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Mass Disenrollment Hits the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde

Up to 1,000 members (nearly 20% of the membership) of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will be receiving letters of potential disenrollment, resulting in what could be the largest termination of American Indian citizenship in United States history.

15 members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde have already been disenrolled, and 79 cases are pending the outcome of hearings scheduled for December. These are the result of the second wave of disenrollment letters that were sent out in September. Tribal Council refuses to discuss the matter, with Tribal Councilman Toby McClary publicly stating that he did not want to disclose the details and incite panic within the membership.

The Grand Ronde Tribal Council’s mass disenrollment efforts contribute to a national Indian disenrollment epidemic, with disenrollment “expanding throughout Native America, with Native nations in at least seventeen states engaging in this practice,” according to leading tribal political scientist, David Wilkins (Indian Country Today).

Mass tribal disenrollments have broken out in Washington State and California and now Oregon (Seattle Times; New York Times).

The disenrollment proceedings stemmed from an illegal audit of the Tribe’s membership rolls by an outside auditing firm based in New Mexico and include nine sets of parameters, including dual enrollment, lineal descent, blood quantum, adoption and paternity.

One of the families facing disenrollment are the descendants of Chief Tumulth, who was a signatory of the seminal 1855 Kalapuya Treaty (also known as the Treaty of the Willamette Valley and the Dayton Treaty). Tumulth was the first chief of the Watlala Band of Chinook Indians, or “Cascade Indians,” whose ceded lands extended from Cascade Locks west to Ft. Vancouver on both sides of the Columbia River, following the Sandy River into Portland including Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuge in the Columbia Gorge.

“We are appalled that our own tribe, our own relatives, are claiming that we are some how no longer Grand Ronde. We descend directly from a tribal Chief, a man who signed the Treaty that would later establish the Grand Ronde Reservation,” stated family spokesperson, Mia Prickett.

This all comes after Grand Ronde aggressively exploited Chief Tumulth’s indigenous ties to the Columbia Gorge in efforts to fend off other Oregon tribes from engaging in traditional and commercial activities in the area.

“What my entire family is now facing is nothing short of cultural genocide,” continued Prickett. “Grand Ronde was terminated by the federal government in the early 1950s.  And now our own people are seeking to eliminate our tribal existence.”

After President Ronald Reagan restored the Grand Ronde Reservation in 1983, Chief Tumulth’s direct descendants applied for membership and were unanimously approved for Grand Ronde citizenship. By 1994, the 7thgeneration of Tumulth’s family was enrolled as Grand Ronde members.

Now thirty years later, upon the eve of the 30thRestoration Celebration, the Grand Ronde Tribal Council seeks to disenroll the entire family. The Tribe has commissioned videos that run on a loop at Spirit Mountain Casino, in both the lobby and hotel rooms, which reference the family and  Chief Tumulth. The family is also highlighted in several tribal publications that span from the Tribal Newsletter, Smoke Signals, to slicks on ceded lands and tribal history and even on informational brochures at Multnomah Falls.

Most recently, Grand Ronde received a prestigious award for conservation efforts in the Gorge, related to the Tribe’s stewardship of Chief Tumulth’s ceded lands. Present at this private gala was Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Chief Tumulth’s direct descendants are involved with the tribe on several levels, including being members of the Canoe Family, teaching the tribal language Chinuk Wawa, and participating in ceremonies as drummers.  Other family members include World War II Veteran, Lt. Colonel Carroll Grenia; Chuck Williams, published photographer and author of “Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire”; Gorge conservationist Valerie Alexander; and Medical Doctor Lise Alexander.

“This isn’t just about me and my family. This is about the other 900 tribal members who will find a letter of potential disenrollment in their mailbox. This is about all of us,” concluded Prickett. 





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(Washington) -- The 306 people facing loss of Nooksack Indian Tribe membership are back in tribal court attempting to block the tribal council's latest effort to...


article Dry Creek Pomos halt controversial disenrollments
(California) -- The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians has put a halt to the controversial disenrollments that kicked some longtime members out of the tribe.


article Defendants in 2013 Oroville casino standoff case seek to throw out indictment
(California) -- The defendants charged following the takeover of the Tyme Maidu Tribal Offices in Oroville in May 2013 will seek to set aside the indictment.


article North Bay American-Indian Tribe Makes Dramatic Change Following KPIX Report On Disenrollment
(California) -- An American Indian tribe in the North Bay has made a dramatic change following a KPIX report on members being disenrolled. The Dry Creek Rancheria band...


