Wash. tribe turns to banishment to battle drugs
Monday, January 19, 2004

The Lummi Nation of Washington has banished several tribal members, and evicted others, in an attempt to battle rampant drug abuse and drug trafficking on the reservation.

The punishment is controversial. Tribal members say banishment is too extreme. "Spiritually, it's going to take your insides and turn them inside out," one woman, whose son and nephews were banished, told The New York Times. The woman was evicted from her home because of her son's drug crimes.

But in a place where an estimated 500 members are addicted to drugs and where the drug trade is put at $2 million, tribal leaders consider it necessary. The tribe also runs prevention and treatment programs.

Banishment has been adopted by the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians. A mother, her two sons and a friend were kicked out, for violence. Jacquelyn Jackson, now homeless, says banishment has wrecked her life. "I cry every night because I want to go home," she told the paper. "I miss that place so bad."

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Plagued by Drugs, Tribes Revive Ancient Penalty (The New York Times 1/18)
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Lummi Tribe can banish members for drug offenses (05/19)

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