Disenrollment leaves Natives ‘culturally homeless’

Disenrollment leaves Natives ‘culturally homeless’
AP Photo, Don Ryan

Mia Prickett's ancestor was a leader of the Cascade Indians along the Columbia River and was one of the chiefs who signed an 1855 treaty that helped establish the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde in Oregon.

But the Grand Ronde now wants to disenroll Prickett and 79 relatives, and possibly hundreds of other tribal members, because they no longer satisfy new enrollment requirements.

Prickett's family is fighting the effort, part of what some experts have dubbed the “disenrollment epidemic” — a rising number of dramatic clashes over tribal belonging that are sweeping through more than a dozen states, from California to Michigan.

“In my entire life, I have always known I was an Indian. I have always known my family's history, and I am so proud of that,” Prickett said. She said her ancestor chief Tumulth was unjustly accused of participating in a revolt and was executed by the U.S. Army — and hence didn't make it onto the tribe's roll, which is now a membership requirement.

The prospect of losing her membership is “gut-wrenching,” Prickett said.

“It's like coming home one day and having the keys taken from you,” she said. “You're culturally homeless.”

The enrollment battles come at a time when many tribes — long poverty-stricken and oppressed by government policies — are finally coming into their own, gaining wealth and building infrastructure with revenues from Indian casinos.

Critics of disenrollment say the rising tide of tribal expulsions is due to greed over increased gambling profits, along with political in-fighting and old family and personal feuds.

But at the core of the problem, tribes and experts agree, is a debate over identity — over who is “Indian enough” to be a tribal member.

“It ultimately comes down to the question of how we define what it means to be Native today,” said David Wilkins, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota and a member of North Carolina's Lumbee Tribe. “As tribes who suffered genocidal policies, boarding school laws and now out-marriage try to recover their identity in the 20th century, some are more fractured, and they appear to lack the kind of common elements that lead to true cohesion.”

AP Photo, Don Ryan
AP Photo, Don Ryan

Read more on the story from MSN News.

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

49 Comments on “Disenrollment leaves Natives ‘culturally homeless’”

  • Avatar for HM Senita

    HM Senita


    I am sad as well for all of our peoples.When have you ever owned anything? Red or other nations own nothing but we have one another.My people escaped to Water Town then Missouri no one was enrolled exept some relatives they are all gone now Iam the eldest woman in our family we have the history in our hearts and the hearts of our children. We all pay taxes so who owns what for taxes are forever but a fool and his money are soon to part.
    Get with your people as you can but remember hitler had his rools too. Donahdahgowahhv.

  • Avatar for Jack Anderson

    Jack Anderson


    I left the Crow res 38 years ago with my grandmother. I was 14 years old. I did not live there but spent time there during summers. I have been waiting since for my “INVITATION” to come home. I am only an eighth crow so there for unrecognized as a native by the crow tribe. Funny thing the rest of the country sees things differently. My children and grandchildren think our heritage is just a fairy tale. They aren’t even sure Chief Plenty Coups ever was. QUIT PULLING PEOPLES LIFES APART!!!!! This is not just about the paper work people. This is our lives!!Our identities! Our Beliefs! Our Families! Our Bloodlines!! This is about everything we know and you just shuffle it aside.

  • Avatar for Wrongfully Disenrolled

    Wrongfully Disenrolled


    I hate to see that we as Indians have to be treated in such away, the way I see the native that are causing this harm to us by taking our citizenship from us is WRONG and put you in the thought of the times long ago, when the Anglos did what their doing to us to them. I’m a member of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, and they have disenrolled all of 138 member of my family saying my great-great-grandmother’s name is on the 1916 census, first off her parents both her mother and father and siblings are on there and Agent John Terrell has her listed by her nick name, further more in applying for membership the tribal application said for her to trace her ancestry to someone on the 1916 census and she did her mother and father. How can one be a member for decades and when your tribe resigns a compact for $500million the largest family gets disenrolled ? How do you trust tribal courts and trust that the ruling is going to be fair, when you kno the judge is paid by the very evil people that plotted against you. They came in sought for the younger generation in the 1990’s to get the numbers ( us as an individual ) to get the numbers needed to get their casino, grants and other funding. We were used and now they have what they want so no use for us. It’s not about the money but our history,elders and future.

