Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pechanga Shame: WITHOUT A TRIBE

See this video from KNBC that tells the story of what the Pechanga tribe is capable of doing to their own people. Particularly interesting is that the Chairman, Mark Macarro was caught in a lie in his first 15 seconds.

WITHOUT A Tribe, is what happens AFTER the advent of gaming on Pechanga. The Hunter Family, of which Lawrence Madariaga is the elder, have been on the reservation for 120 years. Macarro, implied we were there after the casino. Hunters have lower enrollment numbers than Macarro and his whole family. While he grew up in Colton and his father went to San Bernardino High, Hunters were on the reservation for decades.

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians should NOT be rewarded for mistreating their elders, and members of their tribe. WHY should we give them exclusivity for gaming, and then have them screw their citizens? And, as we say, if they will cheat their OWN PEOPLE, don't you think they will CHEAT YOU?
There is a comment section on the KNBC site. Voice your displeasure about Pechanga. There should be a follow up report.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pechanga: Expanded GAMING Problems: We TOLD YOU SO. Temecula Suffers

We TOLD YOU this would happen. Temecula loses money from gaming, the state gets it. Trickle down economics doesn't work if the State doesn't balance it's budget. Temecula gets hosed.
Pechanga is in NO hurry to negotiate. BE SURE to read the comments at the article link below.

TEMECULA: New slots equal $ for state, but what about the city?

By NICOLE SACK - Staff Writer
TEMECULA ---- The billboards along Interstate 15 announced the news clearly: "1,300 New Slot Machines."Inside the Pechanga Casino, signs asked patrons to "pardon our digital dust," as the number of slot machines increased from 2,000 to 3,300.New agreements between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and four Indian tribes approved by voters earlier this year have paved the way for four tribes in the state to add 17,000 new slot machines. Locally,
Pechanga, got the green light to add up to 5,500.
The new agreements, popularly referred to as compacts, alter the way the tribes will be contributing money to adjacent cities and counties that are most affected by the additional traffic and increased crime that nearby casinos can bring. Now, instead of the tribes contributing a set amount to offset local impacts, each city and county will have to meet with the tribes in their area to negotiate for a new cut of the gaming pie.
The legal language within the compacts states that before any "project" begins, Pechanga must negotiate an intergovernmental agreement with the city and the county to deal with any negatives effects that project would have on the surrounding area.But even members in the governor's office, say that those "projects" are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Who evaluates those case-by-case scenarios? That appears to be anyone's guess.

Temecula had been a direct beneficiary of that money, receiving $2.7 million in 2006.Although the tribe no longer has to make that payment, it is making another ---- much larger ---- one. But now the money is being paid directly to the general fund, the state's main operating account.According to the terms of the new compact, Pechanga's annual payment to the general fund is a minimum of $42.5 million ---- all of which is swept into the state's bank account and none of which is passed on to local governments.

Read full article
HERE Read this article on Pechanga

Thursday, May 29, 2008

NDNnews Tamra Defends Her Site from Pechanga Attacks

This is from the comments section of this POST, but I thought I would move it forward out of respect for Tamra and her site NDNnews . Tamra patiently explains to Victor Rocha's lackey the difference between a casino tribe sponsored website/casino Indian website (of which, Victor is one, making $36,000 per month in per capita, now that Pechanga terminated 25% of its tribe)

Here's Tamra's Takedown (emphasis mine):


My website IS a NDN news source and has been for many years. I am not a main stream site, like ICT or Indianz, nor would I want to be. I would also like to point out, in case it was over looked, that ICT and Indianz are operated by casino tribes. And furthermore, ICT is owned by the Oneida Nation, INC. another Tribe that has disenrolled hundreds of their members.
So, they certainly have the man power and funding to have top of the line sites, posting hundreds of items each day and considered the news "source." I would too if I made $20K+ a month or more, with all that casino money. I too could have a staff and spend all my time posting articles. However, I am GRASS ROOTS, I am not a casino ndn, I work full time, I have two grassroots organizations and run NDN News.

I actually pro actively work on issues in NDN Country! I run NDN News by myself, its mine, I do not have a staff or answer to anyone. The things that I do, including NDN News, I do to help and FOR the people. My focus is to help spread the word about on going issues in NDN Country, my listserv has thousands of people of it, I know they appreciate the info I get out there. Seems to me, you are on that list, if I remember correctly, or were at one time.

I am not a journalist, I am a activist and I work FOR the people. I don't just post articles and be done with it. I spend all my time directly working on issues, I am on the ground, hands on, making phone calls, attending hearings, initiating writing campaigns, fighting against racism, protection of sacred sites and burial grounds, assistance programs for rez's in need (helping elders and children), fighting fema for the toxic trailers they dumped in ndn country after all these disasters, the list is endless of the issues that I am, and have been, involved with.....including Tribal Disenrollent!

I have worked on this issue for many, many years now, been at more than one protest gathering in So. Ca., for this issue and supported ALL of the victims of today's genocide, Tribal Disenrollment. And, will continue to do so! Seems to me, that alot of people have forgotten where they came from, what all of our ancestors gave or should I say, had stolen from them. Maybe if people stopped absorbing themselves into today's society of materialistic greed, they would remember their roots. Being NDN is not having fancy cars, fancy houses, fancy clothes, club med memberships........being NDN is, culture, ceremonies, honoring your ancestors, traditions, being humble and helping the people.

Remember the days, many years ago, before the big casino's, when all of these people were very much apart of the Tribe. There is NO excuse for the rude, vulgar statements and behavior that have been made to us. I don't care if we agree on the issue or not, there is absolutely no excuse or reason to be this disrespectful and crude. Wouldn't it be more productive to respond with a intelligent, educational response, take a stand on your own side. But instead, you both personally attack and disrespect women........proof in the making on what you stand for.

Tamra spells it out PERFECTLY. PLEASE, visit Tamra's site at and hit her sponsors. She needs our support right now and for you disenrolled, terminated, abused and moratorium people, you have been the benficiary of hers.'s Editor V.Rocha Eloquently Defending Pechanga's Actions

UPDATE 2: Pechanga Chairman Macarro, of Colton, CA, enters the discussion by throwing his cousin Victor under the bus in his response to Tamra Brennan, of NDNnews. He advises NOT to view Victor's website.

From: Mark Macarro
To: ; Marc Luker ; Pechanga Tribal Council (Council Members Only) ;
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 5:32 PM
Subject: Re: Regarding Pechanga response letter


Victor is a tribal member but his website is a private project and is privately owned by him. The tribe has no role in nor does the tribe advise or consent on his editorial content. (Ya think the tribe wouldn't say anything to Victor if he published the stories of what goes on at Pechanga?)
Further, Victor doesn't represent the tribe in any capacity, officially or unofficially. (So that LINK to the Pechanga Casino is there by accident? Oh, and the name of that website again is??)

What he does is his own business--literally. My suggestion to you however, is ignore him and stop responding. Out of the millions of websites out there, you choose to spend your time on Victor? (Nice one, cousin Mark! EVERYONE, DON'T SPEND TIME on my Cousin Victor's website)

Don't let him control you like this.And stop sending the Pechanga Tribal Council emails please. You are now spamming and it is not appreciated.

Thank you.

OP: A letter of concern over the response of a highly regarded (in his own mind) Pechanga member, over what the tribe has done to their people is considered SPAM?

UPDATE:Victor keeps on showing his conversational skills. Not bad for an Eisenhower HS boy. His mom must be proud of him showing his Rialto skills. Here, he replies to Tamra Brennan, proprietor of http://www.ndnnewscom/ a site that you should ALL take the time to visit and learn more about what's happening in Indian Country.

