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Conference To Bring Together Native Americans To Discuss Disenrollment

The question of who belongs to a Native American tribe or community is one that’s become hotly debated in recent years.

With many people moving off of reservations, marrying outside of their tribes, and, with an epidemic of disenrollment from tribes nationwide, many tribes are grappling with how they’re going to ensure their own longevity.

And on Thursday at the University of Arizona’s Law School, a first-of-its kind conference will bring together Native Americans from across the country to discuss this normally taboo issue.

Professor Robert Hershey, director of clinical education at UA's Indigenous Law & Policy Program, organized the conference, which is called “Who Belongs” From Tribal Kinship to Native Nation Citizenship to Disenrollment.”

I also spoke with Gabe Gallanda about this conference. He’ll be one of the presenters. He’s an enrolled citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Northern California and a tribal lawyer in Seattle who has represented about 600 Native Americans who have faced or are facing disenrollment.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.