SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A tribe in Northern California is reinstating nearly 70 members who were stripped of their status eight years ago.

The Press Democrat reports that Robinson Rancheria Pomo Indian tribe of Lake County kicked dozens of people out of the tribe in 2009, many of them because they weren't counted in a 1980 census that is a basis for membership. Chairman Eddie Crandell says an exception had been made for some people but the 2008 council removed the exception.

Seattle-based attorney Gabe Galanda says the tribe's decision to reinstate former members is an encouraging sign amid a nationwide trend of massive tribal disenrollments for more than two decades.

Glanada says he believes the Robinson Rancheria case is the first time a group of people has been re-enrolled without a court order.

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