Thursday, September 30, 2010

CA Tribe OPPOSES Pechanga's Water Rights Bill As Written

The Chairman of Enterprise No.1, Robert Edwards has written a letter opposing Pechanga's Water Rights bill H.R. 5413.    As individual citizens, you can do the same and send them to:  camillecalimlim@mail.house.gov


Indians of Enterprise No.1
Robert Edwards, Chairman
P.O. 11
Paradise, CA 95967
Phone (530) 228-4910

September 29, 2010

To the attention of the Subcommittee on Water and Power
Testimony in Opposition to HR5413 - The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Act of 2010

Dear Committee Members:

It is the desire of my tribe to strongly oppose HR5413 on the grounds that as currently drafted it fails to protect the rights of all Temecula Indians.

We request that the Subcommittee on Water and Power oppose this act until such a time as the appropriate amendments are made in order to assure the rights of all allottees.

Further, it is not appropriate that Pechanga tribal officials negotiate or represent allottees without their knowledge or consent. All allottees with water rights in this matter must be protected by representation that will look out for their best interests. That representation is misplaced in the hands of Pechanga tribal officials who have repeatedly stripped their tribal members and former tribal members of their most basic rights.

We respectfully request that the Subcommittee on Water and Power defeat HR5413 until it is amended to include reference to the Temecula Band and/or Indians in order to protect the rights of all Temecula Indians.

Sincerely,

Robert Edwards, Chairman
Indians of Enterprise No.1

Thank you Chairman Edwards for your support in opposition to HR5413

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcome U.S. House of Representatives Committee Staffers!

A big welcome to the U.S. House of Representative Committee staffers who have been visiting our blog over the past few weeks.   We know you will find it informative as you help frame decisions made about the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and their quest to usurp the water rights of Temecula Indians granted allotments and rights by Presidents Arthur, Cleveland and McKinley.

There is much for you to learn and we request you spend time here, to learn what Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro and his brother John Macarro ARE NOT TELLING YOU.    THIS is the place to learn about what is going on in California's Indian Country.    Pechanga, Picayune, Redding, Enterprise, Jamul, Robinson Rancheria are among the few who have violated the rights of their people.

Draft Testimony for Temecula Indian Heirs to Pechanga Reservation

Attached and pasted below is draft testimony in opposition to the Pechanga Water Settlement Act, HR 5413, which is in the House of Representatives. Feel free to copy the draft and and some of your own testimony. The Tosobol Family has over 100 heirs, the Hunters almost double that. The Subcomittee on Water and Power is accepting testimony regarding the bill through tomorrow, but I suggest that you submit today to:

Camille.Calimlim@mail.house.gov


PHunterHeirTestimonyHR5413[1]

Your testimony will help Congress make the decision NOT to give water rights authority to the same tribal council that has stripped you of your rights, or kept you from sharing and making decisions on what is rightfully yours and your heirs.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mother Wins Small Victory Against Viejas Tribal Member for Child Support

Earlier this month we wrote about a mother who is trying to get her child support court orders enforced "CA Tribes NOT Enforcing..."    There has been a change, with a bit of a victory for Christina Brown.

Christina Brown, who is fighting to collect child support from her children's father, a member of the wealthy Viejas tribe, won a small victory in court recently.

Brown's soon-to-be ex-husband was ordered by a judge to pay her more than $4,000 in late child support payments, according to a Riverside County court transcript. He also was ordered to serve 20 days in jail for failure to comply with several court orders to pay child support and other obligations.

Her story illustrates a larger problem, Brown and others say.

The state does not have the authority to garnishee money from tribal members who receive payments from casino revenue because of the tribes' status as sovereign nations. Courts can sentence tribal members to jail for failing to pay, but they can't touch the money they receive from their casinos.

"I know I am doing the right thing for my kids," Brown said. "I'm just going to keep on trucking."

Attempts to reach Brown's husband through his attorney were unsuccessful.

The stress of the divorce for the 38-year-old mother of five children has taken its toll. Brown wears a bandanna to cover her balding head, which she said her doctors attribute to her constant worrying about her troubles.

When she filed for divorce in 2007, she lost the lavish lifestyle she led with her family, which included a large home, cars and family vacations in the family's 34-foot motor home.

