A long list of prominent people in Indian country — who have posted photos of themselves holding signs advocating against allegedly unjust practices to disenroll tribal members — have joined the most recent ‘Stop Disenrollment‘ visual advocacy campaign relaunched on February 8th.
According to the #StopDisenrollment website, as many as 10,000 people have lost their membership in 80 tribes across 20 states.
The 2017 list includes Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills (Oglala Sioux), author Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Couer d’Alene), Smoke Signals director Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), director and writer Georgina Lightning (Maskwakis Cree), Seattle City Councilwoman Debora Juarez (Blackfeet) and many more.
They join such Indian country notables from last year like former Green Party VP nominee Winona LaDuke (White Earth Nation of Minnesota), Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Chairman Greg Sarris, fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail (Northern Cheyenne/Crow), artist/entrepreneur Louie Gong (Nooksack) and Gary ‘Litefoot’ Davis, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
In a social media post, Davis took a photo of himself with the phrase “Cowardly Self Extinction” as part of ‘Stop Disenrollment.’
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The National Native American Bar Association released a resolution and ethics opinion in 2016 denouncing disenrollment, stating it was “immoral and unethical” for any lawyer to help tribes remove tribal members without adequate process.
According to a release from ‘Stop Disenrollment’ organizers, once the campaign was relaunched, they had over 65,000 interactions on Facebook and nearly 300 images were added to the site’s homepage.
Local and national media outlets that have picked up the story highlighting disenrollment outside of ICMN include Al Jazeera (TV), High Country News, Seattle Times, The Stranger, Crosscut, and Indianz.com and the New York Times.
Other notables include:
- Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy
- Actor Solomon Trimble from the Twilight series (Apache/Lakota/Creek/Ojibwe)
- Washington State Senator John McCoy (Tulalip)
- U.S.A. gymnast Ashton Locklear (Lumbee)
- 562 project curator Matika Wilbur (Swinomish/Tulalip)
- University of Arkansas School of Law Dean Stacy Leeds (Cherokee)
- Ho-Chunk Inc. CEO Lance Morgan (Winnebago)
- Robinson Rancheria Tribal Chairman Eddie Crandell, Sr.
- Coyote Valley Tribal Chairman Michael Hunter