Fred Goldman has waged his war against the murderer of his son, OJ Simpson for over a decade. Why didn't he give up the fight and quit? "You'll never collect from Simpson" they told him. "He got away with killing your son." "Move on with your life" Mr. Goldman never wavered in his fight to make OJ Simpson pay for what he did. And now, he has won, after a decade of struggle, he owns the right to OJ's book, which will make money that OJ will NEVER see. He got OJ's admission in print.
Similarly, the disenrolled Pechanga people, ancestors of the noted headman of the Pechanga people Pablo Apis, and descendents of Original Pechanga Temecula Person, Paulina Hunter, have been told, by those that disenrolled them no less, to "give it up" and "go get a job" or "move on with your life". This is our life. Fighting for our rightful place in the sun, where our family has resided for centuries is our life. Why should we give up trying to regain what is rightfully ours? Why should those who have been kept out of the tribe via an illegal moratorium stop fighting for what is theirs?
Many of our family have been sitting on the sidelines for a while. Not all want to be part of the struggle. Many of us came to the table a little late. Some have carried the load for quite a while. John Gomez, both Senior and Junior have been at the forefront of the struggle since they were disenrolled in 2004. Hunter family members fought the struggle from the inside, forcing the disenrollment committee (actually, they are called the enrollment committee, but since there is an illegal moratorium on new members, they have only disenrolled people, not enrolled people. Well, except for some select family members of the committee.)
We are continuing to get our story in front of politicians, friends, their families and supporters across the country. Powerful blogs have mentioned the corruption and there is traction gained in that area. Rep. Diane Watson has added the disenrolled to her issues with the Cherokee Freedmen, and the Congressional Black Caucus has their ears open.
Pechanga is spending a fortune trying to get some good PR in Southern California. Incredibly, only 52% support them right now. And this is after a few million spent. They wouldn't have to try so hard if they did the right thing: Bring those disenrolled back into the family where they belong, and allow those in the moratorium in the tribe where they belong.
Our family, the Hunters have ancestors that were family to the chairman's family. He knows Paulina Hunter was Pechanga, just as the people who gave depositions in 1915 KNEW Paulina was Pechanga. Pechanga Tribal Council, do the right thing. Do not let the Splinter Group continue to lead you down the wrong path.
As Mr. Goldman did not give up, neither will we, the disenrolled. Pechanga will have to spend millions more convincing Californians that they are not driven by greed. It would have been simpler had they not acted against the will of the tribe. What will happen to the next family? Pechanga is acting just as OJ did, thinking he got of scot-free. Many of our family are dead now, knowing that Pechanga had ruined their lives.
Here are some links for the readers:
Original Pechanga’s Blog
John’s Disenrollment Blog
Pechanga Disenrolled website