Friday, April 11, 2008

The Temecula Indian Cemetary is NOT a Pechanga Tribal Site.

This will be going to Riverside County Supervisors:

The Temecula Indian Cemetery is not a Pechanga cultural site. The Temecula Indian Cemetery is indeed a sacred and holy site, but based on Pechanga Tribal documents, its establishment and use by individuals who predate the Pechanga Indian Reservation would preclude the site from being a "Pechanga" site.

The County of Riverside should not sell the Temecula Indian Cemetery to any group
who has deprived and/or denied individuals of their human and civil rights. Actions taken by Pechanga Tribal Officials -denial of due process, failure to provide equal protection of the laws, establishment of ex post facto laws, etc. - mirror those which led to the introduction and passage of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 ("ICRA") which was intended to ". protect individual Indians from arbitrary and unjust actions of tribal governments" and to secure for the individual American Indian the broad constitutional rights afforded all other American citizens.

While the ICRA clearly spells out actions which tribal governments are prohibited from participating in, Pechanga tribal officials have failed to comply with the ICRA and have routinely invoked "sovereign immunity" to escape prosecution for their actions. No entity that participates in, supports, or otherwise partakes in human and/or civil rights violations should d be allowed to purchase a site in favor of those of whom they have victimized and who also have legal and cultural ties to the site.

Sale or management of the Temecula Indian Cemetery should include participation of all parties who have cultural ties to this significant site. The Temecula Indian Cemetery contains the burials of many Temecula Indians whose descendants are not or are no longer members of the Pechanga Band. Sale of the cemetery to the Pechanga Band would discriminate against these Indians and could violate our/their religious freedom and access rights. All Indians with ties to the Temecula Indian Cemetery should have ownership and access to the cemetery and should be consulted with regarding any sale, disposition, or use of the site.

In closing, I would request that the Board of Supervisors meet with individuals and/or groups that have ancestral ties to the Temecula Indian Cemetery to further discuss the issues above, and re-state our opposition of the sale of the Temecula Indian Cemetery to the Pechanga Band.

Here are some email addresses to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors:

Please add your voice.
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