article Members booted from Rolling Hills tribe for not meeting ancestral criteria
(California) -- A major shake-up has taken place within the tribe that owns Rolling Hills Casino in Corning. Less than two weeks ago, an annual meeting of the Paskenta...


article North Bay Tribe That Runs Casino Could Kick Out Dozens Of Members
(California) -- A Bay Area Indian tribe that runs a well-known casino could take some potentially drastic action. More than 70 members could get kicked out.


article Protest Erupts Near Valley View Casino Over Tribal Enrollment
(California) -- Protesters gathered near the Valley View Casino in North County on Sunday afternoon to voice their anger about an issue that's been building for 15...


article Prosecution offers to resolve 2013 casino standoff case if all defendants agree
(California) -- The Butte County District Attorney's Office has made an offer to resolve the cases of 22 people charged following the takeover of the Tyme Maidu...


article For Native Americans, Losing Tribal Membership Tests Identity
(Oregon) -- In western Oregon, members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde are engaged in a debate over what it means to belong.


article Dry Creek Pomos face expulsion from tribe
(California) -- More than 75 members of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians have been notified they face expulsion in another round of disenrollments that have...
article Grand Ronde Tribal Council Will Decide Disenrollment Cases
(Oregon) -- The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has moved another step closer to the possible disenrollment of an entire family that traces its lineage back to one of...


article BROADMAN: Finishing What Slade Gorton Started: A Practical Argument Against Disenrollment
(Washington) -- For an Indian law attorney, few insults cut as deeply as a comparison to former Senator Slade Gorton. For decades the Washington State Republican...
article Nooksack Vote Shows Divide On Disenrollment Struggle
(Washington) -- This weekend’s tribal council election on the Nooksack reservation near Bellingham leaves an uncertain future for hundreds of its members.


article Future remains unclear for Nooksack tribe following tribal council elections
(Washington) -- After what tribal members are calling the largest voter turnout in Nooksack Indian Tribe history, the unofficial results of the Saturday, March 15,...


article The Deadly Trend of American Indian Disenrollment
(California) -- Four people are dead and two critically injured after a recent shooting spree in the tribal headquarters of the Cedarville Rancheria, a small American...


article The 'Nooksack 306' protesting tribal disenrollment
(Washington) -- "Disenrollment is tearing our community and family up," said RaeAnna Rabang. "We are not moving forward we are regressing. This is very...


article GALANDA: An Essay on the Federal Origins of Disenrollment
(Washington) -- Disenrollment is not indigenous to Native America. It is a creature of the United States. The origins of disenrollment are traced to the United States...
article Something is Threatening Native Americans and It's Called Tribal Disenrollment
(USA) -- Last week, we gave props to Netflix series, "House of Cards" for dedicating two episodes to a real-life problem plaguing Indian Country – Tribal...
article OHA Asks Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to Reopen Enrollment
(Hawaii) -- The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is asking the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to reopen its roll to allow Hawaiians who have not yet signed up an opportunity...


article Washburn on Membership Disputes: Should US Trample on Sovereignty?
(Washington D.C.) -- A recent Associated Press article called “Disenrollment leaves Natives 'culturally homeless'” talks about the "...
article BLOG: Interior Department official shows no enthusiasm for intervening in tribal membership disputes
(Washington) -- The 306 people facing loss of membership in the Nooksack Indian Tribe have been trying to get the attention of the U.S. Department of the Interior in...


article ‘Nooksack 306’ Wards Off Disenrollment With Multiple Legal Actions
(Washington) -- Two members of the “Nooksack 306” – Nooksack Indian Tribe citizens who are fighting disenrollment – are awaiting an appeals court...
article Chippewa ousters revive discord
(Michigan) -- After festering for nearly two decades, the specter of expulsion has returned to Indian country. The recent ouster of 50 members from the Saginaw Chippewa...


article March 15 Vote Could Reverse WA Indian Tribal Membership Purge
(Washington) -- On March 15, 2014 a very important vote will take place on the Deming, Washington Reservation of The Nooksack Indian Tribe.
article Nooksack’s Michelle Roberts Submits Open Letter to Jewell & Washburn
(Washington) -- Secretary [Sally] Jewell, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs [Kevin K.] Washburn: In the wake of the Cedarville tragedy, will you now honor your...
article Chippewa ousters revive discord
(Michigan) -- After festering for nearly two decades, the specter of expulsion has returned to Indian country. The recent ouster of 50 members from the Saginaw Chippewa...


