Nooksack Tribe fires judge and loses attorney in disenrollment crisis

Sweetwater Nannauck, the director of Idle No More Washington, speaks out against tribal enrollment at a rally in Seattle, Washington, on April 18, 2016. Photo from The Nooksack 306 / Facebook

The Nooksack Tribe of Washington has turned to the Internet in an attempt to fill two critical legal positions on the reservation.

The tribe is looking for a new chief judge after firing Susan Alexander from the post. She was terminated last month after issuing a series of rulings that put the removal of The Nooksack 306 and others on hold while they pursued appeals in the court system.

The tribe is also seeking a new senior attorney after Ray Dodge left his position there. He had only been on the job since August, according to a tribal newsletter and his LinkedIn profile, but he has become embroiled in a crisis has attracted widespread and mostly negative attention in the media and in Indian Country.

The removal of the judge and the vacancy in the legal department essentially deprive The Nooksack 306 and others of the ability to move forward with their grievances. It also puts in doubt an upcoming election -- Alexander had ruled that those members facing disenrollment could still vote while their case was proceeding.

"There is no longer a Nooksack tribal government," The Nooksack 306 said on Facebook.

Get the Story:
Nooksack tribe sacks judge after she ruled against tribal council (The Seattle Times 5/2)
Sherman Alexie Gives Disenrollment The Bird (Indian Country Today 5/2)
Nooksack Tribe fires judge handling disenrollment case (The Bellingham Herald 4/22)

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