Here's an excellent indictment of the Obama Administration for avoiding the human and civil rights abuses BY tribes against their own people, by attorney Gabe Galonda. Failure of the disenrolled to continue to press our politicians, leads to those same politicians not caring or rather unwilling to expend any political capital against big money Indian tribes.
We will have a letter requesting a policy statement from the Department of Justice later today. Please plan on sending a copy for each of your family members.
More problematically, Interior and the BIA fail to appreciate that the tribal power to determine membership—or more traditionally, kinship or belonging—is distinctly different from the power to disenroll. The former is a matter of inherent tribal sovereignty. The latter is a matter of federal delegated plenary power that the Congress delegated to the Secretary of the Interior, and in turn, the Secretary has now delegated to tribal governments. This distinction is critical, and lost on most all of Indian Country due to the mistruths espoused on this topic by the federal government and others.
Indeed, the BIA’s Indian Affairs Manual explains: “When enrollees lose their membership they also lose their right to share in the distribution of tribal assets. Since the Secretary is responsible for distribution of trust assets to tribal members,disenrollment actions are subject to approval by the Secretary or his authorized representatives. Any person whose disenrollment has been approved by the Area Director acting under delegated authority may appeal the adverse decision as provided in 25 C.F.R. § 2.”
Instead of honoring those policies, or federal law, Interior honors a selfish decision made by a few BIA senior bureaucrats during the Bush Administration;
But the Obama Administration has failed to doanythingto help fix today’s federally caused, tribal disenrollment crisis. Not only is it the federal government’s fiduciary obligation to all Indian peoples to do so, but it is the morally correct thing to do.
Read more at: Galonda on Disenrollment