Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sen. John McCoy of Washington: I OPPOSE DISENROLLMENT

Washington State Senator JOHN McCOY speaks out against tribal disenrollment.  Contrast that to Democrat Party Candidate Andrew Masiel, who subverted his tribal constitution, violated civil and human rights of native Americans of his own tribe.   The difference?  HONOR.

I oppose disenrollment because our heritage is our heritage. Our lineage is our lineage. Our heritage and lineage define us as Indians—not residence, blood quantum, or other failed federal Indian assimilation practice. I oppose disenrollment because it undermines an Indian’s—and in fact all of our—heritage and lineage.
We as tribal governments should establish our citizenship by relying on Indian heritage and lineage. There are reliable modern tools to establish that criteria, like DNA testing. I appreciate that science as a determinant of Indian citizenship may pose challenges to tribal communities traditionally speaking—that is for each tribe to decide—but it is preferable to blood quantum.
There are also culture-based ways to establish tribal citizenship criteria—ways that are tied to heritage and lineage, like tribal participation and cultural involvement. These alternatives to blood quantum may also prove challenging to implement, but nothing important to tribes comes easy. Tribal citizenship law and policy is one of the most important aspects of being a tribal sovereign.

Read more at Indian Country Today
MONEY:  I also especially oppose disenrollment when it involves depriving Indians of the right to vote or otherwise participate in tribal democratic processes. Disenrollment is fueled by greed—pure and simple. It is no coincidence that we have seen a spike in disenrollment along with the rise of Indian gaming and the tribal political power and dollars that tribal casinos generate. We know better. We must move away from blood quantum. We must stop disenrollment. We must instead honor our heritage and lineage—to ensure our future.
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