Published February 7, 2017
SEATTLE – On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, the one-year anniversary of the birth of the national advocacy campaign, #stopdisenrollment, the movement will recommence through news and social media.
Celebrated Indian author Sherman Alexie is headlining this year’s movement.
In addition to Alexie, the following prominent American Indians, pictured below, are participating:
- Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy
- Seattle City Councilwoman Debora Juarez (Blackfeet)
- Actor Solomon Trimble from the Twilight movie (Apache/Lakota/Creek/Ojibwe)
- Washington State Senator John McCoy (Tulalip)
- S.A. Gymnast Ashton Locklear (Lumbee)
- Arkansas Law School Dean Stacy Leeds (Cherokee)
- Robinson Rancheria Tribal Chairman Eddie Crandell, Sr.
- Coyote Valley Tribal Chairman Michael Hunter
The participation of three Tribal Chairmen–two from California, the epicenter of disenrollment–is particularly powerful, given the reluctance of tribal leaders to take a stance on disenrollment for fear of being perceived as criticizing fellow tribes or leaders. See Indian Country Today (“Unfortunately, nobody in tribal leader circles is willing to talk about it. Not at NCAI, not at NIGA…not anywhere.”)
Yurok Vice Chairwoman Sue Masten and Hoh River Vice Chairman Melvin John Ashue have also struck the #stopdisenrollment pose. Hundreds of other indigenous peoples, including other prominent American Indians, are expected to strike that pose by Wednesday, when the movement will again go viral via Facebook and other tribal social media.
The imagery and message of the inaugural campaign (see http://stopdisenrollment.com/) reverberated throughout Indian Country, with international and local mainstream and tribal media outlets covering that campaign and using that imagery to highlight disenrollment, including Al Jazeera (TV), High Country News, Seattle Times, Indian Country Today, The Stranger, Crosscut, and Indianz.com.
The #stopdisenrollment hashtag has since last year become prominent as an expression against disenrollment, with the New York Times recently reporting that as many as “9,000 people in 79 tribes across 20 states” having been jettisoned by their kin. It remains the goal of the movement to have as many indigenous peoples express #stopdisenrollment, as there are disenrolled indigenous peoples.