About the Author

Gabriel S. Galanda


Articles by Gabriel S. Galanda

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Don’t Join the Disenrollment Club

“I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” – Groucho MarxIn 2011, Cedric Sunray wrote a column here simply titled, “Disenrollment Clubs.” He opened with a quote about the Cherokee Freedmen, from Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilwoman Cara Cowan Watts: “This is a..

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The Anti-Disenrollment Chorus Sings: Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 regarding a phenomenon described by Professor David Wilkins: how a “determined and diverse chorus of individuals, organizations, and even a few Native nations” are saying enough is enough to the wholly non-indigenous practice of disenrollment.Over the first half of this year, the chorus of indigenous who...

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Reinvigorating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act

Congress passed the Indian Arts and Crafts Act (“Act”)in 1935 to “promote the economic welfare” of Indians “through the development of Indian arts and crafts and the expansion of the market for the products of Indian art and craftsmanship.”The Act also created the Indian Arts and Crafts Board empowering...

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NIGC Must Deter Gaming Per Capita Misuse

It is easy to blame the Congress, the BIA,, and federal courts for allowing mass tribal disenrollment to flourish. They are all complicit.But behind the scenes another federal entity plays a key role, especially in the increasing number of disenrollments tied to gaming per capitas: the National Indian Commission...

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The Anti-Disenrollment Chorus Sings: Part 2

In Part One, I profiled “the determined and diverse chorus of individuals, organizations, and even a few Native nations,” who in the spring of 2015 raised “substantive challenges to the egregious practice of dismembering otherwise legitimate citizens,” according to Professor David Wilkins.By the summer, Indian Country Today Media columnist...

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The Anti-Disenrollment Chorus Sings, Part 1

Earlier this year, the longtime lone voice against disenrollment, Professor David Wilkins, Lumbee, wrote:[W]hile the number of unjustified disenrollments continues to plague Indian Country, a small but determined and diverse chorus of individuals, organizations, and even a few Native nations (Spokane most recently), are raising substantive challenges to egregious...

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Back To The Future: The GOP And Tribal Termination

In 1970, President Richard Nixon announced a new federal policy of “self-determination without termination,” recognizing the failures of the federal government in its historical attempts to assimilate Indians by destroying tribes. In 1975, the Senate unanimously approved the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, and the House passed it overwhelming...

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Disenrollment IS a Federal Action

As the tribal disenrollment epidemic only worsens, our trustee—the United States and its Department of Interior—continue to turn a deaf ear to desperate pleas for help from Indians who are facing disenrollment or have already been terminated.Interior takes the position that it “does not get involved in individual matters...

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The Unintended Consequences of Disenrollment

For most of the modern tribal self-determination era, American Indian nations have emphasized inclusion. Starting in the early 1970s, higher tribal membership numbers equated to higher federal self-determination dollars. As tribes otherwise redoubled their efforts to reverse the destruction caused by preceding federal Indian removal, assimilation, and relocation tribes...

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Disenrollment Is a Tool of the Colonizers

Our elders and spiritual leaders do not teach the practice of disenrollment. In fact, disenrollment is a wholly non-Indian construct. Indeed, when I recently asked Eric Bernando, a Grand Ronde descendant of his tribe’s Treaty Chief and fluent Chinook Wawa speaker, if there was a Chinook Wawa word notion...