Tribal disenrollment: 101 – The Basics

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What is tribal disenrollment?

Tribal disenrollment is the stripping of Native American citizenship and it’s reaching epidemic proportions.

Throughout Indian Country thousands of Native Americans are losing their tribal rights and having their citizenship terminated in their tribes. While some tribal councils assert disenrollment are meant to protect the “integrity of the tribe,” critics argue it’s economically and politically motivated.

Just imagine having your citizenship taken away from you. That’s what happens when a member of a tribe is disenrolled, or kicked out of their tribe by their tribal government. It’s like being an ‘Indian’ without a tribe.

The U.S. Government, as a Federal trust responsibility, is obligated to protect individuals whose rights have been infringed upon. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has determined that their Federal trust responsibility extends only to the tribal governments and government officials itself.

Moreover, the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 enforces the sovereignty of tribal nations, excluding the individual protections for thousands of Native Americans.

So what happens when Native Americans are disenrolled from their tribal nations? You lose your federal benefits and programs in the areas of housing, education, health, voting and public work assistance. You lose your identity, culture, history and more. The assimilation is forced upon Natives who are disenrolled.


Read more on the story:

Tribal Disenrollment: The New Wave of Genocide By: Johnnie Jae

Native American Tribal Disenrollment Reaching Epidemic Levels By: Cecily Hilleary

Time For Congress To Revisit The Indian Civil Rights Act By: Harold Monteau

Emilio Reyes descends from the Gabrielino Tongva Tribe. Emilio is the founder of Stop Tribal Genocide, a movement dedicated in promoting Native American rights. Genealogist and researcher specializing in Native American family lines.

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