Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Important Video On Civil Rights Violations and Disenrollments In Indian Country

The story of how many tribes have sent tribal members back into poverty and on the state rolls for health care by terminating them from tribes. Tribes promised that tribal gaming would help ALL Indians in California. That is certainly not true. Many tribes now have LESS members than they did before tribal gaming

Please share this video on your Facebook and MySpace pages so that more can learn what is happening in Indian Country. President Obama can meet with leaders of tribes, but the United States' Trust responsibility doesn't stop at the CHIEF LEVEL.

Please visit these sites to learn more:



Allen L. Lee said...

Very poignant! I watched it a couple of times. Let Elder Cornsilk know about the video. He might be able to run it on "Johns Place."

White Buffalo said...

Never forget that the truth is more powerful than the empty lies of corruption and that in a land of corruption the little voice of truth will out shout all of the wicked noise of the unjust. Strength patience and peace be in the heart of the warrior who stands against the enemy of his family

White Buffalo said...

In an unrelated note I am sickened at the news in the Press Enterprise seems that they are as corrupt as the people of Pechanga who believe that mass disenrollments are good for the people and tribe. The PE is very select with what it prints when it refuses to inform the public of criminal activity on or near the casino but will pontificate the belief that Pechanga has not violated the civil rights of long standing citizens. My understanding of what you the Hunter family are going through cannot be adequately expressed in a few sentences, I know your frustration and pain all too well your friend

Guero Nunez

Allen L. Lee said...

White Buffalo,
I haven't been in Riverside for a few years. Can you substantiate for me that the P.E. somehow endorses the dis-enrollments?
That's a serious question. I'm not quite versed on the P.E.'s position and would like to know more.

Phil Cuevas said...

Seems like the lies are more powerful to me. They are racking up more victories...

'aamokat said...

I don't think the Press Enterprise supports disenrollment per say but they don't seem to report anything negative about either the Pechanga tribe or the casino or anything associated with it or them.

It didn't used to be that way as they did report stories critical of Pechanga, especially pertaining to the disenrollments, but it is interesting that none of the writers who wrote those pieces work for the Press Enterprise anymore.

But these days the Press Enterprise seems to be the last place to report that some serious crimes have been committed by Pechanga tribal members or that crimes have been committed at or near the tribe's casino.

Could it be that the newspaper is afraid to lose the ad revenue the tribe throws their way

Anonymous said...

years ago a reporter from the californian newspaper I spoke to the reporter,was threatened not run a story of the family story or ads would be pulled from them Pechanga as sponser

Phil Cuevas said...

They DO print the stories when the Tribe is victorious over the ones they have wrongfully dis-enrolled. Just not the other way around....

Case in point:

Allen L. Lee said...

When I lived in Rubidoux, I did a fair amount of community work which the P.E. covered positively.
I seem to remember there was at least two branches of the P.E., one in Downtown Riverside and another in the Temecula area.
A few years before I left I think the P.E. was bought by a Dallas, Texas Co. and that might attribute to some of the change in local focus? Don't know. But I think for the most part the information superhighway, i.e. this blog, can help balance some of the bias or preference that a major publication can wield regarding social and/or political issues.
Seems that all major publications rely on a measure of sensationalism
because, unlike blogs, theirs is a for-profit business. So unless somebody does something sensational, like enrolling someone in the face of the moratorium, they probably won't take notice. Just my opinion.
While I'm here I'm going to go ahead and watch the video again.

'aamokat said...

I think what Phil was talking about is the fact that an appeals court has turned down a disenrollment challenge by some of our Hunter family relatives.

According to the Press Enterprise story, they were saying we were unlawfully detained because we are not allowed access to the health clinic, our kids are not allowed to attend the tribal school, and our elders don't have use of the senior center facilities.

The majority of the court, two judges, said the following:

"The court also noted that disenrollment did not include banishment, and it rejected a claim that the 16 former members are "under a continuing threat of banishment/exclusion." They also said the group had not exhausted its tribal remedies."

There was one desenting judge whose comments are below:

"The act of stripping Appellants' Tribal citizenship and the current and potential restrictions placed upon Appellants constitute a severe restraint on their liberty," the judge wrote. "... Appellants have been detained."


I find it absurd that the majority of the court said we have not exhausted our tribal remedies.

Because how can we appeal the bogus internal tribal ruling that the tribal council handed down that claimed our disenrollment proceedings were handled fair and impartially when it is clear that was far from the case?

Finally, while I support our relatives in their pursuit of justice (I am not part of the lawsuit) doing a little 'Monday morning quaterbacking,' I don't think the denial of services and schooling was a strong enough argument.

I would like to see us challenge the disenrollments head-on, mainly on the basis of lack of due process, but so far everyone says that the membership issue is a huge uphill battle and they are trying other avenues such as the denial of services.

But I don't think the membership issue is dead and I do have some ideas up my sleave but limited resources at this point to follow up on them.

Hopefully I will be able to pursue some of them sooner than later.

But see how the Press Enterprise will gladly report something that favors the tribe's position?

Allen L. Lee said...

The dissenting judge was absolutely correct. That's the reason why I have been posting all those long, ramblings that one of our anonymous's can't stand.
Surprising that the majority opinion did not see that the dis-enrollments were as severe if not more severe a persecution than the banishments.
Thanks for the post, 'aamokat.
I couldn't get the link to contact. All I got was "page not found."
That's definitely a decision needing a reversal, but how the argument is presented is crucial to any reversal.

Allen L. lee said...

