Native lawyer takes on tribes that kick members out

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Germans and Australians and Americans had the same self-respect as these tribes?

Seattle Times:

Every tribe has different and often complicated enrollment rules. In the Nooksack case, there isn’t agreement on what the rules are, although they are generally understood to include one-quarter Indian blood quantum and proof of lineage to a Nooksack on a 1942 Census roll or to one who received a federal land allotment.

Michelle Roberts, spokeswoman for the 306 (facing disenrollment), insists her family knows where it comes from, noting her grandmother took great pride in being a Nooksack. “We don’t want to lose her history,” she says…

Commenting on disenrollment (in general) Reyn Leno, Grand Ronde tribal council chair, said his tribe had disenrolled 80 members because “There was a feeling that people were receiving benefits that shouldn’t have been.” Leno says.

Leno also notes “Blood gives you the right to what we have.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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