Attorney for the Stanley family Paula Fisher said that the Alma family can be traced both lineally and collaterally - meaning membership to the Tribe was based on Native ancestry in both immediate family members and extended.
Stanley’s family was disenrolled in February by the Tribal Office of Administrative Hearings, which decided the case based on summary judgement and did not give Stanley a chance to speak, Fisher said.
In addition, Fisher said the ordinance that was in place at the time Stanley’s family became members of the Tribe is supposed to govern admission.
If the Tribe can continue to change the rules, Fisher said, no member will ever be sure they won’t be disenrolled.
Frank, however, said the Tribal Constitution that was enacted in 1986 includes membership criteria that has not changed and that lineal tracing was required.
Fisher said the Tribe would not exist without Stanley’s chief ancestor.
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