Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NIGA's Ernie Stevens and NCAI's Brian Cladoosby accused of accepting KICKBACKS is reporting:

A former employee of a lobbying firm is accusing prominent leaders in Indian Country of accepting kickbacks.
Nikishna Polequaptewa once worked for Blue Stone Strategies, whose mission calls for "protecting tribal sovereignty" and "building strong economies." He's alleging that the firm did that by "improperly" paying tribal and Indian leaders of hopes of landing more lobbying contracts.

Alleged recipients include Ernie Stevens, the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association; Brian Cladoosby, the president of the National Congress of American Indians; and Brian Patterson, the president of the United South and Eastern Tribes, according to a court filing reviewed by The Santa Fe New Mexican.

The paper's story does not include comments from those who were named by Polequaptewa, who is a member of the Hopi Tribe. He's being sued by Blue Stone in federal court in California for allegedly disclosing trade secrets and damaging company property.

Stay tuned.

Cathy Cory, Disenrolled Chukchansi Walk's Into The Lion's Den After A Decade Without Citizenship UPDATE: CC statement Added

A proud woman warrior leads the battle for honor at the Chukchansi tribe's quarterly meeting today. 

Simply walking through  wooden doors to the meeting with her held held high, can inspire many disenfranchised natives, from the dozens of tribes in California that have had their citizenship terminated.  

Her adventure at today's tribal meeting was described this way:

Pechanga's Tribal Flush: Purging Tribal Members For Power and Money

There is a Senate Hearing coming up on the "Integrity of Indian Gaming".  It is important to bring some older stories on disenrollment forward again.  This was published in 2008, and sadly, Hunter family elder Lawrence Madariaga, Apis Elder Mike Salinas and Tosobol elder Manuel Rios have passed away, without the justice they deserved.

Tribal Flush: Pechanga People "Disenrolled" en Masse
On the eve of what could be the largest gambling expansion in U.S. history, a tale of power, betrayal and lost Indian heritage 
Wednesday, January 2, 2008 - 

 John Gomez Jr. parks his silver family van in the back row of one more anonymous strip mall off California’s Highway 79, an hour and a half southeast of Los Angeles, on a windswept ridge overlooking the Temecula Valley. Gomez, his dark hair barely betraying a sprinkling of gray at his temples, steps out of the van and walks away from the mall, to a barren dirt lot marked off with adobe walls.

“This is where Pablo is buried,” he says as we peer over the locked iron gate.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Original Pechanga Blog PASSES in US ALEXA RANKINGS. Disenrollment, Tribal Corruption and Civil Rights Abuses Draw Readers

I began this blog in 2007 to draw attention to the abuses of disenrollment, moratoriums and banishment by casino gaming tribes in CA.   It was primarily focused on the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from Temecula CA.  But, along the way, I've met hundreds of new friends, from many tribes who have had the same thing happen to them.   We got little attention, in fact:

In 2008, we got into a spat with owner (And Pechanga member who voted to terminate HUNDREDS of Pechanga people) Victor Rocha's assistant Rob Schmidt about our blog not being a news site.
He posted a ranking, which I'll put up after this comment he wrote:  
I hope you're happy with these results, because I sure am. The only thing that would make me happier would be to see and ranked higher than Indian Country Today and But we all need goals to strive for.
Any questions about where most Indians go for information?

                                                                                           2008                                 2015                                                 1                                      5                                          102                                   111
Indian Country Today:                          221,841                             24,803                                        259,464                           218,934                           324,10                          1,229,046                                 395,325                           864,782                      3,083,555                           244,709                   4,307,680                        2,179,224                                 4,851,800                       17,405,413                   9,239,654                           881,279

WE ARE CLOSING IN ON ROCHA's site worldwide.  In fact in the US, we have passed them, in this case, a LOWER number is better:

As of THURSDAY 7/23, the ranking in the US for my blog is:    118,476
The current ranking for 7/16 in the US for is:     186,867

Or course, has sponsors, gaming and others, so he's making money. Ours is the little blog that COULD.  We get the word out on abuses that Rocha's cousin Mark Macarro has inflicted on hundreds.   And we share what's happening to,  sadly, THOUSANDS of Native Americans by their OWN TRIBES.

THANK YOU for reading, thank you for sharing, THANK you for allowing aggrieved Native Americans this outlet.

Disenrollment MATTERS, Why YOU Should Care About the Theft of Tribal Heritage and the Crimes Against Indian People

Why YOU Should Care About Disenrollment...

Disenrollment is the purposeful stripping of citizenship and heritage of Native Americans BY Native Americans to steal money, benefits and power.

Why should we care about disenrollment?

If one persons rights are violated, any persons rights are violated.  How many does it take to be wrong? In this case it's 10,000 who have been harmed.

Tribes promised to take care of their people if voters approved gaming. Disenrollments, Banishments, Moratoriums and levels of membership fly in the face of that promise to make the lives of all Indians better.

Those tribes also threaten tribal self-governance, giving Indian sovereignty skeptics good reason to believe that tribal governments cannot properly handle membership without outside involvement.

