- By Native News Online Staff
SEATTLE — Next week, Indigenous people from around the country will put their hands forward to deliver a message on social media about the controversial tribal practice of disenrollment.
It is estimated that some 10,000 tribal citizens have been disenrolled by their tribes. Of the 574 federally recognized tribes, about 85—or 15 percent—have participated in this practice.
To fight back, Stop Disenrollment, a grassroots Indigenous effort, will resume its annual campaign this month for a fifth straight year. For the past four years, hundreds of Indigenous people have posted photos of themselves in a hand gesture, with words expressing opposition to disenrollment penned on their palms, on various social media platforms.
On Monday, February 10, Stop Disenrollment will resume for a fifth year.
During last year’s campaign, the Stop Disenrollment Facebook page alone generated more than 40,000 interactions. Tens of thousands more have liked and shared the photos each year.
The movement is, in part, an Indigenous reaction to silence by national inter-tribal organizations regarding disenrollment and related tribal human rights abuses.
This year’s campaign will coincide with the “State of Indian Nations” address in Washington D.C. by National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Fawn Sharp. NCAI is being increasingly called upon “to start talking about disenrollment in order to make it clear that it is not an acceptable practice in Indian Country.”
Stop Disenrollment has drawn prominent Indigenous Americans in years past, including:
U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills, Oglala Sioux;
Former U.S. Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe;
Actor Martin Sensmeier, Tlingit, who starred in Wind River;
Actress Irene Bedard, Inuit/Cree, the voice of Disney’s title character Pocahontas;
Best-selling author Sherman Alexie, Spokane/Coeur d’Alene;
Rapper-actor-entrepreneur Litefoot, Cherokee;
Smoke Signal movie director Chris Eyre, Cheyenne/Arapaho;
Artist-entrepreneur Louie Gong, Nooksack;
Fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail, Northern Cheyenne/Crow;
Washington State Senator John McCoy, Tulalip; and
Seattle City Councilwoman Debora Juarez, Blackfeet.
Also, on Monday, Indigenous pop culture artist Jeffrey Verrege, Port Gamble S’Klallam, will unveil the Ultimate Disenrollment Warrior, an action created for this year's campaign.
More Stories Like ThisNative News Weekly (September 25, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Hits the Ground Running: Her First Bill Introduced Clears Committee Two Days Later
EXCLUSIVE: Deb Haaland Q&A on Road to Healing Tour Progress
September 20 is National Voter Registration Day: Native Organizations Team Up to Increase Native Youth Voter Engagement
Tribal Business News Round-Up: Sept. 19
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.