Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The DARK SIDE of Indian Gaming

For Immediate Release:
Press Contacts:
Quanah Brightman/United Native Americans Inc (415) 672-7187
Lisa Gray-Garcia,POOR Magazine/PNN (510) 435-7500

The Dark Side of Indian Gaming

What: Press Conference and Testimony
When: February 5, 2008 @ 11:00 am
Where: California State Capitol Building – North Side
10th st & Capitol Mall; Sacramento, California


An epidemic is sweeping through Indian Country, and in its wake, it is leaving thousands of victims struggling for basic rights protections.

"The civil rights of Indian people need to be protected from and enforced against the illegal acts of tribal officials. Until such a time, thousands more Indian people will be victimized as corrupt tribal officials violate tribal and federal laws to deny or strip them of the basic rights all other United States citizens enjoy," commented John Gomez Jr. of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization. "Tribal officials will continue to violate civil and human rights laws as long as they can escape prosecution for such actions by hiding behind tribal sovereignty."

The rights violations referred to are often characterized by the denial of due process and equal protection of laws specifically enacted to protect individuals from the "arbitrary and capricous actions" of tribal officials. In most instances, the violations have resulted in the stripping or denial of tribal citizenship of numerous individuals. The number of such reported rights violations in Indian Country has increased dramatically since the legalization and expansion of Indian Gaming.

In California alone, 20+ federally recognized tribes have stripped nearly 2500 Indian people of their tribal citizenship since the passage of Props 5 and 1A. And thousands more have been denied their birthright as tribes close their roles in an attempt to limit the number of those who benefit from Indian Gaming.

Some Indian activists have even gone so far as to call disenrollment the new Indian genocide, reminiscnt of the old termination policies practiced by the United States government. Unlike before, where it was the United States Cavalry or local militias who carried out the termination polices of the government, it is now tribal officials who are responsible for the acts of genocide being carried out against Indian people.

“It is a sad and shameful time for American Indians in this country because some tribals leaders are failing to protect the civil and human rights of their members," stated Carla Foreman-Maslin, a dis-enrolled member of the Redding Rancheria.
As a result, thousands of traditional First Nations People are now being denied adequate health care and other benefits previously provided to them as members of federally recognized tribes. Some have been denied access to their traditional gathering places and forceably evicted from the only home they have ever known. Others have been banished from their tribal lands and kept from visiting the resting place of their deceased ancestors.

Call it what you will- genocide, identity theft, disenrollment. It will continue to spread throughout Indian Country as long as the basic rights of Indian people are merely words on paper like so many of the treaties signed with their ancestors.

22 comments:

cideways said...

Amazing that no one wants to touch the subject? Blatant corruption! Sad that many believe this is the Indian way.

Anonymous said...

Taking care of the people is the Indian Way.

Too many councils have lost sight of that fact.

Lawrence Madariaga has lived on the reservation over 60 years. Paulina Hunter has had property since 1895 as part of the tribe

Anonymous said...

Bring your umbrellas and rain gear! That'll keep you dry and still have fun.

Bring a friend too.

Anonymous said...

The disenrollees lost their tribal membership because once challenged, they could not meet the criteria for this status. Further, these non-members should never have been enrolled in the first place. Tribal officials do not violate the civil and human rights of tribal members, but instead uphold them. The disenrollees promote a falsity by claiming such violations affect them. First, these violations never occurred. Second, the disenrollees as non-members have no standing as tribal members. Yet, a few diehards continue to air this falsity. Virtually all the other non-members have gone on with their lives as Americans. On the other hand, the diehards surely live an unhappy existence for all their anger, bitterness, and disappointment. This negativity must sour their mentality. One day the diehards may awaken to the positive side of life, and find their future bright.

Hunter said...

On the contrary, Masiel. We met the criteria for membership. Because it require honor and integrity to do the right thing, no Scearse or Masiel/Basquez could muster it.
SOME tribal officials DO violate the civil and human rights of members, INCLUDING those at Pechanga.

