Thursday, May 5, 2016


Tribal Disenrollment finds another avenue to harm the individual Indian.

Have heard from some sources that the COBELL SCHOLARSHIP described below is not available to those American Indians who have been disenrolled.

The Cobell Scholarship is annual, non-renewable, and available to any full-time and degree-seeking American Indian or Alaska Native post-secondary (after high school) student attending any nationally, regionally and industry accredited non-profit, public and private, institution while pursuing a vocational certificate or diploma, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, professional degree or certificate. All applicants must demonstrate an unmet need as indicated below.

As described to me:  I just learned yesterday that the entity managing the Cobell Scholarship money will not award scholarships to Indians who are not members
of a federally listed tribe. This is total bullshit because those moneys are supposed to go to Cobell recipients and their heirs. I had a heated exchange with one of the directors today. He was unbending and I told him that he was just another instrument of the US and assisting in carrying out extermination of Indians.The Board of Directors have no authority to make a rule excluding Cobell recipients. He admitted that. They way they have set up the fund it will operate perpetually from the interest and they will have a job forever.  It really sucks. We are looking at a possible Class Action suit against them especially since they cannot hide behind sovereignty. 

What is YOUR experience here?  Another avenue that tribes who harm their own people, can use?  Shameful.  
Disenrolled Chukchansi member and teacher Cathy Cory stated "The United States has the responsibility to protect the trust interest of ALL Indian People, and that includes educational opportunities.  Cobell recipients were not all members of federally recognized tribes, and these scholarship funds should be available to ALL of American Indian heritage who wish to utilize them.


Kenneth Hansen said...

Citizens of terminated tribes are eligible for government services. Many of the disenrolled come from tribes that were terminated and later restored. Shouldn't they also be eligible for benefits? It's simple logic. Get your class action suit in gear!

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

The interesting part of this situation is that I was just researching Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decisions against the BIA and I found Malone v. BIA (38 F3d 433, 1994) where the Court ruled that the BIA misinterpreted a prior court decision and used the wrong definition of Indian for determining eligibility status for higher education grant funding.

The BIA thought that the IRA definition applied and denied eligibility to the Plaintiff because he was not a member of a federally recognized tribe. The Plaintiff argued that because he was over 1/4 blood degree that he was eligible based on blood. The Court told the BIA that the correct definition of Indian for determining eligibility for education benefits is the Snyder Act. The Snyder Act is silent on enrollment in a federally recognized tribe.

The BIA was instructed to revise their internal policy on eligibility for higher education grant funding to reflect the Snyder Act definition of Indian. However, the Court refrained from ordering the BIA to change their decision on the eligibility of this particular individual.

I don't what it is with individual Indians and why the Court is so biased against helping them obtain access to the programs and services that were intended to help them. In many cases the attorneys fail to allege injury and harm appropriately and to identify the statutory authority that applies. This case is an example of just that failure on the part of the attorney, because the Court decided the Snyder Act applied during its review. It was not provided by the attorney.

As far as Cobell scholarships and the BIA denying eligibility to disenrolled Indians there is definitely cause of action for class action litigation. The Cobell settlement beneficiaries were identified by IIM accounts and land allotments. There was no requirement for tribal membership involved. There is absolutely no reason why the BIA should interject a different eligibility standard for scholarship recipients than that used for the beneficiaries of the settlement.

Lack of articulated standards undermines the deference due to agency decisions and interpretations in suits under the APA.

Anonymous said...

Here's an article rick, you can't claim native american on a Job application unless your enrolled ?

OPechanga said...

Sounds intriguing..write it up and send it to me. Not sure if that's true....

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Anonymous said...

