Gabe Galanda | Turning the Tide Against Disenrollment

“Look for those opportunities that may not be obvious to you.”-Gabe Galanda

Gabe Galanda

Gabe Galanda is part of the growing fight against disenrollment.

Gabe Galanda is a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Galanda is also a partner at the law firm Galanda Broadman. He joined NextGen Native previously to share his personal journey. If you haven’t heard his story, I recommend listening to his personal journey. It’s a perfect example of how one can overcome challenges to succeed in your own personal way, at a high level. His personal journey is prologue to his work for clients facing disenrollment.

Through his law practice, Galanda emerged as one of the most vocal critics of disenrollment. For several years, he has represented clients fighting disenrollment. During that time he experienced many trying moments and challenges in his fight for his clients. At the time, not many people in Indian Country were openly discussing disenrollment, let alone fighting against the movement. But the tide may be turning. We spoke not too long after a #stopdisenrollment day of action and also following the decision by the tribal council for the Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians to re-enroll members that were previously disenrolled. Now, you’re seeing people speaking out against disenrollment, and taking action against it, in larger numbers. Much of that can be attributed to the work of Galanda and others who took on the fight several years ago.

Gabe’s efforts reminded me of this discussion on leadership. The video below describes how people view the first person in a movement as a bit crazy and cooky…until someone else joins them. Gabe (and others) is the cooky guy that started dancing and allowed others to join him in his movement to fight disenrollment.

We discussed the fight against disenrollment, how Gabe managed the challenging battles on a personal and professional front, and what’s next in the fight. This includes an upcoming symposium called “Who Belongs” at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law. The event includes a list of heavy hitters that will attend including tribal leaders and leading legal minds.

This is a huge topic of the moment for Indian Country, and it’s one of the most heavy and intense topics, too. But this podcast creates space to discuss these issues in an in-depth, nuanced fashion, even if the fire still burns hot. This is one of those conversations, and I hope it sparks more across Indian Country.

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