OP:  While divorce is sadly a too common occurrance, I'm not concerned with the spouse as I am with the children.   They should be taken care of by their fathers, too and any father should be paying for their children.   In this case, the father has the ability to pay.    Let's see how he likes jail.


FOLLOW US on TWITTER  @opechanga

Monday, September 27, 2010

How the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Tribal Council Corrupted The History of a Tribal Person

Hunter cousin A'amokat has put together some historical facts on the Disenrollment of Paulina Hunter to answer a frequent "drive-by" commenter that smoothly says we couldn't prove our ancestry.  Yet, we have more evidence than ANY other family currently enrolled in Pechanga.  And people want to boycott Arizona for civil rights violations?  Try Pechanga.


Our critic from the tribe says we never answer what he considers tough questions but we have done so many times but since he just pops in and runs, I will tackle those issues once again for all to see.

1. “Dear Reader, that the mouthpieces for the Hunter clan never address the fact that their declared ancestor, Paulina Walla Hunter, had no available birth record.”

While it is true we couldn’t find a birth record for our ancestor Paulina Hunter, she is not alone in this regard as Dr. John Johnson from the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara, Ca, commissioned by the enrollment committee to research the ancestry of Paulina Hunter, said in his report to the committee, “The original books of baptisms, marriages, and burials for Mission San Luis Rey have been lost for more than 150 years which hinders many Luiseno families in their search for documentary evidence pertaining to their ancestors.”

So a lot of today’s Pechanga tribal members also don‘t have birth records for their ancestors who were born during the period after the surviving San Luis Rey padrones (census records), which were recorded between 1811 to 1835. So the only thing this proves is that Paulina Hunter was in the same boat as a lot of other tribal members from the historical period.

2. “Or the fact that while the historical record lists the parents of PWH, nobody knows their ancestry.”
While Paulina Hunter’s maiden name is listed as Walla in some records Dr. Johnson in his report on her ancestry indentifies her family name as being Quasicac and that the man who was almost certainly her father, Mateo, was the only Indian listed in the pardrones as being born at the place known as Pechanga over 75 years before the Pechanga reservation was even created! Also the records indicate that her maternal grandmother, Restituta Quenix, was from the from the original Temecula Indian village.
So how can we explain the discrepancy of last names from one generation to another generation?
Again Dr. Johnson elaborates in his report to the enrollment committee on the ancestry of Paulina Hunter:
Many Indian families of this period (the 1800’s) were adopting the use of surnames, as was the Euro-American custom. The church records show that there was considerable experimentation with surname use by all former Mission Indians. A variety of surnames would be used, even within the same family, before one version was finally chosen that continued to be used as an inherited family name.”

So again the Hunters are in the same boat as a lot of other Pechanga families in proving with 100 percent certainty by today’s modern standards that their ancestors from previous generations, who often also had different last names from one generation to the next, are indeed their ancestors.

3. “Or the uncomfortable fact that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has no Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood on file for PWH, meaning the BIA never tracked PWH as an Indian.”

If the BIA never recognized Paulina Hunter as a Pechanga Indian or even an Indian at all, then why do Hunter family members have CDIB cards that say Pechanga and why didn’t the enrollment committee make it an issue during the Hunter’s disenrollments?
One would think that if, as our esteemed critic from the tribe tries to imply, that if we the Hunters weren’t even Native Americans that the committee would have stated this was the case. After all, a slim majority of the committee, as we have shown here on this blog many times, was biased against us and I am sure they would have jumped at the chance to try to even further discredit us.

In fact the enrollment committee in its Record of Decision against the Hunters of March 16, 2006 stated:
“Nothing in the Committee’s findings shall be construed or interpreted that the Committee is making a determination of the Indian or Native American status of Paulina Hunter or her descendants.”
Also, in addition to the fact that the Hunters do have CDIBs, Hunter family members who have gone through probate for their share of the Hunter family allotment have official probate documents from the United States Department of the Interior that name their loved ones as “deceased Luiseno Mission (Pechanga Band) Indians” including those who have gone through probate after the Hunter family disenrollment.
So clearly the United States government still considers us Pechanga Indians even if the tribe officially at this time does not.

