Court pauses Washington tribe’s evictions for ousted members

Jun 9, 2022, 6:39 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court has temporarily halted evictions for people living in certain households on Nooksack Tribal Land who were contentiously disenrolled from the tribe.

A panel of justices on Tuesday granted an injunction requiring the Nooksack Indian Tribe in northwestern Washington to pause the evictions while the high court determines whether to take up the case, Cascadia Daily News reported.

The households involved in the suit are home to members of a group of more than 300 people who were formally removed from the Nooksack Indian Tribe in 2016 and 2018. They have been facing the threat of eviction for years.

Tribal leaders have said the families known as the “Nooksack 306” were incorrectly enrolled in the 1980s and cannot prove their lineage adequately.

The Nooksack members being threatened with eviction are both Filipino and Native American, or what some call “Indipino.” Gabe Galanda, attorney for the families, told KNKX Public Radio his clients are being singled out in part because of that, though he said this kind of mixed identity is common among Native peoples.

Galanda has said nearly all the homes in question were developed as rent-to-own, which means his clients should own their homes or hold equity.

Earlier this year, experts from the United Nations called on the federal government to intervene and prevent the evictions, raising concerns about the welfare of the residents.

The families and Galanda have contested the ousting efforts, gaining attention as leading opponents of tribal disenrollment, an increasing practice that can involve struggles over power and resources, and questions about culture and identity.

In central California, the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians voted to expel dozens of members in 2019 from a share of casino profits and other benefits of tribal membership. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde in Oregon in the past decade also disenrolled tribal members they said no longer satisfied enrollment rules.

Tribal expulsions started in the 1990s along with the establishment of casinos, and have continued as gambling revenues skyrocketed. Critics say the disenrollments have also been used as a way to settle political infighting and family and personal feuds.

In a statement, the Nooksack Indian Tribe said it owns the land and the housing in question, manages the properties, and is the landlord on the leases with all the tenants involved in the case.

“We are confident that once the Court examines the true facts, rather than unfounded claims for the disenrolled tenants, that it will dismiss the case,” the statement said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


This image released by Bleecker Street shows Freida Pinto, left, and Zawe Ashton in a scene from "M...
Associated Press

‘Minions’ set box office on fire with $108.5 million debut

Families went bananas for Minions this weekend at the movie theater. ” Minions: The Rise of Gru ” brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the Monday’s July Fourth holiday, it will likely have earned over $127.9 million. The […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman walks outside of the International Monetary Fund,...
Associated Press

Argentina has new economy minister after abrupt resignation

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Argentina got a new economy minister late Sunday, a day after the abrupt resignation of her predecessor shook the governing coalition at a time it was already facinga crisis of unity. Gabriela Cerruti, the presidency’s spokesperson, wrote on Twitter late Sunday that Silvina Batakis will now head the Economy Ministry, replacing […]
20 hours ago
FILE - More than 100 opponents of the Republican redistricting plans vow to fight the maps at a ral...
Associated Press

Abortion ruling puts spotlight on gerrymandered legislatures

In overturning a half-century of nationwide legal protection for abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Roe v. Wade had been wrongly decided and that it was time to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives” in the states. Whether those elected officials are truly representative of the people is a matter […]
20 hours ago
People salute the casket of Hershel "Woody" Williams set up in the first floor rotunda of the West ...
Associated Press

WWII Medal of Honor recipient to lie in honor at US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday. A date and other details will be announced later, Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

West Africa leaders lift sanctions on 2 junta-led neighbors

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — West African leaders attending a regional summit agreed Sunday to lift sanctions on two neighbors led by military governments that are now promising a return to democratic rule. The summit of the Economic Community of West African States resolved to lift all economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali and Burkina […]
20 hours ago
People evacuated from the Field's shopping center gather outside,  in Orestad, Copenhagen, Denmark,...
Associated Press

Several dead in Copenhagen mall shooting; suspect arrested

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A gunman opened fired inside a busy shopping mall in the Danish capital on Sunday, killing several people and wounding several others, police said. A 22-year-old Danish man was arrested after the shooting, Copenhagen police inspector Søren Thomassen told reporters, adding there was no indication that anyone else was involved, though […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Court pauses Washington tribe’s evictions for ousted members