234 Saginaw Chippewa Tribal members face disenrollment

Only 25 people will be able to attend a hearing for 234 Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal members whose status with the Tribe could be at stake.

Family members representing the 13 disenrollment cases will attend the hearing at 1:30 p.m. on July 10.

The Tribe sent out a letter to the families facing disenrollment on May 14, said Paula Fisher, the attorney for the 234 members. The letter informed members that their disenrollment cases would be reopened, even though they had already been dismissed with prejudice in 2009.

“(Prejudice) very clearly means final adjudication of the case and you’re done,” Fisher said.

The 2009 cases were dismissed after the Tribal Council determined that it was the policy to allow collateral descent as well as lineal. Collateral descent allows members to trace their family blood lines to aunts and uncles. Lineal descent, on the other hand, allows them to trace blood lines back to their parents and grandparents.

Complicating the issue is the two-year turnover rate of Tribal Council members. There are no staggered terms for Tribal Council seats, unlike U.S. political systems. This allows for changes in political ideologies, Fisher said.

In 2009, according to Ordinance 14 in the Tribal Constitution, the cases were dismissed with prejudice and could not be reopened.

“The ordinance said that once you’ve been cleared, the Tribe can’t bring it up again,” Fisher said. “(My clients) relied on the administration that they were done with this, that this was the method to make them members. There are people that are losing everything.”

Phone calls seeking comment from Frank Cloutier, the public relations director for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, were not immediately returned.

The hearing on July 10 is not open to non-Tribal members.

Check back with for more on this story.



  1. Mrs. Fisher, why are you such a outside agitator?
    Endorsement from your office in a Federal election, is election fixing. A Federal crime, you should be disbarred for running this type of interfence in a Federal elction held on Federal jurisdiction property. Thats what you have done, in that last election in 2013.
    A letter endorsing certain individuals running for Tribal Council, in that important election.
    Now, here you are again, sticking in your nose, into the local tribe where it does not belong.

    What?!? Making your own tribe in California, not enough for you? For you to be hounding the American Indians out there. That you think you have a right to interfere with this local tribe.
    You are no different than the Indian agents that once hounded all the Indian tribe in the United States.
    You are another one whom thinks there better than the local American Indians here.

    Tribal legal should prompt a legal case of election rigging or election fixing, you have endorsed within a Federal election.
    You certainly, should not go unpunished and take it with the consequences.

  2. Florence Schneider says:

    Gee. What a bunch a mess. All based on greed.

    The answer?

    Don’t go to the casino. Don’t eat at its restaurants. Don’t stay at the hotel and don’t attend events there.

    It is your lost money that built that thing. What is your lost $ funding now? There are better places to put it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh no, they’ll actually have to work for a living instead of collecting a bullshit check

    • Yes we love are haters out there!!!! If you could get that check you would be the first in line!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    sounds like The_Kindom is one of those greedy tribal members that is trying to blame Mrs Fisher for protecting the rights of members who has been fighting this fight for years. I must agree, we should all avoid any business associated with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. They are a greddy corrupt nation of Indians up there.

  5. Marsha Davis says:

    in Reply to anonymous — Oh no, they’ll actually have to work for a living instead of collecting a bullshit check — WHAT ABOUT THE ELDERLY! my grandmother has fought for her right to be apart of this tribe and supports herself with the money she receives .. would you like it if Obama took away SSI and Disability benefits that would cause your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents go back to the working world .. you have NO right commenting on a news article that you have absolutely no knowledge of who it affects … as far as i’m concerned the indian tribe does better for themselves and some of their members then the welfare food stamps crowd who live off the state … so cry me a river you wanna fight go down to your local welfare office and tell all them low life/don’t wanna work who are taking your taxes to GET A JOB!!! leave the indian tribe alone!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Marsha Marsha Marsha lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertise with Us! | Contact Us | About Us | Join CM-Life's Staff