Friday, September 22, 2017

California Native American Day is No Holiday for Thousands of California Indians

California Native American Day is no Holiday for Thousands of California Indians. Today, September 22th, is California Native American Day.

Native American Day was established to recognize the many contributions that California Indians have made for the benefit of the State and the Country. Today, as in Native American Days past, there will be events and celebrations throughout the State honoring and showcasing the rich history, culture, and heritage of California ’s original inhabitants.

However, for thousands of California Indians, today is no holiday. Today we will be reminded of the crimes committed against us in the taking and denial of our Tribal identity. While others celebrate, many California Indians will contemplate their “Indianness” as a result of being disenrolled, banished, and/or denied membership in their tribe. Many more will wonder why our basic rights, as citizens of our tribe, the State, and the federal government, are not protected and preserved on par with other citizens.

In 1968, the same year in which Governor Reagan established American Indian Day, the United States Congress enacted the Indian Civil Rights Act (“ICRA”). The ICRA was introduced in response to the growing number of basic rights violations occurring in Indian Country and was intended to curtail the growing number of abuses inflicted on individual Indians by tribal governments.

Just as with other civil rights legislation, the ICRA was passed to protect the basic rights of all Indians from the arbitrary and capricious acts of tribal governments and officials. The ICRA did not establish new rights for Indian people. The ICRA actually listed actions of which Tribal governments and officials were prohibited from engaging in. Unfortunately, the ICRA failed to provide an adequate and effective means by which to enforce the law against tribal governments who engaged in the prohibited acts. As a result, the group of people it intended to protect is once again being subjected to the very acts the ICRA outlawed.

So what does this have to do with California Native American Day?

Quite simply, California is “ground zero” for the growing number of human and civil rights abuses that have infected Indian Country. In cases ranging from denial of due process and equal protection of laws to the stripping of personal property and voting rights, thousands of California Indians have been victimized by the very people charged with protecting their rights.

Unlike our ancestors, those responsible for the crimes carried out against us are not a foreign government, the State, or even the federal government. We have not fallen victim to conquistadors, slave traders, miners, or land barons. No, today tribal governments are responsible for the killing-off of thousands of California Indians in what one Indian scholar has referred to as the “paper genocide”. Over 20 California tribes have acted in violation of the ICRA and other tribal, state, and federal laws in disenfranchising its tribal citizens.

These human and civil rights abuses are not solely internal problems or issues for the tribes to sort out. These abuses are much larger social and moral issues that should be the concern of Indian and non-Indian alike.

As tribal officials carry out these crimes in the name of sovereignty and escape prosecution by invoking immunity, a growing number of California Indians- those of whom today should have special meaning for- find themselves without a “nation” and lacking the basic freedoms and protections others take for granted.

The desire and willingness to strip and/or deny California Indians of the protections provided for under the ICRA is not exclusive to Indian Country. The Native American Caucus of the California Democratic Party has declined to support a resolution currently pending in the California Assembly in which the States acknowledges its desire to enforce the ICRA. It may come as a shock to some that a group within the Democratic Party, the party of the “Big Tent”, would so blatantly discriminate against a group it is supposed to represent on an issue - civil rights - the Party has championed for decades. However, the leadership within the Native American Caucus consists of tribal representatives from some of the most egregious rights violators in Indian Country. They have a vested interest in ensuring that the ICRA is not enforced in the State or California Indian Country.

So, while thousands will attend and participate in Native American Day festivities throughout the State in memory of our ancestors, don’t forget the California Indians living in the here and now.
Like their ancestors, today’s California Indians face threats on our way of life that, if left unchecked, could also threaten our very existence.

Please take the time to learn more about the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the growing number of civil rights abuses in California Indian Country by visiting this site often, and SHARING it on Social Media:

Let us work towards a resolution to the ever growing problem of rights abuses in California Indian Country, so that one day, all California Indians can proudly participate in the Native American Day festivities to come.

Thank you for your time, and Happy Native American Day!

John Gomez Jr
President American Indian Rights and Resources Org

reprised from 2009 and dates edited

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

BIA FOIA FOIBLES FORCE FEDS To FIND FREEDOM of Information Act FAIRNESS in Gabrieleno Native's Suit

Emilio Reyes

Word from the courtroom on the meeting with noted researcher Emilio Reyes, of Gabrieleno descent, who's fast becoming a FOIA expert and Attorney for the Justice Dept. Katherine Parker, one that finds common ground, DOING THE RIGHT THING.


Out of the mouths of babes.

