Ex-tribal member wants Indian 'emancipation'
A woman who relinquished her membership in the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming is calling for an to tribal government and federal Indian policy.

Lee Ann Ragains, who also has Choctaw ancestry, says Indian people are still treated like wards. She wants the government to stop funding tribes and to return money and land to individual Indians.

"President Obama needs to issue an executive order immediately,” Ragains told The Oklahoman. "If he truly wants to be like Lincoln, then he’ll issue an Emancipation Proclamation for all Indian people. Yes, I liken this to slavery.”

Ragains gave up her Arapaho citizenship because she said she didn't want the tribe involved in her child's adoption case. She has spent $10,000 on ads in Oklahoma newspapers to seek support for her cause.

"She is a caring person who believes there has been a wrong, and she is trying to do what she can to fix it," Bonnie Friday, a member of the Choctaw Nation, told the paper. "Unfortunately, if there needs to be change within any given tribe, that change should come from its tribal members. Nothing else would work.”

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Former tribal member Lee Ann Ragains calls for end to system (The Oklahoman 9/26)