"The court also noted that disenrollment did not include banishment, and it rejected a claim that the 16 former members are "under a continuing threat of banishment/exclusion."

"The most important provisions of ICRA were those that guaranteed
…6) protection against cruel and unusual punishment"
A U.S. view:
"Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for a four‐person plurality that loss of citizenship would amount to cruel and unusual punishment banned by the Eighth Amendment. "
"Some Twentieth-Century Consequences
In 1954, the full effect of the Fourteenth Amendment began to be realized. In the case of Brown v. the Board of Education, the Supreme court ruled that separation of people based on race was inherently unequal, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. This began a series of rulings in federal courts that redefined citizenship as a human right not to be abrogated by government,"
A Canadian View:
“I would suggest that stripping someone of citizenship can reasonable be made analogous to capital punishment. Capital punishment separates a person from their liberty, and Bill mentioned that stripping someone of their citizenship is akin to social and identity punishment, because you’re separated from all that had given you liberty up until that period of time. That’s a very serious matter.”
An Israeli View:
. Every person has the right to defend themselves against the possible revocation of citizenship – which is an extreme punishment.
What's wrong the the 9th Circuit court and dis-enrollment as a form of punishment?

'aamokat said...

"The court also noted that disenrollment did not include banishment, and it rejected a claim that the 16 former members are "under a continuing threat of banishment/exclusion."

Well maybe not physical banishment (at least not yet) but beyond going to our property, how many of us feel welcome on the reservation?

Because even among our friends we feel an uneasy distance to the people as they seem to want to keep at least some distance from us.

But, especially among our critics in the tribe, we have been ostracized through no fault or wrongdoing of our own.

So in effect we have been subject to a form of social banishment.

Mr. Lee you are correct about the "civil" part of the Indian Civil Rights Act title being about civil rights and not limited to criminal cases.

Assume for a moment that some public officials discriminated against a person because of race.

Those public officials, although they would likely be fired, would probably not be procecuted criminally.

And the justices who gave the majority opinion against my relatives' lawsuit would uphold the right of that individual who was racially discriminated against to damages against the government and/or the officials who discriminated against them.

So since the Indian Civil Rights Act is supposed to give Indians the same rights on reservations and within their tribes as all other American Citizens have anywhere else within United States jurisdiction, then how we were not detained?

Allen L. Lee said...

I think the majority opinion skewed the difference between banishment and dis-enrollment. Banishments are often "conditional" and can continue to recognize the banished as a member, disenrollments denationalized the member, they are no longer recognized as a member
1., "The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit banishment, as long as the punishment and sentencing meet the substantive and procedural requirements of Due Process of Law. Banishment is not considered "cruel and unusual punishment"
2.,"...Justice Thurgood Marshall
“… the mere fact that one who has been expatriated is not locked up in a prison does not dispose of the constitutional inquiry.”
Justice Marshall’s point is well taken, for in a sense there is indeed a loss of liberty when a citizen is denationalized…”
And a note that membership and citizenship in asovereign community are synonomous:

"Justice Joseph McKenna wrote:
The basic principle of the decision of the Court of Appeals was that the State is a recognized unit and those who are not citizens of it are not members of it."
"Chief Justice Warren, in a ruling that helped pave the way to the Afroyim decision, emphasized this point. As he insisted: "[T]he deprivation of citizenship is not a weapon that the Government may use to express its displeasure at a citizen's conduct, however reprehensible that conduct may be."
The Indian Country dis-enrollments are more egregious because there is no conduct for the dis-enrolled to be punished for.
"...An interesting case of tribal banishment occurred in 1998, in Penn v. United States. Margaret Penn, a non-Indian tribal prosecutor and part-time grantwriter on the Standing Rock Reservation of the Sioux Tribe in South Dakota,...
Penn v. United States, Case No. A1–00–93. The court ruled in Penn's favor, defeating the defendants' claims of sovereign or qualified Immunity. The two key issues involved were the "routine denial of fundamental constitutional rights by tribal governments and courts" and "holding the BIA and County Sheriff responsible for enforcing an [ex-parte] order that violated constitutional protections and issued by a [tribal] court with no jurisdiction over Maggie Penn." An appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals was expected."

cideways said...

Hey everyone we need to keep creating a buzz and turn up the heat, one way is to go onto other Native sites and post comments on what is going on. Try Indian news, Native times, just google Native americam news and you will get several other sites that are strictly native news sites and there is not any mention of disenrollment. We need to make more people aware of this topic especially in our own communities. here is one link.

Anonymous said...

A member of the hunter family was thetend with banishment because of going over the speed limit. He went to the B.I.A. and talk to Robert Eben the new supervisor. Mr. Eben said congress owns the land that Pechanga is on that is why it is called in trust and that it would take congress to kick out an allotee because an allotee is also in trusted with the land they are on. That is why they were trying to pass that bill that gave them the right to kick any one out of the reservation that they deemed a threat.

Anonymous said...

That is why the right thing will happen. The greedy and weak forget the only reason the Casino is here is because of trust land. Trust land for the Temecula band of Luiseno Indians.

Anonymous said...

Just because someone steals the checkbook, does not mean they are innocent. The government is culpable to these crimes.

Anonymous said...

Did you mean that the Masial Basqeuez family commiting fraud by doctering there paper work claiming to be Native American. Mark and John Marcaro knowing this are culpable to this crime.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is just one example of the dirty secrets.

O Pechanga said...

If the tree falls in a forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

This video should be seen by ALL your friends and they should send it to their friends.

Make it viral, make it work for all of us

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