Monday, February 1, 2016

Seattle Councilperson DEBORA JUAREZ Speaks out AGAINST DISENROLLMENT. WHO will stand up NEXT?

 Wise words from (emphasis mine) Seattle's City Councilperson Debora Juarez, the first Native American elected to Seattle's City Council.  A member of the Blackfeet Nation. (h/tip Gabe Galanda)

Disenrollment is tantamount to relinquishment of my Birthright.   But unlike relinquishment of parental rights, disenrollment is based on no fault of my own.

Disenrollment is a decision to steal from me my own Creator-given DNA, my spark, my own gift. I understand.

Because, as an Indian Mother who gave up an Indian Son, it feels eerily reminiscent of a day 39 years ago.

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He was there. Then taken from my arms. Then gone.  I never again had any say.

Disenrollment is like a unilateral politically motivated divorce or forced adoption.  It is like a relinquishment of parental rights, yet with no due process. 


Your Birthright is there.  Then taken. Then gone. Never again do you have any say.

Disenrollment is not sovereignty.
That’s like the South saying slavery was a “state’s rights issue”; a “sovereignty issue.” 
No. Absolutely not.

Tribal Councils do not own my Birthright. It is not their property to acquire or extinguish. 
Likewise, it is not the providence of the Federal Government to assign me a number and remind my children and me that we exist at their pleasure and discretion.
Disenrollment is an abhorrent form of “paper slavery.”
Please share my words. They are true, and deeply held.
Yours,
Debora

5 comments:

Remedy Pontas Quahna Kumeyaay said...

Yes! It is our birthright! Disenrollment is Dead Wrong!

Alice Langton-Sloan said...

Debra is right. A birthright stolen at the hands of tribal governments and the United States Government. In my family's case Congress stated in Pl 580 and USC 25 regarding the Hoopa Yurok Settlement Act that their Indian status would not be affected if they chosen Option C to remain with their lifelong tribe. In 1948 when the Yurok people sued the US, my husband's parental great grandmother was a part of that. As descendants they were forced to choose 1 of 3 options, with Option C allowing them to take a lump sum to remain with their tribe and not become Hoopa or Yurok. Yet when BIA sided with the family the DOJ attorney didn't bring this up! They didn't advised the court of those options and they didn't appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit refused to allow our family to be a part of the suit because the court felt DOJ would represent the family appropriately. After 200 years of the US failing to protect the rights of their Indian Citizens, the courts believed they could do so? Amazing. My husband and his family members (who was part of developing their Tribal Constitution, were tribal leaders for over 20 years (a right handed down by their maternal Great Geandfather. History traced their birthright prior to 1851 in California. Senators Feinstein and Boxer did nothing and continue to nothing, allowing California to have one of the highest tribal disenrollment rates in the Nation. Genocide now afflicted upon Native people at the hands of two governments. Sovereignty is also the protection of the most vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

You are so right and Amy Dutshke and the BIA are one of the main reasons that disenrollments are rampant in California, and Feinstein and Boxer benefit from the disenrollments. The whole Government would really like to rid the nation of reservations and federal recognition, but since individual politicians have figured out how to make bank from the destruction along the way, they choose to allow it.

Anonymous said...

The dilemma is there are natives on every reservation that think they are more native than others. Disenrollments should stop on every level. We are one!!!

Werone said...

Disenrollment is ok with some, as long as they are not the ones being targeted. For some reason Pechanga band ignores the TRUTH and tries to justify the actions of a faction with lies and misinformation. The bands cant take a members rights away, and then ask for recognition from outside the band. Our Ancestors were our creation and we should honor ALL members. Even if we do not always agree, we are here because our history books, missions and our Ancestors went through turmoil for us. TRUTH