Here is the news article, via Pechanga. And here is an excerpt:
The “D” word has again surfaced on the Isabella Reservation: Disenrollment.
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Office of Administrative Hearings last week conducted the first hearing in several years into the possibility of removing a current member from the rolls. No decision was reached.
The case involves an 87-year-old elder who lives in Pennsylvania. Anna Bell Atwood. She became a member of the Tribe in 1988 during the Tribe’s open enrollment period, a time when the Tribe reached out to Natives who might qualify to become members.
Since that time, Tribal membership has become extremely valuable. Members qualify for numerous benefits, including per-capita payments of several thousand dollars per month based on income from the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, free health care and other perks.
But a high birth rate has caused membership in the Tribe to grow rapidly. At the same time, the economic downtown has cut into the Tribe’s income.
Tribal attorney Shawn Frank admitted during the hearing that a change in the makeup of the Tribal Council had put the disenrollment issue back into the spotlight.