Nooksack Tribe tries to evict family amid mass enrollment purge

The Nooksack Tribe of Washington has removed more than 300 people from the rolls this year. Photo by The Nooksack 306

A family from the Nooksack Tribe of Washington is battling an eviction order.

Margretty Rabang was told to leave a tribal housing unit after she was disenrolled earlier this year, The Bellingham Herald reported. But a state judge stepped into the dispute by issuing a temporary restraining order on Wednesday.

The judge asserted jurisdiction because the housing unit is not located on the reservation. The decision appears to prevent Rabang, her 72-year-old husband, her daughter and her 1-year-old and 3-year-old grandchildren from being kicked out during the holiday season.

“I don’t want to be stressed out. I got these two babies," Rabang said during a hearing in tribal court last month during i which she was unable to delay the eviction proceedings. "You know they should be able to have Christmas in their own home.”

In addition to Rabang and her siblings, the tribe has removed more than 300 people from the rolls, claiming they do not meet membership standards. Chairman Bob Kelly called them "non-Indians" in a press release last month.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service have warned Kelly about the mass purge, saying it could have an effect on the tribe's self-determination contracts. Both agencies also say the council has been operating without a quorum since March.

The tribe has since held a primary election to fill four vacant seats on the council but The Nooksack 306 and others who have been removed from the rolls weren't allowed to participate. The general election is scheduled for January 21, 2017.

Turtle Talk has posted documents related to the Rabang eviction, a different state court decision and the mass disenrollment.

Read More on the Story:
Facing eviction days after Christmas, family gets hope from Whatcom court (The Bellingham Herald 12/21)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Leader of Nooksack Tribe defends purge of 'non-Indians' from rolls (11/23)
Indian Health Service warns Nooksack Tribe about disenrollees (11/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs rebuffs Nooksack Tribe on disenrollment (11/17)
Gabe Galanda: Every tribe should be troubled by disenrollments (11/17)
Nooksack Tribe moves to disenroll 306 after holding referendum (11/10)
Bureau of Indian Affairs questions Nooksack Tribe's government (10/18)
Nooksack Tribe creates new court and puts chairman in charge (10/14)
Nooksack Tribe ignores court orders as disenrollment dispute stalls (08/01)
Nooksack Tribe fires elder who spoke out against disenrollment (06/29)
National tribal judge group questions firing in disenrollment case (05/11)
Nooksack Tribe fires judge and loses attorney in disenrollment crisis (05/04)
Washington rally draws attention to tribal disenrollment epidemic (04/18)
Peter d'Errico: Nooksack Tribe fuels bad stereotypes about courts (03/25)
Nooksack Tribe slammed by judge for disbarring lawyer and firm (3/22)
Nooksack Tribe moves to disenroll even more people amid fight (3/17)
Nooksack Tribe interferes with judicial branch and disbars law firm (3/9)
Al Jazeera program focuses on tribal disenrollment controversies (3/4)
Chase Iron Eyes: Real sovereigns don't disenroll their own people (02/10)
National campaign launched to stop tribal disenrollment epidemic (02/09)
Nooksack Tribe loses bid to prevent some from voting in election (01/27)
Gabe Galanda: The tide keeps turning against disenrollment (11/16)
Gabe Galanda: The growing chorus against disenrollments (11/13)
Gabriel Galanda: Banish drug dealers but don't disenroll them (09/08)
Nooksack Tribe disenrollment proceedings placed on hold again (07/14)
Indian attorneys take a stand and denounce tribal disenrollment (04/13)
Judge tells Nooksack Tribe to delay disenrollment proceedings (02/24)
Nooksack Tribe moves forward with disenrollment proceedings (02/10)
Gabe Galanda: The legal consequences of tribal disenrollments (2/3)
Gabe Galanda: Tribes are carrying out the wishes of the colonizer (01/16)
Gabe Galanda: Disenrollments are bankrupting our tribal nations (01/15)
Court tells Nooksack Tribe to stop disenrollment proceedings (06/13)
Nooksack Tribe attempts to resume disenrollment proceedings (6/4)
KUOW: Nooksack Tribe election shows divide on disenrollment (03/18)
Disenrollees of Nooksack Tribe to seek recount after election (3/17)
Opinion: Nooksack Tribe engages in deadly disenrollment trend (3/14)
Opinion: Nooksack Tribe's election affects disenrollment dispute (03/03)
Michelle Roberts: Open letter on Nooksack Tribe disenrollment (2/27)
Nooksack Tribe heads into election amid disenrollment dispute (2/18)
Court puts hold on disenrollments within Nooksack Tribe (01/23)
Michelle Roberts: Nooksack Tribe persecutes its own people (12/17)
Most Read
More Headlines