Thursday, August 27, 2009

CA Democrats Don't Care about PUBLIC OPINION on Casino Compacts

It sounds like CA's Democrats DO NOT support or care what the public thinks when entering into casino gaming compacts.

A resolution in the state legislature urging the governor and lawmakers to consider public sentiment before entering into casino gaming compacts with Indian tribes has died under lobbying from interest groups.

Assemblyman Jared Huffman’s non-binding legislation sought to give a higher profile to advisory election votes on off-reservation, urban casinos such as one proposed near Rohnert Park by the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria.

But the measure got no support Tuesday at a hearing of the state Senate Government Organization committee in Sacramento, where a parade of casino backers including labor groups, a Rohnert Park public safety official and tribal officers contended that Sonoma County residents support a casino.

Huffman, a San Rafael Democrat, said it was ironic to see such opposition to a measure that would have emphasized the role of public opinion. His call for a courtesy motion was met with silence by the committee, which included Sen. Pat Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa.

The fix was in,” Huffman said. “The message we got was don’t even go there. There are too many powerful interests involved.”

Read more HERE


Allen L. Lee said...

Thanks for being fair, "O Pechanga"
and posting an example of a pratfall on relying on public opinion.
I'm not saying those who support public opinion as a way to a resolution are wrong, I do think it is important. But there are other facets of public opinion that can work against a cause.
This is just one example. Some of the problems with community police advisory panels and police departments come to mind as well.
The bottom line though is that public opinion and input is essential to a representative form of government. It is absolutely important

Anonymous said...

Who is this Albert Lee that always knows everything?...kind of a know-it-all? he a kicked out member or just one of the pretend to be on your side people?...he seems to talk out of both sides of his mouth...and very long winded!!..just my opinion!!

Anonymous said...

The man's name is Allen Lee, not Albert Lee and he is a supporter of our cause but there are times when we disagree about certain points, which is fine.

I for one welcome his input.

Allen L. Lee said...

Thanks anonymous #2 for your support and to anonymous #1, My name is indeed Allen L. Lee. I support tribal sovereignty but I do not support tribes abusing the civil or human rights of its tribal citizens. This may be why your are confused about my total position.
If in when the dis-enrolled are re-instated, they should be able to return to a fully sovereign and self-determined nation.

Allen L. Lee said...

I didn'r read your whole statement anon #1
I was a long time resident of the I.E. I was an employee for the State of Ca. on the U.C. Riverside campus when Mark Maccarro was a student along with several other Ca Indian students and I contributed some to the Native American Student Assc. I also helped with some of the Medicine Ways conferences. Anyhow I was in the territory when Pechanga was trying to get recognition and I remembe the whole splinter event very well. Macarro and other were friends of mine before the Casino went up and I have a personal interest in what things that people I know, or knew, do.
I am a descendant of Indian Freedmen from the Choctaw Nation, that is my family heritage. I am not a Choctaw citizen but I take issue with people lyuing abbout our heritage in the Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw Nations. That should help you understand a little about who I am and my motivation.

'aamokat said...

Mr. Lee, then you know the Splinter Group, now the core of the so called Concerned Pechanga People (CPP), tried a hostile take over of our government during the 1980s.

I don't know what Mark Macarro's opinion was on the Spliters or even if he was even a Pechanga tribal member yet back then but I would bet he was against the Splinters before casino.

If that was the case, then he sure did a turn around in siding with the CPP against us.

I don't always know who was a tribal member first but I would lay odds that most of us, the Hunters, were in the tribe before he was in.

Allen L. Lee said...

