Enrollment issue at Tribal Council

Tribal Council last week took up the issue of new tribal member enrollment, meeting with Lucille Suppach of Vital Statistics and legal counsel.

Part of this was to continue discussion of a resolution of the previous Tribal Council, regarding a possible referendum asking whether to change the enrollment baseline year.

The Twenty-Sixth Tribal Council adopted resolution no. 12,157 in April of this year. The resolution would take effect only upon the passage of a referendum of the tribal members. The resolution says in part:

“The Tribal Council now wishes to change the rules for determining blood quantum for automatic enrollment by adding the 1980 census to the list of baseline census years for determining the Confederated Tribes blood quantum of applicants for automatic enrollment…”

Currently, the 1940 census and the 1960 census are the lists that are used to determine an individual’s blood quantum of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

One-quarter blood of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, including blood of a traditionally affiliated tribe, is the requirement for eligibility for automatic enrollment.

The question for the membership: How to calculate one-quarter blood of the Confederated Tribes?

The standard for now is based on the 1940 census and 1960 census: The standard for now is that tribal members on those census roles can include all Native American blood as blood of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Descendants of these individuals calculate their CTWS blood according to that standard.

A referendum suggestion of the Twenty-Sixth Tribal Council (Resolution no. 12,157) would ask: Should the same standard apply to the 1980 census?

Passage of this would mean that any tribal member on the 1980 census could count all of his or her Native American blood as blood of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Descendants of these individuals could then re-calculate their blood quantum based on this new standard.

Passage of the referendum would mean that approximately 56 candidates on the recent adoption election referendum list would become eligible for automatic enrollment. The total number of candidates on the list was more than 200.

The adoption election held in June of this year fell short of the required 50-percent voter turnout. A total of 987 ballots were cast, while a figure in the range of 1,500 was required.