Wilder Research Study, Projected Population Numbers for Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Based on Varied Enrollment Criteria

In 2012-2013, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT) contracted with Wilder Research to conduct a study and produce population projections for MCT as a whole as well as for the six member Bands: Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and White Earth. In 2013-2014, MCT again contracted with Wilder Research to update the existing projections and to add an additional alternative enrollment criteria scenerio to the study.

The study looks at projected population numbers based on three possible enrollment criteria, all different from the current criteria in use: 1/4 Ojibwe blood including any U.S. and Canadian Ojibwe tribes, 1/8 MCT blood, and lineal descent. The White Earth Nation posted a summary of the findings of the study here.

The complete report can be found here.

Interesting to review for anyone discussing enrollment and possible changes to membership criteria.

News Article about Rising Tribal Enrollment Numbers (Excluding the Disenrollment Tribes, of course)

Here, via Pechanga.

Good news:

The swelling membership of the Tulalip Tribes, based near Everett, Washington, for example, is a point of pride for tribal member and state representative John McCoy, who believes improved health care and an above-average birth rate are at play.

“We’re living longer. Our babies are surviving birth,” says McCoy, adding that more jobs on reservations, led by tribal gaming, is another reason for the growth. “So we have our peoples coming back from other states. They’re coming home because there is an economy.”

At Tulalip, that adds up to a 22 percent growth rate over the past decade. Other tribes around the country have grown even faster.

And not so good:

At the other end of the spectrum are tribes whose enrollments are stagnating, including for example the Colville Confederated Tribes in northeast Washington.

Tribal councilmember Ricky Gabriel has proposed a referendum to relax the blood requirement in the tribal constitution so more children of mixed marriages can enroll.

“I’ve had a lot of very positive [reactions],” he says. “The elders are extremely happy about this. They’re pushing hard. They’re seeing their grandchildren not be able to be enrolled.”

Enrollment in the tribe currently requires a minimum of one-quarter Colville blood. But when you have intermarriage, that bloodline is diluted. It takes just a couple of generations of intermarriage to put the children at risk of being disqualified from membership.

Then the tribal population withers. The proposed referendum would change the rules to count any Indian blood toward the minimum.

Cert Petition in Hawaiian Blood Quantum Dispute

Here is the petition in Day v. Apoliona: Day Cert Petition

Question presented:

Whether officials of the State of Hawaii may expend funds subject to the trust established by § 5(f) of the Hawaii Admission Act for the betterment of Hawaiians without regard to the blood quantum established by § 201(a)(7) of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920?

Lower court opinion here.

Federal Court Dismisses Long-Running Jamul Election and Land Disputes

Here is the opinion in Rosales v. United States (Ct. Cl.) — Rosales DCT Order Dismissing Complaints

US Motion to Dismiss Rosales Complaints

Rosales Opposition

US Reply Brief

Paul Spruhan on Navajo Blood Quantum

Paul Spruhan (Navajo Nation Supreme Court law clerk) has posted, “The Origins, Current Status, and Future Prospects of Blood Quantum as the Definition of Membership in the Navajo Nation” (forthcoming in the Tribal Law Journal) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The paper, forthcoming in the Tribal Law Journal, traces the origins of the requirement that persons have one-quarter or more Navajo blood to be enrolled in the Navajo Nation. Through minutes of the Navajo Nation Council and Bureau of Indian Affairs documents, the paper discusses the genesis of this requirement in the context of the development of the Nation’s natural resources and the Nation’s attempts to adopt a tribal constitution. The paper further examines recent unsuccessful efforts to revise the requirement, and the possibility of challenges to the requirement under the recently passed statute mandating application of the Fundamental Laws of the Dine.

Rose Villazor on Indian Blood Quantum and Equal Protection

Rose Cuison Villazr (SMU) has posted her wonderful paper, “Blood Quantum Land Laws and the Race Versus Political Dilemma,” forthcoming in the California Law Review, on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Modern equal protection doctrine treats laws that make distinctions on the basis of indigeneity defined on blood quantum terms along a racial versus political paradigm. This dichotomy may be traced to Morton v. Mancari and, more recently, to Rice v. Cayetano. In Mancari, the Supreme Court held that laws that privilege members of American Indian tribes do not constitute racial discrimination because the preferences have a political purpose – to further the right of self-government of federally recognized American Indian tribes. Rice crystallized the juxtaposition of the racial from the political nature of indigeneity by invalidating a law that privileged Native Hawaiians. That law, according to the Court, used an ancestral blood requirement to construct a racial category and a racial purpose as opposed to the legally permissible political purpose of promoting the right of self-government of American Indian tribes.

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