Yes 'aamokat, I remember the whole event. At least this is how I remember it
Sometime in the 1980's a group of students, if I recall Butch Murphy was part of that group, decided they were going to approach the BIA for recognition as the Pechanga Band of Indians. It seemed like a good idea and for those who didn't know too much about what was going on with Native affairs in the Temecula area, it seemed like an original effort to re-establish a Native community in the Temecula area based on the people who were indigenous fom the Te-me-ku village that existed before colonialism, if I have that right.
As it turned out there were already original Pechanga people in residence of the area who were engaged in exercising some form of tribal recognition and sovereignty.
It was not a new idea.
In my mind, the clash came when the young idealist had to come to terms with the fact that there was already a group of Pechanga people, many of them elders not associated with student idealogy and politics, on stage for recognition from the U.S.
I remember a contest and conflict regarding who should be recognized by the BIA as the authentic government of the Pechanga Band and I think politics decided against the elders and for the idealist. The whole thing has gone downhill ever since, and the Casino money has muddied any real effort to trace this fractioning of the Pechanga tribe back to its original source.
The BIA has had a practice of "Whoever comes out the winner is the government we deal with" as far as tribes are concerned. They don't seem to pay much attention to how the winner got there or what they do to stay on top.
To me it was never an "either/or decision, both parties constituted the whole Pechanga tribe, but not only has the BIA failed in insuring this whole tribe reality, they have contributed to it's failure by choosing sides.
When the U.S. recognizes and conducts government-to-government relations with tribes, the right to exist as indigenous peoples and sovereign governments has to be buffered with the consideration that even tribes may not violate the most basic principles of human and civil rights.
In the U.S. if someone uses your land for a certain number of years and you take no action about it, they are presumed to have a right to use it.
If someone is a recognized citizen of a nation for a certain number of years, and they themselves have committed no fraud in order to gain that citizenship, then they are in fact citizens.
Removing someones citizenship because their grandmother or grandfather doesn't meet modern requirements is wrong. It's not something that any lawfully recognized citizen of any sovereign nation should have to rely on to preserve their citizenship. If it was just Casino money greed, the tribes could figure some way to deprive certain members of their share without dis-enrolling them. They could use it in leiu of banishment or any other traditional tribal punishment with very little contest from the U.S.
Greed might be a sin, but it is not a human rights violation, removing someone of their citizenship based on eugenics is
That's probably too long winded for one of your readers, so for anonymous #1, whoever you are, just stop at the first paragraph and save yourself the headache. That is my opinion.
I tend to agree with you as to who was in the tribe first.

'aamokat said...

Mr. Lee, The thing is we already had our federal recognition as our reservation was established in 1882 and our tribe never had its recognition withdrawn, unlike other tribes who had to be re-recognized.

The Splinter Group opposed the Band's constitution and the written enrollment application and they had their own election and tried to get the BIA to recognize them as the Pechanga Band's official government.

But the BIA sided with the duly elected government and it wasn't because our side won, it was because it was right to do so.

Butch Murphy idealistic?

I am choking on that comment as if he was idealistic, then he would have never sided with the CPP against our membership especially when members of our family helped him get his family's membership put up to a vote of the people after the enrollment committee turned down their enrollment applications.

You said, "Removing someones citizenship because their grandmother or grandfather doesn't meet modern requirements is wrong."

We maintain that we have met the requirments all along, both modern and traditional, and that if the the disenrollment process was fairly implemented, we would have been cleared and any doubts any reasonable people may have had regarding our membership qualifications would have been laid to rest by the documentation that we turned in to the committee.

The problem is, because of sovereignty, a tribe doesn't have to properly follow their own internal laws and procedcures and no one can make them do so.

'aamokat said...

Mr. Lee, another comment on one of your statements:

"Removing someones citizenship because their grandmother or grandfather doesn't meet modern requirements is wrong."

But I believe a tribe has the right to determine their own membership if it is done in a fair and impartial way.

So yes a tribe can review its enrollment rolls if they choose to do so.

The problem with the disenrollment crisis is that accross the board many tribes are not reviewing their membership rolls in a fair and impartial way and they are getting away with it because of sovereignty.

As far as the Freedmean are concerned, if the Freedman are not blood of the tribe, then the tribe has a right to disenroll them if the treaty of 1866 doesn't grant them citizenship.

But I believe that the 1866 treaty does grant the Freedmen citizenship so that is why I am against their disenrollment.

Allen L. Lee said...

Interesting 'aamokat.
I have to ask, What do you mean by "blood of the tribe?"

Allen L. Lee said...

