Year-End News Coverage of Nooksack Disenrollments Controversy


An excerpt:

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 Raquel Montoya-Lewis ruled that tribal leaders had violated their rights by denying them $250-per-person Christmas checks that were mailed to everyone else in the 2,000-member tribe.

But the ruling didn’t put any extra presents under anyone’s tree. While Montoya-Lewis ruled that it was illegal to deny the 306 the same treatment as other tribe members before their legal status is determined, she also decided that she had no legal authority to order Chairman Bob Kelly and his supporters on the tribal council to issue checks to anyone.

The episode was one more example of the difficulties that the 306 have faced during the past year, as they try to get courts to block the move to strip them of tribal membership under a process known as disenrollment.