"The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council had the unfortunate task of deciding the fate of an undetermined number of people when faced with a disenrollment motion March 17, 2009.
It was and always has been an issue of legality that has been dangerously ignored too long. Ignoring and allowing those not entitled to membership under specific constitutional guidelines by diluting (Enrollment) Ordinance 14 (now almost thirty pages long), has in-fact led to intentional or otherwise fraud and mistake.
Dangerous in that those who have been allowed membership, although not constitutionally entitled, are now faced with the harsh and scary reality of not only losing benefits, but an identity they believed was based in historical record. But historical records are not the rule of law when absolute criteria is outlined and inclusion is very specific.
The membership criteria of the Saginaw Chippewas was determined over 70 years ago, and redefined almost 23 years ago; in the founding documents of our tribe, the Constitutions of 1937 and 1986.
In those documents, membership is specifically defined as all persons of at least one-quarter degree Indian blood whose names appear on 1883, 1885, 1891 and 1982 rolls. Several council administrations have blatantly disregarded the tribe’s founding and revised constitutions, thus diminishing the integrity of our membership."
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(Rob J. Peters Blog 4/29)
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