In California, Indian Tribes With Casino Money Cast Off Members

{josquote}It is the decision by a majority of the Tribal Council that you are hereby disenrolled.{/josquote}

COARSEGOLD, Calif. — The six-page, single-spaced letter that Nancy Dondero and about 50 of her relatives received last month was generously salted with legal citations and footnotes. But its meaning was brutally simple. “It is the decision by a majority of the Tribal Council,” the letter said, “that you are hereby disenrolled.”

Nikah Dondero has been ejected from her California tribe.

And with that, Ms. Dondero’s official membership in the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, the cultural identity card she had carried all her life, summarily ended.

“That’s it,” Ms. Dondero, 58, said. “We’re tribeless.”

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