19 year old Raffi Roberts, a youth from the Nooksack 306 has written a piece on tribal disenrollment and how it affects many people, by finishing the work of colonialists. The stripping of heritage from the young, via lies and innuendo, and falsified records, is NOT the Native Way. But will it become so? Please, read and share.
Tribal Disenrollment seems, to me, to be the most un-Tribal action to do.
As one of the most neglected and underrepresented minorities in the world, we should be trying our best to preserve our culture, not try to eradicate it for money and power.
In fact, by treating a Tribe like a business is an infuriating insult and goes against everything our culture has taught us. By kicking out members out over nothing substantial but out of material motives is exactly what the Europeans did to the tribes of North America centuries ago.
The dark part of Tribal history should be a lesson of what NOT to do to a culture of proud people rather than a positive model. So it is baffling as to why some Tribal people want to do that to their own Tribe when they chastise early Europeans for doing the same thing they are doing now.
Along with the very small repercussions of being disenrolled like losing a house, losing a job and not be hired because of biased on tribal land, or financial support for ambitious students, the rich culture of Native Americans, that all those Tribal members grew up on, will be considered invalid. Also, it teaches our children to respect everyone - except for CERTAIN families; that is true for both the disenrollers and disenrollees.
Think about this: If the eye-for-an-eye mentality keeps chugging along then more and more tribes will be influenced to kick people out of their own tribes until there's only a scarce amount of "official Natives." It is a dangerous precedent that will lead to the elimination of Native Americans and their history. They would be finishing the Imperialist genocide the early Europeans set out to do. And classrooms in the future will be occupied by some Native American blood but the lecture will be about how politics chose who and who isn't Native American, not actual blood lineage.
And the federal government is fine with this. When there are biased Tribal members breaking laws within sovereign land, the US government will turn a blind eye and say "well, that's their problem." They try to overstep into our jurisdiction so many times, but when it is something like this, all of a sudden, it's not their job.
But to the Tribal people, in any Tribe, trying to kick real Native blood out of a Tribe, when your kids ask why some Tribal people and their kids are being kicked to the curb, don't make childish excuses like "they're not really Native", just have the most minute shred of respect and say "I just don't like that family" or cut off any sort of personal or ethical attachment to the issue and simply and smugly state "It's just business."