  • Avatar for Wrongfully Disenrolled

    Wrongfully Disenrolled


    I hate to see that we as Indians have to be treated in such away, the way I see the native that are causing this harm to us by taking our citizenship from us is WRONG and put you in the thought of the times long ago, when the Anglos did what their doing to us to them. I’m a member of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, and they have disenrolled all of 138 member of my family saying my great-great-grandmother’s name is on the 1916 census, first off her parents both her mother and father and siblings are on there and Agent John Terrell has her listed by her nick name, further more in applying for membership the tribal application said for her to trace her ancestry to someone on the 1916 census and she did her mother and father. How can one be a member for decades and when your tribe resigns a compact for $500million the largest family gets disenrolled ? How do you take it to a hearing within tribal courts and trust that the ruling is going to be fair, when you kno the judge is paid by the very evil people that plotted against you.

  • Avatar for Kitty Sutton

    Kitty Sutton


    I am an author of Native American historical fiction. I write about forgotten, or hidden history which has never been revealed. At the moment my books are about events in Indian Territory immediately after the Trail of Tears of the Cherokee. I right about actual events that have never been told to the public and I try to give voice to the history that has been suppressed intentionally.

    My husband is Cherokee and has his card to prove it. I know that I am also Cherokee and Osage, however I have not yet found the the right names on the rolls and am still searching. Even if they are not there, I am no less Indian. However, I am having a hard time reconciling the reasons why the tribes continue to use the white government’s rules as to who can be Indian, or in this case Cherokee.

    While researching for my books I found that during the civil war, Indian Territory was split in two and the territory was decimated. The south took possession of the territory and the northern or Union sympathizers fled to nearby states like Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. My people fled to Missouri. So much was ruined, farms, livestock and families wiped out. For some Native Americans who had been forced to Indian Territory had nothing to come back to. So they remained where they were. Coming back to Indian Territory meant stepping back into poverty, starvation and being under the thumb of the government. When the Dawes rolls were enacted, many families in these other states had no idea that they were required to be living in Indian Territory in order to be placed on the rolls as a tribal member. And that is how it stands to this day.

    I am no less Indian, but I find it difficult to swallow that the tribes, who have suffered against crimes of genocide instigated by that same government, continue to use that government’s definition of who can be Indian. The way I see it, by their allowing this, those tribal governments have thus joined forces with the U.S. government against those of their own bloodlines, just because they were not on the spot when the rolls were taken back in the early 1900’s.

    Now that we have so many improvements in DNA testing, I don’t understand why the tribes would not jump at the chance to bring these families back into their ranks. I suppose it is because the Native tribal governments have decided they can have it all and the fewer the numbers of tribal citizens, the more money to go around.

    Whether this is true, or there is some other underlying reason for this movement, it is undeniable that the U.S. government from way back in the 1700’s has finally gotten what they wanted. The land, the assets and if they wait long enough, the families actually enrolled will eventually die off and the tribal governments can be disbanded entirely.

    This problem was brought home to me when the Cherokee Tribe in Tahlequah refused to allow my books to be sold in their own gift shops. Not because the stories are not true, but ONLY because I cannot prove my Indianness. So they would rather their people not know the truth of their heritage so they can use the white government’s rules as who can be Cherokee. On that bases and only that basis, they exclude my work.

    On the other hand, this last year both my books, Wheezer and the Painted Frog (about the mass starvation in Indian Territory and its causes) and Wheezer and the Shy Coyote (about how whiskey was used to subdue and control the tribes of Indian Territory), have been accepted by the U.S. National Park Services and can be sold in any of their gift shops. Why? I asked one of the gift shop managers. He told me that the Park Services wants to find writers who write about the true history, white or Indian, that shows what actually happened on the land they have now made into a national park. He told me that I have been the only writer to dig up the facts of these particular events which happened around Fort Smith in Arkansas, and write about them and it is valuable to the parks. But that leaves me a little angry. I thought I was helping the tribes of Indian Territory to know their true historic facts that took over a year of research for each book. Then to be refused only on the bases that my family has not yet been found on a roll instituted by the U.S. Government, which, by-the-way, effectively took away a vast amount of land from the tribes and allowed Indian Territory to be settled by white settlers, thus violating the governments own promise to those tribes: namely, that the land would be theirs “as long as grass grows”. It’s ironic, isn’t it?

