Arsenio Lopez
Sherman Alexie doesn’t mince his words.

Sherman Alexie Gives Disenrollment The Bird

Arsenio Lopez

Last summer, Sherman Alexie sounded off on disenrollment with a profane Tweet that went viral. On Friday night in Lakewood, Washington, he added an exclamation point to his criticism of disenrollment and tribal leaders who practice it.

Alexie spoke at the McGavick Conference Center on the Clover Park Technical College, in support of “Pierce County Reads.”

In conjunction with his reading from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and book signing, he met with a group of Native higher education students from Clover Park Technical College, University of Washington-Tacoma, Evergreen State College, Northwest Indian College-Nisqually, and Chief Leschi Schools.

During the discussion, a Native student asked Alexie what he thought about Indian gaming. Alexie denounced the evils of tribal gaming, explaining that its revenues have created a capitalistic culture that breeds things like disenrollment.

“Look at what's happening with the Nooksack Tribe, where you have a chairman who is adopted into the tribe, trying to disenroll tribal members,” Alexie said with disdain. He was referring to the mass disenrollment of “the Nooksack 306.”

He also criticized the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde’s disenrollment situation, pointing out the absurdity of disenrolling a large family of tribal members after once honoring those members’ ancestor as Grand Marshal of the Tribes’ parade.

Alexie said he is “disgusted” with the whole notion of disenrollment.

After his reading, Alexie, sporting a t-shirt bearing the Nooksack 306 logo, expressed his disgust with a middle finger, and a note he wrote on a Post-it similar to those taken for the Stop Disenrollment movement: “F--- Your Disenrollment Bullshit.” True to form, he did not mince his words.

RELATED: ‘Stop Disenrollment’ Posts Get More Than 100K Views

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



bullbear's picture
Submitted by bullbear on
Our native leaders from several generations back would be absolutely appalled and ashamed of how their nations treat their own today. And that is putting it mildly. Disgustingly, it takes a damn piece of paper to officially declare a direct blood relative, be their blood quantum is one-sixty-fourth or one-eighth, as one of its own tribal members. Our tribal nations have become a card-carrying nation unto itself. There is no pride whatsoever when a person can whip out a stupid plastic card to prove he or she is an officially enrolled tribal member. None! Why not just tattoo an enrollment number on a forearm so it can be flexed when standing in line to receive the pittance of casino per capita. Don't even get me started on how loathsome it has become when reading about tribes dragging other tribes into courtrooms in order to secure a bigger slice of the casino pie.

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
Let's start (continuing) naming those Tribes (of 566) and their Tribal Officials (or appointed Representatives) who are practicing this much popular practice of "disenrollment"! The results for a few would be most surprising for readers, visitors to ICTMN to read!

tvc15's picture
Submitted by tvc15 on
Right On