Interior Approves Amended Nooksack “1-800” Disenrollment Procedures; Tribal Council Faction Immediately Recommences Disenrollment of the Nooksack 306
From the Nooksack 306 Facebook page just now:
On January 13, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary communicated her approval of a new version of the Nooksack Tribe’s “Enrollment” Ordinance to the Nooksack Tribal Council faction lead by Tribal Chairman Bob Kelly. Within two weeks, the Nooksack Tribal Council faction recommenced disenrollment of the Nooksack 306.
According to Interior, the Ordinance “incorporates additional procedures related to disenrollment and addresses due process issues raised by the Nooksack Tribal Court.” The federally approved tribal law allows a Nooksack member “a maximum of ten minutes,” to “telephonically via conference call,” make his or her case against disenrollment to the Nooksack Tribal Council faction.
“It is laughable that the United States, our trustee, would say that a Nooksack elder is given due process when she is only allowed to speak out against her disenrollment through a 1-800 number, and for only ten minutes,” said Nooksack 306 spokesman Ron Miguel. “We are people of oral tradition. We at least deserve the courtesy of speaking our piece to our accusers face to face. This ‘process’ is a farce.”
The process recommenced almost two years to the day from when the Nooksack 306 disenrollment process started. On February 12, 2013, the family first received notices of their proposed disenrollment. The family has succeeded in fending off their disenrollment for the last two years through a series of Nooksack Tribal Court lawsuits and successful appeals to the Nooksack Tribal Court of Appeals.
In March of 2014, the Tribal Court issued a permanent injunction against the Nooksack Tribal Council faction because its disenrollment procedures had not been approved the Secretary of the Department of Interior. Yesterday, the Tribe notified the Tribal Court of Interior’s approval. In turn, the Nooksack 306 initiated a federal administrative appeal of the Secretary’s recent approval of the Nooksack “Enrollment” Ordinance, which stays the legal effect of her approval.
Meanwhile, the Nooksack Tribal Council faction has not convened the constitutionally required monthly public meeting of the entire Tribal membership since late 2012. Also, the National Indian Gaming Commission continues to investigate a series of illegal Tribal Council faction distributions of gaming per capita monies to all Tribal members except the Nooksack 306, in recent years. And, the Nooksack 306 estimate on their Facebook page that over 50 family members, or supporters like tribal language teacher George Adams (who challenged Kelly for the Chairmanship last March), have been fired from employment by the faction since the disenrollment controversy started.
The “Enrollment” Ordinance was passed at the behest of Kelly, who was adopted into the Tribe without any Nooksack blood or lineage.
It also includes an indefinite moratorium on adoption of new Nooksack members, which is in addition to a Tribe-wide moratorium on enrollment passed by the Tribal Council faction in early 2013.
“The Bob Kelly faction is ruining our Tribe and severing the next Nooksack generations in unimaginable ways,” continued Miguel. “If they are allowed to continue their fascist behavior, there will soon be no Nooksack Tribe to speak of.”