NPR affiliate KUOW aired a feature story about the disenrollment epidemic, rhetorically asking: "When you disenroll members of your tribe, are you empowered or just more conquered?"
The story chronicles Galanda Broadman's legal fight against disenrollment.
Galanda developed a simple, insightful question to ask tribes: How do you say "disenrollment" in your native language?
"The answer is always no," he told KUOW's Jeannie Yandel. "There is no word in traditional dialect or language that equates to disenrollment, which just exclaims my point: this is not an indigenous way. It is not a traditional way. This is a way of termination that's introduced by the United States upon us."
Galanda challenges even the way tribes determine if a person belongs. The base rolls tribes are using from the late 1800s, he said, were generated by the U.S. government and were "wildly inaccurate." The idea of using "blood quantum" came in the 1930s. Using these tactics would be participating in the colonial system.
"Are you acting in a self-determinate way, or are you acting in a conquered way?" he asks. "I'm suggesting there are healthier, more holistic, more traditional ways than using federal devices of termination and assimilation to decide who belongs."
List to the nearly 11 minute segment here.