Victor Rocha
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 10:36 AM
Subject: RE: Regarding Pechanga response letter
What a bunch of retarded drivel. If you spent more time on your crappy website than worrying about Pechanga…. you’d still have shitty website.
Victor Rocha

From: [] Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 8:13 AMTo: victor@pechanga.netSubject: Regarding Pechanga response letter


Your actions and email response to Marcie were deplorable, and a prime example of the disgrace Pechanga has become with eliminating your Tribal Members. You represent a media news source for the Tribe, your response was extremely unprofessional and a great representation of the Tribe! I wonder how the Tribal Council will feel about you speaking to a member of the general public with these vulgar statements, on their behalf. I hope that all of the major media in San Diego and Riverside Counties, read your disgusting remarks, it will show them exactly what Pechanga is all about and what they really represent, Disrespect and GREED. How much is enough Victor? Do you and the Tribal Council even realize that your actions are a prime example of assimilation? When money comes before your own people, before your own relations, that is assimilation.
Tribal gaming has attributed to and brought the dominant cultures disease, greed.

What this amounts to is, a modern day cultural genocide and is resulting in what Native people have been fighting since 1492, only now, it is Indians ~vs.~ Indians. You are falling into what the dominant society has been attempting to accomplish for hundreds of years; to conquer and divide. All Native people will be affected by this in the end. Our ancestors fought against genocide with thousands giving their lives to protect the way of life for the people. I think they would be disgusted and appalled with this disease that is tearing apart and dividing Indian Country. Tribal gaming should have strengthened Tribal Sovereignty, brought financial freedom to the people and given hope for the future generations. Instead in cases, such as Pechanga and many others that have eliminated tribal members, it has brought disunity and greed.

It is bad enough that Tribal Sovereignty is a issue that has to be fought to keep in place, why continually fight each other? Today, Native people continue to be suppressed, ignored and cultures disrespected. The continual division in Indian Country over tribal gaming, dis-enrollment issues and blood quantum issues could ultimately be the destruction of Native people. If everyone would unite as one people, one nation, we would become stronger and more powerful. This would be a step forward in ensuring as Indian people we don’t loose our ways, or let them succeed in the pursuit of Native People's extinction.

Tamra Brennan

Victor is the first cousin of Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, whom another cousin of theirs has accused him of making threats to her. They are keeping their cousin out of the tribe in the illegal moratorium.
Marcie's letter details her feelings about what Pechanga's actions have done to the Native American community and how she feels that Pechanga could solve this travesty of justice.

From: Marcie
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 8:25 PM
Subject: Re: Disenrollment

To Whom it may concern:
Chairman Macarro,Tribal Council,

I am part of the Native American Community and find what you have done to generations of legitimate tribal members in the name of greed just another form of Indian Genocide. Only this is being done by their own people. How can you live with yourselves?

We as Native Americans have fought for generations against the genocide from white settlers against all our Nations and for what? GREED!!!! Yet it would seem that some tribes such as yours have not learned a very hard lesson by past acts against our people. Greed for our land caused the massacre of many thousands of our people. Greed to own something caused the mass anihilation of the buffalo herds so that we would starve to death and the settlers could waste the meat and only take the hides to sell for money.

Our own people over hunted to trade hides to the settlers for their trinkets and weapons and wiped out their own food sources so that their people went hungry, my tribe included. For what ? Greed! Has all these trials of our ancestors taught you nothing?

Bring All your people back home where they belong and apologize for your greed and irresponsibility to your people. You are setting a precedent of scorn for your actions against your own people. I am ashamed of you and your tribe for it's actions as are so many others.

You Shame the traditional Native People of this continent! The Casino money should be going to improve substandard housing, medical care, substance abuse, the tribal elders needs, better education for your children etc. You are teaching by example that the invaders of this country are right and greed is what counts and people , your families, your children all will learn from your example that nothing counts except self and money.

This Earth will never be again in balance with tribes like you contributing to it's imbalance by throwing away relatives, your own people. We are supposed to be the stewards of this land. As well as our people. You are not stewards, you are no better than those who massacred our ancestors.


Author and Editor Rocha's eloquent response, apparently speaking for Pechanga, as he responded without authorization. Will he be censured?

From: Victor Rocha
Date: 5/25/2008 11:44:25 PM
To: Marcie
Subject: RE: Disenrollment

Blah, blah, blah, blah!
Victor Rocha

Feel free to respond to Victor at his site and tell your friends! I've kept Marcie's email private, but Victor's is public. Thank you Marcie, for speaking out on this, I'll make sure Pechanga receives it, as well as Temecula area businesses.

San Jacinto Asks SOBOBA to stop annexation

Because a few Soboba Tribal Members shoot up the area and potentially could have killed dozens, San Jacinto is concerned. Let me guess, they just hate Indians? Public safety IS an issue when you bring this violent reservation closer to San Jacinto. Bullets go a long way.

Citing a recent string of violent incidents on the reservation, the San Jacinto City Council is asking the Soboba Band of LuiseƱo Indians to halt its proposed annexation of hundreds of acres the tribe wants to use to build a hotel and casino complex.
The May 20 letter, signed by Mayor Jim Ayres, said the city would be forced to "actively oppose the application" if the tribe did not withdraw its request for the federal government to add the 535 acres to the reservation.

"Unless the City Council can be assured that the residents of San Jacinto, the public who would be visiting the Reservation, and the Tribe's own residents of their personal safety, the City Council believes that any expansion of the Reservation would be inappropriate," the letter stated.

Rose Salgado, a member of the Soboba Tribal Council, said Wednesday that the letter was received Tuesday and the full council has not had an opportunity to compose a response. She said the panel will meet today to discuss the matter.
"Personally, it took me by surprise," Salgado said.
The U.S. Department of the Interior must approve the tribe's proposal -- a detailed process that can take several years and requires community input.
Relations between the 900-member tribe and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department have been strained since two fatal shooting incidents in which three tribal members died.
On May 12, deputies killed Joseph Arres, 36, and Tamara Angela Hurtado, 29, in a gunbattle in a remote part of the reservation. The two tribal members were shot multiple times by SWAT officers, who said they had been fired upon by one of the two. Nine deputies fired their weapons in that incident, authorities said.
Four days earlier, deputies shot and killed 26-year-old Eli Morillo after they went to investigate gunfire on a remote part of the reservation and found themselves under attack, authorities said. Five deputies fired in the first shooting. Read
about it HERE

Full story here

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You to Pechanga Veterans, Some NOW Disenrolled

Pechanga maintains a page for Pechanga Veterans

They apparently still hold the Hunter family veterans in a place of honor, maintaining them on their list of veterans, for two years AFTER they have removed their families from Pechanga's citizenry, and terminated their cultural heritage.

So, they can claim them as veterans of Pechanga, they just don't want them as members. Temecula residents, THIS is your neighbor.

Snoqualmie Tribe BANISHES Chairman and TERMINATES 43

The article says disenrollment, but then, that makes it sound like they were kicked out of a country club. They in fact, TERMINATED them, much as the government of the US termnated Indians. Now, tribes are doing it to themselves, while the government stands by and watches in SATISFACTION.

Article HERE
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. - In November, the Snoqualmie Tribe will open the doors to a brand-new casino about 30 minutes southeast of Seattle. But instead of the media spotlighting pre-opening news on the $330 million project, the focus has shifted to the banishment of nine tribal members and the disenrollment of about 43.
The decision to banish former Chairman Bill T. Sweet and several of his family members, among other supporters, was made final during a closed-door general membership meeting at the Issaquah Hilton April 28. In addition to voting on the banishments, the tribal council announced that the 43 individuals purged from the rolls failed to meet the blood quantum requirement for membership. According to a tribal press release, some members have already appealed the decision, while others have accepted it.
Councilmember and Chief Nathan Patrick Barker said that Sweet and some of his supporters recently attempted to seize control of bank accounts, shut down health and social programs, fire the entire staff and reach out to the BIA in an effort to receive backup on the effort. They are accused of running a ''shadow government.'' ''They tried to undermine the tribal government in every shape and form, and that was what they were judged on,'' he said. Sweet, who was suspended as chairman in August 2007, has his own take on the events that led to his fate. And Barker was elected to the council during a general membership and emergency election meeting in September.
For those facing banishment, the punishment is harsh. They are purged from the rolls and no longer eligible to receive benefits or dividends from future casino revenues. And those banished are no longer allowed to participate in tribal government and events, or even claim Indian identity.

