Carolyn Lubenau is a Snoqalmie Indian who was disenrolled from the Snoqualmie Tribe. We've document that history on Original Pechanga's Blog quite often. She and her family continue to fight for their rights and the rights of Native Americans who have been victims of their own tribes. Here's the story of her visit to Washington DC last week:
We had an amazing trip to Washington D.C. Because of a friend on Facebook who posted the information about the Community Leaders Briefing Series at the Whitehouse, and urged people to sign up so my cousin Marilee and I did. I really didn't expect anything from it, and to our total amazement we were invited to attend.
The Community Leaders Briefing Series is a project created from the newly appointed White House Office of Public Engagement. They are going to be hosting a series of briefings all through this summer every Friday. We had a "Listening Session" with Jon Carson who is the Deputy Assistant to the President & the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement - I of course spoke about Indian Civil Rights and many of the people present were surprised and amazed that Native Americans only enjoy civil rights bestowed upon them by their tribal governments and that the Federal Government does not recognize, defend, or enforce our civil rights within our tribes, and that some of those tribal governments like mine (the Snoqualmie Tribe) are guilty of violating our civil rights without any penalty and have been found guilty in Federal Court but the courts do not have the authority to prosecute tribal governments for civil rights violations because the Indian Civil Rights Act does not have any enforcement mechanism.....it is just a suggestion to the tribes and they don't have to legally comply or even pay attention to it because no one will defend us....and certainly not the Department of the Interior or the BIA who just ignore it completely. OP: The Native American Rights Fund also refuse to help individual Indians in their struggle for their rights.
I had a dollar bill in my hand and I said the Federal Government spends billions of dollars defending and enforcing your civil rights (the audience) and yet they have not spent a single dollar to defend Native American Civil Rights........it really got their attention! I got business cards from people who came up to me to tell me to let them know how they could help. It was amazing and much more than I ever expected......truly worth going. We have to keep educating people and I met some really nice people who want to help. As a total surprise, President Obama arrived to speak to our group.....Marilee and I were 3 rows from the front and center and he was looking right at us - she even got video!
Every chance we get we have to educate, educate, educate......people just do not know that we do not enjoy the security and freedom of "enforceable" civil rights that everyone takes for granted - when my cousin gets banished for saying a prayer and we get banished for "treason" without any evidence or a trial or someone to defend us there is something very wrong......we will see a change and someday the last 1.5% of this Nations citizens will have enforceable and protected civil rights!
Pay attention tribal leaders - you need to recognize this epidemic of Native American Civil Rights abuses and be on the side finding a solution and not the side fighting this because we will never give up until this injustice is corrected. If you feel this is a threat to "sovereign immunity"....you should speak out against it and sanction those tribes who banish, disenroll and violate their citizens civil rights - that is not our way and you who do not speak out are part of the problem. I assure you we will be speaking out because you were not there to help and protect us.