Tribal disenrollment has been in the news quite a bit lately, thanks to terrific work from both the Galanda Broadman Law Firm with their efforts on behalf of the Nooksack 306, and Dr. David Wilkins, whose continued writing on the issue has been printed on a regular basis.
This blog has worked to keep the issues out front, in our 8th year now. The U.S. Government, in the form of the Senate, the House, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Departments of Interior and Justice are all regular readers of this site. For that we're thankful, yet the lack of action leaves us unfulfilled. It seems like the only thing they know is Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez and are unwilling to do their duty to the individual Indian .
What can be done by those in power? We've written about it before and thanks to Sheryl Lightfoot, some of the ways are CLEAR as she wrote about expressing moral outrage:
In order to be sovereign nations, we must act like sovereign nations. But that does not mean that in order to support self-determination in principle, we need to agree with every decision of other sovereign nations. When a nation-state, a group of nation-states, or private citizens of other nation-states disagree with the internal actions of another nation-state, there are a number of possible avenues of action.
First, sovereign nation-states can register a diplomatic complaint with the government of the offending nation-state. This is done all the time in the international system. The U.S. Department of State often drafts and delivers letters of protest to the diplomats and officials of other governments over areas of disagreement. Likewise, the executives of our indigenous nations have the right, if not the moral responsibility, to send letters and make phone calls of complaint directly to the executives of the Cherokee Nation or Pechanga, or San Pasqual, expressing their concern over the disenrollment decision. This can be done while supporting the inherent right of an indigenous nation to determine its own membership. OP: WE must have tribal nations STAND UP for their Native brothers against corruption. Judge the bad tribes on their own merit, or lack of them.
Another tactic which can be employed by other indigenous nations or the private citizens of other nations is the art of moral persuasion, or ''moral suasion,'' as it has also been termed. This involves a campaign of exposure and embarrassment.
This tactic has most often been employed in international human rights campaigns, with the purpose being to expose the immoral government action in the media and open up international discussion in order to embarrass the target government into changing its policy to better conform to international norms.
(OP: This is what we've been pursuing for 9 years now, and what we did against the SOVEREIGN nation of South Africa)
Frankly, economic sanctions of another nation, plus public embarrassment may be the only course of action that is effective. For instance, in South Africa, it was their SOVEREIGN RIGHT as a free nation to impose apartheid on their country, yet, thankfully, at the urging of the Congressional Black Caucus, we stood up for black South Africans.
What recourse did civilized countries use to bring down this hateful policy? Economic sanctions and world ridicule of the policy. No trade, no travel, no money. Final result, end of apartheid and a welcome back to South Africa into the world community.
Similarly, citizens of the United States can impose their own economic sanctions on the Tribal Nations of Pechanga, Pala, Redding, Chukchansi by boycotting their nation's commercial enterprises, primarily TRIBAL CASINOS.
Stop patronizing their casinos, hotel, restaurants and their powwows. Let them know that we do not agree with their system of denying civil rights to their people and until they follow their own tribal law, citizens of our country will NOT support their nation, but will patronize In other words, support tribal gaming elsewhere, at their competitor nations.
Also, letting state and federal representatives know that we expect them not to support a nation that would treat its citizens this way, especially NOT to allow them increased monetary benefits by expanding their casino slot machines. BIA? HELLO? ANYONE THERE? Kevin Washburn, your righteousness is calling, it misses you.
The SYMPTOMS, violations of civil rights, abuse of elders and children can be treated by staying away. Refusing to attend functions for Native events. THIS is the action we should demand of our politicians. STAY away from casino tribes that harm their people. There HAS to be a point where our elected officials will do what is right, rather than do what pays.
Pechanga is a tribe that has harmed their people, plain and simple, taken their identity and trashed it. Forced an Apartheid system on the reservation and is NOW attempting to steal water rights from the very Indians for whom they were intended.
San Pasqual is run by NON natives, descended from whites. WHY are they treated like Native Americans from the BIA?
Redding Rancheria desecrated the ancestor of their first tribal chairman, Robert Foreman, exhuming the body for a DNA test that PROVED their right to belong, and then not using the results.
The STORIES are all on the blog and can be found in the archives or the search bar. Let's give some casino tribes their OWN symptoms of their disenrollment epidemic: LOST BUSINESS, Bad Press, and Government action, icluding loss of recognition for those tribes that have harmed Native Americans.