Sweet's problems began during elections last May. He recalled that the election went according to protocol, and those that were nominated and elected are the true tribal council to this day. Barker, who served as the sergeant-at-arms during that election, said that a nomination to move the election process to the beginning of the meeting after the agenda was the first inconsistency to take place that day. He claimed the real eyebrow-raiser occurred when Sweet closed nominations while four tribal members stood waiting to nominate their person of choice for the council.
He also said that a former councilmember was forbidden to vote because she forgot to bring her tribal identification. The rule requiring members to present their IDs during elections was approved at the last meeting in 2006. Those minutes were not ratified by the council prior to the election, which Barker said makes that rule unenforceable.

Friday, May 23, 2008

After Being Shot At by Soboba Tribal Members, Riverside Deputies Back to Work.

After facing violent offenders from Soboba, who were armed with assault weapons, and eliminating the threat to the public they presented, the involved Riverside County Sheriff's Deputies are back on duty.

Welcome back Deputies. Congratulations on being able to spend time with your families after facing death to protect us. Thank you and have an enjoyable holiday.

Story on continuing investigation HERE

Barney Frank sides with Congressional Black Caucus in withholding Cherokee Funds.

Frank sides with CBC, holds fast on Cherokee funding
By Kevin Bogardus
Posted: 04/21/08 06:24 PM [ET]

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has threatened to block housing legislation for Native Americans if the final bill does not include a funding ban against the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma .
Frank shares a concern first raised by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), whose members have proposed several measures to punish the tribe for changing its constitution last year to exclude the Freedmen — a group of largely black Americans who are descendants of freed slaves once owned by tribe members — from its ranks.

“We would not pass the bill. We would not acquiesce to give funding to the Cherokees,” said Frank, whose committee has jurisdiction over the legislation. Frank said he would not bring a conference report to the floor for a final vote without the ban firmly in place.

rest of the article here

OP: Are you watching Mr. Macarro?

Related Story:

(Cherokee) Tribe's casino profits increase

The Cherokee Nation's casino operations turned a profit of more than $111 million in fiscal year 2007, according to financial data released by the tribe. The casinos earned $418.6 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2007. Of that revenue, $20.4 million went toward gaming compact fees, $119.4 million went toward payroll, and $167.2 million went toward operating expenses, according to an annual report on the Cherokees' casino operations. The casinos are operated by Cherokee Nation Enterprises, which the tribe owns

See story for the BIG expansion. Go Freedmen!

Pechanga Conversation Going on at the Angels Website

The Anaheim Angels are receiving sponsorship from Pechanga Tribe. Are they aware of what the tribe has done to 25% of their citizens? Not to mention how shabbily they have treated those who have been kept out of the tribe.

Here is a link to the early conversation. Maybe a well placed letter to Mr. Moreno about who he accepts sponsors from?

Divesting from an enterprise that denies basic civil rights to it's people is a good business decision.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pechanga: The Beginning of the End of Tribal Sovereignty?

I have had many request to repost this, so here it is:

"In the 21st .Century, who would have thought that the Indian Wars would begin anew?

This is not the war of racist whites who wanted to move west no matter who was hurt. This time, it's greedy Indians who want more money, no matter which tribal members they hurt. The 21st century Indian War is now Indian vs. Indian.
Tribes such as Pechanga of Temecula, Redding Rancheria, Jamul of San Diego, Enterprise Rancheria are violating their members civil rights, eliminating them from tribal rolls and denying them their part of the tribe. And because of California Tribe's use of sovereignty, it can be "we just don't like you" or "we don't believe the evidence" (are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?),

In California's Indian Country, wealthy casino tribes are gorging themselves with cash, the fruits of their casino, thanks to laws passed by the citizens of California. Prop 1A and Prop. 5 were passed overwhelmingly, thanks to ads that promised not to expand gaming and to help tribes with self reliance. .

To the California populace, this meant that tribes would be able to take care of their own membership. Those living in poverty would be brought forth; non gaming tribes would benefit from a fund that gaming tribes would contribute to. A 'lifting of all boats' if you will. What has happened in that time has in fact helped some tribes. San Manuel of San Bernardino has developed their reservation from dirt poor to one of the wealthiest in the state and tribal members are definitely in the top 1/10th of income earners in California. And they are taking care of their people. Their population is limited, with fewer than 200 members. Morongo of Cabazon is another example of good governing. Sadly, some tribes could not stand to share their good fortune. Visions of more money, or living at San Manuel standards blinded some with greed and envy.

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians is one such tribe. Blessed with an excellent location near a freeway and with easy access and a growing population, the Pechanga Resort and Casino was successful and thriving. With just over 1,000 adult members, the tribe was, by 2004 able to provide their members with a monthly per capita check of $15,000 and quarterly bonuses. Additionally, the tribe provided health care via Blue Shield, Dental, Eye and extra benefits for elders. Also included was educational assistance including college scholarships for which all was needed was a C average. Even John Kerry and G. W. Bush could have kept a scholarship.

But that wasn't enough for a splinter group of band members, the Concerned Pechanga People. This group of extremists made threatening advances on tribal enrollment committee members, storming offices demanding that people be disenrolled. The disenrollment process was initiated in a Salem-witch-trial like atmosphere. Letters saying, "I think that family should be investigated" and "there is a person from OHIO that had the same name, we think it was their ancestor. Never mind that one of the ancestors under investigation had land on the reservation for well over 100 years, given to them from President McKinley. The process has been recounted in the article from Harpers "A Paper Trail of Tears" detailing the ouster of the family of the original headman of the Pechangas, Pablo Apis. The evidence for Paulina Hunter's family is detailed in "Without a Tribe" an investigative report from KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. The investigation went on for months and as recounted in the piece, Pechanga refused to speak to KNBC until the day before the airing.

Comically, Pechanga had to buy a 30 second spot during February sweeps (a bit more costly) to tell their story. In watching the report, it was clear that Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro was caught in a lie, and he was called on it by anchor Colleen Williams. The report featured noted anthropologist, Dr. John Johnson, curator of the Natural History Museum in Santa Barbara, and an expert in his field, possibly without equal. What is the significance of Dr. Johnson? Well, the Pechanga tribe hired him to research Paulina Hunter's ancestry. They went for the best and he found the truth about Paulina; she was indeed Pechanga, "100%" he said. Now keep in mind that this gentlemen has worked with California Mission Indians for decades, heavily researching Las Padrones, the historical record of the priests of Mission San Luis Rey (from which Luiseno comes)

Some authors, who are concerned that sovereignty issues outweigh any damage to families of disenrolled, ask the question: Are they violating tribal law or US law, because US law wouldn't apply to a sovereign nation. Well the answer is: They are violating tribal law. Pechanga's constitution requires open enrollment every January with specific requirements for enrollment. There is no blood quantum required; the requirement is lineal descent from an original Pechanga person.

Pechanga has a moratorium in place which has kept new members from joining the tribe. The moratorium is not authorized in the constitution. There was a petition brought forth to the tribe, it was ruled valid and voted upon. The moratorium, unconstitutionally, was passed. The Tribal Council explained that "the people have spoken" and it's now law until repealed. Later, when a petition was brought forth to end all disenrollment, it was ruled valid and voted upon, after the question of the Hunter family's disenrollment process was brought up, Chairman Macarro said, "all means all".

