Salvation Army apologizes for refusing tribal IDs
The Salvation Army in Spokane, Washington, is apologizing to a Turtle Mountain Chippewa couple for refusing to recognize their tribal identification cards.
Darrell and Beverly Azure were forced to sleep in their car on a night when the temperature dropped below zero. They had been refused shelter because the Salvation Army Family Emergency Center claimed tribal IDs are not valid government documents.
After word of the incident got out among the Indian community, the administrator defended the policy. Richard Silva told The Spokesman Review, "You can't even use a tribal ID card to get a job."
Silva is now backtracking amid criticism and media coverage. "That was not just wrong, it's illegal," he said of the refusal to accept tribal cards.
The Salvation Army is drafting a letter of apology to the Azures and to inform tribes in the region that tribal IDs will be accepted.
Meanwhile, the Azures have received offers of support and numerous donations. They had come to Spokane with their daughter, her partner and their two children. The American Indian Community Center is helping them find permanent housing.