Thursday, April 27, 2023

Why The Scourge of Tribal Disenrollment is a Human Rights Issue Every Native Should Care About

As long as I am disenrolled, I will continue to fight for my ancestors rights and my descendants, and I will keep asking for YOU to join the fight for us.

Why WE ALL Should Care About Disenrollment even in you are not affected.

Disenrollment is the practice that involves stripping Native Americans of their citizenship and heritage, perpetrated by Native Americans themselves to gain money, benefits, and power. It's a harmful and disturbing trend that has affected over 10,000 people, with far-reaching implications.

You may wonder why you should care about disenrollment, especially if you're not a member of a Native American tribe. But the answer is simple: if one person's rights are violated, it affects us all. Disenrollment is a violation of basic human rights, and it goes against the very principles of democracy, fairness, and justice that we hold dear. And one our tribal leaders purport to support.

When tribes were granted gaming licenses, they made a promise to voters that they would take care of their people. Disenrollment, along with other practices such as banishments and moratoriums, directly contradicts that promise. Not only does it harm individual tribal members, but it also undermines tribal self-governance, making it harder to gain support from those who doubt the ability of tribal governments to handle membership issues.  Not following tribal law and the tribe's own consitution as what happened to my Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians has done JUST THAT.

Moreover, disenrollment tears apart our ancestral connections that tribal members have with their communities. It's not just about being kicked out of a tribe; it's about losing cultural identities, religious ceremonies, activities, politics, burials, education, and customs that are an integral part of their lives. This type of isolation and separation is cruel and inhumane, and it's a sentence of imprisonment for life.

But it's not just a matter of basic human rights; it's a matter of ethics and morality. Disenrollment is not the traditional way of the Native Americans, and it's only used in extreme cases. This practice is being called the new genocide, and it's being perpetrated by tribal officials who are supposed to protect the rights of their tribal citizens. It's time to demand moral and ethical integrity in regards to human rights and the law.

Why stand idly by and watch as these atrocities continue to occur? It's time to take action and hold these officials accountable for their harmful actions. One way to do this is to stop patronizing offending tribes' casinos, hotels, restaurants, powwows, and clubs. 

Let them know that we do not agree with their system of denying civil rights to their people and that we will not support their nation until they follow their own tribal law.

We must demand that tribes who disenroll en masse, like Chukchansi is doing now,  should lose Federal funding and benefits, including land trusts. The American people should not be paying tribes who violate the civil and human rights of their people. Our representatives should shun these tribes and use their bully pulpit to fight for the rights of the people who have been beaten by the club of sovereignty.

It's time for the Department of Interior and Congress to step up and uphold the protection of our civil rights and protect tribal members from rogue governments that break tribal laws and constitutions. The trust responsibility of Congress extends to all Native Americans, not just Chiefs and Chairmen. We must demand that they do their duty to protect our civil rights and the rights of all tribal members.

Disenrollment matters. It's a violation of basic human rights, and it goes against the very principles of democracy and fairness that we hold dear. We must demand change and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

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