article CHANATE: Trickster Teaches the Prairie Dogs How to Disenroll Their Members
(Colorado) -- Trickster was on his way to the National Gathering of Tricksters when he came upon the Red Whisker Prairie Dog Village. At the gathering each trickster...


article Qalipu Mi'kmaq membership guidelines confuse applicants
(Newfoundland) -- People trying to join the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation band say they're getting confusing answers about membership guidelines.


article Column: In defense of outrage...
(Michigan) -- Plus ca change, plus c’est les memes choses. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson granted an interview to The New Yorker magazine recently...
article OP/ED: Over 100 Indian Nations Pay Citizens a Dividend
(USA) -- Of the nearly 240 tribes that run gambling operations, the AP reports that “half distribute a regular per-capita payout to their members.” Such...


article BLOG: When a Citizens' Dividend Sets Off Citizenship Disputes
(USA) -- I've complained here before about the ways the argument over a universal basic income often ignores basic-income-style policies that actually exist in the...


article As Indian casino revenues grow, a tribal 'disenrollment epidemic' sweeps across the nation
(Oregon) -- Mia Prickett's ancestor was a leader of the Cascade Indians along the Columbia River and was one of the chiefs who signed an 1855 treaty that helped...


article Nooksacks move ahead on revoking tribal memberships
(Washington) -- Within a day of a Nooksack Tribal Appeals Court ruling that upheld tribal leaders' power to determine who qualifies for membership, tribal police...


article COLUMN: BIA Should Not Be Allowed to Make Enrollment Decisions for Tribes
(Washington D.C.) -- All Native Americans should be deeply concerned about a recent federal court decision ordering the BIA to decide who can be a member of one...


article Disenrolled tribal members seek federal recognition
(Michigan) -- A group of Mt. Pleasant-based Native Americans, including 66 removed from the rolls of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in November, are seeking federal...


article Challenged Nooksack tribal members win small victory but get no cash
(Washington) -- The 306 people fighting to stay on the Nooksack Indian Tribe's membership rolls won a rare legal victory recently when Tribal Court Chief Judge...


article Family fighting ouster from tribe gets court win
(California) -- A family fighting the San Pasqual Band of Mission’s efforts to eject them from the tribe got a victory in court this week. The Valley Center tribe...
article Indian Tribe Ejection Was Properly Enjoined
(California) -- A federal court had jurisdiction to issue an injunction in a long-running dispute over a family's membership in the San Pasqual Band of Mission...


article Nooksack Tribe Cites ‘Missing Ancestor’ As Reason To Disenroll 306 Members
(Washington) -- It's a frosty morning at the Nooksack tribal courthouse in Deming, Wash., and caution tape and tribal police block the entrance.
article Grand Ronde tribe roiled by membership dispute
(Oregon) -- A dispute over enrollment has divided members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, which operates Oregon's largest tribal casino.


article 'We’ll Always Be Nooksack': Tribe Questions Ancestry Of Part-Filipino Members
(Washington) -- Adelina Parker lets up on the gas as she drives through her childhood stomping grounds. “Up there, that was all Filipino farmers and strawberry...


article Tribe battles over who qualifies
(Oregon) -- A dispute over enrollment has divided members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, which operates Oregon’s largest tribal casino about 30 miles...


article Disenrollment Demands Serious Attention by All Sovereign Nations
(Arizona) -- For most people, their sense of who they are—their identity—is at least partially defined from connection to others and to a community. When...


article Disenrollment Tragedy: Family of 1855 Treaty-signer Getting Booted
(Oregon) -- The weekend before Thanksgiving has long been the day of thanks for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde because it was Restoration Day.


article Mi'kmaq First Nation Assembly weighing legal options for enrolment challenge
(Newfoundland) -- The Mi'kmaq First Nation Assembly of Newfoundland has asked its lawyers to figure out the best way to legally challenge the rejection letters being...


press release Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Respond to Article
(Oregon) -- The Council knows this process is not any easy one for the Tribal community but the Council is committed to getting through it with diligence and compassion.


article Mass Disenrollment Hits the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
(Oregon) -- Up to 1,000 members (nearly 20% of the membership) of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will be receiving letters of potential...


press release Mass Disenrollment Hits the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
(Oregon) -- Up to 1,000 members (nearly 20% of the membership) of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will be receiving letters of potential...


press release Mass Disenrollment Hits the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
(Oregon) -- Up to 1,000 members (nearly 20% of the membership) of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will be receiving letters of potential...


article TURTLE TALK: Tribal Court Rejects Effort to Stop Automatic Disenrollment of Nooksack Members in Violation of Court Order
(Washington D.C.) -- Apparently, four Nooksacks have been automatically disenrolled, since August, in violation of a Stipulation and Order in Lomeli providing that...