4. “Hunter clan tried to bring politics to bear on the disenrollment process, to stop its proper function of removing non-members from the membership roll. This effort failed. The process went forward. Doing its duty, the enrollment committee disenrolled the Hunter clan, returning it to its true status as non-members.”

The Hunters played politics with the process? Nothing could be further from the truth as it was our opponents who played politics with the process by perverting the process by going against the wishes of the people.
Because on July 17, 2005 the general membership of the tribe, the final authority in all matters of tribal government and business of the Band under Article VIII of the Band’s constitution and bylaws, voted to outlaw disenrollment and to strike from the books the disenrollment procedures. This law stated that as of the justification date of the petition of the new law, June 19, 2005, that all tribal members in the Band would remain tribal members and could not be disenrolled. So the disenrollment of the Hunters on March 16, 2006 was clearly illegal. By the way, the Hunter family were not the ones who presented the petition to outlaw disenrollment to the people so no, we were not playing politics with the process.

And I haven’t even scratched the surface by showing here once again how the evidence was very much in our favor but instead of what our opponent would have you believe, the list goes on and on in our favor not the other way around.

Friday, September 24, 2010

California Native American Day Ignores Second Largest Tribe: The Disenrolled

Today is California's Native American Day, celebrated the 4th Friday of each September.   San Manuel has events this whole week.

Today, our people continue to celebrate the traditions of the past. Here at the San Manuel Reservation, we sing and dance Serrano songs, as well as the Cahuilla bird songs, that our elders have taught us. Tribes in Northern California, such as the Yurok, perform traditional dances like the Brush dance.

What isn't mentioned this week is that disenrolled and moratorium people would make up the second largest tribe in California.   The Picayune has terminated 500 Native Americans and Pechanga has done the same to 400.  Additionally, Pechanga is keeping at least 100 more Native Americans from their place in the sun.

It would be good NOT to support:  Pechanga, Picayune, Redding, Jamul; Robinson Rancheria; Enterprise Rancheria among many that you will find at http://tribalcorruption.com/ .   While celebrating California's Native American Heritage, we must remind ourselves that THIS CENTURY, the worst enemy of Indians isn't the white man, but a new breed:  The Corrupt Tribal Council.   Take a look at our HALL OF SHAME.

Mark MacarroGlenda Nelson, Tracy Avila are not people to be honored.

Methamphetamine Bust at Pechanga Casino Shuts Down Parking Structure

Last year a carjacking, this year a suspicious death and now, meth and explosives, who said casinos don't bring crime?

The parking structure at the Pechanga casino in Temecula was closed for several hours as authorities examined a suspicious item that was found in a vehicle, said Lt. Robert Moquin.
Deputies shut down the parking structure at 45000 Pechanga Parkway after receiving a call from Pechanga security officers 3:20 a.m. Thursday, Moquin said in a news release. The parking structure was reopened at 6:15 a.m. after members of the Sheriff’s Department Hazardous Device Team determined the device was a bundle of illegal fireworks, he said.

The incident started when Pechanga security officers contacted two people sitting in a vehicle in the north parking structure of the casino and subsequently located a quantity of methamphetamine with the passenger of the vehicle, Moquin said. A search of the interior of the vehicle by deputies revealed an object that presented the image of a possible destructive device.
Pechanga security officers and deputies cordoned off the parking structure to ensure public safety.
The passenger, 30-year-old Edwin Clausen, was eventually taken into custody on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and violation of Riverside County ordinance 858 regarding the fireworks, Moquin said.

Read more: http://www.swrnn.com/southwest-riverside/2010-09-23/news/pechanga-parking-strucure-closed-for-several-hours-because-of-suspicious-device#ixzz10SNOW0kw

Monday, September 20, 2010

Is It Time for a Recall of Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro?

For Violations of Civil Rights of Indian People
For Lying to Congress
For Misuse of authority
For Theft of Per Capita totally over $250 MILLION
For Denial of Health Care to Elders
For FAILURE to follow Pechanga's Constitution and Bylaws
For enriching his wife's lobbying firm with Pechanga funds?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sifuentes: Tribes Tightening Up on Political Contributions in CA

North County Times reporter Edward Sifuentes has a good article about the tribes spending less money on the upcoming elections. As always, the links tell more of the story.