The people voted to end all disenrollments. The will of the people was spoken. Months later, the tribe was sent a letter saying that the Hunter family disenrollment couldn't be stopped by a vote of the people; they had to right to vote on enrollment matters. Okay so the people had a right to STOP new members coming in, but not to stop lifelong members from going out? I think this answers the question of violations of law.

This is sovereignty that is wielded like a club, not for the good of the members, but to their detriment. These websites and blogs can help answer questions, and there will be more articles like this one."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indian Gaming remains vulnerable to criminal elements: Pechanga's former Tribal Spokesperson's Son a Thief

Pechanga's former Tribal Spokesperson's son was fired for stealing employees tips. Of course, she fought for her thieving son to not be fired. Stealing from the employees, damaging the tribe's shaky credibility and yet, he was not disenrolled. Why?

U.S. Attorney cites threat to Indian gaming from criminals

U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling of the Eastern District of Oklahoma says Indian gaming remains vulnerable to criminal elements.
Sperling successfully prosecuted Ivy Kwok Ong for tax fraud and bribery. Ong was able to infiltrate the
Seminole Nation's gaming operation despite his criminal record, Sperling said.
Ong supplied electronic gaming machines to the tribe and took a share of the revenues in violation of federal law. But his arrangements were never reviewed by the
National Indian Gaming Commission, which would have discovered his criminal past as part of a routine background check, Sperling said.
"This was a man who should never have been allowed anywhere near an Indian gaming facility,” Sperling said after Ong was sentenced to 39 months in federal prison, The Oklahoman reported. "Until we have a method of tracing not only those who manage, but also those who supply or invest in tribal casinos, Indian Country remains vulnerable to infiltration by those like defendant Ong.” The Seminole Nation was forced to shut down its gaming facilities and pay a hefty fine to the NIGC for its dealings with Ong, who also sought to open a casino with the
Shinnecock Nation of New York.

Story here

Riverside Sheriff Takes Step to Improve Soboba Relationship

Good work Sheriff. I doubt you will get many takers from a tribe that pays per capita, but it's a good step. Chairman Salgado, what are YOUR next steps to improve relations with the Sheriff? Apologizing for your silly comments is not a big enough step.

Riverside sheriff taking steps to mend Indian relations
The Associated Press

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—Riverside County's sheriff says he is taking steps to improve relations with Indian tribes following the deaths this month of three tribe members in shootouts with deputies on the Soboba reservation.
Stanley Sniff said Tuesday that he will appoint an officer to act as a liaison for the tribes and will begin recruiting tribe members to join his department.
On May 8, deputies killed a man who opened fire on them on the reservation. Four days later, deputies killed a man and woman in a long gunfight after the pair opened fire with assault rifles on a tribal guard station.
Investigations continue into all three deaths.
Last week, Soboba Tribe Chairman Robert Salgado accused deputies of coming to the reservation to "blow people away." He later apologized for the remark.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Senator Obama VS the Freedmen: Politics as USUAL says Congresswoman DIane Watson

Congresswoman Diane Watson educates Senator Obama on the Freedmen issue. Good work, Rep. Watson. Please continue to press on for the Freedmen and also, consider looking into the civil rights violations of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in our own state of California. Oh, don't forget Picayune, Redding, Enterprise and others that can be found at

Sen. Barack Obama and the Cherokee Freedmen: Politics as usual

By Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.)
Posted: 05/13/08 05:29 PM [ET]

On the same day that African American voters went to the polls to cast their ballots in North Carolina and Indiana, descendants of the former slaves of the Cherokee Nation (known as Freedmen) fought in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to enforce their treaty rights guaranteeing them equality and voting rights in the tribe. Attorneys representing the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma have filed to have the case dismissed on the grounds that only Congress can enforce the treaty because the Cherokees have sovereign immunity. Yet the Cherokee Nation on that same day held a conference in the U.S. Capitol on why the Freedmen matter should be left to the courts.

Without a clear understanding of the issue, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has weighed in on the side of the Cherokees by publicly opposing my legislation, H.R. 2824, which suspends U.S. relations with the Cherokees until the rights of Freedmen are restored. Sen. Obama also takes exception to a recent Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in which the caucus declares its opposition to Native American housing legislation if it does not include a provision that would prevent the Cherokee Nation from receiving any benefits or funding under the bill if the Freedmen are expelled from the tribe.

Thirty-five CBC members signed the letter, including its chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.).


Article IX of the Treaty of 1866 states that Cherokee Freedmen shall have “all the rights” of Cherokees. The language in the treaty has been interpreted on more than one occasion by the courts as that “all rights” include the right of Freedmen citizenship.


The Cherokee Nation lost its sovereign right to engage in slavery upon enactment of the 13th Amendment and to determine the citizenship of the descendants of its former slaves upon ratification of the Treaty of 1866. Over the past several decades, our nation has stood up for the rights of indigenous minorities, as has the U.S. Congress through its Helsinki Commission as well as other congressional forums. Defending any government’s right to commit gross acts of discrimination under the guise of sovereign immunity is a non-starter. It is as unsupportable in South Africa, China, Zimbabwe and Bosnia as it is in the Cherokee Nation, arguably even more so in the Cherokee Nation since it is located within the continental U.S. and its sovereignty on the issue at hand has already been abrogated by Congress.

African American voters should think about how they would feel if their citizenship rights were suddenly removed because they descended from slaves. This is precisely what the Cherokee Nation wants to do in violation of its own treaty obligations.

It is morally repugnant and legally wrong.Watson is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform, and Foreign Affairs, com


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pechanga Disenrollment Story: Shameful

In June, I reprinted by permission a blog that one of our cousins wrote. Many Californians think that DISENROLLMENT by Corrupt Pechanga People is like "being kicked out of the country club". No, I don't think so, it's a loss of CITIZENSHIP and status as a Native American.

Native Heart: Stories from Pechanga

Read the story. It's about belonging, about losing a part of your life. About someone terminating your cultural heritage via Paper Genocide.

It's about a tribal council that has not followed the rule of law, denied their citizens their civil rights and treated their elders with complete disrespect, all the time spending $10 million on commercials trying to convince you that it's ONE TRIBE, ONE LAND.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Senate Committee On Indian Affairs: Please Call and ask them to say NO to Pechanga, a civil rights violator.

Dear Senate Committee and Senior Counsel Rollie Wilson,

Please do not consider transferring land to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians at your meeting on Thursday.

The land should be transferred to all Indians with ties to the cultural and sacred sites. If a transfer occurs that fails to include ownership and use rights for all affected Indians, the Pechanga Band will do what it has done before and deny access to individuals who have undisputed cultural and lineal ties to the sacred sites but who are not considered Pechanga members.

I also oppose H.R. 2963 based on the Pechanga Band’s actions to deprive and deny individuals of their human and civil rights. No entity that participates in, supports, or otherwise partakes in human and/or civil rights violations should benefit from the public trust. The actions taken by the Pechanga Band -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"). The ICRA 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.

However, Pechanga Tribal officials have hid behind the Tribe’s sovereignty to escape prosecution and to prevent the victims of their actions from seeking recourse for the injury and harm resulting from the human and civil rights violations. Although the tribal officials may be immune from suit, this does not equate to innocence of action.
Additionally, I would ask Congress to take a hard look at lands previously transferred to trust for the Pechanga Band. Specifically, the Great Oak Ranch was transferred with the intent of protecting it and its invaluable resources from a proposed transmission line project that threatened to negatively impact the Great Oak and other resources.

Over the course of several years, the Pechanga Band spent a great amount of time and money lobbying Congress to protect the Great Oak Ranch. Many meetings were held between Pechanga officials, government agencies, and Congressional members regarding the issue. During those meetings, it was stressed that the Great Oak and the Great Oak Ranch needed to be protected from construction impacts and the Pechanga Band had no intent to change the use of the ranch. In fact, Congressman Issa introduced at least one bill to protect the Great Oak and the Great Oak Ranch from the transmission project.