The Masiel Basquez Crime family live an unhappy existence, even WITH $350,000 plus per year. Hence, the shootings, drug abuse, wife/girlfriend beatings and CARJACKING.

We do see the POSITIVE side of life:

We are POSITIVE that justice will prevail.

Cousins said...

Hunter forgot to mention the THEFT issue.... Larry Miranda stealing from his own employees and cheating the tribe...

How can someone who makes SO MUCH, still want to rob the little guy?

t'eetilawuncha! said...

The Hunter clan was never challenged. Paulina Hunter was accepted by the Pechanga People who knew her well.

The Hunter clan would stand up to any legitimate challenge. Even the Pechanga enrollment committee had to hire an anthropologist to research Paulina Hunter, to their dismay he concluded Paulina was in fact a Pechanga Indian. The enrollment committee was so incompetent that they even had to ask the tribal council to interpret the will of the people after the 2005 vote to end all disenrollments and abolish the disenrollment process. It was only then that the tribal council blatantly violated the will of the people, and allowed the enrollment committee to continue the illegal disenrollment of the descendants of Paulina Hunter.

These acts clearly violate our constitution and bylaws on several points. The only reason you continue to spew these posts is because you fear the truth. You continue to disrespect several elders who gave sworn depositions who knew the tribes members, and you will probably die with this stain on your soul. We fell pity for you, and hope you come to your senses, before it’s to late.

Allen L. Lee said...

To anonymous #3,
The following excerpt will be my suggested reading in response to your statement that:
"Second, the disenrollees as non-members have no standing as tribal members. Yet, a few diehards continue to air this falsity. Virtually all the other non-members have gone on with their lives as Americans."

Please visit the link and read the article:

"Robert B. Porter
The Demise of the Ongwehoweh and the Rise of the Native Americans: Redressing the Genocidal Act of Forcing American Citizenship upon Indigenous Peoples, 15 Harv. BlackLetter L.J. 107-183 (1999)(citations omitted).
Editor's note: This article has over 400 footnotes. The footnotes have been edited out for presentation in this forum. I encourage you to see the original article for not only the scholarly documentation but the extensive explanations that Professor Porter provided in his footnotes.


…To be sure, there also seems to be broad acceptance of the notion that, as Indians, there is dual national citizenship--status as Americans as well as status as citizens of a particular Indigenous nation.

…Acceptance of American citizenship status wholly undermines what it means to be a citizen of a sovereign Indigenous nation.
….Forcing American citizenship upon Indigenous people not only has had the effect of incorporating the native population into the fabric of American political society, it also has had the effect of weakening Indian self- determination and sovereignty.
Unfortunately, when it comes to political participation, every person has only so much time in the day to devote. Indian people, as dual citizens, are thus presented with yet another difficult choice. Should he or she spend time trying to help some Democratic or Republican "friend of the Indian" Governor or Senator get re-elected, or should he or she spend time trying to drive the incumbent, and perhaps corrupt and incompetent, tribal chair out of office? Few Indian people have the luxury of making a meaningful commitment to carrying out both efforts with much success. The practical effect, then, is a kind of zero-sum game of political participation in which time spent participating in the American political system is time taken away from participating in the tribal political system.
Willing and aggressive participation in the American political system suggests that Indigenous people have forgotten that we are citizens of our own nations. At least for now, the United States recognizes this fact even if we fully do not. Rather than being merely classified as a racial minority, America continues to recognize us as citizens of our own sovereign nations in a nation- to-nation relationship with it. When we stop acting like citizens of our own nations and only act like citizens of the United States, our sovereignty will have expired...."

http://academic.udayton.edu/race/02rights/native01.htm

'aamokat said...

Anonymous, Ed, Ray, or whoever you are, our rights were not violated?

Explain and defend specifically the list of violations below:

1. Our family member and members of the Manuela Miranda family who were also disenrolled found evidence of irregularities on the enrollment committee including not enrolling people who met the Band's membership requirements who were lineal descendants of enrolled tribal members in good standing.

