Part 2: Update on Tribal Membership/Disenrollment Issues at Grand Ronde — Tribe Statement

Here is a statement from the tribe:

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is conducting an enrollment audit.  The audit fulfills one of the tasks assigned in the Tribal Strategic Plan for 2010, which was adopted in August of 2009.   That plan was formulated after nearly two years of development that began with a Strategic Futures conference in 2007 involving Tribal leaders and members. The plan directed Enrollment to audit all enrollment files and applications, track reasons for denials, and audit blood quantum records with the goal of strengthening the Grand Ronde Family Tree.

Recently some statements have cropped up on social media sites regarding the Tribe’s Enrollment audit.  One of them even featured the Tribe’s emblem and could have led people to believe it was an official statement from the Tribe.  It was not.  In addition, the statements contain extremely misleading and false information.  For example, the statement that up to 20% of the Tribe is being disenrolled is simply not true.  Audit proceedings are ongoing and in fact, over the last several months a number Tribal members and their families. have provided the necessary information to clear up inconsistencies in their files and resolve issues related to their enrollment.

Tribal Council cannot make any specific comments on the Enrollment Audit until audit proceedings have been completed.    The Tribal Council does not see enrollment files until an Enrollment Committee recommendation is presented.
There is an established process under the Enrollment Ordinance for addressing loss of membership that includes working with Enrollment Staff, then hearings before the Enrollment Committee, a hearing before Tribal Council., and ultimately an appeal to Tribal Court and the Tribal Court of Appeals.

Over the years our Tribal membership, through Constitutional amendments, has consistently pushed for tightening our membership requirements.   As elected officials the Tribal Council took an oath of office to uphold the Tribal Constitution and the laws of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.  In that same pledge, the Council swore that they would perform all duties required of them by the Constitution and the laws of the Tribe.  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.

We also attach an email we received from the tribe regarding our previous post, the contents of which we received from a reliable source, but apparently there was a misunderstanding on our part:

Dear Mr. Fletcher:

On Nov. 19 you posted an article regarding the Grand Ronde Tribe and some disenrollment actions.  The article is one that has been posted by an individual on several social media sites.  It is false and misleading.  I am troubled to see it on Turtle Talk, a site that represents Michigan State University’s Indigenous Law Center and one that holds credibility in the eyes of many readers, both Native and non-Native.  Here is the actual statement from the Grand Ronde Tribe on the current issue.  I hope you will see fit to correct the misrepresentation on Turtle Talk.

Sincerely,

Siobhan Taylor
Public Affairs Director
Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

We always strive to give equal time to parties in dispute, and generally do not take sides. We let the material speak for itself.

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