Friday, February 27, 2015

Indian Child Welfare Act Doesn't Protect Indian Children From Tribes That Terminate Them.

Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn released the Revised Guidelines to Ensure that Native Children and Families Receive the Full Protection of the Indian Child Welfare Act which is designed to "...provide better clarity so that the courts can carry out Congress’ intent to protect tribal families, preserve tribal communities, and promote tribal continuity now and into the future.” That's an important goal.  It does bring to mind another question:

WHO protects the welfare of Indian Children that have had their heritage ripped from them, by their own tribal government.   In the case of Pechanga, a rich casino tribe in California, over 200 children were summarily removed from the tribe.  Where was the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the National Congress of American Indians, or the Native American Rights funds, when Indian Children were being stripped of their citizenship?

In the case of Pechanga, whose enrollment committee included a relative of the family they disenrolled, sharing the same common ancestor, destroyed the welfare of a hundred Indian children.   Where were the protections for their welfare?   Why would the BIA refuse to get involved?   They may claim they were powerless, but they certainly could have issued guidance.    WHO protects the Native American child, when it's a Native American tribe that's harming them?

In the case of two large families from Pechanga , the Manuela Miranda and the Paulina Hunter descendants, the tribe voted to end all disenrollments, even though the tribal members knew it meant foregoing the resulting significant increase in their own per capita

The tribal enrollment committee consisting of less than a quorum and including members who had NO Indian heritage, voted to disenroll Paulina Hunter posthumously by a single vote.  That single vote, from a non-Indian has harmed the welfare of 200 Indian Children.  Non Indians taking the rights of Indians, while claiming those same rights for themselves.

In the recent ICWA revision press release, it states:

Several long-term studies have been conducted of Native American adult adoptees. Despite socioeconomic advantages that many of them received by virtue of their adoption, long term studies reflect that these adoptees experienced increased rates of depression, low self-esteem, and suicide. In addition, many adult adoptees continue to struggle with their identities and have reported feelings of loneliness and isolation. Today, the number of Native American children in foster care alone is still alarmingly high, and they are still more than twice as likely to be placed in foster care overall.

Is it time for a study on the experiences of depression, low esteem and suicide on children who have been discarded, sometimes by non-Indian leaders?  Think about this:

The news release continues: Protecting Indian children reflects the highest ideals of the trust responsibility to Indian tribes and the guidelines issued today are a part of this Administration’s broader approach to ensuring compliance with ICWA.     This statement begs the question: 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

State Absorbs Costs After Chukchansi Casino Failure; Corruption As It's Done Due to Tribal Disernollments

Remember when TRIBES promised casino gaming would be a boon for all Native's in California?  The darker side is that the STATE is left holding the bag when the corruption shuts down the casino.  IS THAT the reason they turn a blind eye to the civil and human rights violations in Casino Indian Country?

Workers who lost their jobs when Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was shut down last October due to an armed takeover will be beneficiaries of a $500,000 grant from the California Employment Development Department.    GREAT FOR THEM, not so good for the taxpayers of CA.

     The EDD is providing the Madera County Workforce Investment Board with the grant to assist workers who were laid off after the casino was forced to shut down due to violence by one of three feuding tribal factions.

     One of the factions executed a takeover of the casino in Coarsegold - 40 miles northeast of Fresno - using firearms and Tasers on Oct. 9, 2014. More than 15 people were arrested after the takeover and are awaiting trial.

     The casino was shut down by order of the California Attorney General Kamala Harris' Office and the National Indian Gaming Commission, causing enormous losses in profits.

     "The sudden closure of this important local business severely impacted more than 1,000 people who are suddenly without work, and many others whose jobs were dependent on the casino," said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning, Jr.
     Approximately 600 of the workers who lost their jobs are residents of Madera County.

     The $500,000 grant will "provide needed employment resources, such as retraining, resume-writing classes, interview preparation, and job search services that will help them secure new jobs as quickly as possible," Henning said.    THIS IS SOMETHING CHUKCHANSI should be paying for, or should REPAY the citizens of CALIFORNIA.