    I may never understand it. However, I do know that all of mankind are the same, no matter what color. They are all capable of great good works, as well as great vile works, greed, and all manner of hatefulness, even against their own people. It is the same around the world, not just here and that mankind is quickly ruining the earth. And I know that there will be a huge change, very soon and it won’t have anything to do with tribal affiliation or who thinks he owns what. The Great Creator of all has already set a date and he promises he will destroy all the governments of the earth.

    In the meantime it is everyone’s responsibility to think about where he/she stands and what they stand for. I know that this last comment sounds off of the subject. But, it is not really, because these questions cannot be solved by mankind. Only Jehovah can make right what is wrong on the earth and save it and its inhabitants, both animal and human. There are problems so huge that threaten to drive man and all his tribes into extinction and ruin the earth for millennia to come unless He steps in to save us from ourselves. The problem is much bigger than the struggles of the Native American tribes, but is world wide effecting all peoples of the earth. It is food for thought.

    • Avatar for Kitty Sutton

      Kitty Sutton


      Sorry for the few typos. I wrote it in a hurry. Wado Kitty

  • Avatar for Thomas Singingcrow Smith

    Thomas Singingcrow Smith


    In the Indian world, those who have BIA ”cards” are considered “real Indians” and those who don’t, aren’t. It’s a sad commentary, really, because it draws a line in the sand and actively, systematically encourages both discrimination and the eventual elimination of Indian tribes, well, of government sanctioned Indian tribes, as we know them. Why? Because unless the tribal members “marry native,” eventually, their blood quantum, the percentage of Indian blood they carry, will be reduced to under the amount required for tribal membership, a percentage established by the tribes themselves. Then there won’t be issues about obtaining that precious BIA card from the government that identifies them as “Indian,” and entitles them to a number of services, because there won’t be any more “Indians.” They, along with the BIA who issues the cards, will have legislated themselves into the group of “have nots,” the “not real” Indians that the card carrying Indians so often disdain. Indeed, the line in the sand that includes/excludes the BIA card and tribal membership encourages discrimination both inside of and outside of the Native community.

    I have often wondered if this is just another kind of long-term institutionalized genocide, one that Native people and tribes have bought into in order to obtain the services today that their people need. In time, the “Indians” will be gone, in another generation or two, which was, after all, the original intention of the government – to exterminate the Indians one way or another – through death, sale into slavery, religious conversion, assimilation – anything to make them non-Indian and to “go-away,” of course, leaving their precious land behind. By the tribes’ own definition of who is and is not an Indian, they will shrink their own numbers until they become extinct or so small as to be inconsequential. So the government doesn’t have to do anything, except wait, because the “shrinking” criteria for being “Indian” has been established and agreed to by all parties involved.

    Why, you ask, wouldn’t the Indian tribes simply change their definition of blood quantum to include more people? That is a political question, and the answer even moreso, but in essence, there is a pot of money, often including casino revenue, and the pot must be divided by the number of tribal members. Some tribes have actually tightened their membeship requirements.

    • Avatar for greenriverkate



      Thomas, I have to say your post is one of the best explanations I have read. I congratulate you on the understanding of this problem, as so few have no idea! My kids are registered but not their kids. Three of my grandkids are four different tribes and a toss of white so they could not be registered until they dropped the blood quantum. My other granddaughter, very proud of her Native blood can not be registered. It is a sad state of affairs when the heart is Native and the “blood” is not. Her near full blooded grandfather would be furious with the state of affairs. Everyone got along on the rez, regardless of tribal affiliation UNTIL money entered the picture, Now you hear “are you registered”! People that have lived together, grown up together, eaten together have drawn a line in mother earth. Without a doubt, even though many claim they don’t want to “act white” have truly learned the white act of greed I see councils stealing money from their own people without conscience! To steal from your own is a horrendous act! It breaks my heart to see people pulling away from each other. I never cared if someone was “registered” or not, I cared about their heart. People I have considered family are now split into groups! I refuse to play the game! There is no light at the end of this tunnel. Again, thank you for an intelligent post about Natives and the damn government

  • Avatar for Jason



    What a beautiful and strong native woman Mia Prickett is for standing up for her rights and the rights of her ancestors. There is no mistaking that this woman is native to this land. This makes my heart sad. 500 years of fighting for our land and maintaining our identity as native people. For some of us, our ancestry is all we have. I am truly grateful to have my native ancestry. Our ancestors fought the good fight, and they will keep on fighting until it is made right. Mia I am so sorry for your plight. You are a strong beautiful native woman, you and your ancestors are survivors of over 500 years of oppression. Keep on fighting Mia.