·        It's simply wrong. Sovereignty has become a smokescreen for illegitimate, sometimes unlawful behavior

Interview with Native American Activist Emilio Reyes OnTribal Disenrollment

I'm lucky enough to be friends with Emilio Reyes, who has done some excellent work in our archives in support of San Pasqual and he has found critical evidence on Pechanga and Pala.  Here, he gives his interview as research for a university project that many of us are involved with.  PLEASE read, PLEASE share and PLEASE comment.

Kill the Indian save the man has now become disenroll us and make us disappear” – Emilio Reyes

Interview with Native American Activist Emilio Reyes 

Interview Questions from Dayna Barrios Research on Disenrollment among 
Native Nations in Central and Northern California

1. What are your thoughts on current tribal membership criteria for Native Nations in California?

In 1978 the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government played no enforcement role over tribal governments in the case of Santa Clara Pueblo v Martinez. Therefore existing tribes can create a membership criteria to determine eligibility based on their tribe’s constitutions. Some tribes do implement the United States constitution to their tribal’s constitution. In some cases, tribes require to be a certain Indian blood degree, while others don’t have a blood degree requirement and some tribes as long as you can proof you are a direct descent from their base roll, you would be eligible for membership of the tribe. Since blood quantum or Indian blood degree was created by the American federal government to help individuals, assimilate and to qualify for federal services, it shouldn’t be used in any tribe’s constitution. My way of thinking is based in ancestry. Blood quantum is a white way to make you and your descendants disappear. Being 1/16 or 1/32 will not make you less Indian or less descendant. Anyone should be eligible for tribal membership as long as the individual can proof their genealogy to the tribe’s base roll as long as the base roll is reasonable and acceptable by its members. 

2. What kind of experiences have you had with disenrollment? 

PALA Tribal Abuse: Aguayo Reply Brief Details GOVT. Mishandling of Trust Responsibilty

We wrote about the Pala tribe's victory in court, where the BIA was able to throw FEDERALLY enrolled Natives under the bus in Nov 2014. Judge Cynthia Bashant wasted no time in denying Plaintiff's motion, saying it was a membership issue.   See Documents here: Aguayo v. Jewell   @

NOT SO FAST your Honor...
You can Find the Aguayo Reply Brief here
Sally Jewell doesn't swear to protect ALL Natives

The Pala Disenrolled defense team has file answer briefs in their appeal. Including the fact that the court beloved Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez (which the court uses to weasel out of making decisions) DOES NOT APPLY HERE.


The BIA’s website also acknowledges the legal distinction for federally
acknowledged tribal members. “The rights, protections and services provided by
the United States to individual American Indians...flow...because he or she is a
member of a recognized tribe.”  

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Disenrolling their ancestors, which is exactly what the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians did to both the Manuela Miranda descendants and then two years later, to the Paulina Hunter descendants.  Shameful.
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Appeals judges hold the fate of 233 people - living and dead - after hearing arguments regarding disenrollment Friday.
Chief Judge Robert Kittecon and associate judges Dennis Peterson and Andrew Psatkowit listened to oral arguments by the Tribe’s attorney, Sara K. Van Norman of the Jacobson Law Group in St. Paul, Minn. and Paula K. Fisher, who is representing the Tribal members who could face disenrollment if the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court approves a motion by the Tribal Council to re-open cases that were dismissed six years ago.
There are 167 living Tribal members appealing Judge Patrick Shannon’s March decision that would allow the cases to be re-opened;

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tribal Disenrollment: Self Decimation or Self Determination? by Professer David Wilkins

In 2006,  Professor David Wilkins published this essay on tribal disenrollment and banishment.  Since casino gaming, tribes have been disenrolling members at an alarming rate. We have links to stories on our sidebar.  Here's that essay:

By David Wilkins / University of Minnesota
Story Published: Aug 25, 2006
Story Updated: Sep 10,2008

Banishment and disenrollment in Indian country 

Tribal nations and their governing bodies, like all human communities, are in a constant state of flux.
They generate on their own and absorb from the outside a bewildering and seemingly increasing
array of issues that create for each First Nation, no matter their population size, opportunities to
evolve and mature or to regress and decay.

Issues include the exercise and enforcement of vital treaty rights, the complicated dynamics of
intergovernmental relations, profound environmental concerns and the always uneven ground of
land claims and sacred site battles. These are but a few of the multitude of topics that warrant
constant tribal vigilance. And, of course, each of these issues requires enormous outlays of time,
energy and resources.

As critical and complicated as these topics are, they pale in comparison to what is arguably the most
important question that has confronted tribal nations from their emergence accounts to the present
time: What does it mean to be Dine, Anishinaabe, Yakama, Lumbee, Tohono O'odham,
Narragansett, Pechanga, or Chukchansi? What, in other words, are the defining characteristics that
make an indigenous nation just that indigenous and a nation? And what is required of each
individual in those nations to be considered a bona fide participant, citizen or, for lack of a better
term, member of a given First Nation?