Today, with the Great Oak and the Great Oak Ranch spared from the transmission line project and the property transferred into trust, a portion of the Ranch has been turned into a staging area for on-going construction projects both on the Ranch and on adjacent properties. The character of the Ranch has been drastically changed and in no way reflects the “no change in use” mantra used by Pechanga officials in lobbying Congress and federal agencies for its protection and transfer to trust. Please do not consider a yes on H.R. 2963

DEMOCRATS 202 228-2589 Republicans 202 224-5429

PHONE: (202) 224-2251 Ask for Rollie Wilson

Please send your letters in opposition to the numbers above.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Soboba to Sue Sheriff's Department for Protecting it's Citizens and San Jacinto Residents from Armed Gunmen: UPDATED

UPDATE: Soboba Tribal Chairman apologizes for his remarks.

Earlier this week Salgado accused deputies of coming to the reservation to "blow people away" and referred to the local sheriff's station commander, Capt. Glenn Worby, as "General Custer."
Worby sat silently in the corner of a small conference room as Salgado opened the meeting with an apology for his remarks to the press.
"Over the past two weeks this has escalated out to some bad blood between the Sheriff's Department and myself," said Salgado, who sat at the head of a heavy wooden conference table with an eagle feather laid before him. "I ask forgiveness if I offended anybody." OP: Very good Mr. Chairman


Chairman Salgado's tribal members shot at tribal security guards, shot at sheriff's deputies with HUNDREDS of rounds of ammunition, shot at a RCSD helocopter, representing the opportunity for HUNDREDS of wounded and dead. And he wants to SUE them? How about holding a thank you party for saving his reservation from basically crazed gunmen.

People of Southern California, I'd AVOID Soboba like the PLAGUE. Salgado thinks his civil rights were violated, but where was he when tribes like Pechanga, Redding, Picayune violated the civil rights of its OWN PEOPLE?

SAN JACINTO, Calif. - The chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians said the tribe is planning to sue the Riverside County Sheriff's Department after a deadly gun battle in which deputies shot and killed a tribal man and a woman on the reservation May 12. ''We're planning to bring legal action against the Riverdale County sheriff's office. We think our civil rights have been violated and there were clear violations of jurisdiction. We're meeting with our attorney at 1 o'clock today,'' Chairman Robert Salgado told Indian Country Today May 14, less than 48 hours after the shootout.

At the center of the jurisdictional issue is Public Law 280, a 1950s termination-era law imposed on the nations that gives states criminal jurisdiction on Indian land. The deaths occurred less than a week after sheriff's deputies shot and killed another tribal member on the reservation.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, deputies responded around 6:20 p.m. to a 911 call ''in reference to an assault by a deadly weapon.'' Police said they were told that unknown suspects were firing at a ''guard shack'' on the reservation where two tribal security personnel were on duty. A sheriff's department helicopter arrived and came under fire, according to the police report.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Hawaii Natives Are Learning What May Happen with Akaka Bill: See YA!

Akaka Bill Preview: Tribes Boot Members Keep Loot
By Andrew Walden, 5/15/2008 9:39:59 AM

Are you Hawaiian? Perhaps not for long.

California Indian tribes are giving Hawaii a preview of what can be expected under the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ proposed Akaka Tribe. They are throwing out members—and some say it is all about money. OP: It absolutely IS.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle on April 20: “From San Diego to Clear Lake, 57 tribes are cashing in on the annual $7.7 billion California Indian gambling boom, and some are throwing out many of their own members -(OP: 25% of the Pechanga Tribe, almost 50% of Picayune) all, critics say, so those remaining can pocket more cash.

In many cases, that amounts to monthly allowances of up to $30,000 per person. The numbers of those receiving shares were relatively small to begin with - only an estimated 39,000 of the 350,000 American Indians in this state, according to studies by the state attorney general, the U.S. Census Bureau and others.”
See it here:

If the Akaka Bill becomes law, Hawaiians will be forced into something King Kamehameha abolished in creating the Hawaiian Kingdom—a tribe. And that tribe will have authority over who is or is not officially allowed to enroll.
At stake will be land and shares in revenues from Akaka Tribe ownership of thousands of acres of valuable Hawaii real estate.

Nobody explains this better than the Akaka Bill’s chief proponent in the U.S. House Rep. Neil Abercrombie.
Speaking to the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 2, 2007, Abercrombie explained: “The bottom line here is that this is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money, and this is about who has the administrative authority and responsibility over it.”
OP: Pechanga has already taken land they said they wanted to preserve, hundreds of acres and are now putting 18 holes into it, and fertilizer... They LIED!

Read the full article HERE

Shannon Prince: Cherokee Imitating The Enemy and Info on Freedmen Meeting

The tribe violated their OWN laws. We should not be supporting them in their efforts to disenfranchise their own people. Stand up for the Freedmen, and stand up for civil rights in Indian Country.

Prince: We're imitating the enemy

Posted: May 16, 2008
by: Shannon Prince

Many intelligent American Indian thinkers have already pointed out why the freedmen have a legal right to remain in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Cherokee judge Steve Russell has noted in his Indian Country Today column that the freedmen have the right, according to Article 9 of the treaty between the United States and the Cherokee Nation of 1866, to be citizens of the Cherokee Nation.
He has also reiterated the well-documented fact that many (and one might say nearly all) freedmen have Cherokee Indian blood that the racists who created the Dawes Rolls didn't note simply because of the pseudo-scientific belief that ''one drop'' of black blood negated all others - a fact that shows the nonsense of the claim that the removal of the freedmen from the Cherokee Nation is based on the desire to allow only those with Indian blood to be Indians.

While these scholars have brilliantly argued that the removal of the freedmen from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is illegal by the nation's own laws, I argue that beyond being illegal, the removal of the freedmen is also unethical. Those who support freedmen removal are irresponsible heirs of Cherokee history and have internalized colonial expressions of sovereignty.



This is the chance for you to learn about what is happening with the Freedmen's case. Additionally, if Cherokee Nation tries to disrupt the proceedings, you can see it for yourself. Show your support! And, please ask Diane Watson to look into what the tribes in her own state are doing, such as: Pechanga, Picayune Rancheria, Enterprise, Redding.

The next Descendants of Freedmen Association meeting will be held Saturday May 17th at the Rudisill library in Tulsa Oklahoma, 1520 N. Hartford, beginning at 1pm.
The Freedmen Band of Cherokee nation will meet following the Descendants meeting. Both meetings are free and open to the general public. Attorney Jon Velie will attend and update meeting attendants on recent Washington DC events.
Please prepare to attend the Descendants of Freedmen Association conference Saturday June 7th 2008 conference between 10am and 4pm at the Oklahoma City Langston Campus, 4205 N Lincoln Blvd.
Confirmed speakers include Congresswoman Diane Watson, Professor Gary Zeller, Kentucky State Representative Reginald Meeks, Tribal Activist Brenda Golden, and Attorney Jon Velie.

More details are given at the Conference Website: conference Chair MS Grayson can be reached at

Thursday, May 15, 2008

.....All Bets Are OFF at Soboba: Bernsteins Opinion

Bernstein gets a little hyperbolic, as did Salgado.

DAN BERNSTEIN of the Press Enterprise

If I were a betting man, I wouldn't go near the Soboba Casino. OP: ME NEITHER! Nor Pechanga either because of how they treat their people.

Not until the RivCo sheriff and the Indian reservation declare a cease-fire. Welcome to RivCo's mini Sadr City. OP: Think about what you say here Dan, the sheriff's were responding to calls for HELP. The security guards were UNDER fire.

I don't pretend to fully understand what's happening out there, why or who's to blame. OP: Hint, Dan, the ones firing the assault type weapons at security guards and sheriff's helicopter. Start there.

