Is Disenrollment---Are Its Grafters---On the Run?


After the disenrollment scourge suffered by Indian Country since the mid-2000s, there are signs that disenrollment and the tribal grafters who practice it, are on the run.

1. There has not been a new mass tribal disenrollment effort since the spring of 2016 (Elem), after several consecutive years during which mass tribal disenrollments (plural) were happening.  

2. After suffering a federal court defeat in August 2017, the Cherokee Nation opted against appealing the decision and instead decided to re-enroll 2,800 Cherokee Freedmen.

3. Earlier in 2017, Robinson Rancheria brought 67 relatives home, on the tribe's own volition.

4. Like the Obama Administration, after an apparent shift in policy in late 2016, the Trump Administration has maintained federal involvement in particularly atrocious disenrollment-related situations.  See "Trump administration calls out Nooksack Tribe for 'abuses of power.'"

5. Indian Country is getting re-educated about disenrollment, like through David and Shelly Wilkins' book, "Dismembered"; and, as cited by other scholars, "a dedicated social media movement,, and national media coverage."

So, is it---are they---on the run? 

Time will tell.

Gabriel S. Galanda is the managing lawyer of Galanda Broadman, PLLC, in Seattle. Gabe is a descendant of the Nomlaki and Concow Tribes, belonging to the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Northern California.