Thursday, November 20, 2014

Plaintiffs Counsel Speaks On Ruling In PALA CASE: On to Appellate Court

Law Offices of 
205 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 105 $ Escondido, California 92025 
Telephone (760) 738-9301 $ Fax (760) 738-9409 

November 20, 2014
Contact: Erin Emblem
760.7383.9301 Office

San Diego, CA - The descendents of Margarita Britton have long been besieged in a dispute
about the nature of their Native American heritage with the Pala Band of Mission Indians. Despite
the Bureau of Indian Affairs 1989 "final decision" stating that Margarita Britton was in fact 4/4
Indian and the 2012 reaffirmation in their letter to the Pala Tribe recommending that the family
stay on Tribe's official rolls, corporate greed over gaming revenue and per capita distributions
have fuelled the forced exodus of this disenfranchised family as well as many others like them
from tribes throughout the state and nation.

"The motives of the band's current management team are pretty clear and actions like these make
us question the rights and responsibility of our own government and the extent of our authority to
protect federally enrolled members. The BIA says that they can only recommend. If the
government knows that the rights of its citizens are being violated isn't their responsibility to step
in? They do it all the time, all over the world and this case we're asking them to protect American
citizens here in the United States. This Laissez-Faire, bury your head in the sand, look the other
way stance our government seems to be taking with federally enrolled tribal governments that
make up the rules as they go along doesn't happen with other foreign nations. The level of
dysfunction is just baffling to me. Could you imagine what a relief it would be to foreign
dictatorships if we took the same position?" asks appellate attorney Tracy Emblem who has spent
countless hours researching case law, statutes and ordinances which requires the federal
government to step in and in this case enforce the BIA's determination.

After months of delay appealing to the BIA back in 2012 and 2013, the U.S. District Court in
Aguayo v. Jewel, et al, issued a ruling yesterday full of mixed messages about where the family
stands and the scope of the federal government's authority. The long and short of the 35 page
decision is that it is in Judge Bashant's opinion that she does not have the authority to hear or rule
on the case.

When asked for his take on the ruling, Plaintiff's attorney Thor Emblem remarked, "it's apparent
that the judge wants the court of appeals to make the call on this. A decision of this magnitude
should come from a higher court as it has the power to specify the extent of the government's
authority and duty over a sovereign nation within its borders. If the ruling had gone the other way,
it was likely that the Tribe would have challenged a decision in our favor by filing a joinder, so no
matter the outcome, this case was on track for the appeals court. The good thing to come of this is
that moving forward our case can be heard in a court that is both familiar with the nature of our
case and is comfortable making a ruling that affects governmental policy. The 9th Circuit Court of 
Appeals has previously ruled on two of our primary arguments in the case of Alto v. Black where 
they found in our favor. From where we're standing, the appellate route is our next and best 
course of action at this time."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LaDonna Harris, Civil Rights Activist to Screen Her Film at Apartheid Practicing, Civil Rights Abusing Pechanga Reservation

Irony of ironies:

A documentary highlighting the accomplishments of LaDonna Harris, an Indian Country social and civil rights activist, to be shown at Pechanga Reservation during the San Diego American Indian Film Festival.   
Comanched Member LaDonna Harris

Ms. Harris will also be on hand to answer questions after the screening of "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101".

I wonder how Ms. Harris feels having a movie about her life and work shown at a place where so many Indian people have been subjected to human and civil rights abuses?  These victims of oppression are very similar to those she fought for in her younger days.   Now, she can walk into Pechanga, dashing the hopes of Native Americans who have been harmed by their own tribes, that someone with her strong credentials, might stand up against the tyranny we face......we hope someone will champion our cause, it may not be LaDonna, unless she can be persuaded about the violations faced by Natives FROM Natives....

Many of these Indians-elders, children, friends and family- cannot even go to the screening of her movie for fear of retribution.  Some are outright banished and just this week, notifications went out to allottees of the reservation that their mailboxes are being confiscated for use by non resident tribal members.

Of those who do go, will anyone dare ask Ms. Harris what her position is regarding the epidemic of rights abuses that has infected Indian Country- particularly at Pechanga- and which have resulted in the disenrollment and Banishment of thousands?

More importantly, if asked, can Ms. Harris offer an honest answer to such a question and possibly insult her "host"?   Would she miss this opportunity to speak "truth to POWER?"

