Monday, November 3, 2008

Tribal Disenrollments: "Like Being Raped, and Then Going to the Person that RAPED YOU for Justice"

A news story on tribal disenrollments and moratoriums had the perfect quote as a post title, from Carla Maslin, from the Redding Rancheria of Northern California. 300 Pechanga People know exactly what she means, having been "raped" of their citizenship, benefits and security by Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, the enrollment committee led by Bobbi LeMere and certain members of the Tribal Council, Russell "Butch" Murphy and Andrew Masiel among them.

From that article:

Tribal membership disputes are also a problem across the country, with as many as 4,000 tribe members fighting for enrollment, said Carla Maslin, a disenrolled member of the Redding Rancheria in Northern California and an advocate for disenfranchised tribe members.
Maslin's case has gone nowhere in tribal court, she said. "It's like being raped and going to the person who raped you for justice," Maslin said.

These enrollment issues don't just strip away income from a potential casino, they limit access to education, health care and the cultural benefits of belonging to a tribe, she said."Someone is trying to steal away something that doesn't belong to them," Maslin said. "They're trying to steal their identity and heritage."

Here was how "those who raped us" administered J U S T I C E

  • The Pechanga Tribe said they'd give us a fair hearing, but consoldidated our cases so that we couldn't individually bring our case forward. (to keep the rapists from having to listen to 95 of my family)
  • We had a limit of to any written statement.
  • We were not allowed to send attachments or records (such as Dr. Johnson's report that determined our family was indeed Pechanga)
  • We must treat our rapists with respect, disrepectful conduct was "not to be tolerated" (lie back and enjoy it)
  • You MAY NOT ask questions, or call witnesses or present additional evidence or documents (we rape, therefore we will hear no evil)
  • You will be subject to a PAT DOWN SEARCH, even if you are elderly.
  • NO note taking instruments of any kind permitted. (and we won't wear a condom)
  • Grouping will be 15 people and you have 30 minutes (2 minutes per person and we aren't listening anyway, so who cares?)
  • We, the Tribal Council don't have to be on time for your appeal. (Masiel was late, but no matter, his mind was made up)
  • The enrollment committee commands you to use certified documents, however, the EC will accept hearsay from child molester in prison (Megan's Law website: Ibanez, Vincent)
  • Rapist PROHIBIT the presence of legal representatives. (ACLU anyone?)

As you can see, the "rapist" in our case, had their own brand of justice. NO CIVIL RIGHTS for us. And this is who Congressman Darrell Issa and Sen. Jim Battin stand with.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely appalling!
Pechanga has become not only destructive to its own people, but now we see it spilling out onto our land and our neighbors.
It’s got to be STOPPED!

Anonymous said...

Complete and utter injustice, heritage genocide!
I wish some far and remote country would hear our cry for help.

Anonymous said...

I believe with the new Democratic Administration, those who have had their civil rights violated by tribes such as Pechanga will have some recourse.

More teeth in the ICRA, or possibly just more sunlight on those tribes that have harmed so many of their people.

Phil Cuevas said...

Unless Pechanga contributes enough money that is. Don't be naive! A politician looks out for him/herself first and anyone who pays enough money second and if there is any time left over.... well you get the idea.

'aamokat said...

Pechanga chairman Mark Macarro was on the 2008 national platform committee for the democratic party and a lot of the California state democratic party assembly members and state senators supported their recent expansion, despite the fact that Macarro and Pechanga have led the charge in violating the civil rights of their fellow Pechanga people.

A lot of democratic party officials are well aware of what is going on at a lot of these reservations but they choose to do nothing about it and as I said, they help Pechanga and other gaming tribes with their agendas.

SO WHY DO YOU THINK WE WOULD GET ANY BETTER OF A CHANCE FOR JUSTICE WITH THE DEMOCRATS?

But Pechanga is hardly alone in these travesties of justice as Carla Maslin, the writer of this story, points out.

Her tribe, the Redding Rancheria near Redding, Ca kicked out her family despite the fact they had undisputed DNA evidence that refuted their tribe's claim they were not blood of the tribe.

But Redding, like a lot of these gaming tribes, hide behind sovereignty thinking that they have got away with it.

Maybe for now they have, but justice will come.

Anonymous said...

Greetings,

Is there anyone interested in coming to UCLA to speak before my Indian Federal Law class?

'aamokat said...

Isn't Carole Goldberg from UCLA?

She has been instrumental in siding with tribes like Pechanga and blindly citing sovereignty as the "holy grail" of Indian law while at the same time ignoring the rights of individual Indians.

Pechanga not only violated federal law such as the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) they also violated their own constitution which says an individual tribal member's rights are to be upheld without malice or predjiduce.

But who can, because of sovereignty, make a tribe even follow its own laws?

By always siding with the state, in this case Indian tribes such as Pechanga, Ms. Goldberg seems to forget about the rights of individuals.

Yes, tribes have a right to determine their own membership but, as I said, what if they don't follow their own rules when they deny or terminate people from tribal membership?

Someone from our group speak to your law class?

I guess it is something we would have to talk about among ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are correct that Prof. Goldberg teaches at UCLA. In fact, I have her for a class this quarter. However, she is not teaching the Indian Federal law class that I am taking. You have to keep in mind that many of these professors/students are reviewing these issues in a sterile environment detached from the pain and harm inflicted upon the families involved. Hearing your stories may help change the opinions of those who will eventually practice in the field. I strongly hope that you will consider the invitation. The Native community needs to realize that the actions of one tribe(s) can have profound effects on all tribes.

'aamokat said...

UCLA student, I belong to an organization that fights for Indian civil rights and while I can't speak for them as I am not in a leadership postition, sending a representative to speak to your class sounds like a good idea.

By the way, if you really want to make a lot of money, get a job repersenting a tribe such as Pechanga where you will get a huge salary to "ape" the lines, "a federally recongized Indian tribe as a sovereign nation has the right to determine their own membership, it is an internal affair."

You will never have to argue the merits of any cases, just repeat the lines, with changes to fit whichever case you are involved in as tribes often invoke sovereignty.

But I have a feeling you are not a sell out like a lot of other attoneys.

Anonymous said...

'aamokat,

I believe in our ancestors. I would never do anything to disrespect them. Sure, I understand why the media grabs the headline that you and your family are being denied monthly per capital, however, I view this unjustice as an attack on our collective spiritual community. How can I contact you? Can I get your email?

Best.

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Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I didn't see this post before but I speak every year at Seattle University - Federal Indian Law about the Federal court case - Sweet vs Hinzman (for the last 2 years and I will be again this year) about the illegal banishment of 9 Snoqualmie tribal members, of which I am one. I would be happy come to UCLA to speak on this subject. Snoqualmie9