Chase Iron Eyes: Real sovereigns don't disenroll their own people

Some voices from the #stopdisenrollment campaign. Photos from StopDisenrollment.Com

Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the founder of Last Real Indians, explains why tribes should stop disenrolling their own people:
This column reacts to a recent piece by James Mills titled, “Tribes Have Absolute Right to Determine Their Membership.” I had no idea who Mr. Mills was so I looked and asked around and saw Mr. Mills advertises himself as a “master parliamentarian,” former “hospital administrator” and “music producer,” and “one of Indian Country's leading experts in tribal enrollment policy” What did this mean? More to the point, what are enrollment audits and what is enrollment software?

Even more to the point, when is it ever right to disenroll? What is more presumptuous than forcing your people to undergo an enrollment audit? I know of white people who ended up on Tribal enrollment rolls who I wouldn't disenroll if I could. They are part of community.

I suppose each tribe in a perfect world, should have the “absolute right” to disenroll their relatives as he states, and potentially hire people like him for that purpose. However, the United States can't even disenroll (revoke citizenship) their own naturally born citizens. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution prohibits it. So his analogy that "France can make recommendations" to the United States about citizenship as a matter of sovereignty falls flat. United States sovereignty says that your an American citizen as a matter of birthright, and no politicians in Washington, DC can change that.

But enough about other sovereigns. "Real Indians" certainly wouldn’t hire a non-Indian consultant to tell them who's a relative and who's not. As we at Last Real Indians have made clear: “Real Indians Don’t Disenroll.”

Get the Story:
Chase Iron Eyes: When Is it Right to Disenroll Indians? (Indian Country Today 2/10)

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