9 yr old Hunter descendant spreading the word! On the way home from a Native American Day event at UCSanBern, our 9 year old granddaughter Iliana had this exchange on the bus with her teacher and related it to me:

liana says, PAPA!  MRS. LEVI (her teacher) was talking to Mrs.Otherteacher... and she said Mark Macarro! And I TOLD HER......MRS LEVI, Mark Macarro is chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and HE KICKED MY FAMILY OUT OF THE TRIBE.

It's good when the kids listen.  That's her on the upper right in the picture

So..I sent the blog address to her teacher check out.  Keep spreading the word!

Nooksack Tribe's "HOLDOVER" Council Member Canete Exposes UGLY HEART in Comparing 306 to TERRORISTS

Holdover Councilperson Katherine Canete calls the Nooksack 306 and their ancestors "terrorists." Pure hatred, and hardly the language you would expect from a tribal leader, but then, nobody ever accused her of leadership.

Under her "leadership" both tribal casinos were shut down, her council FIRED A JUDGE for ruling against them, the government withdrew services, the courts slapped the tribe down, their forced evictions were halted....  that's certainly NOT..."WINNING" and WHO acts like a terrorist?

Monday, September 18, 2017

BIA DOCS Confirms Wrongdoing in Pechanga Tribe FOIA Release to Researcher Emilio Reyes.

We've posted extensively about the FOIA issues researcher Emilio Reyes has been having with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  NOW, through a subsequent FOIA REQUEST we have uncovered more evidence of BIA wrongdoing in handling tribal records. This time at the Riverside Office.  Virgil Townsend was the supervisor in the 80's.

As we proceed, bear in mind that a Pechanga tribal member, was employed by the BIA and elders say that Irehne Basquez Scearce, had made changes to the 1940 census while under their employ.  The tribe reportedly voted her OFF the enrollment committee for this disgraceful act, yet the then chairwoman who is currently disenfranchised Jennie Masiel Miranda REFUSED to kick her off the committee. Miranda is the NIECE of Scearce.  FAMILY Trumps Truth.

100 Tosobol Descendants Left Out In Pechanga Tribe's Moratorium

It's well known in California that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians has terminated over 25% of their tribal members in two massive eliminations. Coincidentally, each family was removed just prior to tribal elections. (story reprised from earlier post)

What many people still are unclear about, is Pechanga's so-called moratorium on membership. 

This was put into place under the premise that the enrollment committee had to "catch-up" on all the membership claims. Of course, that was a ruse to simply keep rightful members from joining the Band as per the Tribal Constitution. Pechanga's Chairman Mark Macarro has claimed it's "not about the money". Pechanga's per capita payments were $10,000 per month when the first family, descendents of Pablo Apis were erased from the tribe. When the Hunter Family was disenrolled, (a term created to make it sound like Indians were kicked out of the PTA or country club) the per capita was $20,000 per month. Now, the tribe is giving $30,000 per month to those remaining. Raise your hand if you think it "wasn't about the money".

Here is the story of one family, that we've profiled before. We've been asking them to contribute to this blog with more information and they've finally opened up.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

StopTribal Disenrollment Movement HAS Successes: Share THESE STORIES

Paulina Hunter
Original Pechanga Indian
Still Disenrolled, but her descendants still fight

We focus so much on the horror of TRIBAL DISENROLLMENT in the past decade +, the sometimes we forget about the SUCCESSES that have happened.

Injustices can be righted as evidenced in these tribal actions below and with leaders of the movement like attorney Gabe Galanda , Marilyn Vann and Dr. David Wilkins:

Cherokee Freedmen

The black descendants of the slaves the Cherokee dragged on the TRAIL OF TEARS won justice with their TREATY RIGHTS being enforced in court.  HUGE WIN for JUSTICE and ended disenrollments with new members being enrolled as of this writing.

Enterprise Rancheria

Thirteen years after disenrolling 73 tribal members, in a move that was orchestrated and illegal in 2003,  the Tribe sent letters of appeal for potential membership in the tribe.  25 disenrolled members applied for reinstatement.Each member was individually interviewed by the General Council.  A VOTE of the tribe was taken and ALL 25 were returned to the tribe.

Robinson Rancheria

Lack of Due Process and Ex Post Facto Laws Issues in Saginaw Chippewa Disenrollment Hearing

Judge Patrick Shannon, fresh off overseeing the disenrollment of one Saginaw Chippewa family, now is available to do the bidding of the tribe, sitting in on the Stanley case.


Attorney for the Stanley family Paula Fisher said that the Alma family can be traced both lineally and collaterally - meaning membership to the Tribe was based on Native ancestry in both immediate family members and extended.

Stanley’s family was disenrolled in February by the Tribal Office of Administrative Hearings, which decided the case based on summary judgement and did not give Stanley a chance to speak, Fisher said.

In addition, Fisher said the ordinance that was in place at the time Stanley’s family became members of the Tribe is supposed to govern admission.

