We are lineal descendants of Chief Pablo Apis. We trace or lineage through his daughter Juana Apis and granddaughter Manuela Apis Despierto. Our names, and the names of our ancestors stretching back to Chief Apis, are included in the Tribe's Official Enrollment Book and referenced in the Tribe's Constitution and Bylaws.
Members of our family served the Pechanga Band for generations in many different capacities. Manuela Miranda descendents have been elected to serve on the Cultural Resources Committee, the Enrollment Committee, and various other committees. We have been elected to represent the Pechanga Band as ambassadors for Indian Country through the Americans for Indian Opportuntiy program and we have been elected to represent the Pechanga Band as tribal liasons/representatives for multi-tribal organizations such as the Luiseno Intertribal NAGPRA Coalition and Indian Health Services. We have served on the Constitution and By-laws Committee, the Pechanga Development Committee, and on Committees for the Pechanga Silver Feathers. We have donated countless hours to prepare meals, gather clothes and other goods for other tribal members and Indian people. A family member also donated over a dozen palm trees to the Pechanga Band for planting at the Pechanga Park for the enjoyment of all Tribal members.
Yet, in spite of our solid and unbroken ties to the Tribe, our lineal descent was questioned by a group of “concerned tribal members”. This group launched a propaganda campaign to disenroll us from the tribe. This campaign, along with their association with those who make the decisions regarding membership issues, eventually led to our disenrollment.
Many, including the “concerned members”, thought that we would go away quietly. In fact, they were counting on shielding themselves and their actions from redress by invoking the Tribe's immunity from suit.
However, we are fighters. We will not allow the gross violations of Tribal, state, and federal law go without having our day in court. And, in July 2004, a Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled that the courts of California, as mandated by Congress in Public Law 280, have jurisdiction to hear our lawsuit against the individual tribal members who damaged us.
We will continue the fight in many arenas, and we will use this website as (http://pechanga.info/) a tool to update visitors on our disenrollment issue and disenrollments throughout Indian Country.