Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Answering the Deluded Pechanga Members Statements

Our cousin Aamokat answers a Concerned Pechanga Person who claims the facts weren't on our side:

Even Chairman Mark Macarro said that he heard an estimation of 90 percent but he said that was inconclusive.

So he was in effect saying there was a 90 percent probability that we the Hunters are Pechanga Indians but that wasn't good enough?

It couldn't have been a 90 percent probability against our claim of being true Pechanga Indians because all sides acknowledge that our family were on the first census records of the reservation when it was created in the late 1800's and we can prove through probate records that Indians of the period verified our family lived with the people on the original reservation as well as before they moved to the reservation.

Our resident critic will try to say that these Indians where only saying our family were their neighbors and not that we were Pechanga.

However, it is very clear that Pechanga elder Dolores Tortuga included my ancestor Paulina Hunter in the inclusive "we Pechanga Indians" when she tesitfied in the 1915 probate hearings by saying in response to the examiner's question below:

"Were you acquainted with the deceased Pechanga Indian allottee Paulina Hunter?"

Tortuga responded by saying, "yes, I knew her as a neighbor when WE PECHANGA INDIANS lived on the Pauba Ranch near Temecula, California."

Tortuga's testimony was collaborated by Pechanga elder Jose David Rodriguez who added that he knew Paulina Hunter as a neighbor on the Pechanga reservation.

Also, all sides agree that our family has a land patent as Temecula Indians from the U.S. government.

So we own trust land on the Pechanga reservation and many of our family members still live there.

The following excerpt is taken from the official Pechanga Web site concering vaunted (much praised) Pechanga elder Antonio Ashman's recounting of the Temecula Indian eviction of 1875.

The late Antonio Ashman, a vaunted Pechanga Tribal member born three years after the eviction recounted how the eviction-trek ended: "They just dumped them here"— pointing to a low hill near the golf-course. "Just dumped them!"

So why is this significant in showing that we are Pechanga people?

Because prior to the first written enrollment of 1978 our family got none other than Antonio Ashman to vouch for our family as Pechanga people.

And he said in a written notarized statement when he was asked, "did you know Paulina Hunter as a member of the Band."

His response was, "yes, I knew her as such."

Mr. Ashman went on to say he remembered her being called aunt by tribal member Martin Berdugo and that she used to stay in the home of tribal members Salvador and Micheala Quilig and that he heard they were related.

In the first enrollment application of 1978 there was a supplement sheet that listed ways people could prove they were Pechanga.

One of those acceptable ways was to be vouched for by a recognized tribal member and what better person to stand up for our family than to have Antonio Ashman stand up for us!

In addition, seven current tribal elders gave notarized written statements that we are Pechanga people.

Five are listed as being reviewed by the enrollment committee in our Record of Decision and two were turned in during our appeal to the tribal council.

But the committee ignored the testimony in our support in favor of letters and statements from members of the CPP faction of the tribe who said we are not Pechanga people.

Folks those letters and statements from the CPP faction and the fact that are some missing historical documents from the mid 1800s that Dr. John Johnson, Pechanga's own hired expert on the linage of the Hunter family said that no family could find, was the only so called evidence that was submitted against my family in our disenrollment proceedings.

By the way, Dr. Johnson came to the conclusion that my family are Pechanga Indians.

So there is more than enough evidence that should have satisfied any reasonable person's questions regarding my family's heritage.

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro said at a 2005 general membership meeting that we should listen to what elders like Antonio Ashman said.

So Macarro and the the tribal officials believe what Mr. Ashman had to say about the eviction from the old Temecula Indian village but they don't believe what Mr. Ashman said when he verified that my ancestor was a Pechanga Indian?

Remember, Mr. Ashman is still called a vaunted tribal elder on Pechanga's own official Web site.

So gentle readers, as our resident critic likes to call visitors to this site, do you believe our critic or Antonio Ashman?

Remember, Mr. Ashman passed away before any of us ever got a penny of per capita money and our critic got a raise when we were kicked out of the tribe.

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