If the Tribe can continue to change the rules, Fisher said, no member will ever be sure they won’t be disenrolled.

Frank, however, said the Tribal Constitution that was enacted in 1986 includes membership criteria that has not changed and that lineal tracing was required.

Fisher said the Tribe would not exist without Stanley’s chief ancestor.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Bob Kelly
The Nooksack tribal election was just announced and there’s already accusations of impropriety.
Chairman Bob Kelly appointed the sister of a council member running for reelection to oversee the vote.  WHAT COULD GO WRONG?  We can TRUST THEM, right?
The Seattle Times reports that councilmember is a Kelly ally.  It's like putting Chelsea Clinton in charge of a recount for Hillary right?
Kelly says in a small tribe, it’s almost impossible to find someone not related to at least one of the candidates.   Why not find one related to the NOOKSACK 306?  Or ONE FROM EACH.
Some disenrolled members of the Nooksack 306 worry the election will be rigged.  As, most everything has been RIGGED AGAINST them, including the tribe FIRING JUDGES who didn't rule the way the tribe expected.
The federal government could send an election observer if requested.
By agreeing to the vote, the tribe gets its federal funding back and can reopen its Northwood Casino.  
The Washington-based tribe had been denied access to an estimated $14 million in federal funds amid a long-running dispute over election and enrollment matters. 
The faction can't represent the "Nooksack Indian Tribe," Judge John C. Coughenor concluded, because it is not recognized by the Department of the Interior. Although the agency's stance took shape during the final year of the Obama era, the new administration has dug in with a remarkably harsh view of the "unelected, unrecognized, and illegitimate" group.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The FACES of Disenrollment: 7 Years Since Lawrence Madariaga of Pechanga Walked On Without Justice

It's been a busy couple of weeks and I'm sad to say that I didn't get this posted when I wanted to. It's been SEVEN years since our elder, and long lived Pechanga Member Lawrence Madariaga, who was wrongfully stripped of his citizenship in the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians WALKED ON.  

Many of Lawrence's family still live on the reservation, now under an apartheid and segregation policy.  Over 50 years of peace, and then erased from Pechanga history.

We wrote this piece when Lawrence Madariaga walked on, without justice 
Lawrence and Sophie Madariaga
Sad news from the Pechanga Reservation tonight. Lawrence Madariaga, who has resided on the Pechanga Reservation for over 60 years, has died of cancer. Lawrence was the elder of the Hunter family, which was terminated from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians by the Mark Macarro led tribal council.

The Hunter Family was profiled in the KNBC News Special, "Without A Tribe" which was so highly rated, they showed it in its entirety the very next day. In that news piece, presented by Colleen Williams, Pechanga Chairman Macarro was caught lying in the first 15 seconds of his presentation.

We'll embed a video of a similar story done on local news. The Hunters were the second family terminated en masse by the Pechanga Enrollment Committee. By removing tribal members, the tribal council could control votes and power.

Lawrence helped feed and clothe the very same people who would later terminate him from the tribe. He helped to bring the health clinic and electricity to the Pechanga Reservation. His family served on Pechanga Commissions and were an integral part of the tribal system. Sadly, Lawrence joins his wife Sophie, in death.  Sophie herself was received on final insult in death, as we reported:

As Sophia lived on the reservation, continually for over 40 years and her husband, Hunter family ELDER Lawrence Madariaga, still does. The family was looking to have their memorial at the Pechanga Senior Center. A deposit was placed but the family was turned down by the Silver Feathers, one final insult to the woman who fed, and diapered many of those people's children when they needed it.

See them both in this video

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Nooksack Tribe AGREES that NOOKSACK 306 can VOTE

The MOA for the election just signed between Nooksack Tribal Chairman Bob Kelly and BIA's Mike Black makes pretty clear that EVERYONE belongs for purposes of this election. No ifs, ands or buts about it, say the NOOKSACK 306.

NOW everyone MUST SHOW UP....

Frustration Over BIA Foot-dragging on FOIA Leads to Offers to Help

We've written many stories about our friend Emilio Reyes's adventures with the BIA and the agency NOT fulfilling their obligations.  Now, he's so frustrated that he's offered his help to Native Americans who ALSO have been stiffed by the BIA.  He's had to go to Jessica Rogers in DC to very little satisfaction.  SMDH

If you need help, add Emilio as a friend of Facebook. 

Read MORE about the FOIA ISSUES:

BIA in CA Called out for Inconsistencies
BIA hiding Mexican Indians at San Pasqual
Bureau of Indian Affairs Pullijng OKIE DOKE on FOIA
BIA FOIA: Good enough for Govt Work?
Justice Dept Works OVERTIME Defending BIA on FOIA