Th[e] records are called Charles Roblin's Schedule of Unenrolled Indians, dated Jan. 1, 1919, or Roblin Rolls for short. In those records Roblin used a red pen to denote families that did not qualify to be enrolled at Snoqualmie, because they were already enrolled in other tribes.
But the red ink was undetectable in the black-and-white copies and microfilmed records that made it to Northwest archives, and at least three major families called out in the Roblin Rolls nonetheless claim Snoqualmie ancestry today.
Seattle anthropologist Jay Miller discovered that secret as he combed through the original Roblin Rolls — organized in a rainbow of colored papers and folders, and notated in colored inks — to help resolve an ongoing tribal enrollment dispute under a contract signed by Snoqualmie tribal secretary Nina Repin.
Miller's research indicates that Shelley Burch, chairwoman of the tribal council, several other council members, and some tribal members claiming hereditary chief status are descended from families nixed by Roblin in red ink.
But, there's little red ink in evidence at the tribe's casino in northwest Washington state;
At stake at Snoqualmie is not only identity and the right to vote and hold office, but money. The tribe's casino just outside Seattle is pulling in more than $200 million a year by one estimate. The tribe is mulling an expansion that could boost revenue even more, for a tribe numbering only about 650 members — according to current membership records. But that number could get a lot smaller, or bigger, depending on how the tribe resolves its membership dispute.Gives 'Indian tracker' new meaning.