But everyone knows this: There have been copious exchanges of gunfire. Three tribe members have been killed in a week. OP: Yes, the ones who were firing the assault type weapons. Thank goodness they didn't kill anyone either. They could have laid down in a prone position, but guess what? They FIRED at sheriff's deputies...who, luckily for them and us CARRY GUNS too.

And the RivCo sheriff and the Soboba tribal chairman are lobbing rounds o' rhetoric that aren't exactly climate coolers. OP: Yes, like Salgado's They will SHOOT FIRST and ask questions later statement.
These guys are, supposedly, leaders. They represent people who are using real bullets. Real people are dead. OP: Yes, criminals thankfully, not innocent casino patrons, San Jacinto citizens.

You'd think Sheriff Stan Sniff and Tribal Chairman Robert Salgado might have a few pressing matters to discuss.
But that'll have to wait. The sheriff was in Washington, D.C., when a P-E reporter caught up to him. Sniffed Sniff:
"The tribal leadership needs to take control and make it known that this type of violence against their own members and members of law enforcement will not be tolerated." OP: Finally a good statement. The tribe needs to enforce their own people. Where are their rangers? At least, Pechanga's rangers will stand by while innocent children are being thrown out of the tribal school.

Riverside County Sheriff's Heroic Under Assault Weapons Fire at SOBOBA Reservation

I would like to extend my appreciation to the Riverside Sheriff's Deputies for the heroism at the Soboba Reservation. They have answered the calls for help when shots were fired. Soboba members, using assault type weapons, were endangering the surrounding community as well as the reservation. These deputies engaged the criminals, and endangering their team to protect the people of Soboba and San Jacinto.

Ask yourself: Would YOU be willing to go headfirst into a firefight? One gunbattle lasted an hour! See the VIDEO of Sheriff's spokesman

THANK YOU Riverside County Sheriffs, for protecting the people. Good thing Pechanga shut down its nightclubs, so that you don't have to send so many deputies there to take care of the thugs from the rez.

Alan Jackson postponed his Soboba Concert? Out of fear for his life and the bands?

Soboba families, we are sorry for the loss of your brothers, sons daughters...and thankful that they didn't kill anyone else.

Terminated Mixed Bloods Fighting to Get "UN-Terminated"

Take a look at the website of the Mixed Blood Uintas

The Terminated Mixed-Blood Uinta's Of the Ute Indian Tribe"
"Felter vs. Kempthorne"
Their Legal Action to Repeal"The Ute Partition Act"
"The Terminated Mixed-Blood's have been and are being ignored in the vain hope that time and attrition would banish them to the void."
No Unique Group of Americans illustrates the vulgarity of a failed federal policy more than the Mixed-Blood Uinta's of Utah. Who were once full members of the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation located in northeastern Utah and who find themselves "non grata" in the land of their birth....
This failed policy called termination, carried out in the early 1950's, was a policy of assimilating American Indians into main stream American society, assimilation designed to force American Indians out of their culture and told to forget their history.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CA Dept. of Forestry will NOT go to Soboba without a Police escort due to safety concerns

Violence at Soboba Reservation in San Jacinto is making everyone nervous. The chance of being caught in a crossfire or hit by random bullets fired from tribal members has gone up exponentially. THANK YOU to Riverside County Sheriff's for their brave and heroic work in stand up in the face of assault gunfire on the reservation. Don't let a fearmonger like Salgado steer you away for doing what is right.

From an LA TIMES story by David Kelly:

A wild gun battle between
Riverside County sheriff's deputies and a pair of suspects on the Soboba Indian Reservation left two people dead and tribal members frustrated and demanding answers Tuesday."There are better ways to solve these problems than by bringing in the 7th Cavalry and wiping them out. I would say we are in a war right now," said Robert Salgado, Soboba tribal chairman and a cousin of those killed.

OP: I suppose Salgado would prefer more people dead, like say, the security guard that escaped with his life? Bringing up the 7th Cavalry is foolish rhetoric. Stupid Salgado statement: "They've got the SWAT team out here," chairman Robert Salgado told television stations late Monday as he warned tribal members to stay indoors. "They're probably going to shoot first and ask questions later." Really, Bobby? YOUR tribal members are shooting FIRST

The Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold a meeting Friday among tribal leaders, members of the Sheriff's Department and representatives from the office of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands)."We want to bring them together so they can have a working relationship and rebuild trust," said
James Fletcher, Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent for Southern California. "We want to settle this violence so we won't have people being shot to death."

OP: Fletcher would probably prefer that Soboba disenroll their members like his own tribe, the Pechanga did. WHO besides the Pechanga tribal council trusts Fletcher?

Click this LINK for the rest of the article

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Senator Barack Obama okays Civil Rights Violations?

Please weigh in on what you think about Senator Obama's stance on the Freedmen Issue. Is this consistent with his stance on Civil Rights issues? Maybe he didn't get all the facts on this case or was misled by his Cherokee advisors.

Please POST your thoughts on this in the comments sections

Barack Obama Upholds Rights of Cherokees, All Native American Tribes, Who Violate Civil Rights of their Members

by First Americans Advocate May 2, 2008 at 04:57 pm


Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has stated his opposition to H.R. 2824, an attempt by his fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA) (Who supports HILLARY! Surprise!) to sever government-to-government relations with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma because of an on-going dispute between the tribe and the “Cherokee Freedmen.” In a March 13, 2008 Letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, members of the Congressional Black Caucus stated that “members of the CBC will not support, and will actively oppose passage of NAHASDA” unless the bill contains a “provision that would prevent the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma from receiving any benefits or funding” until they extended tribal membership to the Freedmen. The letter contained the signatures of 35 CBC members, but not the signature of White House hopeful Senator Barack Obama. Still, the Native American community began raising questions about an Obama Presidency that could potentially support CBC efforts to undermine the rights of tribal governments to determine their own membership. Asked to clearly state his position on H.R. 2824, Obama’s campaign issued the following statement: "Tribal sovereignty must mean that the place to resolve intertribal disputes is the tribe itself,” Obama said. “Our nation has learned with tragic results that federal intervention in internal matters of Indian tribes is rarely productive - failed policies such as Allotment and Termination grew out of efforts to second-guess Native communities. That is not a legacy we want to continue."

With respect to the Cherokee Freedman issue, Senator Obama said that while he is opposed to unwarranted tribal disenrollment, congressional interference was not warranted at this point. "Discrimination anywhere is intolerable, but the Cherokee are dealing with this issue in both tribal and federal courts. As it stands, the rights of the Cherokee Freedmen are not being abrogated because there is an injunction in place that ensures the Freedman's rights to programs during the pendency of the litigation. I do not support efforts to undermine these legal processes and impose a congressional solution. Tribes have a right to be self governing and we need to respect that, even if we disagree, which I do in this case. We must have restraint in asserting federal power in such circumstances."

OP: Congress has show tremendous RESTRAINT! They've done absolutely NOTHING while tribes have decimated Indian people. Where do Native Americans GO for justice when tribes do not follow their OWN Constitution? Pechanga VIOLATED their own constitution and then say they follow the law?

Soboba Reservation Becomes Killing Field

For the second time in a week, Soboba has had people killed in gunbattles with the Riverside Sheriffs Department. The Soboba members shot at police first, with assault type weapons.

Casino Reservations like Pechanga, which had a shooting a few years back at the home of the disenrollment committee chair, and have had a meth addicted member kill two people, and San Manuel, which has had members linked to Mexican Mafia and now Soboba with multiple killings in just a week's time, one the brother of another member who was killed 4 years ago at Soboba.

Maybe it's time for California to head back to the safe confines of Las Vegas.