  • Avatar for Eva Packer

    Eva Packer


    Wow, the better things get the worse they get! So we have casinos on the reservations across this nation to HELP our Native Americans build better schools/hospitals and homes. Even better connections to water, electricity and gas. But all we seem to hear about is corruption, mis-use of tribal funds and now this. We tell the white man that they did our ancestors wrong, our treaties were not honored and genocide took place and still is, BUT when we have a chance to stand up straight and take care of ourselves in an honorable way we start fighting EACH OTHER over money!!! Our ancestors are shedding tears for us, for we are shameful!!! We should clean up our reservations, get rid of the old cars and trash around our homes, take pride in who we are and stop being the subject of the white man’s pity or power. If we can’t take care of this problem without looking like jerks we have been caught in the white’s man trap and here we sit and die.

  • Avatar for Nancy Richard

    Nancy Richard


    I agree,its heartless,mean.I have 3 American Indian blood running through my vains.My aunt registered me when i was little,the tribe i had the most(Comanche).She passed away,could not find my card or papers.wanted to register my children.but cant.cause for some reason they cant find my register paper.they told me i would have to start all over.How am suppost to that when my family is no longer here.

  • Avatar for Ethel Marquez

    Ethel Marquez


    This is shameful! What is happening to our people? I have met many Grand Rhonde Tribal members and it is all about the money. Shameful. We are people who take care of our own not dis enroll them so our check is bigger. Really look back at our peoples history we always took care of our elders! ALWAYS!!!

  • Avatar for Kevin



    I am still astonished that after all of this time that has passed this is still going on. It isn’t bad enough that the Europeans came to this land “un-invited” and then decided that they wanted everything that they saw.

    They then decided that the “Natives” were subhuman and either murdered them or enslaved them and then called them savages for trying to defend their homeland, family and way of life.

    Here we are once again witnessing our culture trying to remove people from their home and try to justify it in some legal way because the bible doesn’t work anymore for forcibly removing people from their homes.

    I am not Native but I respect the Native people and I often wonder how much wisdom and culture was lost when their Elders were murdered?

    Here is a thought, why do we not instead appologize for desecrating their burial grounds and treating them so badly and ask for forgiveness.

    Allow North American Natives to become apart of society because they are people and I am not better than they are and I would hope that they and their ancestors will forgive me for the crimes of my elders and ancestors.

    I grew up near a reserve and I went to school with the Natives, they were and are still my friends. Segregation needs to stop and furthermore here is food for thought if you disagree with this.

    Just imagine you are at home one day with your family minding your own business and living your life that you are accustomed to. Then out of no where a group of people from another place decides that they like your home and that you are inferior to them. So they then decided to wipe out half of your family then enslave the rest while claiming your property.

    Then after they are done with that they go to your cemetery where your beloved ancestors were laid to rest and dug them up and used their remain in the materials to build new buildings and destroy any remains of your existence.

    And to add insult to injury they write the history books to make it look like you were the aggressor and deserved what you got.
    Some of us have evolved and we are asking questions and do not believe everything we read so the old history books are looking a little shaky.

    I am proud of parts of my culture but I am ashamed of the people who came to North America and committed all kinds of inhumane and indecent atrocities against human beings. Anyone who thinks that it is ok to murder harmless peaceful people, the elderly, women and children for any reason is the savage and is subhuman.

    Leave these people in peace and stop harassing them is my opinion. Not just because it is right but because you do not speak for the majority and that is their home. I would rather be invited as a guest than take it as an enemy and that is what you are if you do this.

    • Avatar for Kevin



      To follow up on my previous comment I would also like to add that I am aware it is about status but the point is that we have no right to say that they no longer can have the same privileges as their ancestors. Because as I stated it was never our right to take their rights land and freedom in the first place.

      I just get so angry that we call ourselves evolved and yet we keep repeating past mistakes. Land, identity is there ever really a time limit for what happened to the people who were wiped out or treated like property? I think it needs to be looked at from a different angle.

      Again the other way round and ask yourself how you would feel if it was you in their place.

  • Avatar for Marlies labude

    Marlies labude


    I´m no Native but it makes me sad to read this. If this process continues the Government has reached its goal to extinguish the Native culure, uproot Native peoples and take their human and civil rights away due to internal disputes.
    I´m allways standing at your side.