I don't know much about how the Cobell Scholarship was started or how it was funded, but the criteria of being an enrolled member in a federally recognized tribe usually has links to the federal government providing funding to tribal memebers. Disenrolled Indians would still be eligible, if they were disenrolled due to blood quantum, but if whole lineages were disenrolled, then blood quantum doesn't matter. Also, in California there is no criteria that defines who is or how an allotment owner is considered Indian, anybody who owns an original allotment that is still held in trust is considered an Indian in California when considering allotments and trust status. I figure that this coupled with the federal government funding neededing to ensure that only tribal members benefit from this funding and not everybody who applies.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

The Cobell Scholarships are offered as part of the compensation awarded to Indians whose Individual Indian Money accounts were mismanaged by the BIA to the tune of over $8 billion. A class action suit filed by Indians throughout America was brought against the Department of the Interior and the BIA for failure to provide accurate accounting of funds held in trust for individual Indians.

Eligibility for participation in the settlement award was based on land allotments and IIM accounts. If there was consistency between the settlement funds awarded and the scholarships then eligibility requirements would be the same for both. The Department of the Interior is creating its cause of action for another suit by tying the scholarships to enrollment in federally recognized tribes. This is yet another demonstration of allowing tribes to determine eligibility for programs, services, and in this case settlement awards that have nothing to do with tribes.

The whole idea of Individual Indian Money accounts was that they were for individual Indians and were not managed by tribes. The federal government appears to be intent on making Indians fight for justice at every turn. This time I hope the Indians do not let the government off the hook. This is time to sue for a correction to the policy, for a review of those denied to see if they qualify, to dispense the scholarships to them if they do qualify, and to seek punitive damages for attempting to harm Indians who were supposed to receive compensation for harm already inflicted.

I say use the punitive damages to create a legal fund for disenrollees administered by an independent Indian advocacy that requires all employees to have absolutely no connection to the DOI, the BIA, or any tribe that has disenrolled members without providing due process.

I know. Like this is going to happen. But now no one can say that the idea wasn't brought forward.

Anonymous said...

When you say disenrollees, who do you mean? Because Pala disenrolled are still eligible for the Cobell Scholarships because their parents were enrolled.

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Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Better check your facts. Pala disenrollees have been denied Cobell scholarships because they aren't enrolled in a federally recognized tribe. To make things worse, some of those who have been denied Cobell scholarships received money from the Cobell settlement award because they had land allotments or IIM accounts. So they are eligible for settlement money but not for the scholarship. Just another of the many recent attempts made by the federal government to heap injury upon the harm caused by disenrollment.

Anonymous said...

I dont beleive that. The scholarship application states the eligibility extends to children of enrolled members. Whover told you that is obviously misinformed.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Sadly it is true. If you read the original post you will see that Cowell scholarship eligibility is tied to enrollment in a federally recognized. Without naming individuals I know of at least one Pala disenrollees that has been denied, and another Indian who received a settlement check but was denied a scholarship.

Anonymous said...

I dont have to read the post, I went to the website and read the application eligibility. They were probbably denied because they failed to read the directions carefully. I am not an enrolled member of a tribe, but I woukd be eligible to receive a Cobell Scholarship because both of my parents were tribal members. Stop thinking that evrybody is out to get you and get your facts straight.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Acceptance of applications is not the same as awarding a scholarship. The applications of the individuals to which I referred were accepted. They were denied the scholarships because they were not enrolled in a federally recognized tribe. Refusing to read the posted information regarding the eligibility requirements is an interesting approach to verifying the facts.

In any case the Cobell Scholarship website is clear. Each applicant must submit a Tribal Eligibility Form. This form must include information regarding the applicant's enrollment in a federally recognized tribe. In case it makes any difference to you, I do recommend that you visit the site and verify the facts. If you fail to make the effort to verify then you will continue to be misinformed, and criticize the people who actually have the correct information.

Anonymous said...

I read it and continue to read it all the time. The eligibility form can be filled out through descendancy, the dipshits were denied because they probbably put their nonrecognized old enrollment numbers down, instead of providing how they are.descended from a tribal member like the form states. Just quite it okay, you are.making a mountain out of a mole hill, your argument has no validity.