Over 60 Low-Income Nooksack Tribal Members are Awaiting Housing, Including Elders and Those Experiencing Homelessness

Tribal Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 2, 2022

Deming, WA. March 2, 2022 – Over 60 Nooksack Tribal members remain on a waiting list for Tribal housing, including elders and those experiencing homelessness. To qualify for Nooksack low-income housing, you must be a) Nooksack, and b) low-income. Nooksack is moving forward with making Nooksack low-income rental housing available to Nooksack Tribal members who await affordable housing. We encourage those who do not qualify for housing to seek housing elsewhere, as Nooksack cannot continue to rent to those who do not qualify, while Nooksack Tribal members remain without housing.

On January 6 the Nooksack Tribal Council agreed to a request from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to hold off on a lengthy eviction process until the end of January, so that the Bureau could investigate the process. They investigated, and on February 2 Nooksack received written confirmation from the BIA that no violations of housing policies or regulations were found. That letter is attached.

“I urge the press to ignore the self-promotional tweets of a lawyer who indulges in online attacks on the sovereignty and self-determination of the Nooksack people,” said Ross Cline Sr, Nooksack Tribal Chair. “This lawyer claims to represent people who ‘self-identify’ as Nooksack. But look at his track record: he has lost every case – over 30 cases to date – attacking our sovereignty in Tribal, Superior, and Federal courts.”

The Nooksack people have lived in what is now known as Whatcom County since time immemorial and have a long and proud history here. We were party to the Treaty of 1855 and fought for federal recognition for decades. We have elders today who are part of the generation who won self-determination and wrote our constitution. According to that constitution, if an individual believes they meet one of the five pathways to citizenship, they are welcome to come to the enrollment office, show their paperwork, and become Nooksack. Every enrolled member has done that.

“Regarding the two volunteers with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights: we have yet to hear from them,” said Chairman Cline. “They never contacted Nooksack. They never investigated the facts. They never even published a report. They posted a press release riddled with misinformation. We repeat our request to the United Nations to support the sovereignty of all nations, including the Nooksack Tribe. These two Special Rapporteurs did not visit Nooksack, did not speak with the Nooksack people, and they do not seem to understand or respect the sovereignty of Native American tribes. We again demand a full retraction.”                              

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