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment
Nooksack Disenrollment
Attorney General Holder

BIA Successful in Throwing PALA Disenrolled Under The Bus in Aguayo v. Jewell

Judge Cynthia Bashant wasted no time in denying Plaintiff's motion.   
See Documents here: Aguayo v. Jewell

Sally Jewell doesn't swear to protect ALL Natives

The Court sympathizes with the hardships that Plaintiffs face as a result of their
disenrollment from the Pala Band. The significance of terminating membership from
one’s tribe is not lost. However, the Court’s role in this situation is “not to substitute
its judgment for that of the agency,” but rather to examine whether there is a “rational
connection between the facts found and the choice made” by the agency. Nw. Envtl.
Def. Ctr. v. Bonneville Power Admin., 477 F.3d 668, 687 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting State
Farm, 463 U.S. at 43) (internal quotation marks omitted). Under the standard
prescribed by 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), which is highly deferential to the agency, Plaintiffs
fail to meet their burden to demonstrate that the Assistant Secretary’s decision isin any
way “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse or discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with
law.” See 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A); San Luis & Delta-Mendota, 747 F.3d at 601.

In light of the foregoing, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs’ motion for summary
judgment, and GRANTS Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment. 
Accordingly, this Court affirms the Assistant Secretary’s June 2013 decision
concluding that “the Regional Director acted based on a proper interpretation of authority under tribal law to review the enrollment appeals[,]” and that “the Department
has no authority under Federal or tribal law to decide enrollment issues for the Band.”
(See AR 23.) 

Pala Disenrollments
Pala dispute
Pala disenrolled 162 members

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, which has seen a drastic decline in revenues from its River Rock Casino since a bigger, newer competitor opened near Rohnert Park, has chosen a new leader.
Harvey Hopkins, chairman of the Dry Creek tribe for the past 10 years, lost his bid for re-election over the weekend, coming in last to two other challengers.
The new chairman of the tribe is Chris Wright, 43, who is also the head of marketing for River Rock Casino near Geyserville. Preliminary results shared Monday by two tribal members had Wright earning 41 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Salvina Norris, the vice chairwoman, and 24 percent for Hopkins.
Saturday’s election came at a pivotal time for the 1,200-member tribe, which has seen its casino revenues cut in half since the Graton Resort and Casino opened a year ago about 30 miles south.
After its casino revenues plummeted, Dry Creek defaulted on more than $140 million owed to River Rock bondholders and also remains delinquent on a $3.5 million annual payment to Sonoma County to offset impacts from the gambling hall on a hill overlooking scenic Alexander Valley.
Tribal members said Wright is a fresh face, smart and personable.
“Those that voted for him probably think he (has) younger ideas, maybe more marketing ideas to keep our casino going,” said tribal elder Reg Elgin, who supported Hopkins.
Elgin said Hopkins, 66, may have unfairly been blamed for River Rock’s troubles since Graton opened. But he added that “the voters were pretty adamant in their stand — they thought it was time for a change.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pechanga Could Require Allottees to Wear YELLOW STAR to designate Status

Nazis forced Jews to wear Yellow Stars

UPDATE II: We think this story from 2012 is coming more TRUE every day, now with Reservation allottees being forced to give up their mailboxes.
UPDATE:    We posted the story below in February 2012 and now word is coming from the Pechanga Reservation in Temecula that an effort is being forwarded to keep any disenrolled tribal member from using the reservation facilities.    The story is developing but it sounds like the Masiel Basquez crime family is at it again.    Currently a number of Hunters, descendants of Original Pechanga allottee, Paulina Hunter, live on the reservation, some all their lives.    

The Temecula Band of Luiseno Indians, led by Democratic Party operatives  Mark Macarro and Andrew Masiel are well known civil and human rights abusers.  
Will Pechanga Force Allottees to Wear a Yellow Star or Sticker on their cars?

Oh, if only the question was too far-fetched to believe, since they have already stripped voting rights and elder care from 25% of their tribe.  The Nazis forced Jews to wear these stars on their clothing in an overt act of persecution. As we wrote about recently, the allottees on the reservation, who have had their land in the family since the beginning of the Temecula Indian Reservation, have now been threatened with trespassing charges. A yellow star would make it easy for tribal members like the Masiel-Basquez crime family to recognize them on sight.

The drinking fountains at the park will be one area where the tribe could have a sign saying: Tribal Members Only, No Temecula Indians Allowed.

They say that allottee may be excluded from their land if they are on the land of a tribal member, yet, Chairman Macarro's jackbooted Tribal Rangers trespassed on allottee's land to deliver the message. Yep, right to the front doors. And since a sexual predator is in charge of dispatching Rangers and is a member of the tribal motorcycle "club", wouldn't you be worried?

Remember, some Moratorium People have already been excluded from their own land....

