Native America Calling is doing it's annual show on Disenrollment on 3/15 at 10 am PDT. This years episode includes Robinson Rancheria Chairman Eddie Crandell, who brought back members who were disenrolled under the late Tracy Avila. The restoration of the tribe's honor is good for Indian Country.
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The Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians granted tribal membership back to 60 people who were disenrolled nine years ago. The action is a departure from a recent wave of disenrollement among some tribes in the west.
Disenrolled members are no longer federally recognized tribal citizens and as a result lose benefits like health care, percap income and even housing. The Nooksack Indian Tribe is suing the federal government over sanctions imposed over election disputes stemming from disenrollment.
Sovereignty gives independent tribal nations the ability to determine their members. But campaigns against disenrollment are aiming to change opinions on this perfectly legal act. Is mass disenrollment an idea whose time has come?
FOR MORE ON TRIBAL DISENROLLMENT, CLICK THIS LINK
Since when is disenrollment a perfectly legal act? The decision in Santa Clara Pueblos v. Martinez says that tribes have a right to determine their membership, however the actual dispute in the case was not over members. It was about APPLICANTS. The Pueblos were not attempting to rid themselves of legitimate members. They were discriminating against applicants based on paternal or maternal descent. The court ruled that the federal government could not interfere even though there was discrimination involved, and even though it was a violation of the ICRA.
So disenrollment is not a perfectly legal act. Neither the federal government or the courts will intervene, but that doesn't legitimize the action of robbing Indians of their citizenship, stealing their heritage and legacy, violating their civil rights, and separating them from their community. Tell these people to get it straight. Disenrollment is WRONG!
Although admittedly if a tribe has a disenrollment provision in the governing document, properly observes due process and equal protection, and obtains a consensus from the general membership, then a disenrollment could be legitimate. Anyone know of any disenrollments done the legitimate way?
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