Avoid Pechanga Avoid Soboba Evite San Manuel

Article HERE

Sheriff's deputies shot two people to death Monday night in the second fatal shooting on the Soboba Indian Reservation in a week, authorities said.
Deputies responded to a 6:20 p.m. report of a shooting at a security kiosk at the reservation's entrance less than a quarter mile south of the casino, said Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez.

BULLETS can travel for MILES and kill indiscriminately. Beware of violent reservations. ABC7 Story says shots exchanged for an hour. Security guard shot.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cherokee Tribe Benefitted from Slavery; Congressional Black Caucus Fighting For Human Rights


5-12-08 Are Blacks Being Victimized Twice by the Cherokee? By Arica L. Coleman
Ms. Coleman is Assistant Professor of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware.

In 1983, the Cherokee nation revised its constitution, stripping the Cherokee Freedmen, descendants of former Cherokee slaves, of their voting rights and citizenship status. According to the tribal election council, the Freedmen are not Cherokee “by blood” and thus are not “real” Cherokees. To the chagrin of many tribal members, on March 7, 2006, in a 2-1 decision, the Cherokee Supreme Court reversed the earlier decision calling the expulsion of the Freedmen unconstitutional, therefore, reinstating them into the tribe.
The Cherokee nation rejected the CSC’s verdict and called for a special election to settle the question once and for all. On March 3, 2007, Cherokee tribal members decided overwhelmingly by a vote of 70 percent to expel the Freedmen. Consequently, on June 21, 2007, the Congressional Black Caucus called on Congress to withhold funding from the Cherokee nation until such time that the Freedmen are fully restored.
The Cherokee nation has an annual budget of $300 million of which 80 percent is derived from federal aid. Withholding such aid would no doubt have a detrimental effect on the tribe. (OP: Wouldn't eliminating the Freedmen have a detrimental effect on THEM?) The measure passed the House. The CBC is now pressuring the Senate to do the same.
In response to the CBC’s activism on behalf of the Freedmen, Tim Giago published an article on the Huffington Post entitled, “Congressional Black Caucus Attacks Sovereign Status of Indian Nations.” Giago asserted that such activism is an assault upon tribal sovereignty. (Just as we, the U.S. attacked the sovereignty of South Africa)

Nevertheless, positing the CBC’s call for sanctions against the Cherokee nation as an “attack” on tribal sovereignty ignores over two centuries of Black – Cherokee relations, and the current issue which is not tribal sovereignty, but rather human rights. As a means of "civilizing" American Indians, Southern whites introduced chattel slavery to what are now known as The Five Civilized Tribes: Creeks, Seminoles, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Cherokees. The Cherokees exceeded their Indian counterparts in embracing southern white culture and they profited the most from slave ownership. By 1809 there were 600 enslaved blacks living in the Cherokee nation; the number increased to 1,600 by 1835. When Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act forcing Cherokees on a death march out west--the infamous "Trail of Tears"--they carried their black slaves with them.

Slavery in Indian Country (now the state of Oklahoma) proved far more profitable to the tribes than it had been in the Southeast. By 1860 there were 4,000 slaves living in the Cherokee nation alone. Slavery in Indian Country over time came to differ little from white slavery in the Southern states as slave codes were strictly enforced to maintain the hierarchy between slave owner and slave society. For example, a Cherokee could be expelled from the tribe for teaching a slave to read and write; (NICE!) the penalty for a slave who raped a Cherokee woman was death. Also the tribe fully cooperated with the federal government in enforcing fugitive slave laws. Runaway Cherokee slaves were not uncommon.

In 1842, four years after removal, 35 Cherokee slaves accompanied by their Seminole allies staged a slave revolt and attempted to escape through Creek territory. They were apprehended and brought back to their masters. Although the number of slave owners in Indian Country only amounted to approximately ten percent of the population, similar to southern society, the Indian planter class held sway over the tribes, many of whom resented both the Anglo-Saxon lifestyle and the peculiar institution.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thank You for Your Support of Original Pechanga's Blog

With the Cherokee Freedmen and Snoqualmie issues on the front burner, there is plenty of news to put forward. I want to thank you all for visiting my blog and hope you can find your way here a bit more often.
Many tribal members have suffered from disenrollments, banishment and unlawful terminations in California's Indian Country.

These sites, (including this one) are available to all to educate themselves:
Original Pechanga's Blog

PLEASE let your friends and family know about these sites. We are trying to keep the information flowing. If you have some news that you feel should be posted, feel free to email me at: Keeping track of all the news could be a full time job, and, I have one of those already. I do my best, and hope you understand when I'm lagging a bit.

We have to raise the stakes a bit and having a site like this one is a good start. We are getting views from the House of Representatives and the US courts, as well as quite a few tribal offices. Your visits here, regularly will boost the traffic and keep those meters registering. If you could link this blog on your MYSPACE pages and ask your friends there to look in, it WILL help. With as many tribal members that have been hurt, we should be seeing 3,000 visits a day and we are about 2900 short. Please check in and as many of you know, the comments are OPEN, but moderated. Silence is NOT golden in our issues.

We need to be vocal. Please HELP.

California Indian Legal Services Conference at Reservation of Civil Rights Violator Redding

Does this mean that CILS supports those tribes that disenfranchise their members? Why would they hold a conference at a reservation that is more concerned about hurting Indians, that with keeping the tribe together?

Here is there main office phone number: (800) 835-0284 It's a good idea to call and voice your displeasure.

Tribal courts conference in Redding

REDDING - Redding Rancheria Tribal Government will host the 2008 California Indian Legal Services Tribal Courts conference May 8 and 9, at the Redding Rancheria Community Center, behind Win-River Casino.
This is a two-day state-wide conference that will feature a host of panel discussions on topics relevant to tribal courts, tribal leaders, and the tribal community. OP: How about the scourge of tribal disenrollments? The upcoming LOSS of sovereignty?
Featured presenters will include tribal court judges and representatives from tribal courts in California, as well as experts from across the state to present information about gaining community support for tribal courts, creating judicial independence, preparing rules of ethics for tribal court judges and much more.
Panels include a welcome from Redding Rancheria's Chairperson, Barbara Murphy and CEO Tracy Edwards.
"The Redding Rancheria is excited to host the upcoming Tribal Court Conference," Edwards said. "This is an excellent opportunity for us to come together with other tribal community leaders to discuss relevant issues regarding tribal courts."

Here are some suggestions from Matt Root, WINTU tribal member:

Please host this event somewhere besides the redding rancheria as they are probably the worst violaters of native californian civil rights, I cannot attend this event as the members of the rancheria are the perpetuators of violence and slander towards wintu members, and actively oppose the advancement of wintu people PARTICULARLY in the legal field. Personal threats eminating from redding rancheria council members towards wintu people hastens the ability of the actual wintu members to benefit from any training events like this held at the rancheria, and is sad. the wintu people should not be denied inclusion in events such as this in concert with CILS.

Be mindful of what tribes you host events with, consider not hosting events with tribes that have disenrolled their members and subsequently hidden behind soverignty, and as a result making all of us look bad. When considering where to hold events like this please be mindful of the possible community disposition twards the host, and consider not supporting the the tribes like the redding rancheria just because of the fact that they contribute monetarily to CILS.

WHO ARE THE CILS? Are they just Grant whores?

Please do not attend this event. Does CILS support disenrollments in Indian Country? Have they supplied legal advice to tribes? More importantly, HAVE THEY HELPED those Indians damaged by tribes like Pechanga, Redding, Picayune and others?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Democrats Will Try to Keep all Republicans From Voting. Take lead from Tribes like Pechanga and Picayune.

The DNC will be keeping the Republican voters from voting in November. They will banish all who are not registered Democrats, in order to control who wins the election. Additionally, when the win the election, and of course, they will, since they will eliminate the opposition, they will stop ALL payments from the government to those said Republicans.