Unlike previous elections, when tribes spent millions on campaigns, gambling tribes in North County and southwest Riverside County are not donating as much money this year. OP: Many know they already have Jerry Brown in the bag.

Of the five North County tribes with casinos, only the Pala Band of Mission Indians has broken the $10,000 mark to qualify as a "major donor," according to the secretary of state, which keeps campaign finance records. Even Pala, which helped raise $17 million to defeat several 2008 ballot measures expanding gambling at other tribal casinos, has spent less than $40,000 on campaign contributions this year, according to the secretary of state.

Tribes have become more targeted in their giving, said David Quintana, a tribal gambling consultant and lobbyist.

"Tribal governments have become more sophisticated," Quintana said. "It's not just throwing huge wads of money at individuals or ideas."
OP: Sophisticated, or CHEAP?


The Pechanga Band of Mission Indians in Temecula has made nearly $300,000 in campaign donations. Much of the money was for statewide causes, such as $50,000 to the California Democratic Party and another $50,000 to the California Republican Party in April.

In a written statement, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro said the tribe is simply trying to protect its rights.

"History has demonstrated that abstaining from the political process results in catastrophic policies against our people, our culture and our inherent rights," Macarro said. "Our goal is simple: to protect our historic rights so that we may survive another generation." OP: Pechanga history has shown that by forcing members out, thereby controlling the voters, means you keep your job, you get more money by stealing their per capita, you save by cutting members' health care and education assistance. Then you force them back on the state doles, taking them from high income taxpayers to, in some cases destitute and without quality healthcare.

The $300,000 figure is a relatively small sum compared with what tribes spent in recent elections.

Tribes spent nearly $100 million in 2008 in one of the most expensive ballot battles in the state's history.
Pechanga spent nearly $50 million more than the other three tribes with propositions. Remember how Pechanga tried to keep Californian's from voting on the issue of expanded gaming? And hey, how has that worked out for us so far? Did it help our budget?

How Did the Pechanga Tribal Council Act Outside Our Constitution

I get that question asked a lot. And since Washington DC is interested this week (The Executive Office of the President of the United States checked the blog twice this week) and he-who-lied-to Congress (Mark Macarro) is there now, I thought it would be a good idea to bring this post forward. Please take a look at the links, as they help fill in more to the Pechanga Indian Termination Acts.

In the Pechanga Tribal Council's Memo to the General Membership Re: the Petition Dated June 19, 2005,

The memo to the tribal members cites the Constitution as providing the Council with the "duty to uphold the Constitution, Bylaws and ordinances", but the memo failed to quote the Constitution and Bylaws, Article III which states: "The simple majority (of the general membership)...shall rule and decide in all matters of government and business of the Band." It's clear that Article III recognizes the General Membership's ultimate authority to make decisions regarding all government matters- including enrollment and disenrollment issues. The General Membership's authority and powers trumps those of the Enrollment Committee and the Council in all matters.

The Enrollment Committee was NEVER granted ultimate authority to trump actions of the General Membership regarding enrollment and disenrollment. By custom and tradition, the Enrollment Committee has always taken its directives from the General Membership, and the General Membership has always enjoyed and exercised its authority as the ultimate decision maker on such matters .

Here are several major issues that illustrate this point:

A. The General Membership approved 2 Enrollment Applications (the first in 1979 and the 2nd in 1996). Although the Enrollment Committees drafted each, changes were made by the General Membership and the ultimate approval of each was via votes of the General Membership. The Enrollment Committee did not then nor do they now have sole discretion or authority in enrollment and disenrollment issues.

B. The General Membership, not the Enrollment Committee, adopted the Murphys into the tribe. In fact, the Enrollment Committee recognized that it did not have the authority to "adopt" the Murphys as members. Therefore, the issue was presented to the General Mempership which was and is the ultimate decider on enrollment and disenrollment issues.

