Tribal Government & News

Letters to the Editor -- Nov. 15, 2015

11.12.2015 Dean Rhodes Letters

Dear Tribal members:

I am asking that every individual who has been affected by the parent on the roll requirement and who have direct ancestors on the Restoration Roll to write to Tribal Council at and ask them to correct each enrollment problem separately from any other corrections because:

  1.     You would like to see each change to enrollment pass or fail on its own merit and;
  2.     Because you are against any bundle of corrections to the Tribal Constitution.

It was the enrollment bundle of 1999 that got our Tribal families into these hardships and sufferings and we already have tried a bundle in 2011 that failed.     

On the other hand, when the enrollment proposals were separated in 2008, the relinquishment for five years passed and the parent on the roll missed passing by only 68 votes. I am confident the parent on the roll correction could pass now if it were presented as a separate question. I am OK with a limit on the number of those allowed to enroll each year to ensure this correction would pass because it would assure members that not too many would be joining the Tribe each year.  

Any bundle forces members to vote for the items they do not want in order to pass the corrections that they do support. This bundling does not work as demonstrated in 2011. Separation of corrections does work as in 2008. 

Background: On July 23, 2015, a proposal was presented to Tribal Council requesting a constitutional amendment election to remove the “parent on a roll” requirement. By July 28, 2015, six members of Tribal Council had approved the proposal: Jack Giffen Jr., Toby McClary, Jon A. George, Tonya Gleason, Cheryle A. Kennedy and Ed Pearsall. The proposal went to the BIA for approval and came back to Tribal Council for final approval. However, in the meantime, with the Tribal election, a new majority of thought took power by two votes on Tribal Council.

On Oct. 22, 2015, a special Tribal Council meeting was called to move this proposal forward for the people to vote on when Cheryle A. Kennedy and Jon A. George rescinded their support of it being a stand-alone amendment and Chris Mercier, Denise Harvey, Cheryle A. Kennedy, Jon A. George and Brenda Tuomi voted to block it from going forward on its own merit in favor of another enrollment bundle. 

I am for those who need ancestor on the Restoration Roll correction. However, these families already have a process just approved this month by the BIA for them to use to correct their problem by filling out a Restoration Roll Correction Form. Our Tribe has had this process in place for three years, but the BIA did not have a process until just recently in October 2015. The parent on the roll families do not have anything to help them. 

So, again, I urge you to speak now or forever hold your peace, so to speak. Thank you,

Rosemary Jameson

Roll #883