Rande Payne: Disenrollment threatens tribal sovereignty

"I found the Sept. 29 Sierra Star article by Carmen George about disenrollment of Chukchansi tribal members very informative and well written, although it is very disheartening to see what is happening to the Chukchansi people. Unfortunately, disenrollment is all too common with many tribes today.

I serve as the District 6 representative for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation which covers the southern half of California from near the Kings River to the Mexican border and the southern half of Nevada, representing about 1,900 members of our 30,000-plus member tribe headquartered in Shawnee, Ok.

It saddens me to see this. While I am not Chukchansi, I am Native American. But it also concerns me and because while the Bureau of Indian Affairs may appear to be hands-off with the tribe's enrollment issues, you can bet they are watching the chaos and dysfunction of the tribal government.

If there are enough petitions, protests and law suits, the BIA has everything it needs to lobby for removal of the tribe's federal recognition. Without federal recognition the tribe will basically cease to exist. No grants, no casino, no tribe. "

Get the Story:
Rande Payne: Picayune Rancheria tribal disenrollments 'disheartening' (The Sierra Star 10/28)

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