Tribal eviction plan pits Native American authority against civil rights

Tribal eviction plan pits Native American authority against civil rights

The Nooksack evictions target people who have been deregistered — that is, removed from tribal membership — in recent years after tribal leaders concluded they were not able-bodied members.

  • The involvement of the US government makes the Nooksack case stand out, legal experts have said.
  • The evictions are the latest in a decade-long dispute over the deregistration of tribal members.
  • The US government is focused on deportations, not deregistration.

A Washington state tribe’s plan to evict disenfranchised members from federally-assisted tribal housing pits two lauded values ​​against each other: the US government’s responsibility to protect civil rights and Native American tribal sovereignty.

Two US government agencies urged the Nooksack Indian Tribe to delay eviction plans, which could affect 63 people in 21 tribal homes, while the Home Office’s Bureau of Indian Affairs is investigating “extremely concerning allegations of potential breaches of the Civil Rights Act and Indian Civil Rights Act regarding these evictions,” according to a letter sent to the tribe in late December.

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