Press

2022.02.16 Nooksack Press Release – The Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals once again reaffirms the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Nooksack Indian Tribe

  • “Seattle Attorney Gabe Galanda lost his third successive appeal before the Ninth Circuit against the Nooksack Tribe, in his ongoing attempt to deny tribal governments and tribal courts their sovereignty and jurisdiction. Galanda has lost every case against Nooksack, and the courts have upheld the sovereignty and self-determination of the Nooksack Indian Tribe.”
  • “We expect Gabe Galanda to file more frivolous lawsuits and complaints, and our attorneys stand ready to again successfully defend our Tribe and our staff against his ongoing harassment,” said Roswell Cline Sr., Tribal Chair. “Going forward, self-determination still means that the Nooksack Tribe is home to those who meet one of our six paths to enrollment here. We encourage all those who are not qualified to enroll to move on, just as we did after disenrollment six years ago. The Nooksack Tribe will not be distracted or deterred by those who oppose our sovereignty. We will continue to focus on our good work of restoring salmon habitat, providing resources for our people, and building a new health clinic in the region.”
  • “For those who qualify and wish to become enrolled citizens of Nooksack — our Enrollment Office is open to you,” said Lona Johnson, Nooksack Tribal Council Member. “Most sovereign nations around the world grant citizenship based on descendancy. Whether it is an international country or a federally recognized Indian tribe, lineal descendancy is a common path to citizenship. Over six years ago 315 people were removed from Nooksack enrollment because they could not prove citizenship. At any point these individuals are welcome to bring in their papers. One person has successfully done that.”

2022.02.15Ninth Court of Appeals Reaffirms Sovereignty of Nooksack Tribe 

2022.02.14US Department of Housing (HUD) letter to Chairman Cline

  • “DOI’s limited review concluded that the Nooksack Tribe’s eviction process has thus far been carried out in accordance with the terms of the rental agreements and NIHA procedures.  DOI’s review pertained only to nine specific individuals residing within the Tribe’s rental units.”
  • “NwONAP has concluded that the actions taken by the Tribe to date to evict the nine individuals have not violated HUD programmatic requirements. However, this conclusion is again limited to the nine individuals and does not preclude HUD from initiating future monitoring efforts, including with respect to any potential planned evictions of additional families.”

2022.02.04Nooksack Press Release – Nooksack Indian Tribe Demands a Retraction from the UN High Commissioner

  • “Today the Nooksack Indian Tribe reached out the United Nations High Commissioner demanding an immediate retraction after two UN special rapporteurs failed to contact the Nooksack Indian Tribe, accepted as fact outrageous and disproved allegations from a Seattle attorney, then released an investigation riddled with misinformation.”
  • “We have 60 Nooksack families on a waiting list for housing, and some are homeless,” said Nooksack Chairman Ross Cline Sr. “Like most governments, we don’t have extra housing for non-citizens. We have homeless people, including elders, who need a place to live and we need those who aren’t Nooksack to move. Under the rules, they don’t qualify for housing. We believe that sufficient time has passed for them to make other arrangements.  I encourage them to ignore their attorney’s ill-advised recommendation to fight eviction and to work to find new housing. We cannot wait forever while our people need housing.”

2022.02.04Nooksack Letter to United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner 

  • “Demand an immediate retraction of your press release dated February 3, 2022 and concerning the Nooksack Tribe.” 
  • “We ask that you immediately retract your statement. It is false and references an investigation which never took place. Mr. Balakrishnan Rajagopal or Mr. Francisco Cali Tzay failed to contact us or to learn the facts of the case. They appear to have communicated solely with a Seattle attorney who uses this issue to garner free press for this private business.”

2022.02.02Letter from Bryan Mercier, Regional Director, NW Region, BIA to Nooksack

  • “The emails and letters generally warned of potential Indian Civil Rights Act and due process violations by NIHA and the Tribe in their attempts to remove these individuals from tribal housing. I also discussed these allegations with you and Tribal Council, and on January 13, 2022, you agreed to delay any action on evictions for these nine individuals until February 1, 2022, to allow the Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to review the allegations.” 
  • “In summary, as of the date of this letter, it appears that NIHA has complied with the Rental Agreements and NIHA procedures, as they relate to the eviction process, concerning these nine individuals: Norma Aldredge, Cathalina Barril, Saturnino Javier, Alexander Nicol-Mills, Olive Oshiro, Francisca Rabang, Francisco Rabang, Michael Rabang, and Michelle Roberts. The Department makes no conclusions on any future actions taken against the nine Tenants or on any eviction processes for any other individuals.”

Photo credit to the Nooksack Indian Tribe.