Also "aamokat"
What I hear you saying is that everything the tribe did in its procedure was acceptable to you, the only thing wrong with the procedure is that it happenned to you. That there are others that deserve to have the procedure remove them from the tribe, just not you, because you are proven genetically qualified by the tribes standards.
The thing is if it is OK for them to do it to somebody else, than it is OK for them to do it to you. Nobody from the outside is going to intervene on your behalf based on an intra-tribal procedure that you yourself has validated as nessecary. Any intra-tribal prejudices used in these procedure that you validate will be the business of you and the tribe alone.
If a sovereign adopts someone regardless of their genetic heritage, they have to have the honor of respecting the decision as sovereigns, not backtrack because the racial mood changes in a Nation/tribe.
If a sovereign recognizes a citizen by blood or residence, they have the same duty to honor and respect that persons status as a citizen until the person decides otherwise.
I don't see how grandma and grandpa can be challenged from the grave to validate or invalidate the rights that someone is already in possession of.
As for blood, I generally will not support the right of any collective to be a racial sovereign.
It's hypocrital to say "no business of the White man" or make anti white lyrics in rap music and expect Whites and other non-Indians or Blacks to support the economics of Casinos, Indian Art, Black music, Black professional athletes, etc. If someone wants to be a racial isolationist, then they should do so without attempting to enlist the assistance of the very people they alledge to disdain. That's just my opinion

'aamokat said...

The requirment being that people are direct blood descendants of original members of their respective tribes.

Of course tribes can have exceptions to this rule, which I believe the Freedmen are by the treaty of 1866, which those tribes agreed to and should abide by, but in general tribes can insist their members be desecendants of original members.

In our case at Pechanga our ancestor Paulina Hunter had a land patent as a Temecula Indian and who resided not only at the Pechanga Indian reservation, which was established in 1882, but also in the Temecula Indian village prior to the 1875 eviction of the people from the aboriginal village.

We can back this up with eye witness accounts from other Pechanga Indians from the probate records and other eye witness testimony as well as the census records of the late 1800s and this is why we maintain we meet the tribal requirments.

An original member being descended from original people from when the reservation was created and/or descended from Temecula Indians from the aboriginal village.

Tribes, as I said, can insist that these requirments be met if the process is fair and impartial.

The problem is that in this the disenrollment age the proceedings over and over again in tribe after tribe have not been fair and impartial.

Sometimes tribes have used disenrollment as payback for whistle blowers who have uncovered corruption in their tribes.

An example of this is at the Enterprise Rancharia where tribal members were disenrolled after they attempted to recall tribal officials after evidence was found of mis-appropriation of funds.

It was no coincidence that the disenrolled were all of the people who signed the recall petition.

'aamokat said...

Allen Lee said, "What I hear you saying is that everything the tribe did in its procedure was acceptable to you, the only thing wrong with the procedure is that it happenned to you.

No, I am not saying that at all.

What I am saying is the procedures were not fairly and impartially followed because other families were cleared from disenrollment who had the same information in their family histories that the disenrolled were kicked out for and key parts of the procedures were not followed at Pechanga.

But even if they had been followed, which they hadn't been, in my family's case the disenrollment procedures didn't even exist as a part of tribal law when we were disenrolled.

But tribes do have the right to determine who their members are if the process is fair and impartial but, as I said, in tribe after tribe, that hasn't been the case.

So the U.S. government through the Indian Civil Rights Act has the duty to insure that due process is followed because the disenrolled are also U.S. citizens with constitutional rights on the reservation as well as off of it.

Allen L. Lee said...

Nobody has a clear understanding as to where an original bloodline would start with any tribe. That is generally left up to the tribe to decide.
Original members could be anyone who can be verified to have had a legal/and or recognized standing as a tribal member anytime before the termination era of the 1950’s.
The Freedmen descendants are not an exception to any rule. They were incorporated into the tribes as subjugated members way before the Treaty and free African descent people existed as tribal members in almost all of the tribes that also held African descent slaves. They learned to live the way of Native tribal members and lived as equals.

Due process as it would apply to a tribal procedure, not the U.S. constitution, that is what makes Santa Clara Pueblo v Martinez a landmark case. Most people would think Santa Clara Pueblo v Martinez to be both unfair and partial , but tribes are deemed to determine for themselves what constitutes a civil right based on tribal values, not U.S. laws. It’s important to note that Santa Clara Pueblo V Martinez follows the ICRA and generally defines what powers the ICRA has over tribes, for example:

“The Court held that tribal common-law sovereign immunity prevented a suit against the tribe. It concluded that Indian tribes are required to adhere to the substantial requirements of ICRA, but that in deference to tribal self-government, Congress did not intend for federal courts to oversee compliance with ICRA, except in habeas corpus proceedings or unusual circumstances. Since 1978 and Martinez, those persons who allege noncustodial violations of ICRA are limited to pursuing their claims in tribal forums. Generally federal courts play no enforcement role in any of the provisions of ICRA that don't involve the narrow review of the imposition of incarceration by tribal courts in criminal proceedings.”

