Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
In a time when CA is heavily in debt, our wonderful Senate has UNANIMOUSLY passed a bill that will allow us to get LESS money from a Casino Tribe. Wonder how the campaign funds made out.
The state Senate has approved a revised agreement with a Sacramento-area Indian tribe that owns a struggling casino east of the state capital.
Gov. Jerry Brown negotiated the new compact last fall with the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. The tribe owns the Red Hawk Casino, which officially opened in December 2008 just as a national recession began.
Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican from Rocklin, said his bill will let the tribe restructure and refinance its debt while retaining about 1,400 jobs in El Dorado County.
AB1267 would let the tribe reduce its payments for several years before requiring that it eventually pay the state 15 percent of the casino's net winnings.
The bill passed unanimously and without debate Thursday, and now goes to the Assembly.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Standoff at Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians ENDS in Multiple Arrests. Violent Action by Sheriffs End Standoff
A lengthy standoff at the tribal headquarters of the Berry Creek Rancheria of Maidu Indians in Oroville ended in multiple arrests Thursday afternoon.
Butte County Sheriff's media liaison Miranda Bowersos said approximately 15 to 20 tribe members, unhappy with a certain internal tribal process, locked themselves in the headquarter building off Olive Highway around 1 a.m.
Deputies later revealed the protesting members were disgruntled due to a vote taken to remove numerous members from the tribe and reservation.
Deputies established contact with the individuals through the door of the building and were trying to negotiate a peaceful resolution. However, after hours of unsuccessful negotiations, deputies set of a flash bang grenade and accessed the building through a rear entry point around noon, said deputies.
All individuals inside were detained and transported to county jail, deputies said.
Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Native Americans are entitled to free and subsidized medical care at some federally-funded health clinics, but 'Obamacare' will soon force many of them to buy insurance or else face hefty fines if they are not “Indian enough”.
“A lot of folks are going to get stuck with the bill,” Jay Stiener of the National Council of Urban Indian Health told the Associated Press.
Members of federally-recognized American Indian tribes have received government-funded health services since 1787. Throughout the US, there are 33 hospitals and 59 health centers that provide services including prenatal care, baby well-checks, dentistry and eye glasses to Native Americans.
The US government has treaty obligations to care for the well-being of Native Americans, but may soon abandon many of its legal responsibilities. President Obama’s health care reform will force thousands of Native Americans to purchase their own health insurance or pay a minimum fine of $695 to the Internal Revenue Service. Indian health advocacy groups estimate up to 480,000 people will be affected, AP reports.
Only those who can prove that they are “Indian enough” will be exempt from the mandate. Native Americans will have to show documentation that they belong to one out of 560 tribes that are federally recognized by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs.
There are more than 100 US tribes that are recognized by states, but not the federal government. Members of these tribes would no longer receive the free or subsidized healthcare that they are guaranteed by the Indian Health Service (IHS), which is a division within the US Department of Health and Human Services.
“This could lead to some tribal citizens being required to purchase insurance or face penalties even though they are covered by the HIS,” Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican congressman and member of the Chickasaw Nation tribe, told AP.
Additionally, Native Americans who do not have documentation of their tribe membership will be forced to purchase insurance or pay a fine. This becomes particularly troublesome for Native Americans under the age of 18, since many tribes only provide official membership to adults. Even if both parents of the minors are members, their healthcare coverage may not apply to their children unless they also have the proper documentation.
The health care reform would also complicate the situation for Native Americans who live in metropolitan areas or suburbs. Some tribal governments require members to live on the reservation to gain documentation, which few people do. Nearly two-thirds of American Indians and Alaska Natives currently live in cities, which hinders their ability to receive membership cards from their tribes.
Full Article on Obamacare and Native Americans
The federal appeals panel in San Francisco said the tribe's governing documents do not allow the Bureau of Indian Affairs to review the tribe's decision to disenroll members.
The Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria has fewer than 100 voting members and occupies 200 acres in Mendocino County. In 1995, it voted to remove 22 people from its membership roll, all members of the Sloan-Heckler family.
The tribe claimed the Sloan-Hecklers were ineligible for membership because they were affiliated with other tribes and/or accepted money from a settlement involving the Hoopa Valley Tribe and the Yurok Tribe.
However, the family reportedly did not enroll with either tribe.
Some speculated that the tribe wanted to shrink enrollment to boost payouts from its Red Fox Casino to existing tribe members.
The tribe's attorney asked the BIA to "honor the action taken by the tribe ... and recognize the existing tribal members." The agency instead referred the matter to the tribe's executive council.
It echoed this hands-off approach when disenrolled member Gene Sloan appealed the tribe's action in 1999.