article Guest column: Disenrollment is important issue for Tribe
(Michigan) -- The recent decision by the Tribal Court of Appeals to uphold Article III, Section 1 (c) of the Tribal Constitution illuminates inadequacies in the document...
article Tale of lost records and controversy
(Michigan) -- A brief history of critical developments in determining membership in the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe:


article WILKINS: The Disenrollment Disaster: My Citizenship Is Better Than Yours!
(Minnesota) -- I have followed with keen interest the divisive issue of disenrollment of tribal members across Indian country. It is a complicated and depressing subject...


article Tribal judge strips four, and 40 descendants, of membership
(Michigan) -- Four members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, two elders and two who are deceased, will be removed from membership rolls under a decision issued by...


article Judge delays ruling on Tribal disenrollment
(Michigan) -- Noting the impact of his decision and vowing not to issue a hasty ruling he’d regret, a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal judge on Wednesday asked for time to...


article Expelled Nooksack Tribe members win representation
(Washington) -- Nooksack Tribal Court Chief Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis has ruled that 306 people facing expulsion from tribal membership rolls are entitled to legal...


article Embattled members of Nooksack tribe win small victory in expulsion fight
(Washington) -- Nooksack Tribal Court Chief Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis has ruled that 306 people facing expulsion from tribal membership rolls are entitled to legal...


article Court ruling could lead to massive Tribal disenrollments
(Michigan) -- Two people who became members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe under so-called “collateral descent” during open enrollment during the 1980s...


article Tribal families battle effort to reject them
(Washington) -- If Adelina Parker's family is ejected from their tribe they could lose federal funding, health care and their homes.


article Nooksack tribal disenrollment delayed again
(Washington) -- The Nooksack Tribal Court of Appeals has intervened again to halt a move to strip hundreds of people of their membership in the 2,000-strong tribe.


article Tribal expulsion back on track for 300 Nooksacks
(Washington) -- Just when it looked as though a move to expel 306 people from the Nooksack Indian Tribe might be delayed, the tribal appeals court has cleared the way...


article Banishment orders issued for 58 on LdF reservation
(Wisconsin) -- You may remember Operation Pandora, the multi-agency effort made public late in June that is making it harder to traffic drugs on the Lac du Flambeau...


article Nooksack Judge Halts Removal Of 306 Tribal Members
(Washington) -- Hundreds of members of the Nooksack Tribe near Bellingham won a temporary victory Wednesday. Hearings were scheduled to start this week to potentially...
article Tribal appeals court halts removal of Nooksack members
(Washington) -- Members of the Nooksack Indian Tribe who could have been stripped of their membership as early as Friday, Aug. 16, have been given a reprieve.


article Tribal Membership Revocations: Dialing For Dollars?
(USA) -- Over the past several years, there have been a series of publicized tribal enrollment revocations of enrolled members - including former tribal leaders - and...


article Nooksack tribal voters approve tightening of membership rule
(Washington) -- Nooksack Indian Tribe voters have approved a change in their constitution that will make it more difficult for people to enroll - or re-enroll - as...


article Vince Two Eagles: The rez of the story on enrollment matters
(South Dakota) -- Vince Two Eagles discusses tribal enrollment matters on his "Rez of the Story" column:


article Can you find the big secret in this casino?
(California) -- The Pala Indian reservation sits 40 miles northeast of San Diego, on 12,333 acres in the middle of the San Luis Rey River Valley. If you approach from...


article Tribal standoff / Protesters arrested at Oroville’s Berry Creek Rancheria
(California) -- Shortly before noon on Thursday, May 16, Butte County sheriff’s deputies ended an 11-hour standoff at the Berry Creek Rancheria tribal headquarters...


article Nooksack Tribe Seeks To Cut 15% Of Members
(Washington) -- What’s considered the largest proposed disenrollment of tribal members in Washington State is still moving forward, following a tribal court’...
article Tribal judge refuses to block disenrollment of 306 Nooksacks
(Washington) -- Nooksack Tribal Chief Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis has cleared the way for tribal officials to go ahead with plans to strip 306 people of their membership...


article Maidu protesters say dispute is over membership
(California) -- It's the same story heard across California in Indian gaming country — family against family with complex claims about the blood lineage of...
article Tribal Protestors Speak Out
(California) -- It's been five days since 20 protestors were arrested inside the tribal offices behind Gold Country Casino in Oroville, and they are now speaking out...

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