A tribe may remove any descendant of an original member or adoptee they choose to, for any independent tribal reason they see fit under your argument. All they have to say is that you violated a tribal custom and your gone, they have that right, no matter how original your bloodline is. Pauline Hunter meets both the blood and residency requirements that most nations use to determine the citizenship rights of a descendant. While blood and residency may give you some rights in the U.S., it gives you no rights with a tribe that the U.S. may enforce, not even by the ICRA.
What the Cherokee Freedmen descendants have is a right to be recognized by the U.S. as Cherokee citizens. Technically they don’t have a right to be members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma may be sanctioned by the U.S., they may lose funding and even recognition, but the U.S. can not force the tribe to accept the Freedmen descendants as citizens by any law that exists. The same with Pechanga. Whites didn’t like Blacks integrating into their neighborhood schools, they moved. The U.S. couldn’t force them to stay in their homes and send their kids to schools with Black children.
Different people and groups have different definitions as to what “fair and impartial’ means. I’d rather have a concrete, inalienable right that is not left up to some person or groups definition to what is “fair or impartial” like Fox news.

'aamokat said...

Allen Lee said, "Since 1978 and Martinez, those persons who allege noncustodial violations of ICRA are limited to pursuing their claims in tribal forums.”

But in the recent ruling concerning the Snolqualmie tribe of Washington state the tribe disenrolled people and banished them and a federal district court judge ordered the disenrollees reinstated because of lack of due process shown to the disenrollees by the tribe.

And while The judge's ruling did allow a temporary banishment of 90 days, their membership would be reinstated if the ruling stands.

Of course the Snolqualmie tribe appealed the ruling so the people are not reinstated yet but it shows that a federal court may be able to intervene if due process wasn't followed in a disenrollment case.

The thing is in our case the Pechanga enrollment committee claimed that because a member of our extended family put San Luis Rey Tribe on an application for enrollment as a California Indian in 1928, that it means that is our tribal identity.

Never mind that other Hunter extended family members put Pechanga on their 1928 applications.

The kicker is that other Pechanga famlies, including those who were cleared from disenrollment, also had extended family members put San Luis Rey on their 1928 applications.

In the case of the Manuela Miranda family of Pechanga the enrollment committee claimed that since their ancestor was not living on the Pechanga reservation during the period of the late 1800s, that they are not descendants of an original member, hence they were disenrolled.

But a sibling of M. Miranda was not living at Pechanga either during the period of the late 1800's but the descendants of the sibling were cleared from disenrollment with virtually the same family history.

So why were certain famlies cleared from disenrollment when others who were disenrolled have the same information in their family histories?

The Pechanga constitution and bylaws, under Article V, forbids malice or predjudice against individual tribal members so how can we get a tribe to follow its own rules if they choose not to do so?

In addition to the merits of our cases, we can show clear violations of internal procedures and the lack of due process afforded us.

Again, if a tribe doesn't follow its internal rules, what can we do about it?

But I would say the Snolqualmie case is at least a ray of hope for us.

Allen L. Lee said...

Also 'aamokat,
I don't believe your dis-enrollment had anything to do with Pauline Hunter, any more than I think the Cherokee freedmen descendants dis-enrollment had anything to do with the fact that their ancestors were not on the by-blood section of the Dawes Rolls.
I think they are smokescreens to cover quashing political threats and dissent with-in the tribes aswell as economic manipulation tools. The UKB has had almost the same problem as the Cherokee freedmen Descendants from the CNO, and they have a 1/4 blood requirement
I believe your dis-enrollment can be traced back to the factionalism the arised as a result of the argument as to who would be "recognized" as the authentic government of the Pechanga Band, not any bloodline credentials, which by the way, I agree is impeccable.
You could take your impeccable bloodlines to the BIA and tell them you have a right to be recognized as a Sovereign Pechanga, and with several other Pechanga's with equally impeccable bloodlines, you should be able to start your own separate band of Pechanga Indians with a right to request trust lands and even share jurisdiction with the existing Pechanga Band. You can recruit from the existing tribe, people who have similar bloodline credentials and keep out anybody that doesn't meet your impeccable bloodline criteria.
I just don't see how criticizing the existing band for not respecting your bloodlines is going to amount to anything if you come back with the statement that they have the right to do it.
They said that they were fair and impartial, it has been and will continue to be your word against theirs and generally not any legal concern of federal law. That's when we will get into unwarranted federal intervention.
I think as a human rights issue it warrants intervention, but if even a dis-enrollee says the tribes have a right to do it, I don't have much grounds for a defense.