10 Things YOU Can Do to Help Stop Civil Rights Violations in Indian Country.

We published these years ago from the President of AIRRO, and we think it's still timely, and I've added some enhancements from the original post. 

HOPING someone ELSE will do something IS NOT a Battle Plan

You can help us and help your Native American friends who suffer at the hands of tribes like: Pechanga, Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, Redding Rancheria, San Pasqual, Enterprise, Guideville, Pala , Grande Ronde and the NOOKSACK 306

Here are 10 Things You Can Do To Help Stop the Lawlessness in Indian Country

1. Call, Write, and Email your Congressional representatives and tell them that the violations of human rights and civil liberties must be stopped and the violators must be prosecuted. Remind them that it is their trust responsibility to protect individual Indians from harm. Find your representative at THIS LINK     

OP: If only 10 people send a letter, it makes no impact, 11 is more, 120 is better. Don't sit back and hope somebody writes a letter, or email or fax. Send one yourself and one for your wife and kids and ask your neighbors if you can send one on their behalf. If you are reading this, there is NO EXCUSE for not joining the battle for the rights of your family.

2. Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers describing the violations of human rights and civil liberties occurring in Indian Country. Develop contacts in the media

OP: How do you think we got a news piece on KNBC (linked at my blogroll) or on KCBS? The editors will write about what their readers want to read.  The Nooksack 306 have been on radio, television and print.  Their work helps all who have been harmed by their tribes.

3. Boycott Indian Casinos owned by those tribes whose tribal officials have violated the human rights and civil liberties of its citizens and customers. 

OP: I used to spend $3,000 a year at Pechanga, but no more. I tell people now, not to go there, and why,. WRITE or CALL the casino to tell them why you are NO LONGER coming, otherwise they will just think "business is down"

4. Get others to boycott with you.

OP: How about your high school reunion committee that's thinking of having it at the casinos? NopeAnd send a letter to the casinos telling them WHY you aren't having it on their properties.  Let them know they could have had a big ticket event. Simply ASK your friends to HELP YOU>

5. Stand beside those who have been wronged - walk the protest lines, carry a sign.

6. Speak out about the injustices occurring in Indian Country. Don't hide behind the fear "that you might be next".

OP: Bullies will beat up on those who won't defend themselves. We are living proof, we didn't stand up, even when violent response may have made sense.

Chukchansi "Unification" Council Rebuffed By Indian Affairs

Things at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians are still in disarray.

On January 24th, the Tribe's General Council voted to recognize that the six tribal leaders who make up the Unification Council – Chance Alberta, Nancy Ayala, Nokomis Hernandez, Tracey Hopkins, Reggie Lewis and Karen Wynn – have the Tribe's constitutional authority to act as the Tribe's interim governing body until an election for all seven Tribal Council seats is conducted, and to use the membership list as it existed at the time of the December 2012 Tribal Council elections.

There was a subsequent meeting this past Monday. Here's a result of that meeting

Karen Wynn and Tracy Hopkins refused to step down so the 2010 council can form. Nancy and Jennifer back Karen and Tracy. They are going to BIA tomorrow trying to get government to government started, using the unification council.  Morris took his seat but Dora refused to seat with unification. 
A vote by the 7 2010 council members to pass a resolution (to place the unification in power) was made. 4 no 3 yes. You should have seen Tracy's face when Chance Alberta voted no.  Chance tells Tracy that he knows that BIA will not accept using 2 council. Most of the time general council just verbally abuses the tribal council, which was the best part of the meeting."

On Wednesday Feb. 25th the unification council met with the BIA, with protesters gathered outside.  The determination is that tribal members DO NOT have to join with the unification council to have an election.  There will be a meeting today, Thursday 2/26.