C. The moritoriums on processing enrollment applications were approved by the General Membership. The processing of enrollment applications is the basic duty of the Enrollment Committee. Even though this is so, the Enrollment Committee could not institute a moritorium on its own. The moritoriums had to be discussed, voted on and passed by the ultimate decision-maker in enrollment and disenrollment issues- the General Membership.
Staying with the moritorium issue for a bit, if you apply the reasoning expressed by the Tribal Council in the March 14, 2006 letter, the moritoriums would be in conflict with the Constitution's membership requirements (just as they claim portions of the Petition dated June 19, 2005 are), were/are illegal, and should be subject to the same fate as those provisions of the Petiton, i.e. the moritorium should be lifted.

D. The General Membership, not the Enrollment Committee, voted on and enacted the Disenrollment Procedures contrary to the position stated in the Tribal Council's memo, the examples provided above clearly illustrate that the Enrollment Committee does not enjoy ultimate decision making authority or sole discretion in issues concerning enrollment or disenrollment. The Enrollment Committee's authority is clearly derived from the General Membership and the Enrollment Committee exists and serves at the pleasure of the General Membership. The General Membership can, through the authority cited in Article III, and in accordance with custom and tradition, take actions to interrupt, halt, or even disband the Enrollment Committee.

Finally, IF the Mark Macarro-led Tribal Council's action was such a righteous one and was indeed intended to protect the integrity of the Constitution, why did they wait 4 1/2 months to notify the General Membership? Shouldn't they have made the decision right away?
Does the Tribal Council IN FACT have the ability to overrule the will of the people? Or does controlling who votes by eliminating 25% of voters and keeping another 10% from gaining the vote have an impact in how the tribe is run?

More HERE HERE HERE

Comments please

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pechanga's Deteriorating Intergovernmental Relationship

ICT has a story up on the relationships between gaming tribes and local governments. We know that Pechanga has failed to pay the City of Temecula $2 million and that being litigated. The Sheriffs Dept. spends a lot of time enforcing the law at Pechanga, and that's just with the Masiel Crime Family....

From the Article:

Fifty miles away and across the county line the relationship between another city and tribe has deteriorated into a standoff that threatens Indians with a lawsuit for allegedly not providing contractually owed funds for law enforcement and other impacts from its casino.

“(The) Temecula City Council can decide to continue down a litigious path of conflict and dissipate what remains of any good will between Pechanga and the city,” said Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of LuiseƱo Indians in a statement issued Aug. 10, the day the city his tribe borders decided to file legal action against the tribe in a unanimous city council vote.

The contrast demonstrates the varied intergovernmental relations in Southern California, where self-reliant tribes maneuver a complex web of non-Native public entities in an era of dwindling public coffers. The difference, said UCLA Law Professor Carole Goldberg, could be attributed to the political climate and history between tribes and neighboring governments.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Reasons WHY We Need Enforcement of ICRA. And How YOU can Help

Hunter Cousin A'amokat has put together some information on why the ICRA needs to be enforced.


During the disenrollments of tribal members without due process that have been occurring over and over again all across Indian country in recent years there is one common theme, that despite the offending tribes’ claims to the contrary, individual Indians have not been given fair and impartial hearings and even when the disenrollees have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt (Redding Rancheria) that they are legitimate members of their tribes, they have still been kicked out of their tribes with no recourse. The Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) needs to be enforced.

The main problem is that even if a tribe doesn’t follow their own rules, who can make them do so? We need congressional hearings now to help rectify this situation and legislation to provide enforcement provisions for the ICRA.

SNOQUALMIE TRIBE-WASHINGTON STATE: Even after a Federal judge ruled that our civil rights were violated and overturned our permanent banishment- the corrupt tribal council will still not reinstate us and have instead handed us another 7 year sanction without due process. The sanction says we will be arrested if we step on tribal property and that we cannot speak to other tribal members - we cannot vote or hold office or attend meetings. We are in affect banished again.......and even though they swore in Federal court that we were members of the tribe - they are now disenrolling us. The Snoqualmie Tribal council just scoffs at the Federal Judge and told him in his own court that he couldn't make them follow our laws. All that is left is organized crime.