2. Our family member and members of the Manuela Miranda family then informed the tribal council of the irregularities.

3. The tribal council and the enrollment committee were then asked to have those enrollment committee members in question to not be allowed to rule on the cases of my family and that of the M. Mirandas due to bias and conflict of interest.

4.Among the people who turned in challenges to my family's and the M. Miranda family's tribal membership were nieces, nephews, sons and daughters of two of the enrollment committee members in question. So those committee members should have stepped aside in ruling on the disenrollees cases also on the basis of conflict of interest.

These are clear violations of Article V of the Band's constitution and bylaws which states below:

"IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS OF THE BAND TO UPHOLD AND ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS, AND ORDINANCES OF THE TEMECULA BAND OF LUISENO MISSION INDIANS; AND, ALSO TO UPHOLD THE INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS OF EACH MEMBER WITHOUT MALICE OR PREJUDICE."

So read your tribal constitution and then get back to us.

Anyone else notice how our anonymous critic gets less and less specific in his posts after we shoot down his arguments time and time again?

I WILL DO ONE MORE POST OF CHALLENGES FOR ANONYMOUS TO DEFEND.

'aamokat said...

Anonymous, Ed, Ray, or whoever you are, our rights were not violated?

CONTINUED

Explain and defend specifically the following list below:

1. In our disenrollment cases our attornies were not allowed to be present at any of the disenrollment proceedings.

2. We actually got letters from the tribal council before our appeal hearings that "note taking implements of any kind will not be allowed in the hearing room."

WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE NOTES OR EVEN TO ASK QUESTIONS!

3. We were denied copies of any of the official transcripts of any of the disenrollment proceedings.

comment: that made it very hard to mount a defense and prove that key parts of the disenrollment procedures were not followed because without those transcripts it was our word verses the committee's word.

4. Articles were added on by the Enrollment Committee after the deadline had passed for us to turn in counter arguments against those items which we had never seen beforehand.

5. The tribal council issued a bogus ruling that our family, the Hunters, were not included in the petition to end all disenrollments that had been passed the previous year.

Note: This ruling was issued just two days before the Record of Decision informing my family we were disenrolled and seven months after the law ending disenrollment had been passed.

Follow up note: The tribal council claimed that the Enrollment Committee could not be overruled by the General Membership despite the fact that a sitting councilman is in the tribe today because the General Membership had overturned the committee' decision not to enroll his family twenty years previous.

By the way, that sitting councilman is none other than Russell "Butch" Murphy.

There Anonymous, Ed, Ray, or whoever you are, have at it.

'aamokat said...

BY THE WAY, FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW, THOSE ENROLLMENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO HAD BEEN CHALLENGED FOR NOT DOING THEIR DUTY AND WHO'S FAMILY MEMBERS HAD PUT IN CHALLENGES TO US THE DISENROLLED'S TRIBAL MEMBERSHIP WERE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON OUR FAMILIES' CASES AND WERE THE DECIDING VOTES IN KICKING OUT HUNDREDS OF TRIBAL MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING.

DOES ANY REASONBLE FAIR MINDED PERSON REALLY BELIEVE THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON OUR CASES?

Anonymous said...

When it was put up for vote in the tribe years ago to have a Casino ..
are the disenrolled signatures on record to pass the vote?...because wouldnt that mean that they passed the approval with fraud...because the non-tribal(as they say you are) helped pass the Casino.
And are any of the disenrolled members signers to the compact with Arnold?...because that would make them void as well....wouldn't it?How could a non-member sign an agreement?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Feb. 4, 2009 8:55 a.m., you raise a good point. If the “casino” portion” of the tribe think the “non-revenue” generating portion of Pechanga tribals are not valid members, take their names off all the previous votes, etcs.. Oh no, we were good enough then!!!
Anonymous Feb. 3, 2009 8:31 p.m., please, if you are ignorant in this matter, do the appropriate research, for your sake!
Firstly, you appear a fool to say such things.
Secondly, you may very well be the next victim.
Thirdly, if you are genuinely misinformed, you need to have the correct information so you may make the appropriate decisions.
Your leadership is corrupt.
If you actually do not know this, the matter is easily corrected with very little exploration. Those who say otherwise have either blinded themselves for the money or have allowed themselves blinded for the money!
Which are you???