  • Avatar for Kathy Gilson

    Kathy Gilson


    How can you be one thing one day,and then something else the next day. Do they have a word for that something else?
    We should all do what that reggae song says,by Bob Marley, Get up stand up,stand up for your rights.

  • Avatar for Nicole arroyo

    Nicole arroyo


    i am so interestedin this subject and would love to learn more and pls tell me what if at all what can i do to help in your fight for your right

  • Avatar for Jim McClure

    Jim McClure


    NDNs should never push other NDNs out of the tribes. If anything they should be trying to build the numbers. Many were refused by the white man when the rolls were drawn up. Many were in hiding to avoid the reserve encampments and did not get listed on the rolls. Remember their intent was to neutralize the NDN population and remove the language and culture and force NDNs into the White culture. I have spent 35 yrs.trying to establish our families linage and we remain non-doc. My heritage is Cherokee-Irish I refuse to let it be take from me.

  • Avatar for Dolly Bridges

    Dolly Bridges


    Something I have always feared – In 1975, there were only 1.5 million Native Americans (people of aboriginal blood, and not all 100 %) add to that number, the percentage of blood required to be a recognized tribal member, then add to that the percentage required to live on tribal lands or to continue to own family land that is passed down through generations.

    Percentage quotas are a form of Genocide.

    For each marriage to a non-native, the percentage of blood decreases. With only 1.5 million left, and the requirement to maintain a certain percentage of blood to be recognized as a native, the requirement is to marry another person of a certain blood percentage – then season that with an ethnic cleansing called bloods verses part blood, a form of cultural racism and you can discard all of the part bloods from the gene pool too. So the genetic gene pool is cut in half – like 0.7 million left who must interbreed to maintain the percentage pool.

    At what point will inbreeding begin to manifest physical abnormalities in the offspring – causing a high rate of still births and deaths at a very young age. Sooner than you think – sooner than you think – I’m 59 years old, and it began it began to manifest before my generation.

    Now multiply all of that this new wave of greed and selfishness, and what you get – self destruction.

    The infrastructure for self destruction was started long before this little girl was even conceived.

    This is a time for a calling in of the all the people – it’s not the quantity that counts, it’s the quality. — Even, more significantly, all of the true spiritual leaders, aboriginal political figures, aboriginal public figures – this is self imposed genocide. Unless you want to see the end of our culture, the end of our people, you’d better fight this.

  • Avatar for Lynn E Embley

    Lynn E Embley


    After reading this story I know now I will never be accepted. I have been told all my life I am part Cherokee from 2 great grandparents but that there is absolutely no proof. All I’ve ever wanted was to belong and always have been in my heart. I care nothing about any money. I am sorry for those who are suffering this ‘Disenrollment’ issue. It must be terrible for you to have this taken from you and for those reasons. My heart goes out to you.

  • Avatar for David Denson

    David Denson


    It seems the Native Americans themselves are doing what the White Man failed to do. Exterminating the population legally without the necessity of killing anyone.

  • Avatar for Debra



    My great-grandmother was full Cherokee. However, she is not on the Cherokee roll because ‘they’ convinced her it was better to be non-Indian. Now, generations later, I feel as if a huge part of my ancestry is missing and can’t be traced.

  • Avatar for Allen Weathers

    Allen Weathers


    I also cannot be registered, because my ancestors chose not to go on the trail of tears. So are not listed on the government roles, a requirement for tribal listing. Am I any less Indian, I think not. It’s in my heart & in my blood. I am proud!

  • Avatar for theresa reed/whitedove

    theresa reed/whitedove


    How can you tell a person that they do not count, that they do not exist? Who can own a person in order to make those remarks the Great Spirit created us it is not for man to determine who or what I am. We are the first people of this land it has always and will always belong to us no matter what others may say. We are stronger than this!

  • Avatar for Lisa Joyce

    Lisa Joyce


    I think this is wrong. I think as long as you can prove that your amcestors are native at leat 1/4 you should get rights. First they take the land. Then the freedom back in the day told natives they had to live in land the government choose for them and now to take more. Really haven’t native americans suffered enough.

  • Avatar for James



    It’s all about money. Less members…less money to pay out and less expenditures on benefits.