Since the casino is on tribal property, any visitor could be charged with trespassing ..for any reason. Including not being the "right kind" of Indian...

Pechanga Tribe Forcing Reservation Residents to VACATE their Mailboxes

The Pechanga Tribe is forcing the non member residents of the reservation, including reservation allottees, who were stripped of tribal citizenship to vacate their mailboxes within 30 days.
Purple Pin shows mailboxes and red pin shows where elders live

It seems they couldn't just ask the post office to provide MORE mailboxes as the population grows.

Giving short notice of taking of mailboxes

We received a letter in the mail today from Pechanga Tribal Hall that we have 30 days to vacate our mailbox on the reservation, that we've had for 30 years since they were first installed. They want to give our (non-member) mailboxes to the Tribal members that are moving out here.

Robert Edward Foreman, A Remembrance of the FIRST Chairman of the REDDING RANCHERIA

Robert Edward Foreman: A Remembrance of the First Chairman of The Redding Rancheria

Robert Edward Foreman, the first Chairman of the Redding Rancheria, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008.  I wanted to make sure we got this up for him for the weekend

Here's how the first Chairman was treated by the Redding Tribal Council:

On January 27, 2004, all 76 members of my family the “Foremans” were removed from the Redding Rancheria tribal rolls based on nothing more than a conjured up rumor alleging my mother Lorena Foreman-Butler was not the daughter of her mother Virginia Timmons, one of Redding Rancheria’s 17 Original Distributees.

Tribal Officials never produced a single piece of evidence to dispute my mother's maternal lineage and my family provided reams of legal and contemporary documents proving her mother was Virginia Timmons. Tribal Council still required my family to provide genomic DNA from my deceased mother and grandmother to retain our tribal citizenship

Despite my family providing Tribal Council with DNA test results from two separate labs of 99.987% and 99.890%, proving by the legal standards established by the American Bar Association and the American Medical Associations that Lorena Butler and Virginia Timmons were mother and daughter, Tribal Council still stripped my family of our tribal citizenship.

Bob Foreman has been fighting to regain his family's civil rights and the rights of disenfranchised Native Americans since.

Here is Bob's Obituary:

Bob Foreman, Redding Rancheria's first tribal chairman and a pioneer in north state American Indian health clinics, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 72.
An Achumawi Pit River Indian, Foreman was remembered Thursday by friends and family as a tireless advocate for Indian rights, skilled communicator and loyal patriarch.

He was born June 12, 1936, in Lake County. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he worked in construction as did his father, said daughter Carla Maslin of Redding. In the late 1960s, he began his campaign to get Indians health care in the north state.
His efforts paid off in 1971, with the opening of the federally financed Shasta-Trinity-Siskiyou Rural Indian Health Center in Anderson.

"Bobby was a real devoted guy to his tribe," said Everett Freeman, tribal chairman of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians near Corning. "He almost single-handedly got Indian health to where it is today."
Larry McClanahan, a Navajo Indian who moved to Cottonwood from Arizona in 1972, said Foreman was one of the first people he met in the north state. He and his family were glad to receive clinic services.

"He took me as I was," McClanahan recalled. "He was a man that was concerned for people."
Rod Lindsay, a Shasta Lake city councilman who works with the Office of Indian Education for the Anderson Union High School District, also met Foreman through the clinic. Lindsay said Foreman was a mentor for many, sharing his knowledge of culture and history with the young.
Foreman also was instrumental in organizing the Redding Rancheria Indian Health Clinic on Churn Creek Road and served as director, later retiring as self-governance coordinator for the rancheria, Maslin said.
In 1985, when the rancheria regained its tribal status, Foreman was elected as its first chairman and subsequently served on the tribal council.

But in 2004, he and all his family members were disenrolled after a bitter dispute over his mother's maternal lineage. The struggle took a toll on his health, Maslin said. Foreman suffered from heart and kidney problems, she said.
Leah Harper, a family friend of more than 20 years who does native medicine work in Redding, said she wanted to stand out in front of the Churn Creek clinic with a "thank you" banner in Foreman's honor.
"I believe that Bob had the heart of the native people and he wanted to make a difference for them," she said. "Bob was loving and the children are loving and they work very hard."
In addition to Maslin, Foreman is survived by three daughters and three sons, as well as 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.
For her part, Maslin is grateful her father last year was able to do something he'd always wanted - to see the Grand Canyon.

"He actually got emotional just looking at it," she said. "He was in awe of its beauty and couldn't believe the world had such a beautiful place."

