Yesterday, we had some pointed comments to make on Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn's comments to Indian Country Today concerning Tribal Disenrollment. Today, we have MORE.
Our commenters from yesterday seem to have a handle of Mr. Washburn's shortcomings. It almost seems as if he came to do the bidding of Tribal Leaders, not to articulate what is right and just.
Let's start again with this quote from Washburn: “I think the question is, should tribes always be sovereign and self-governing? Or are there times when the United States should trample over their sovereignty and self-governance for some other purpose – the principle of justice or equity or something like that?”
TRAMPLE OVER THEIR SOVEREIGNTY. Let that roll around for a minute. He seems to forget about justice and equity for those NATIVE AMERICANS whom the federal government, you know....HIM.
In Miwok vs. Jewell, the presiding judge, Rothstein had THIS to say:
"In the federal defendants view of this case, once a tribe announces a government, the BIA is prohibited from ever questioning the legitimacy of the government no matter how many allegations of fraud are raised. Such a conclusion is not consistent with the 'distinctive obligation of trust' the federal government must employ when dealing with Indian tribes."
In other words, HANDS OFF is not what the BIA should be doing. It should be doing it's duty to protect the TRUST RESPONSIBILITY of ALL Native Americans. Here's how my friend Marilyn Vann put it: Perhaps they do not understand that the trust responsibility of the US government to "Indians" isnt just to the chiefs and chairmen.....
We don't have a lot of respect for Washburn's predecessor Larry Echohawk's legacy, but he said in the San Pasqual/Alto Family matter: Bia treats enrollment & dis-enrollment differently. Tribes must use fairness & due process in disenrollment decisions. The federal government recognizes its trust responsibility to all indians and has a duty to protect their rights.
Here's how one commenter put it:
Expecting the tribes to sort this out while their leaders threaten members with disenrollment for opposing their policies is unrealistic. To say that there is no fair way to rule that disenrollment requires due process, equal protection under the law, meaning that the same standards must apply to all, is a failure to attempt to solve a problem that was created by BIA and US Government policies in the first place.
We will have MORE later. Meanwhile, PLEASE help spread the word, ask your friends to drop by, share some posts via Twitter ( @USIndianAffairs @IndianCommittee @Interior @NPR @CantwellPress ) and Facebook.
A SPOTLIGHT on the corruption is the BEST disinfectant.
Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment