It is a despicable truth that many tribal leaders do not care about winning the "hearts and minds" of their communities when it comes to the issue of tribal disenrollment. Instead, they seem to be fighting a war of attrition, leaving a trail of dead elders in their wake. They are installed in the Tribal Leader's HALL OF SHAME
Let's DEFINE ELDER ABUSE: California State Bar Association Elder Abuse:It is the neglect, exploitation or “painful or harmful” mistreatment of anyone who is 65 or older (or any disabled dependent adult aged (18 to 64). It can involve physical violence, psychological abuse, isolation, abandonment, abduction, false imprisonment or a caregiver’s neglect. It could also involve the unlawful taking of a senior’s money or property.
For those who may not be familiar with the term, even after 16 years of blogging, tribal disenrollment refers to the process by which tribal members are stripped of their citizenship and all the rights that come with it, often based on flimsy or non-existent evidence of insufficient ancestry or other criteria. It's tribal terrorism
While disenrollment can have devastating effects on the lives of those affected, including loss of access to healthcare, education, housing, and other essential services, tribal leaders seem to be more concerned with consolidating power and resources within their own ranks than with the well-being of their communities as a whole.
They are willing to go to great lengths to achieve their goals, including using legal loopholes and questionable tactics to strip people of their tribal membership. And when their tactics are challenged, they resort to intimidation, harassment, and even violence against those who dare to speak out. The want to hold POWER AT ANY COST
What is especially tragic about this situation is the toll it takes on the elders in these communities. Many of them are the ones who have fought hardest for tribal sovereignty and self-determination, only to find themselves targeted and marginalized by their own leaders in their old age.
These elders are the keepers of their people's culture, history, and traditions, and their loss is felt deeply by their families and communities. It is a cruel irony that those who should be held in the highest esteem are instead treated with such callous disregard.
It is time for tribal leaders to realize that their actions have consequences, not just for those they disenroll, but for the entire community. They must prioritize the well-being of their people over their own narrow interests and work to build a truly inclusive and just society. The alternative is a continuation of the war of attrition that leaves only casualties in its wake.