Nooksack leaders disbar lawyer fighting tribal disenrollments
On Feb. 24, the Nooksack tribal council gave itself the power to disbar attorneys. It might seem a curious move. Both inside and outside Indian country, that power is usually vested in courts and bar associations.
But the council soon made its motive clear. At the very same meeting, the council voted to disbar its biggest foe: Gabriel Galanda.
The Native American attorney, with offices in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood, has been fighting for three years to prevent the tribe from kicking out 306 members whose lineage is in dispute. In the process, he has become a nationally known opponent of tribal disenrollment, an increasing trend in recent years amid fights over money and power.