The article says disenrollment, but then, that makes it sound like they were kicked out of a country club. They in fact, TERMINATED them, much as the government of the US termnated Indians. Now, tribes are doing it to themselves, while the government stands by and watches in SATISFACTION.
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. - In November, the Snoqualmie Tribe will open the doors to a brand-new casino about 30 minutes southeast of Seattle. But instead of the media spotlighting pre-opening news on the $330 million project, the focus has shifted to the banishment of nine tribal members and the disenrollment of about 43.
The decision to banish former Chairman Bill T. Sweet and several of his family members, among other supporters, was made final during a closed-door general membership meeting at the Issaquah Hilton April 28. In addition to voting on the banishments, the tribal council announced that the 43 individuals purged from the rolls failed to meet the blood quantum requirement for membership. According to a tribal press release, some members have already appealed the decision, while others have accepted it.
Councilmember and Chief Nathan Patrick Barker said that Sweet and some of his supporters recently attempted to seize control of bank accounts, shut down health and social programs, fire the entire staff and reach out to the BIA in an effort to receive backup on the effort. They are accused of running a ''shadow government.'' ''They tried to undermine the tribal government in every shape and form, and that was what they were judged on,'' he said. Sweet, who was suspended as chairman in August 2007, has his own take on the events that led to his fate. And Barker was elected to the council during a general membership and emergency election meeting in September.
For those facing banishment, the punishment is harsh. They are purged from the rolls and no longer eligible to receive benefits or dividends from future casino revenues. And those banished are no longer allowed to participate in tribal government and events, or even claim Indian identity.
Sweet's problems began during elections last May. He recalled that the election went according to protocol, and those that were nominated and elected are the true tribal council to this day. Barker, who served as the sergeant-at-arms during that election, said that a nomination to move the election process to the beginning of the meeting after the agenda was the first inconsistency to take place that day. He claimed the real eyebrow-raiser occurred when Sweet closed nominations while four tribal members stood waiting to nominate their person of choice for the council.
He also said that a former councilmember was forbidden to vote because she forgot to bring her tribal identification. The rule requiring members to present their IDs during elections was approved at the last meeting in 2006. Those minutes were not ratified by the council prior to the election, which Barker said makes that rule unenforceable.