It has been 16 months since we first began to defend American Indians from disenrollment, or what Prof. David Wilkins rightly terms "dismemberment." We have since defended nearly 500 Indians from that atrocity. We are deeply gratified to have helped spare 104 Indian lives this year--a tribal family of 28 in Oregon, and another Indian family of 76 in California.
We are also pleased to have stayed or enjoined the disenrollment of 306 Indians in Washington State since mid-2013.
But we are deeply anguished by our failure to have thus far prevented the disenrollment of 67 Indians in Oregon. They all have appeal rights, so our fight for them is not over. But they are "disenrolled," pending appeal.
Perhaps worst of all, the ancestors of 66 of those Oregon Indians were also disenrolled--posthumously, and without any notice to the living.
We oppose disenrollment, and we hope that the number of Indians visibly opposed to that mode of self-termination grows before it is too late.
Galanda Broadman is an American Indian owned law firm dedicated to defending Indian rights.