Ruling on Federal Recognition of Mishewal Wappo Tribe Due by March 31

A federal judge appears close to ruling on a local Indian tribe’s efforts to seek federal recognition, with potential future implications for Napa Valley land use.
The Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley sued the U.S. Department of Interior to have its tribal recognition restored. Napa County officials fear such status might someday give the tribe the ability to build a casino locally, should it choose to pursue this course.
Both sides filed motions for summary judgment in their favor. U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila took the Mishewal Wappo case under submission in July 2013, beginning the wait for a decision.
In a recently filed document, Davila said he will issue an order addressing the motions by roughly March 31.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I was sent an article entitled 22 Reasons to Never Give UP by my cousin Russ, at a point where I was feeling a bit low about working the blog and the fact that a number of our people, and MY OWN family have dropped out.   But, I’ve read it a few times and now I’m going to adapt some of it where it would pertain to those of us that have been harmed by their tribes.  Because if we don't work as hard for OUR RIGHTS, we won't regain them, as this picture illustrates:

The comments are open, let us know what you think.  Show it to your family that are willing to let others do the work for them.

At some point in the various journeys we embark on in our lives, we get to a part where we feel like giving up. Sometimes we give up before we even start and other times we give up just before we are about to make that huge break-through that we have been putting so much effort in to achieve.

1- As Long As You Are Alive Anything Is Possible

The only valid excuse you have to give up is if you are dead. As long as you are alive (and healthy and free) you have the choice to keep trying until you finally succeed.      OP: Why give up when all we are expending is TIME? “I don’t have the time” is one refrain, of course they can tell me all about the “Real Housewives of New York” or “Keeping Up With the Kardassians.” WTF? You can email a letter WHILE you are watching those shows, you can comment on news articles.

3- Michael Jordan

Arguably the best basketball player of all time. He attributes his success to all his failures. He just never gave up even when he knew he had missed over 300 shots and had missed the winning shot of the game many times. Every time he got knocked down he got back up again.    OP: Never mind that Wilt Chamberlain was the best of all time.  The point is, keep going. Sure the last fax/letter didn’t get an answer, but the next one might.  I once got a call EVERY WEDNESDAY morning at 7:15 a.m. from a job applicant I interviewed but didn’t have a position available. Ultimately, she DID get a position. She was a terrific employee too, perseverance paid off.  Tribes COUNT on us giving up and going away.

7- Chris Gardner – The Pursuit of Happiness

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nooksack 306 Survive Battle Due to Kelly Faction Premature Ejac... Uh Incompetence In Rushing Disenrollment Hearings

 Plans to strip membership from roughly 300 members of the Nooksack Indian Tribe must wait until the disenrollment process has final federal approval, according to a tribal court judge.
In a hearing Monday afternoon, Feb. 23, Nooksack Tribal Court Judge pro tem Randy Doucet held with the court’s previous rulings: Until tribal council has final word from the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, they may not disenroll anyone, said lawyers for the affected members. A reporter was not allowed in the courtroom as only five people for each side were admitted.
The ruling came as a relief for members of three affected families, who call themselves the “Nooksack 306.”
Dozens of the 306 gathered outside the small tribal court building in Deming Monday afternoon, separated from the building by caution tape, cones, and a handful of tribal police officers. While waiting for news, they and their supporters prayed, sang songs and beat drums.
“I have faith that no matter what happens, Creator’s going to be watching over us,” said Arsenio Lopez III, who is facing disenrollment, while waiting outside of the court. “I never question my Nooksack blood. I have faith that justice will prevail.”
Within an hour, the Nooksack 306 had their answer as their lawyer Gabe Galanda walked out of the building, hand held high in the air with a big thumbs up and a smile on his face.
The hearing dealt in part with the group’s recent appeal of a decision by the Secretary of the Interior.
In mid-January, the tribe was notified the Secretary of the Interior had ruled a September 2014 tribal ordinance that details a disenrollment process is legal under the tribe’s constitution.
The ordinance in question was set up by Chairman Bob Kelly and his supporters on the tribal council. It spells out a process that requires each of the affected members to compile legal documentation of their lineage and schedule a time to have a 10-minute teleconference with the council.
The council attempted to start expelling members with a similar process in 2013, but the Nooksack Tribal Court issued an injunction as that process was not sent to the Interior Secretary for approval when it was first put in place.
Upon getting the Secretary’s approval of the process in January, the council started sending notices to affected elders informing them of “involuntary disenrollment meetings” starting March 4.
The 306 appealed the Secretary’s decision. Their lawyers Galanda and Ryan Dreveskracht argued that federal law dictates the Secretary’s decision is of no legal effect until the appeal has been decided through a federal administrative process.

