There is a Referendum Vote set for Friday March 15, 2019 for eligible Tribal Member Voters in Warm Spring. Voting will take place from 8am to 8pm on that date at the Community Center. Absentee ballots have been mailed out. Any tribal member voter who lives off of the Warm Springs Reservation and did not receive their ballot should contact the Warm Springs Vital Statistics office The referendum asks tribal voters to add the 1980 census to the list of baseline census years for determining the Confederated Tribes blood quantum.
Here is some history on the question. Tribal Council added the baseline census year concept for automatic enrollment purposes in 1975. Adding the census baseline meant that all applicants for enrollment would have blood quantum determined by examining the parent or grandparent whose name appears on the 1940 census. For those on the 1940 census list, all of their Indian blood would be considered Confederated Tribes blood for the purposes of enrollment. Tribal Council later added the 1960 baseline for enrollment purposes.
This is an example of how the baseline could determine automatic enrollment: Consider the child of a biological tribal member parent born in 1958 who was 1/4 Warm Springs, 1/4 Navajo, 1/4 Choctaw and 1/4 white and whose name appears on the 1960 census. Using only the 1940 census as the baseline, the child would only be 1/8 Confederated Tribes blood and not eligible for automatic enrollment. However, using the 1960 census as the baseline, the tribal member parent has a total of 3/4 Indian blood, all of which would be considered Confederated Tribes blood. And so, the child could be automatically enrolled as having ¼ or more Confederated Tribes blood. This referendum asks Tribal voters to add the 1980 census to the list of baseline census years for determining the Confederated Tribes blood quantum.
There are over 300 individuals who are currently on the adoption list. If this Referendum were to pass, around 45 of those on the adoption list would qualify then quality for automatic enrollment. The others would still need to go through an adoption election process to be considered for enrollment. The Tribes has not held a successful Adoption Election since 1996. Fifty percent voter participation is required to make an tribal referendum valid.
Referendums take effort, time and money to conduct. Tribal member voters are requested to make every effort to vote on March 15th.
The referendum will ask “Should Resolution One Two One Five Seven determining blood quantum for the purpose of automatic enrolment be approved?” A “yes” vote would add 1980 to the list of census years that determine blood quantum for automatic enrollment. A “no” vote states that 1980 not be added to the list of census years used.