'aamokat said...

Mr. Lee, we don't need to request trust lands as we already own trust land on the Pechanga reservation as original land allottees.

The interesting suggestion is the shared jurisdiction and the fact that since we are trust land owners with official probate documents from the U.S. Dept. of Interior that refer to us as Mission Indians (Pechanga Band), we already have a foot in the door for possible shared jurisdiction.

As clearly the U.S. government still considers us Pechanga Indians even if the tribe officially now does not.

That being said, I still think there is a way to show that due process of law was not followed in our disenrollment cases and the Snolqualmie case is a possible open door in that regard.

Allen L. Lee said...

Ok, 'aamokat
So the possible Apis-Hunter Band of Pechanga's won't need to save the Pechanga Eden from gravel mining because they already have all the trust land they need?

'aamokat said...

Oh, you were talking about actually having our own reservation land that is not on the current reservation and having that put into trust?

I was thinking in terms of that we already have a claim to the current reservation with our allotment and that our trust patent gives helps us in claiming joint jurisdiction over tribal lands if we choose to do so.

I hadn't even considered petitioning the federal government for addtional land, interesting idea.

As far as the gravel pit that is proposed in the area, that is something we and the current tribal leadership can both oppose.

I notice a possible tone of sarcasm in your recent posts.

But I have said over and over again that I am opposed to the Freedmen being disenrolled as the 1866 treaty grants them tribal membership so we are on the same side on most if not all issues.

I have said tribes do have a right to determine their own membership but that due process of law must be followed which, in most cases involving disenrollments, has not been the case.

And I feel the ICRA grants Indians the same rights on their reservations and in their tribes that all other American citizens have and that the federal government has the obligation to make sure that due process is followed.

wiaasal said...

M r. Lee

I believe my cousin is trying to say, yes we respect a sovereign, but we do not support rogue factions wielding sovereignty like a club. You made an excellent point when you detailed the actions of this group from the 80’s. What has transpired since that time is a spill over of emotions from that time. One irony of this is that many from the rogue faction have fled the reservation, and only come back to attend gatherings, or their jobs. Why would this happen? Fear of reprisal? They know what they did is wrong, and they have to live under fear the rest of their lives for it. It’s even sad when you see one of these people in public and they can’t look you in the eyes. They have lost their souls.

'aamokat said...

Thank you Wiaasal, you have stated my position correctly.

But those that have done us wrong have nothing to fear from us but they should fear a higher authority and I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

Yes, they have to live with themselves and no amount of money can change that.

You are right, there are people who claim publically that they did the right thing in disenrolling us but they will not look us in the eye if one of us happens to run into them.

Why is that if they are on the side of right and no it is not fear of reprisal from me or anyone else but the knowledge that they did wrong and they can't escape from that.

t'eetilawuncha! said...

The one constant is that this matter has Congress attention now. Add on that Congress introduced IGRA to benefit all Indians in the communities that started gaming. The billions of dollars generated from gaming have fueled tribal corruption and Congress is taking notice. Combine IGRA and ICRA and they are intertwined. Why would a tribal government establish a constitution or bylaws, if they did not have to? To protect the integrity of the tribe from the plenary powers of the outside forces that surrounds them. Is it ironic that tribes such as Pechanga established a disenrollment procedure the same year that IGRA was introduced by Congress in 1988? Why develop a procedure if tribes already have the right to self determination and the right to define its membership?

Suing the BIA over the matter at Pechanga is on the drawing board also. This membership battle was settled by the BIA back in the 80’s and has resurfaced again after IGRA. Pechanga has both a Constitution and Bylaws on file at the BIA, why do they need to follow it?

Again the good Pechanga people do what is right and help bring this to an end. It’s not too late, until it’s too late.