Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Is Trump's U.S. Justice Department FINALLY Recognizing Indian Tribal Members ENTITLED to DUE PROCESS?

The U.S. Attorney's office, representing the United States and the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke vs. The Nooksack Tribe in a court filing has said:

Image result for us justice department logo

Federal law provides that a tribal government CANNOT deny tribal members due process; Indian Civil Rights Act   (page 9)

What about actions that tribal governments who have denied due process to tribal members in disenrollment proceedings (i.e. Pechanga, Pala, Chukchansi).     Is there now a course of action to be taken for those 10,000+ who have been denied due process?  Will the U.S. Attorney now stand with the numerous Native Americans who have been denied due process in their disenrollment.

After 49 years, the U.S. Government is enforcing the Indian Civil Rights Act as it applies to Nooksack.  Better late than never.  Thanks to Jeff Sessions and his Department of Justice.  Are they REVERSING Obama's hands off policy in the face of criminal conspiracies within tribes?

Fitting that TODAY is the 49th anniversary of ICRA (h/t Emilio Reyes)

Here's the footnote with the US Attorney's conclusion.

10 The manner in which the disenrollment occurred is a separate cause for concern by the Secretary. Reportedly, the Kelly Faction held mass disenrollment “hearings” consisting of a conference call of no more than 10 minutes in length. The apparent denial of adequate due process constitutes a separate basis for doubting the validity of the disenrollments. Federal law provides that a tribal government cannot deny tribal members due process; Indian Civil Rights Act, 25 U.S.C. § 1302. Like many tribes, Nooksack incorporated ICRA into its tribal constitution (Article IX of the Nooksack Constitution and By Laws). An order of the Nooksack Tribal Court dated January 26, 2016, elaborates on the due process requirements for disenrollment.


'aamokat said...

Of course Pechanga will give its little speech about how due process was provided for us when we were disenrolled, that it was part of the proceedings.

But how was it provided? How was allowing the sisters of one of the elders who submitted a statement against our membership due process when it violated a clause in the Band's constitution and bylaws forbidding malice or prejudice against tribal members and a similar clause in the ICRA?

And how was making a ruling two days before we were disenrolled saying we were not included in a duly passed law by the people ending disenrollment as a part of tribal law due process? When in the ruling they fabricated tribal legal precedent saying the enrollment committee was the final authority in matters of enrollment when in fact the legal precedent was the exact opposite, that the people are in fact the final authority in matters of enrollment. So how was it due process for the council to make a ruling that we could never respond to? As it came after our appeal to the council.

'aamokat said...

Add on to my last post, the council allowed the sisters of a witness against us to rule on our case even though we asked that they not be allowed to rule on our case due to conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

One way or another TRUTH will always win. The story book is always chapter to chapter. ALL our Ancestors deserve to be acknowledged and honored. Not a select few who shun the rest.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

What about tribes that gave no hearings at all to disenrollees, like Pala for instance? I guess it is nice to see the federal government cite ICRA violations, but the Plaintiff will be able to argue that Santa Clara Pueblos v. Martinez precludes enforcement of the ICRA except where habeas corpus is invoked.

It matters not. The other arguments are on point, and this action will be dismissed. It is fraudulent for the Tribal Committee to pass itself off as representing the tribe when the election excluded legitimate members of the tribe.

As for other tribes and their disenrollment issues, so many legal actions have been dismissed that there is little hope that they will be able to return to Court using this citation as cause of action for violation of due process.

I also found it interesting that the Federal Defendant cited the decision in California Valley Miwoks v. Jewell where the Court ruled that the BIA has a trust obligation to prevent rogue leaders from thwarting the will of tribal members when it comes to decisions affecting federal benefits.

That is exactly the injury inflicted by tribal leaders who disenroll members in violation of due process. Unless it is the will of tribal members (and not tribal leaders who purportedly represent and serve the will of the members) to disenroll, then leaders become rogues and the BIA has a trust obligation to intercede on the behalf of disenrolled members who lose federal benefits on the basis of unilateral decisions.

Instead the BIA cooperates with disenrollment decisions, and denies federal benefits to innocent members who lose their tribal citizenship in violation of the ICRA, in violation of their right to due process, in violation of tribal law, and in violation of their right to equal protection under the law. Let's see if the Zinke DOI understands how unjust these disenrollments truly are and stops rubber stamping illicit actions by tribal leaders and acts to compel tribal leaders to obtain the consensus of the tribe and verifies that such votes are legally conducted before accepting the removal of members from the rolls.

WeRone said...

Sharing the TRUTH and commenting is honorable. The blog is a simple click and we can share the TRUTH all day! It's better than ignoring the truth.

Anonymous said...

Pala is going to lose at the end because they know they did not follow Federal Law or Tribal Law in the disenrollments and they used illegal documents to do so.
We will never give up the fight to belong where we should be, Tribal Members of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.
Smith and Nieto can live forever and when the blessed day comes that they are out of office, one way or ANOTHER, the disenrolled will be back on the Rolls of the Band.