Nooksack | KUOW News and Information

Nooksack

Shxwhá:y drummer Leonard Gladstone, 17, center, stands while drumming on Thursday, July 27, 2017, while waiting for the 'Emma canoe' to arrive in Tsawassen, British Columbia.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Over the past few weeks, dozens of tribes across the Pacific Northwest have been paddling canoes 200-400 miles on the salty waters between Washington and Vancouver Island.

Deborah Alexander led about a dozen young paddlers on the annual canoe journey along traditional trade routes. Alexander’s canoe was filled with many people, including herself, who have been disenrolled from their tribe.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The federal government explained to the Nooksack tribe Wednesday how it will take over tribal health and social services.

Nooksack tribal police stand outside the courthouse during a disenrollment hearing in 2013.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The sovereignty of the Nooksack tribe is in jeopardy.

This comes after the tribe kicked out about 15 percent of its members — members the tribe says don’t belong.


Nooksack tribal police stand outside the courthouse during a disenrollment hearing in 2013.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

"Brother, brother, I need your help." 

That was the first thing Gabe Galanda heard when he picked up his phone four years ago. The women on the other end was a member of the Nooksack 306, a group the Nooksack Tribe has been working to disenroll.

Courtesy of Angel Rabang

This weekend’s tribal council election on the Nooksack reservation near Bellingham leaves an uncertain future for hundreds of its members. The tribe has sought to remove about 15 percent of its people in what would be the largest tribal disenrollment in Washington state’s history.

KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

Members of the Nooksack tribe near Bellingham will cast votes in a high-stakes election this Saturday. The outcome could change the fate for hundreds of members facing disenrollment from the tribe.

This membership controversy within the Nooksack Tribe surfaced about a year ago. The tribal council questioned the ancestry of 306 members, about 15 percent of the tribe, and moved to disenroll them.

Nooksack tribal police stand outside the courthouse during a disenrollment hearing in 2013.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It's a frosty morning at the Nooksack tribal courthouse in Deming, Wash., and caution tape and tribal police block the entrance.

KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

A group gathered in downtown Seattle on Friday to protest the potential disenrollment of hundreds of Nooksack members from their tribe. If it goes forward, it would likely be the largest tribal disenrollment in Washington history.

Courtesy of Angel Rabang

Hundreds of members of the Nooksack Tribe near Bellingham won a temporary victory Wednesday. Hearings were scheduled to start this week to potentially expel 306 members from the tribe, but a ruling from the Nooksack Court of Appeals has halted the proceeding for now.