Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ah, The Noble Savages

In tune with Mother Earth, walking the way of the Great Spirit--and expelling each other from the tribe, and from tribal profits from casinos, over political disputes.

Robert Edwards is no longer an Indian. At least not according to his own tribe.

Edwards and about 70 other members of Butte County's Enterprise Rancheria were disenrolled -- essentially voted out -- by the tribal government during a bitter power struggle three years ago.

Never mind that Edwards' great-grandmother was a full-blooded Maidu. As nations unto themselves, tribes are free to decide who belongs and who doesn't...

Stories such as Edwards' are not uncommon. Over the past decade, more than 2,000 American Indians have been booted from their tribes, said John Gomez Jr., a disenrolled Pechanga member in Temecula, Riverside County.


Politics and greed, said Gomez, who earlier this year founded the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization to advocate for disenrolled Indians. He said it's sometimes easier for a tribe to simply banish a disaffected member than to deal with the criticism. Also, fewer members mean larger shares of casino profits for those who remain.

Glenda Nelson, Enterprise tribal chairwoman, said the disenrollments aren't about avarice. She said that maintaining tribal unity is a motivating factor. (emphasis mine--Darren)

No dissent allowed. I'll remember that. Socialism and lack of dissent whilst raking in the bucks from a protected monopoly, these indians are no doubt the icons of the American left. So much for the "noble" part.

As sovereign nations, tribes generally can't be sued, and the U.S. government usually considers membership disputes to be internal tribal matters.

So here's where our federalism went!


Ellen K said...

You may laugh but it's a big deal. Tribes can make profits over such things as mineral rights and casinos. To be voted out is to be denied your share of the profits. Believe me, this is every bit as human as any other situation. It has happened in Oklahoma a couple of times in the past few years. From what I can recall, you are considered to be a Native American if you can claim one grandparent as full blooded. It may vary from tribe to tribe, but it is all about the money.

Darren said...

Not laughing at all. I take this very seriously, as I'm not a big fan of socialism or socialists.