Chukchansi Tribe takes one of last fluent speakers off rolls

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in California has removed hundreds of people from its rolls, including one of the last fluent speakers of the Chukchansi language.

The tribe determined that Jack Roan, who died in 1942, was not Chukchansi. Incidentally, he's the subject of an Edward S. Curtis photo that identifies him as "Chukchansi Yokuts."

The decision led to the disenrollment of Roan's descendants, including his daughter, Ruby Cordero. The 87-year-old woman is one of the last fluent Chukchansi speakers and an expert on basket weaving.

“She was born and raised on that property,” Nancy Dondero, Ruby’s great-niece, told The New York Times. Dondero and her children also have been disenrolled.

The tribe has removed 400 to 500 people from its rolls in recent years.

Get the Story:
In California, Indian Tribes With Casino Money Cast Off Members (The New York Times 12/13)

Related Stories:
Picayune Rancheria removes dozens of people from the rolls (11/21)
Rande Payne: Disenrollment threatens tribal sovereignty (10/28)
Some tribes turn to DNA tests to help determine membership (10/13)
Picayune Rancheria to vote on DNA tests for new members (6/17)

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