PECHANGA-CALIFORNIA: Even though Article V of the Temecula Band’s Constitution and Bylaws, sometimes referred to as the Pechanga Band, says, "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", The Pechanga tribal council led my Mark Macarro allowed close family members of people who submitted and/or signed statements against the disenrollees’ tribal membership to rule on their disenrollment cases on both the enrollment committee and the tribal council despite the fact that the disenrollees requested these people, who had a clear conflict of interest, be made to step aside from sitting in judgment and rendering a verdict. The people who were related to the people who testified against the disenrollees included sisters, aunts, and a nephew of the witnesses. And those on the enrollment stood to gain the per capita of those they terminated. This amounts to over $250,000,000. Incentive enough to get rid of Indians? Better than the bounty on scalps.

REDDING RANCHERIA-CALIFORNIA: On January 27, 2004, all 76 members of the Foreman family were removed from the Redding Rancheria tribal rolls based on nothing more than a conjured up rumor alleging that Foreman family matriarch Lorena Foreman-Butler was not the daughter of her mother Virginia Timmons, one of Redding Rancheria’s 17 Original Distributees.
Tribal Officials never produced a single piece of evidence to dispute Foreman-Butler’s maternal lineage and her family provided reams of legal and contemporary documents proving her mother was Virginia Timmons. Tribal Council still required her family to provide genomic DNA from their deceased mother and grandmother to retain their tribal citizenship.
Despite their family providing Tribal Council with DNA test results from two separate labs of 99.987% and 99.890%, proving by the legal standards established by the American Bar Association and the American Medical Associations that Lorena Butler and Virginia Timmons were mother and daughter, Tribal Council still stripped their family of their tribal citizenship.
Robert Foreman should be considered a HERO to the Redding people for all he has done for Indians in Northern California.

We need enforcement of ICRA, we need to exercise our moral outrage at tribes that harm their own and we need your support to make this happen.

AIRRO comments on Indian Country's Human Rights Abuses by..Indians

AIRRO spells out abuses by tribes against Indian people and the need for enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act.

The American Indian Rights and Resources Organization (AIRRO) is a Native American rights organization which is dedicated to the protection, preservation, and enforcement of the human rights of individual Indians through-out United States Indian Country.

Earlier this year, the AIRRO submitted information to the OHCHR for use in the Universal Periodic Review of the United States human rights record. AIRRO’s submission highlighted the trend of civil and human rights abuses indigenous people are being subjected to and the United State’s role in creating an environment for such injustices to occur. The AIRRO believes that both the UN and the United States should address the growing number of human and civil rights abuses in Indian Country and work towards the enforcement of previously enacted laws governing Indian civil and human rights.

The most egregious human rights issues that have gripped Indian Country over the last decade include the taking of ones citizenship; the denial of basic rights and freedoms; and the severing of spiritual and cultural ties to ones people and land. In place of actual physical genocide, acts such as disenrollment, banishment and the denial of citizenship are “killing off” generations of Indian people.

Disenrollment is the stripping of one’s citizenship in his or her tribe. Banishment is an act taken against individuals or groups whereby they are barred from entering and/or staying within their tribal reservation or other tribal lands. Denial of membership is an act to keep those eligible for tribal citizenship off the tribal rolls.

Disenrollment has been characterized as an act committed by tribal officials “without any concern for human rights, tribal traditions or due process… as a means to solidify their own economic and political bases and to winnow out opposition families who disapprove of the direction the tribal leadership is headed…(It) has tragically become almost commonplace in Indian country, leaving thousands of bona fide Native individuals without the benefits and protections of the nations they are biologically, culturally, and spiritually related to.”

The State is in large part responsible for the growing problem of human rights abuses in Indian Country. Its responsibility lies with the laws it has enacted and the failures of its agencies to carry out the trust responsibility due the individual Indian.

Of note, in 1968, after an investigation by the Constitutional Rights Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) was passed.

The ICRA was adopted to ensure that tribal governments respect the basic human and civil rights of individual Indians and non-Indians. The ICRA was intended to extend constitutional rights to individual Indians and thereby “protect individual Indians from arbitrary and unjust actions of tribal governments.” Under the ICRA tribal governments were prohibited from enacting or enforcing laws that violate certain individual rights.

Unfortunately, the ICRA failed to include an effective enforcement mechanism: save for a writ of habeas corpus, aggrieved individual(s) were barred from holding the offending tribal government or tribal official(s) accountable for violations of tribal and/or federal law.