Allen L. Lee said...

Also to anonymous #3
The point for me is that the dis-enrolled should have never been challenged on ancestry. You may choose to challenge new applicants on any criteria you choose, but those already enrolled and recognized posessed the right to belong, in fact they still possess that right.
Ancestry challenges are more fitting for private organizations and a right of association, such a the Daughters of the American Revelotion(DAR) etc. Ancestry challenges of recognized citizens in Nations do not conform to the principles of human rights.

White Buffalo said...

So Mr./Ms. Anonymous it appears that you and those you are of the same belief are annoyed and tired of us. It is positive that you do not lose sleep at night. Unless it is for reasons that only you know self medication is not good for the soul. What is going to happen is that I am not going to go away and some day the wrongs that were done to my family will be exposed and the trueness of you sprit will not be able to hide Please tell Mr. Potato Head we know about his fetish with Child Pornography someone seen him and knows his name yours truly White Buffalo The wind carries whispered words.

Anonymous said...

You can add Morongo to the list of corrupt tribes. I am absolutely disgusted at the way the tribes run their business...claiming to be one with God and the earth...blah, blah, blah...There is daily occurance of "pay for play," lies, good 'ol boys club, discrimination and the list goes on and on...I guess what tribes have taught me is that the strong survive and too bad, so sad if you or your "family" aren't strong enough. And the "rules" are never even applied fairly.
I was so happy when the white buffalo was born. Happy for a people who were so cruely treated throughout our history. I was naive.

Anonymous said...

I saw Mr. Potato Head, as White Buffalo calls him, sitting with some young woman at the mall one time.

I think he looks rather like a lizard to me.

He was sitting there with sunglasses on trying to look cool and I felt like asking the young woman if she thinks reptiles are attractive because she was sitting with one.

But I don't know myself if our "old pal" Mr. Potato Head the turncoat really is a pedophile but I do know he is a backstabbing snake.

White Buffalo said...

Time will tell, old potato knows the truth he and big “I” may not talk all that much in public… It appears that I am spreading women’s talk on this blog, so my apologies to the readers who may be offended. Mr. Head let big “M” and little “M” know I am watching and waiting. I will not use names so as to protect the corrupt from the innocent. Perhaps that is a little bass-acwards, oh you get the point

'aamokat said...

Mr. Potato Head, that is really funny!

I wonder if the grand potato himself is our anonymous critic who pops in here now and then.

'aamokat said...

For those who wonder who we are talking about and those people not from Pechanga who wouldn't know anyway, sorry but we do need a laugh now and then to take away some of the seriousness of it all.

Anyway, just for fun, can anyone guess who the following are 1. Corny 2. General Custer 3. Mr. Potato Head.

Hints: 1. Corny once said that the disnerollments would have happened at Pechanga even if all the tribe had was a cornfield. 2. General Custer is adopted and looks a bit like the infamous general from the 1800's. 3. The grand potato himself, his name ryhmes with the word head.

There, you don't have to post their names as it is just for a laugh among ourselves.

My apologies again for getting off of topic.

White Buffalo said...

Again I apologies for starting the whole thing but for those who know I would make a joke rather than find the M@#$#@ F%^*#$ and then end up in jail so if I offend I apologies. √Āanokat is correct with the descriptions of the other two

Creeper said...

Stop apologizing to these corrupt BASTARDs, they did YOU wrong, they did US wrong and they will continue doing wrong untill they are stopped.
WE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE...CRIMINALS