Friday, June 26, 2015

NNABA: Duties of Tribal Court Advocates to Ensure Due Process Afforded to All Individuals Targeted for Disenrollment

The stench of the injustice that disenrollment has brought to Indian Country, has gotten the attention of the National Native American Bar Association.  They've come out with some ethical guidance and it strikes to the heart of the corruption that we've seen from disenrolling tribes.

Ethics is a strange word to many tribal councils.  As we've seen in our own family, doing the right thing, such as working to enroll another family and exposing corruption, only to be disenrolled so the abuses won't be brought to light.  Ours isn't the only story, we've had many here, including Nooksack, Redding, Pala, and the worst abuser, The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi.

Here is what this statement of guidance looks to do:

This Formal Ethics Opinion No. 1 calls on lawyers and tribal advocates confronting disenrollment issues to respect and consider indigenous rights to culture, identity, and citizenship and to reject any path that deprives indigenous people of such rights without due process.

Tribal council of Pechanga ensured we had NO or rather very little due process.  We didn't have attorney's, we couldn't confront our accusers, we couldn't even see the "evidence" against us.  (There was none).


Although a lawyer or tribal advocate is not a moral advisor as such, moral and ethical considerations impinge upon most legal questions and may decisively influence how the law will be applied. This is especially true in the disenrollment context. The tribal advocate has a duty to inform his or her client of the moral and human rights norms potentially violated by disenrollment proceedings. This includes, but is not limited to, review and consideration of the various sources of tribal, federal and international law set forth in this Formal Ethics Opinion No. 1, as well as, more broadly, review and consideration of the intergenerational harm caused to individuals whose cultural identity is taken from them, as seen in the legacy of conquest of indigenous peoples. Most
importantly, this responsibility as adviser carries with it specific obligations to see that the individual targeted for disenrollment from his or her tribe is accorded procedural justice, that any order to disenroll a tribal citizen is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence and that special precautions are taken to prevent and to address the politically or economically motivated disenrollment of innocent persons otherwise entitled to their right to culture, identity and citizenship as a matter of tribal, federal and/or international law.

Read the full treatise at Turtle Talk Blog

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:

Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment
Nooksack Disenrollment


Anonymous said...

Not All respect our ancestors or creators story, that's why we are where we are today. Hopefully the truth will come through and we can ALL share in the truth. I hope we can ALL take a moment and share the truth daily.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget our Pechanga tribe was at the forefront to STOP all future illegal removal of federal recognized tribal members in 2005. We were the first tribe to vote and adopt the resolution, however, the corrupt council and their leader illegally removed our tribes long standing federal members anyways. The Pechanga people are not entirely bad people.

Anonymous said...

If the U.S. Government recognized tribal members, only they should be allowed to remove tribal members. When tribes overstep their boundaries they have essentially lost sovereignty. All tribes illegally removing tribal members should lose federal recognition, or be subjected to an audit.

Anonymous said...

When you hate someone so much you take away their citizenship, their rights as a Native person, this is a hate crime. And will be treated as such in Indian Country.

White Buffalo said...

This may have been mentioned before. For the disenrollment process to be fair the outcome of any disenrollment should be reviewable upon request by the disenrolled. Further the reviewing body should be an independent, non-interested, and legal forum that is free to interpret the tribal law of the tribal nation. Tribes should not be allowed to opt out of the process, nor should they be allowed to offer assistance in any way to the deciding body. This would include donations. contributions, or other forms of assistance or payment. Most important is that the decision of this body should be binding and enforceable by the independent body if the decision is held or overruled. Last the tribe should lose federal recognition if it does not conform to the decision of the independent body. I know this seems harsh and an infringement on sovereignty, but if the tribe is found to be in violation of tribal law or federal that is related to tribal governess then are they not forfeiting their right to self governance. We have seen how this as adversely affected tribes in Northern CA.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to pay for this independent party? Tribal courts are paid by the tribes and the federal courts are run by US government who have minimal authority. We need congress to develop a law that has protections fron our own government. Not another third party telling the tribes that there wrong. The whole Damn world knows the tribes are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would any Tribe anywhere allow this White Buffalo. That would be like me hiring a guy to shoot me if I ever ate someelse's food. No tribe anywhere would sign up for this. The only way is through congress and making new laws.

White Buffalo said...

You are correct it is congress who writes the laws and rules that the tribes must follow. I understand that the tribes will not willingly accept such a proposal. Whether they like it or not is not the point, the point I am making is that a fair check and balances need to be put in place to insure the tribes follow their own laws and the laws that the federal government set up. It is clear that the intent of the BIA was to fill this roll, but they are useless.

Anonymous said...

I concur.