Wow, one vote didn't decide it, so, let's have another vote. Sounds like the NAC action. Bring people in with promise of food and free paid membership.
Berry Creek calls for second vote
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Posted: November 22, 2000
by: James May / Today staff
OROVILLE, Calif. - The presidential race is not the only place where an election is being disputed. The Sierra-foothill Berry Creek Rancheria is having difficulty deciding if its election to decide the status of 28 tribal members was legitimate. On Oct. 22 the rancheria's general assembly voted 83 to 78 - with 13 abstentions - to retain the disputed members in full status. That should settle the matter, right? No says the tribal council whose members felt there were sufficient irregularities in the voting process to establish grounds for a new election. This has disputed tribal members crying foul. The central issue is whether disputed members, largely from one family, were descended from Dick Harry, a tribal member from the 1850s. Disputed members say they are descended from Dick Harry's half-brother, a historically documented Maidu Indian named Billy Day. The members in question claim the evidence they have was sufficient for the tribal council in the 1980s when many of the family members were admitted to the tribe. Disputed members say the reason their membership has been called into question relates to gaming revenue.
The disaffected members feel the tribal council wants to gain bigger gaming shares for themselves and their families.
Last summer the tribal council decided to put the matter to a vote in September, later delayed until October. Ballots were sent by certified mail to all voting members who were asked to vote on whether the 28 members were full members. All 28 disputed members were allowed to take part in the vote. In a summer interview, tribal council members said that no one was being considered for disenrollment. They said a discrepancy was found in 1992 regarding their descent and the disputed members were informed at that time and they were looking to change the members' status to a lesser rank without full member rights. When the ballot appeared in October, however, it asked for the disputed member's disenrollment. Enrollment committee chairwoman Bolton says the reason for this discrepancy was because the council was "still researching the matter." One of the disputed members, Victoria Mahnke, points out that the tribal council is claiming the members in question had known of the council inquiry into their ancestry since 1992.
Sounds eerily familiar to Pechanga members when someone said "I think they are witches!" or something similarly stupid and then, the disenrollments at Pechanga began.