But in 2000, the BIA's superintendent and regional director said the agency would not recognize the tribe's decision to disenroll the Sloan-Hecklers.
The Interior Board of Indian Appeals, which has jurisdiction over agency decisions, reversed, saying "BIA officials lacked decision-making authority in the circumstances."
Nonetheless, the BIA explicitly took up Sloan's appeal in 2009. It refused to recognize the disenrollments and ordered the tribe to put the disenrolled members back on its membership roll.
The tribe challenged the action in federal court, saying the BIA's involvement violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
A federal judge upheld the agency's decision as "not in excess of its authority," and the tribe appealed.
"We hold that the tribe's ordinance is unambiguous and that it provides a right of appeal only for rejections of enrollment applications, not for disenrollment decisions," Judge Michael Hawkins wrote for the three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit.
"Nowhere in the tribal documents is there a grant of authority to the BIA to review appeals from disenrollment decisions," the panel concluded.
Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
CA Casino Tribes Draft Legislation Legalizing Internet Poker That Screws Horse Tracks and Wagering Facilities.
It figures that a group including a tribe like Pechanga, which has violated civil and human rights of it's people and practices apartheid on its reservation would help draft legislation that cheat CA citizens of income and freezes out competitors.
From the Press Enterprise:
A group of prominent American Indian tribes with casinos has crafted draft legislation to legalize Internet poker. It differs in several areas from a bill on the issue introduced by a key state senator.
The draft language, which has not been introduced as a bill, has been circulated by a group of tribes that includes the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians near Temecula and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in the Coachella Valley.
The proposal would offer online poker licenses to entities that already offer poker — namely tribes with casinos and the state’s 88 card rooms.
Horse tracks and advanced-deposit wagering facilities would not be eligible, as they are in Senate Bill 51 by state Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, the chairman of the committee that oversees gaming.
Also, the draft proposal calls for a license fee of $5 million. That is a fraction of the $30 million license fee in the Wright bill.
Remember when PECHANGA tried to keep Californians from voting?
Read more on former Pechanga Tribal ChairJennie Miranda
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
As the tribal chairwoman of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, I feel the need to set the record straight about the turmoil within our tribe.
Along with the other three members of our tribal council quorum, I have remained mostly silent during nearly two years of unrest -- disputed elections, council suspensions, legal actions and financial struggles. Our silence has been intentional: We have kept busy ensuring the stability of the tribe's casino and resort, for one, and we have always believed that this was an internal matter, a tribal conflict best settled outside the glare of the media.
Unfortunately, in a headline culture, lies shouted loud and shouted often ultimately get attention. I fear that's what's happened with our tribe.
In late February 2013, three members of our council -- Reggie Lewis, Chance Alberta and Carl "Buzz" Bushman -- fled the Rancheria and set up an unconstitutional "shadow" council in three office suites in a luxury Fresno office complex. Using liquidated tribal funds, the rogue council is paying an estimated nearly $20,000 per month in rent for their office space. This is money that should be used to help our tribe and its members.
The rogue council members and their lawyers have also sent numerous letters to casino vendors, banks, casino employees and the National Indian Gaming Commission, trying mightily to disrupt casino business, despite the fact that the Chukchansi people rely on that business for much-needed services and per-capita payments. While the rogue tribal council seems intent on sabotaging our people's economic engine from afar, the members of the quorum council -- Tracey Brechbuehl, Dr. Karen Wynn, Charles Sargosa and I -- go to work every day in a cramped office a few hundred feet from our lifeline business, making sure that more than 1,000 jobs stay in place and that the casino and resort remain in a business-as-usual mode.
Nor has the rogue council stopped there. Despite the Chukchansi Constitution's clear mandate that only a quorum of council members can make government decisions, this threesome has declared themselves in charge, holding sham council meetings 40 miles off the rancheria in Fresno, issuing sham council suspensions and appointing a sham fourth council member to grant themselves a sham quorum. The only thing real about these edicts is the confusion it has created in our community, in the media and with our business partners.
The rogue council threesome's latest ploy to grab headlines came in late April. Again using liquidated tribal funds, the minority hired an allegedly "independent" consultant to conduct a pair of referenda meant to reshuffle the tribal council in their favor. This balloting was tainted in three ways: One, it failed to follow the Chukchansi Constitution. Two, the allegedly "independent" group, Indian Dispute Resolution Services, has for years employed a relative of Reggie Lewis' whom we believe worked on the referenda. And three, the voters in this bogus election were paid for their votes.
Specifically, the council minority offered voters a one-time payment of hundreds of dollars in return for signing the referenda in question. The ballots even came accompanied by IRS forms, to ensure easy payment. Perhaps the only thing surprising about the results of such a "pay for votes" election is that the council minority claims to have "won" with a mere 53% of the vote, despite such payments.