  • Avatar for Margaret ( Maggie) Kyttle

    Margaret ( Maggie) Kyttle


    They”ll keep on chipping away at the Indians until they have total control over them. Your Pride & Culture is something you can”t let them take away. That”s something only You can let go by giving it away. Stand up to the b***ards.

  • Avatar for Melissa Wolfle

    Melissa Wolfle


    My Mom was born Cherokee descendent she wanted to find her ancestry and found it. She did not want the benefits of being an Indian, she just wanted to find her ancestry. Too many people now a days take advantage of it if they are of Indian descendent they can get all sorts of hand outs. The ones that should have the benefits are the ones greatly in need of it. I feel for this family 🙁

  • Avatar for M



    As a child of a young single Native mother in 1970, my Native father (long deceased) was not put on my birth certificate. Now many years later due to that omission, I am no longer considered full Native due to there being no legal record of paternity.

    I understand why tribal officials are trying to clean up enrollment, however there will always be those whose situations aren’t typical and require further consideration.

  • Avatar for dianne



    trying to fine out more about our ancestry and what trib we are been trying to fine out more for the family and cant fine anyone I got my card but I think the guy that filled it out was fake I paid for it but it don’t look the same I don’t have touble using it but I would like to get the right one and to find family

  • Avatar for Karen carla contois

    Karen carla contois


    We native through and through
    It’s in our blood
    Our proud ancestry of the past elders
    We r full blood natives does not matter what say or how rich or poor we r.
    We r to tell that we natives

  • Avatar for Dianne



    This is so WRONG! Her ancestor was hanged/hung for leading a revolt as an Indian. How, oh, how is she not Indian? White man STILL speak with forked tongue.

    • Avatar for John Peloquin

      John Peloquin


      Tribes themselves determine enrollment criteria. This is one injustice that isn’t immediately attributable to the White Man. Ultimately it is because the whole idea of Blood Quantum for tribal enrollment is a concept introduced by the White Man with an eye to eventual dissipation of Indian tribes.

  • Avatar for Rose



    Changes in enrollment criteria should never be retroactive. Do do otherwise is to throw a tribe into years long chaos and instability.

  • Avatar for lorraine hernandez

    lorraine hernandez


    This is wrong as long as a person has proof of heritage they are that! No one can take it from them it does not matter if you are 100 percent such and such or 1/100 of a part of something you still are of that heritage also if you have lived all your life as such been accepted as such how possibly does anybody have the right to disenroll you this is so shameful. Natives have has so much tooken from them to now let greed take over and to do this there selves is just utterly incomprehensible!! greed huh so ya turning out to be just like the usa government afterall and turning your backs on your own simply unacceptable i would think any revenu would go to building real homes educatiuon building up the properties of reservations making farms ect helping the vast young generation who live in such squallor and poverty with very little knoweledge of their ancestors and have actually become ashamed of their lives and dont see anything good positive or a way to a better life that the suicide rate is unbelievable and native’s some ogf them are wanting to keep it from helping others who need it sad sad sad day my friends

  • Avatar for Laura Cornelius

    Laura Cornelius


    If tribes start doing this. Tribal Members will never have the faith in Tribal Leaders, again. Don’t let it go this far or have tribal members turn against each other for all the wrong reasons. Our Ancestors have died for nothing!

  • Avatar for Ira Smith

    Ira Smith


    This is shameful, and just another way of cheating Native Americans of their rights. Our ancestors are ALWAYS our ancestors! I am not a Native American but I certainly know unfairness when it appears, and “unfairness” here is not a strong enough word.

  • Avatar for Woundedbear



    Feel sorry for young lady she has hard road in front of her

    • Avatar for Kurt M. Whitlow

      Kurt M. Whitlow


      What about a call or e-mail sent to your congressperson? If that don’t work I say it might be time to take a little trip tp Wash. D.C. until your voices are heard.

  • Avatar for Jacquelin Tahbone

    Jacquelin Tahbone


    That is truely unbelievable! I have no words…..

  • Avatar for Kathy Zeiler

    Kathy Zeiler


    Why not do DNA testing to show if they are native american. Wouldnt that be kinder than kicking them out.

  • Avatar for Dona Barry

    Dona Barry


    I empathize with the Pickett family and the 79 other families. It is terrible enough that many are not recognized though they know they are native, but to have the “proof” that is required and then have it stripped from them is a terrible feeling. Its like saying, ‘you don’t belong here’ even when you know you do. It seems to me that this is all about money. True natives aren’t worried about the money, they want the cultural affiliation, the belonging. The casinos and the gov money received cannot replace our heritage. Once native always native. No matter what piece of paper or CDIB card you may or may not have. Native is inside your being. Not externally.