The ICRA was further neutered in Martinez v. Santa Clara Pueblo which held that the ICRA, although a federal statute, was not enforceable in federal court. While the Martinez decision did allow for State intervention in limited instances, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), an agency within the Department of the Interior, has routinely declined to intervene.

The failures of the United States in regards to enforcement of the ICRA led William B. Allen, at the time, a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, to point out that no federal money had been spent on the enforcement of fundamental civil rights of American citizens (including the indigenous population) domiciled on reservations since the Martinez decision.

The United States’ failure to address the inherent problems in the ICRA and the additional problems created by Martinez has created an environment whereby tribal officials are allowed to violate the rights of their citizens by ignoring Federal, State and Tribal laws.

The United States can change the environment by providing an efficient enforcement mechanism for the redress of alleged violations of the ICRA and other tribal and/or federal laws enacted to protect and preserve the rights of the individual Indian.

Enforcement could include de novo review of tribal court actions by federal courts of issues involving alleged rights violations. And, in instances where there is no tribal court, individual(s) alleging violations of their human and civil rights could be allowed to file an action in federal court and the federal court shall have jurisdiction to hear the dispute.

Additionally and equally important, tribal and federal officials should not be allowed to invoke immunity from prosecution for alleged rights violations nor shall a tribe’s sovereignty shield its officers, employees, or agents.

The United States must be proactive in addressing the growing number of abuses committed against American Indians. The United States needs to address the policies, programs, and laws governing the rights of its indigenous people. The United States must also take action to change the current environment, an environment it created, which allows for and fosters the wholesale denial and abolishment of basic rights.

Success in Washington DC for Temecula Indians Exposing Pechanga's Lies

We wrote yesterday about a contingent of Temecula Indians who are in Washington DC to meet with committee members on the Pechanga Water Rights Bill that is in committee. We would like to thank the office of the President of the United States for visiting our blog yesterday; TWICE.

Now, we've received a query from Rep. Darrell Issa, asking for more information on Rep. Mike Thompson's request for an oversight hearing into the ICRA.

We also hear that the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians, headed by Liar-in-Chief Mark Macarro, sent a letter to the committees saying that the group of Temecula Indians is "grandstanding". We hope to have a copy of that letter for you by tomorrow. This pre-emptive letter by Pechanga, shows they are concerned about being exposed. This gave our team a great opportunity to smack down many points in the letter. And to give the committee staff a much fuller explanation of what could happen if the bill goes through as written. In fact, the meeting grew from two to eight attendees. The TRUTH has a way of bringing people to hear it.

Thank you for visiting our blog, please ask your friends to stop by.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Temecula Indians in Washinton DC to oppose Pechanga Water Rights Settlement Acts

A group of Temecula Indians and allottees is currently in Washington DC and we will begin making rounds tomorrow in opposition the the numerous proposed Pechanga Water Rights Settlement Acts.

We have been made aware that ther will be a hearing on the two (2) House bills- HR 4285 and HR 2956- on Thursday in front of the Subcommittee on Water and Power. Please read the attached letter in opposition to the proposed bills. It is important to get as many of these letters submitted to the Subcommittee prior to Thursday's hearing.

Please send them via fax to the following numbers (202)225-1931; (202)226-6953; (202)225-5929.

However, it may be easier to email your letter, once you have added your contact information at the end, to the following email addresses:

kiel.weaver@mail.house.gov
chris.fluhr@mail.house.gov
Camille.Calimlim@mail.house.gov

Chairwoman Napolitano Via email and/or fax
House Sub-Committee on Water and Power
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Opposition to HR 4285 and HR 5413
Honorable Chairwoman Napolitano and Committee Members:
I am a registered voter, and I submit this letter in opposition to HR 4285 and HR 5413 the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians Water Rights Settlement Acts (“Acts“).
In their current forms, both HR 4285 and HR 5413 fail to protect the property interests and water rights of hundreds of Temecula Indians and allottees.

Over the past six (6) plus years, Pechanga officials have disenrolled over 400 previously recognized tribal members. Additionally, hundreds more have been denied membership in the tribe under an illegal moratorium enacted to limit the number of people who benefit from the tribe’s economic development ventures.