Congratulations to the Redding Rancheria for their dispicable acts of DISHONOR in what they did to this man and his family. Look who they have NOW

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Who Needs INDIANS for Casino Gaming?

Do we need more tribal Casinos?  Or, is it time for state governments to go after that entertainment dollar?  We've seen what corruption has done to Chukchansi, what greed has done to the Pechanga people and what power has done to the Pala Tribe.   Here's an article from Connecticut who may look to end the tribal casino Monopoly

Connecticut seems unlikely to accept the favor Massachusetts has just done it by affirming plans to develop its own casinos, especially in Springfield, just over Connecticut’s northern border along an interstate highway, a casino that might become more of a draw to Connecticut residents than the two Indian casinos in the rural southeastern part of the state.

So suddenly there is clamor from state legislators and the Indian casinos themselves for Connecticut to increase its gambling options and facilities, particularly on the way to Springfield, to keep the state’s gamblers home and prevent Massachusetts from doing to Connecticut what Connecticut did to Massachusetts three decades ago by authorizing Indian casinos here. State government is being told that it must protect the revenue it receives from the slot machines at the Indian casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, as payment for their monopoly.

That revenue has been diminishing for years as gambling proliferates throughout the country in a trend that Connecticut may have made inevitable by dressing up state government’s insatiability as a form of recompense to people who had been dead for hundreds of years, people whose distant descendants were living in raised ranches and working at Electric Boat in Groton like nearly everyone else in the old stomping grounds of the ancient Pequots and Mohegans.

These are some of the policy issues:
• Since gambling produces nothing but merely redistributes wealth, and does so disproportionately from the poor and other entertainment businesses to the government and gambling operators, the government’s cut comes at much greater social cost than ordinary taxation does. State government might as well install in the homes of welfare and food stamp recipients slot machines that run on electronic benefit transfer cards.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Harvey Hopkins of Dry Creek Pomos Faces Two Challengers

Harvey Hopkins, longtime chairman of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, is up for re-election, facing two challengers, including the tribal vice chairwoman who tried to recall him four years ago.
Saturday’s election comes at a pivotal time for the tribe, which for 11 years had a monopoly on Indian gaming in Sonoma County, only to see revenues at its River Rock Casino near Geyserville plummet by half following the opening a year ago of Graton Resort and Casino next to Rohnert Park.
Subsequently, the tribe missed interest payments and defaulted on more than $140 million owed to River Rock bondholders. It also is delinquent on a $3.5 million payment to Sonoma County, owed since July.
“We’re not trying to run from debt. We want to pay our bill, pay our debts,” Hopkins said in an interview this week, adding that the tribe’s representatives expect to sit down with a majority of bondholders after the election to restructure the debt. He said the tribe is negotiating with the county on the missed annual payment, most of which goes to pay for extra patrols by sheriff’s deputies in the vicinity of River Rock Casino.
As a result of the casino’s decline in fortune, Dry Creek tribal members have seen a reduction in their monthly payments and have had programs curtailed or discontinued that provided books and clothes to schoolchildren and assistance for college tuition and housing.
But whether members will take it out on Hopkins, who has led the tribe with about 1,200 members for 10 years, remains to be seen.
Hopkins’ challengers for leadership of the tribe include the current vice chairwoman, Salvina Norris, 36, and Chris Wright, 43, head of marketing at River Rock.
Neither returned phone calls or requests for comment over the past several days.
Hopkins said he has kept a keen eye on expenses, trimming the budget, while creating new ventures to increase income. The tribe has bought vineyards, produced wine, expanded into tobacco sales, explored olive oil production and worked to develop a highly profitable wetlands mitigation bank on the 277 acres the tribe acquired south of Petaluma during his tenure, he said.
The tribe this week also announced a joint effort to develop a large, 10-megawatt solar array in the hills overlooking Lake Sonoma on land leased from the Army Corps of Engineers, a project that is expected to both cut the casino’s electric bills and potentially produce income.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

UPDATE: BIA & Pala Tribe in Federal Court 11/17

Attorneys Thor and Tracey Emblem are arguing a case involving the Pala Band and the BIA Monday at 10:30 in Cynthia Bashant's department in federal court in San Diego.

The BIA has not done it's duty in protecting Native American's rights and they will have to defend their actions, or rather inaction in court.

The PALA Band of Luiseno Indians are well know for violating the rights of their tribal citizens, via disenrollment, elder abuse, theft of per capita.

Check these links for MORE:

Pala disenrolled 162 members
Pala Disenrolls families
Pala disenrollments led to hardship

UPDATES:   Arguments from both sides today and the judge is taking the matter under submission.