Let me be clear about the state of the Chukchansi tribe today. The council quorum of four works daily from the rancheria, doing the business of our people. Our casino remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, despite the wasted funds and wasted efforts of three rogue council members who believe they can run our tribal government from a glass office building in Fresno.
These three in their glass house continue to throw stones. Regardless, our quorum is determined to restore stability and dignity to the Chukchansi people. Every single member of our tribe deserves nothing less.
The SIERRA STAR NEWS is the leader in getting information out on the multi faceted problems at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians This is an effort to get the two remaining power groups together so they can share the booty of cheating 75% of their former members, without further scrutiny. They are only going back TWO YEARS, leaving the first disenrollees out in the cold...
It is a crucial time for our tribe. As the various factions fight for power, we have become divided more than ever. We are in jeopardy of losing our control over the casino as well as our tribal programs for the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.
OP: This road was begun by terminating 70% of their tribe. It's time to bring ALL the People HOME. Get the FULL tribe back together. Which has more impact, 500 or 2,000?
The Ayala faction and Lewis faction have failed us, for the tribe is on a spiral decline into oblivion. This must change. The time has come for a whole new tribal council.
We must put aside our differences and stand united as a tribe. It does not matter whether you have supported the Reid faction (four leaders elected in 2011 who were never allowed to take power at the rancheria), the Lewis faction, or the Ayala faction. Let us all come together and demand a new election to end this senseless fight for power once and for all.
If tribal members believe that it is time for a change, we are asking them to sign a new "Clean Slate" referendum no later than May 31. We believe that together, we can make a difference.
The governance dispute that has plagued the tribe since December, 2011 has done great harm to the tribe as a whole and the individual tribal members.
The governance dispute has escalated further since the Wyatt and Ramirez families have formed a third group claiming to be the tribal council.
The tribal membership recognize that the dispute will not be resolved unless the membership takes action.
The tribal membership realize that we are divided and there must be a unification of the tribe.
Therefore, we members of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians formally have submitted a referendum for a clean slate election to resolve the dispute between the Reid, Lewis, and Ayala factions through the referendum process.
The following is some more specifics from the clean slate referendum:
1. Referendum process: The Madera County Clerk will oversee and certify the referendum process, and ensure confidentiality of all responses. Names and signatures will not be disclosed.
2. Special clean slate election: A special "clean slate" election shall be conducted to elect seven tribal members to the tribal council. All aspects of the election shall be overseen and certified by a neutral third party, such as the Madera County Clerk, the BIA, or another neutral body. All ballots and votes will remain confidential. Once the results are certified, the election will be deemed final.
3. Terms of the elected: The three candidates receiving the highest total votes shall hold office until the December, 2014 election and seating. The four candidates receiving the next highest total of votes shall serve until the December, 2013 election and seating. Thereafter, all terms of office shall return to two years.
4. Tribal membership: All purported disenrollments between November 1, 2011 and today's date shall be declared null and void. Any individual who was a tribal member on October 1, 2011 shall be restored to full tribal membership, and all adult members shall be eligible to vote..
5. Sanctions: All sanctions, including but not limited to anti-violence ordinance sanctions and debarment letters between October 1, 2011 and today's date shall be declared null and void.
6. Voter eligibility: All persons who were, as of October 1, 2011, members of the tribe and eligible to vote in a tribal election shall be eligible to vote in the clean slate election. In addition, all tribal members who have reached the age of 18 since October 1, 2011 shall be eligible to vote.
7. Qualification of candidates: Candidates shall be qualified voters, reside within a 75-mile radius of the Picayune reservation and have never been removed, recalled or forfeited their position on the tribal council prior to December 3, 2011.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Dr. Lehman Brightman Evicted From Home. Native American Activist Extraordinaire Needs YOUR Help To Vacate.
Monday, May 13, 2013
The Pala people are continuing their action against Robert Smith and the corrupt council. Please read more about the disenrollments at Pala at: PALA WATCH
Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Friday, May 10, 2013
WTF? ACLU will Get Involved in Native American Issues when CA Violates Rights, But Not when TRIBES VIOLATED CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
In February, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) provisionally outlawed, on a so-called “emergency” basis, American indigenous prisoners’ religious use of: tribal sacred medicines like kinnikinnick, copal, and osha root; indigenous sacred items like pipes and pipe bags, drums and other instruments, and water dippers; and tribal religious necessities like cloth for prayer ties, beads and beading supplies, and animal hides and teeth. It appears the indigenous prisoners’ sweatlodge ceremonies have also been curtailed being reduced from occurring every weekend to only one or two times per month.