The stench of the injustice that disenrollment has brought to Indian Country, has gotten the attention of the National Native American Bar Association. They've come out with some ethical guidance and it strikes to the heart of the corruption that we've seen from disenrolling tribes.
Ethics is a strange word to many tribal councils. As we've seen in our own family, doing the right thing, such as working to enroll another family and exposing corruption, only to be disenrolled so the abuses won't be brought to light. Ours isn't the only story, we've had many here, including Nooksack, Redding, Pala, and the worst abuser, The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi.
Here is what this statement of guidance looks to do:
This Formal Ethics Opinion No. 1 calls on lawyers and tribal advocates confronting disenrollment issues to respect and consider indigenous rights to culture, identity, and citizenship and to reject any path that deprives indigenous people of such rights without due process.
Tribal council of Pechanga ensured we had NO or rather very little due process. We didn't have attorney's, we couldn't confront our accusers, we couldn't even see the "evidence" against us. (There was none).
Although a lawyer or tribal advocate is not a moral advisor as such, moral and ethical considerations impinge upon most legal questions and may decisively influence how the law will be applied. This is especially true in the disenrollment context. The tribal advocate has a duty to inform his or her client of the moral and human rights norms potentially violated by disenrollment proceedings. This includes, but is not limited to, review and consideration of the various sources of tribal, federal and international law set forth in this Formal Ethics Opinion No. 1, as well as, more broadly, review and consideration of the intergenerational harm caused to individuals whose cultural identity is taken from them, as seen in the legacy of conquest of indigenous peoples. Most
importantly, this responsibility as adviser carries with it specific obligations to see that the individual targeted for disenrollment from his or her tribe is accorded procedural justice, that any order to disenroll a tribal citizen is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence and that special precautions are taken to prevent and to address the politically or economically motivated disenrollment of innocent persons otherwise entitled to their right to culture, identity and citizenship as a matter of tribal, federal and/or international law.
Read the full treatise at Turtle Talk Blog
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