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Saginaw Chippewa Tribe won't comment on disenrollment case

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe's police, fire and court facility in Saginaw, Michigan. Photo from Sidock Architects

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan is trying to remove more than 230 people from the rolls in a case that has attracted national attention.

Last month, a tribal court judge said the Office of Administrative Hearings could pursue the removals. Those facing disenrollment were surprised because they thought the matter had been settled years ago.

“They aren’t following protocol," Gloria Narvais, who has faced removal proceedings three times, told The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun.

Narvais and 166 other people have filed an appeal of the judge's decision, the paper reported. But her mother and her grandmother don't have a say in the matter because they are already dead, along with more than 60 others facing removal.

“She can’t contest it,” Narvais told the paper. “She’s deceased; her and my grandmother.”

The National Native American Bar Association is calling attention to the issue. The group passed a resolution last month that denounced removals that are occurring "without equal protection at law or due process of law, or any effective remedy for the violation of such rights."

The tribe, however, isn't talking. Spokesperson Frank Cloutier said the case is still proceeding in the courts.

"The tribe does not comment on internal issues such as enrollment,” Cloutier told the paper. “This is an ongoing case and it would not be appropriate to comment just based on that fact.”

Get the Story:
Families appealing Tribal opinion (The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun 4/21)

National Native American Bar Association Resolution:
Supporting Equal Protection and Due Process For Any Divestment of the American Indigenous Right of Tribal Citizenship (April 2015)

Related Stories:
Indian attorneys take a stand and denounce tribal disenrollment (04/13)
Judge approves disenrollment within Saginaw Chippewa Tribe (03/23)
Protest targets disenrollments within Saginaw Chippewa Tribe (07/28)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe sends out 234 disenrollment letters (07/02)
William Masterson: Saginaw Chippewa Tribe disavows history (11/11)
Judge from Saginaw Chippewa Tribe approves disenrollments (11/5)
Judge for Saginaw Chippewa Tribe delays enrollment decision (10/31)

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