  • Avatar for Andrea Seymour

    Andrea Seymour


    I just got done reading Disenrollment leaves Natives ‘culturally homeless’. I feel for the Native Americans who are full blooded Native American but don’t have the amount to qualify for any of the tribes they are. Like in my case I’m 3/8 Jicarilla Apache 1/2 Zuni and 1/8 Navajo My husband is 7/16 Kiowa that’s without his dads signature in BC. 1/4 mexican and not really sure what the other part is but from what i know he is 3/4 Native American. Ok you look at this and think that our kids can be enrolled somewhere but in fact they can’t. In Jicarilla they have to be 3/8 which i barely make and in Zuni they can be enrolled as 1/4 but i would have to dis-enroll in Jicarilla and enroll in Zuni because what i was told i have to be enrolled in order for my children to enroll. And if we go the Oklahoma way they are not even given a chance. The good thing is that my tribe gives out what you call the grandfather clause which is given to my children To prove they have Native blood in them. When i was younger i always told myself that i’m not going to marry within my tribe because everyone i was interested in was related. So i go outside the tribe and i get told by my elders why you marry outside the tribe your children are going to be with a people. Got me sad because if i do have land or any assets on the rez my children will not get any of it because you have to be enrolled in order for them to receive anything i leave to them. So the next best thing is to get someone i trust to allow them to live there no problems. Dang i could go on and on but i’ll stop for now.

    • Avatar for Larry Neaman

      Larry Neaman


      Fist I would like to say. (We are not Native Am) We are ” We are Indain” yes!! It very much upsets me to hear what our Tribes are doing to its own people. It started out when the White government started doing that to the Indians and now our tribal leader or doing the same thing to its own people,with the help of other tribal members. Just because there’s money involved. Maybe those who are disenrolled can start up their own tribe and contact a lawyer to help them and have them set aside a small land on federal land very sorry to hear what’s happening to you and your people.my prayers be with you my Brothers and Sisters.

  • Avatar for Georgina Erickson

    Georgina Erickson


    In all the fogging, their still is the work that needs to be done, natural sciences. Petition to have an academy that fits our learnig abilities rather then that which fits thier old world sociopathic dysfunctions. All for the rehabilitating of the evolutions natures diverse beholding & upholding of the stronghold of international natural successions. That which includes the healthy & safe, natural reasons for astrospace sciences, natural sciences & the intelligence effects, which in reality, the unfoldig project would only successfully work. Being fair.

  • Avatar for Tamara Rousseau

    Tamara Rousseau


    Back in the 60s my Mother tried to have all of us children and herself registered into our Grandfathers Tribe – her Father – but the Court House told her no – it was best for us all not to be Native Americans and would not let her register! Both sides of our family are Native Americans – our Fathers Parents were also Native Americans. So now for all these years we have had no Native Family and now it is getting out of our reach. Our Family is passing away ….

    • Avatar for Joey Montez

      Joey Montez


      As a Native American on both my Mother and Fathers side and a registered tribal member also a Native American tailor and beading tribal man. This is wrong and I’ve been saying it for years all money from casinos should go to Native American youth education, elders health care and to buy back land and to preserve our culture in North, Central and South America. When money is in the wrong hands its proof from history all over the world it becomes in Men and Women extreme greed and hate, I’m already 50 years old I’ll always be Native American and I believe if you are from any tribe and can prove it just keep going to pow wows and meetings they can not deny you your identity but if all your in it for is the money you are just being caught up in that greed cycle that was always there in all cultures its a disease. I truly feel bad for you but keep walking the Red Road you don’t need an ID for that.
      Odawa Joe

    • Avatar for GREENRIVERKATE



      DNA does not identify tribe! My grandkids are 4 tribes and some white but not enrolled and still being raised on “their Mom’s” reservation. They KNOW they are native but don’t have the real “hold” of a specific tribe. My other granddaughter is a proud blackfoot but she has not tribal ID either as she isn’t enough to “count”. This is shameful and it all started due to money hitting the reservations and the greed of a few! Being Native is in your heart, not your blood! Yup, I’d say many natives are truly following the “white way”, MONEY MONEY MONEY AND THAT IS JUST WRONG!

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