Gabe Galanda: Disenrollments are bankrupting our tribal nations

Members of Nooksack Tribe of Washington protest disenrollment. Photo from Facebook

Attorney Gabe Galanda says tribal disenrollments are another form of termination:
Indeed, the apportionment of tribal communal assets and distribution of those assets to individual tribal members is, by the United States’ design, a mode of tribal termination and Indian assimilation. This dynamic dates back to the mid-1800s, although we as American indigenous people act oblivious to that genocidal reality.

To be sure, tribal per capita distributions are presently catalyzing the most severe form of Indian poverty: Disenrollment and exile from one’s tribal community–and at epidemic levels.

As Professor David Wilkins explains: Disenrollment takes an obvious financial toll . . . But it also can psychologically devastate former members. “’It leaves them in a tenuous place of being betwixt and between,’ he says. ’They know they still are what they are claimed not to be. I just feel for them.’”

Surely other Indians feel for their brothers and sisters who have been spiritually, financially and otherwise bankrupt through disenrollment. Right?

Get the Story:
Gabe Galanda: Tribal Per Capita Poverty–How About Disenrollment Bankruptcy? (Galanda Broadman Blog 1/15)

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