After November, no Republican will have access to Government assistance for: Health, Elder Care, Education. They will have no say in the government, told to 'be nice' to Democrats and certainly will no longer have civil rights.

Can't happen you say? IT IS happening now, on Indian Reservations throughout California and in some other states.

Pechanga of Temecula DID exactly that and the DNC has chosen the leader of Pechanga for their platform committee. Do you not think they have similar views?

Morongo Ponies Up $8.1 Million; Pechanga says, NOT NOW

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians turned an $8.1 million check over to the California Gambling Control Commission on Wednesday, a delivery the tribe views as an antidote for the ailing state budget. A VERY sloooooow working antidote: That was Million not BILLION.

Jacob Mejia, public affairs director for Pechanga, said Pechanga's compact requires the first payment be made by July 30. "The tribe will make its first of many contributions by that date,'' he said. OP: Check's in the mail??? Is Pechanga having a cash flow problem from shutting down their nightclubs due to thug behavior of the tribal youth, serving the young, paying $50 million to convince Californians that they are good people?

Appeals Court Hears Cherokee Freedmen Dispute: Disenrollments

OP: IT is critical that the Federal Government keep the pressure on the Cherokee Nation. Withholding funds is one way to nudge them in the proper direction. Do they REALLY want Congress to get more involved?

Think about what is happening here: Should we eliminate the 13th Amendment and no longer allow blacks to be citizens of the United States? A simple constitutional change is all that's needed. How about taking the right of women to vote away? This is exactly what the Cherokee have done, eliminating their tribal citizens' membership in the tribe. SOMEONE has to stand up and it looks like the Congressional Black Caucus is the ONLY group that has the balls to do so. I'm surprised the NAACP, which takes money from civil rights violators in California, aren't pushing to support their cash cows.

Appeals court hears Cherokee Freedmen dispute

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 A federal appeals court on Tuesday pressed the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to explain why the tribe hasn't lost the right to determine its own membership.

In March 2007, tribal voters amended their constitution to deny citizenship to the Freedmen, who are the descendants of former African slaves. At least two judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said the move appeared to violate an 1866 treaty. "It's not totally up to the tribe to determine its membership, isn't that right?" observed Judge Merrick B. Garland, a Clinton nominee. An attorney for the tribe had a hard time refuting that assertion. "That's correct," responded Garret G. Rasmussen, a Washington, D.C., attorney.

Instead, Rasmussen based his argument on sovereign immunity. Nowhere in the treaty, or the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery, was the tribe's immunity abrogated, he said. "It's an issue of the tribe's understanding of the treaty," Rasmussen told the court. Jon Velie, an attorney for the Freedmen, had a hard time himself finding the language in the treaty -- or in any other federal law -- that abrogated the tribe's immunity. So he said the totality of the treaty, as well as the historical backdrop of the Civil War and the 13th Amendment, supported the waiver.
"Sovereignty is about retaining rights," Velie, an attorney from Oklahoma, told the court. He said the Cherokee Nation retained the right to define its membership "just not on the Freedmen. That was treated away." Of the other members of the three-judge panel that heard the case, Judge Thomas B. Griffith, a Bush nominee, appeared to agree with Garland that the tribe lost some of its rights under the treaty. Judge David S. Tatel, a Clinton nominee, didn't ask any questions or make any statements on this particular issue. But all three judges seemed to be interested in resolving the case by leaving the Cherokee Nation out of the dispute.

They suggested it was possible to order the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne -- the original defendant -- to uphold the treaty without interfering with the tribe's internal governance. "The Secretary can vacate the new constitution, can vacate the changes," said Garland. The department was not part of the hearing yesterday as the arguments were limited to the Cherokee Nation's involvement in the suit. So far, the Bush administration has told the tribe that the treaty protects the rights of the Freedmen. About 2,800 descendants have Cherokee citizenship, which they could lose if a tribal court upholds the legality of the 2007 constitutional amendment.
In a similar case, the Bureau of Indian Affairs cut funds to the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma when tribal voters ousted their Freedmen. No similar action has been taken against the Cherokees which has led some members of Congress to draft legislation to deny funds to the tribe. Marilyn Vann, a Freedmen leader who is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, defended that tactic in an interview after the hearing yesterday. She said Congress has the final say in Indian matters. "We believe Congress has the ultimate responsibility to ensure the law is carried out," said Vann, who lives in Oklahoma.

Rest of the article HERE

Light Blogging

I'm sure my regular readers see how light the blogging has been. Sorry, I was in Florida for the past week and have had limited access to my computer. Palm Beach kinda does that to a person.

Headed to Las Vegas this next weekend too. I hope you'll stay tuned. I'll be here a couple of days and then head into the weekend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pechanga Tribal Massacre: Cause of Death; DISENROLLMENT

Blogger Lynne Weaver, of the Sault tribe has a story that people should know about. Many tribes, in California in particular have disenrolled THOUSANDS of their members, to steal their per capita, and they eliminate their health coverage. As I've said before, it's not like being kicked out of the P.T.A.

Cause of Death...Disenrollment

As a divorced single parent, the greatest benefit to me as member of the Sault Tribe was the free health and dental care for myself and my children and fortunately, we were a healthy family. I never relied on or asked for any other services from the Sault tribe other than the health and dental care.But what about those Elders who are diabetic, have heart problems or other age related illnesses?
What about those children whose parents must rely on IHS for asthma medications so their children can breathe?
There are an untold number of Sault Tribe members who have serious health problems and have no other options for their health care and most ask for nothing more than that.But...there are a handful of directors that want to take that away. Not for one moment have they considered what they are doing to thousands of members. While they do little for the 70 grand a year plus benefits they receive, there are members who would give anything just to get a job making 1/4 of that.Dennis McKelvie seems to be leading the charge to disenroll thousands of members of the tribe and he is followed closely by Cathy Abramson, DJ Hoffman, Joe Eitrem, Lana Causley, Keith Massaway and Fred Paquin. Now the last 3 must have some significant plan in place since they are Mackinac Bands themselves but that remains to be seen ....... see the link above

At Pechanga, those involved in the disenrollment of tribal members include:

Ihrene Scearce, Frances Miranda, Ruth Masiel, Bobbi LeMere, Jennie Miranda, Andy Masiel, Russell "Butch" Murphy, Raymond Basquez, Vincent Ibanez, Gary DuBois, Yolie McCarter and Mark Macarro. They are responsible for the dead of those who have been disenrolled from Pechanga.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Indians barred by Tribes Seek Help

An article from 2004 has even Carole Goldberg, shill for CA's Indian Tribes saying that Congress could take over membership disputes.

Indians barred by tribes seek help
Protesters want a court for resolving membership issues. By Stephen Magagnini -- Bee Staff Writer Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, July 15, 2004

Read rest of article HERE

More than 200 California Indians, claiming they've been banished from their tribes by greedy or power-mad tribal leaders, on Wednesday asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to halt compact negotiations with gambling tribes until they establish independent tribal courts to deal with membership disputes. California Indians For Justice, a coalition of 14 tribes, converged on the north steps of the Capitol to protest a wave of disenrollments they say is cutting the hearts out of Indian people. In recent years, several thousand California Indians have been kicked out of their tribes or denied official membership, often because they challenged the ruling faction, questioned the tribe's finances or were embroiled in long-standing family feuds. "Disenrollment takes away your identity," said protest organizer Laura Wass of the American Indian Movement. "We have full-blooded Indians not recognized by their tribes."

Carole Goldberg, an Indian law expert at UCLA, (OP: who uses her knowledge to help tribes, and NOT the individual Indians who need help from tribes that have destroyed their own people, hurt their elders and children by denying them basis civil rights.) said the U.S. government could take jurisdiction over membership disputes, but such a move would be bitterly opposed by Indian nations. Nevertheless, she said, the wave of disenrollments could threaten the sovereignty of all tribes.