier cases as sources of law. This principle, known as stare decisis, distinguishes the common law from civil-law systems, which give great weight to codes of laws and the opinions of scholars explaining them. Under stare decisis, once a court has answered a question, the same question in other cases must elicit the same response from the same court or lower courts in that jurisdiction.

The principle of stare decisis was not always applied with uniform strictness. In medieval England, common-law courts looked to earlier cases for guidance, but they could reject those they considered bad law. Courts also placed less than complete reliance on prior decisions because there was a lack of reliable written reports of cases. Official reports of cases heard in various courts began to appear in the United States in the early 1800s, but semiofficial reports were not produced in England until 1865. When published reports became available, lawyers and judges finally had direct access to cases and could more accurately interpret prior decisions.

For stare decisis to be effective, each jurisdiction must have one highest court to declare what the law is in a precedent-setting case. The U.S. Supreme Court and the state supreme courts serve as precedential bodies, resolving conflicting interpretations of law or dealing with issues of first impression. Whatever these courts decide becomes judicial precedent.

In the United States, courts seek to follow precedent whenever possible, seeking to maintain stability and continuity in the law. Devotion to stare decisis is considered a mark of judicial restraint, limiting a judge's ability to determine the outcome of a case in a way that he or she might choose if it were a matter of first impression. Take, for example, the precedent set in roe v. wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147, the 1973 decision that defined a woman's right to choose Abortion as a fundamental constitutional right. Despite the controversy engendered by the decision, and calls for its repudiation, a majority of the justices, including some conservatives who might have decided Roe differently, have invoked stare decisis in succeeding abortion cases.

Nevertheless, the principle of stare decisis has always been tempered with a conviction that prior decisions must comport with notions of good reason or they can be overruled by the highest court in the jurisdiction.

The U.S. Supreme Court rarely overturns one of its precedents, but when it does, the ruling usually signifies a new way of looking at an important legal issue. For example, in the landmark case brown v. board of education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954), the Supreme Court repudiated the separate-but-equal doctrine it endorsed in plessy v. ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. 256 (1896). The Court ignored stare decisis, renouncing a legal precedent that had legitimated racial Segregation for almost sixty years.

Further readings

Brewer, Scott. 1998. Precedents, Statutes, and Analysis of Legal Concepts. New York: Garland.

MacCormick, D. Neil, and Robert S. Summers. 1997. Interpreting Precedents: A Comparative Study. Aldershot; Brookfield, Vt.: Ashgate/Dartmouth.

Cross-references

Case Law; Judicial Review.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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