The Deadly Trend of American Indian Disenrollment

Four people are dead and two critically injured after a recent shooting spree in the tribal headquarters of the Cedarville Rancheria, a small American Indian tribe in Northern California. It all happened, police say, during a meeting at the Alturas headquarters where tribal leaders were discussing the banishment of Cherie Lash Rhoades—who has been arrested for the violent acts—and her son. Frustrations are boiling over in tribal membership disputes, reaching epidemic proportions, and this was only the most recent sign.

Cherie-Lash
Cherie Lash Rhoades. Photo courtesy of Modoc County Sheriff’s Dept.

In the case of most American Indian tribes, historically the tribes have had the power to determine tribal membership. For centuries tribes “banished” people as punishment for serious offenses. In recent years, however, a trend has been evident with tribes canceling membership, or “disenrolling” tribal members due to claims of inferior membership qualification.

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Madison Avenue Insights: American Indian Gaming

August 1, 2013        I was interviewed recently by Ron Urbach about  the impact of American Indian Gaming and casinos. Ron is the Chairman of Davis & Gilbert, one of the pre-eminent advertising law firms. He writes a very popular advertising/marketing industry blog called Madison Avenue insights. You can read the interview here: MADISON AVENUE INSIGHTS.