Read more here:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

DEVASTATING Video Of the NOOKSACK 306 Abuse by Bob Kelly Please WATCH and SHARE

This is so well produced, dealing with the anguish caused by the Nooksack Tribe, and it's chairman, adopted tribal member Robert Kelly and it's abuse of tribal citizens.   It's important that you WATCH and share with all your contacts.  SOVEREIGNTY was NOT meant to be wielded like a CLUB, to beat the weak and helpless


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Paskenta Band Sues Former F.B.I Agent For Stealing $838,000. Pechanga Disenrolled Say: Pikers, Pechanga has Stolen 3 times as Much from Each Of US

A northern California tribe that the State tried to shut their casino down for corruption claims in court that its former economic development director swiped $838,000 to buy himself a house.  Seems lie a lot, but it's about a third of what Pechanga has stolen from one of 230 tribal members they disenrolled.

     The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians sued John Crosby, his wife, Cornerstone Community Bank and Quicken Loans, on Feb. 11 in Shasta County Court.

     The tribe, whose land is in Tehama and Glenn counties, sought venue in Shasta County because the property in dispute is there. The tribe of roughly 240 members operates the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning.
     It claims that while working as economic development director in January 2012, Crosby withdrew $838,434.14 in cash from a tribal account at Cornerstone Community Bank, bought a cashier's check for that amount, and used it to buy a house in his and his wife's names.
     The Crosbys then borrowed money against the house - $417,000 from Quicken Loans and a revolving loan of $190,650 from Cornerstone Community Bank, according to the complaint.
     "Plaintiff only became aware of Mr. Crosby's actions following his termination in April 2014 and after conducting a months-long investigation into the unlawful dealings of Mr. Crosby and others," the complaint states.

     The property is listed for sale with an asking price of $1.3 million, the tribe says. It claims it is the rightful owner of the property because Crosby bought it with tribal money.

     It seeks a judicial determination of the parties' rights and obligations, an injunction preventing sale, and quiet title against any claims by the Crosbys or the lenders.

     "Unless and until they are enjoined and restrained by this Court, the Crosby defendants' continued possession of the subject property and their efforts to sell it will cause great and irreparable injury to plaintiff in that the subject property could be sold without plaintiff's knowledge and permission, and the proceeds from any such sale, which rightfully belong to plaintiff, could be placed in accounts inaccessible to plaintiff," the complaint states.

     On June 3, 2014 the tribe said in a statement that an internal audit of its business accounts had revealed embezzlement by John Crosby and others. The statement said Crosby is a former FBI agent . The tribe alleged that Crosby and the tribe's former treasurer's husband set up an account with themselves as signatories and wrote hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of checks to each other.

     "Crosby wrote over $600,000 in checks for home improvement, including landscaping, a tennis court, pool construction and an outdoor kitchen," the tribe said.
     In June last year, during a tribal dispute, California sued the tribe to enjoin the factions from carrying firearms, deploying tribal police or trying to take over the casino 

Friday, February 20, 2015

UPDATE: NOOKSACK CORRUPTION: If it Looks Corrupt, Acts Corrupt, Sounds Corrupt, Probably CORRUPT?

Our friends in the struggle for human and civil rights, the NOOKSACK 306 are fighting the corrupt and racist Nooksack tribal leaders AND the Department of Interior:

Two members of the “Nooksack 306” – Nooksack Indian Tribe citizens who are fighting disenrollment – are awaiting an appeals court ruling on a case involving their alleged unconstitutional removal from the tribal council.

Council members Michelle Roberts and Rudy St. Germaine, along with more than 270 of the members targeted for disenrollment, filed a motion in Nooksack Tribal Court of Appeals February 18 seeking an emergency review of a February 7 order by Nooksack Tribal Court Chief Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis, denying an injunction to stop Council Chairman Robert Kelly and other defendants from removing Roberts and St. Germaine from the council and reinstate them to their elected positions. Montoya-Lewis said the council had the power to remove them and that the court did not have the power to deal with the political aspects of the events.

According to the court documents, Kelly called three emergency meetings over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, effectively blocked Roberts and St. Germaine from attending the meeting via teleconference and, at the last meeting, led the council in removing them from office for missing three meetings.

The motion to the Nooksack Tribal Court of Appeals asking for a review of Montoya-Lewis’s order is the latest action in a long series of legal moves that have taken place since February 2013, when the tribal council under Kelly’s direction passed Resolution 13-02: Initiating Involuntary Disenrollment for Certain Descendants of Annie James (George).

The common thread among the 306 members facing disenrollment is their mixed Filipino and American Indian heritage. Moreno Peralta, spokesman for the families, told Indian Country Today Media Network that the families believe they are being dispossessed of their Nooksack identity because of their mixed Nooksack and Filipino ancestry.

Read more at At Indian Country


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Some Chumash are MORE EQUAL than Others, Though They May Be LESS Indian

Santa Barbara Independent opinionist Mike Brady has a piece on how 150 Chumash are enjoying largesse, while THOUSANDS of other Chumash are locked out.  It's good to see someone else seeing with open eyes.

 Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has about 150 enrolled members. They receive all the money from the casino. The thousands of other Chumash descendants, some with more Chumash DNA than the enrolled tribal members, are locked out, receiving no benefit from the Tribe’s fortune.

The state grants this gambling monopoly. The federal government removes enrolled members’ land from a taxable status (fee) into a “sovereign nation” (trust). The reason we did this is to appease our guilt and “make it right” for the Native Americans.
Does it correct our wrong to give a small minority huge wealth while leaving the remaining thousands of Chumash descendants out of the money?
The Santa Ynez Chumash Tribe asserts it has the legal basis to exclude the other Chumash. Does the legal right to do so make it right?
Laws have made it legal to:
Put Japanese Americans in relocation camps and strip them of land and possessions.
• Enslave Africans and African Americans.
• Keep African Americans second-class citizens without basic rights through the Jim Crow laws and the “separate but equal” determination by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Was Frank Trask San Pasqual Indian "ancestor" What Al Sharpton Would Call a "White Interloper"?

We had a post on the family history of current on San Pasqual's Lawson Family which included a link to the history of their ancestor Frank Trask who they claim lineage from.  Here's a picture of that "Indian" man.   While determining ancestry from a picture is not possible, was wavy hair a norm from Native men?  This picture was around the early 1900's.
Frank Trask
Here's a picture of Kumeyaay men from 1920, looking quite....dissimilar

Information from the BIA shows that  Allan Lawson Sr is from Mesa Grande, not San Pasqual. It's on a request for surplus demountable housing.  That in order to receive the house, it was accepted that he's from Mesa Grande.

Frank Trask was a judge appointed on the San Pasqual Reservation and was always mentioned as a "white caretaker" of the reservation.      The BIA relied on a 1910 "San Pasqual Census" to make this man 1/2 Indian. In 1910 this man was listed as an "Indian" in Mesa Grande and again in a township in "Escondido." The only reason he is listed as "indian" is because he married an Indian from Mesa Grande. Not only that, the own mother in a letter dated in 1920 wrote to the BIA and told them Frank Trask was not Indian nor any of the immediate ancestors.The BIA has known about this error since early 1900's, and until this day they refuse to fix it. In the meantime, the real descendants of the band are being keep out of their own REZ!