Those who have been disenrolled and denied membership include many allottees that would be adversely affected by the Acts as they provide that the very officials who have stripped or denied the allottees of rights set forth in tribal and federal law shall be responsible for satisfying the very same allottees’ entitlement to water.

Additionally, the Acts fails to provide adequate protections for allottees against future abuses by Pechanga tribal officials in the settlement and allocation of their rights under the Acts. Stronger safeguards and greater penalties are needed to deter tribal officials from once again taking or denying ownership rights vested in allottees and others who may have rights under the settlement agreement and the Acts.

I also oppose the Acts as they fail to provide and protect the rights of the Temecula band or village of Indians, and their descendants. The Reservation was set aside by Executive Orders dated June 27, 1882 and August 29, 1893, for the use and benefit of the Temecula Indians.

Whereas the Acts reference the dates of the Executive Orders listed above as “priority dates” defining and determining the characteristics of the water rights, representative of the Temecula Band of Indians would be the appropriate parties to participate in the water rights settlement talks and the drafting of the Acts.

In fact, inclusion of separate representation of Temecula Indian interests would be consistent with decisions made by Pechanga tribal officials over the past six years where said officials have determined that Temecula Indians and Pechanga Indians are different people.

In spite of claims made by Pechanga tribal officials to represent the Temecula Indians and all allottees, this is not the first time that tribal officials may have misinformed Congress as to their true intent or motive.

In regards to a requested Congressional action to protect tribal fee lands and transfer said lands into trust, Pechanga Chairman Macarro testified to the House Committee on Natural Resources on April 17, 2002 that:

“The sole purpose of the (land) acquisition is the preservation and protection of the Luiseno people’s natural and cultural resources.”

And, when specifically asked if the Pechanga Tribe had “any plans for development of any kind on the Great Oak Ranch property”, Chairman Macarro’s response was as follows:

“No, we don’t. As stated in our application (to transfer to trust) … there is no (planned) change in use in the property,...”

Chairman Macarro was then asked if the Pechanga tribe planned to use the Great Oak Ranch for gaming purposes or any other purposes other than what he had just outlined. His response was, “No, the tribe does not”.

However, since the transfer of the Great Oak Ranch into trust, the Ranch has been turned into a staging area for on-going construction projects both on the Ranch and associated with the casino complex. The character of the Ranch has been drastically altered and in no way reflects the “no change in use” testified to and used by Pechanga tribal officials in lobbying Congress and federal agencies for its protection and transfer to trust.

Finally, absent an actual settlement agreement and resolution of the issues listed above, I believe it is premature to move forward with the Acts. There is too much uncertainty as to who has standing to represent hundreds of Temecula Indians and allottees who will be affected by the Acts and the settlement agreement.

Due to the Acts’ failures to adequately protect the rights of hundreds of allottees and Temecula Indians, and the other concerns/issues stated above, I re-state my opposition to HR 4285 and HR 5413 and respectfully request that you oppose the Acts until such time as the Acts are amended to protect the interests of all allottees and descendants of the Temecula Band or village for whom the reservation was set aside.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Freedmen Association Meeting: Sept. 18.

The Descendants of Freedmen Association and their supporters will host their next meeting on Saturday September 18 2010 at the First Missionary Baptist Church, 429 Denison Street, Muskogee Oklahoma. The meeting is free and open to the general public.

An update will be given on recent fiings in the Federal courts to enforce 1866 treaty rights of the black freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw) .
The black freedmen currently face discrimination in tribal enrollments, accessing tribal services funded by the US taxpayers for members of Indian tribes.

For more information , contact Mrs Vann at: 405-227-9810 or Mrs Brown: 918-683-2753. The organization website is: www.freedmen5tribes.com

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CA Tribes Not Enforcing Child Support Orders, forcing the State to Support the Children

A growing tragedy in CA's Indian Country. Father's who are more than capable to take care of their kids aren't doing so.

When Christina Brown got together with her soon-to-be ex-husband in the early 1990s, they were poor. But he’s a member of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. When the tribe’s casino opened up a few years later, the checks started rolling in, around $20,000 a month. They moved out of their mobile home into a big house. Nice cars and a 34-foot Fleetwood motor home followed.

After what she described as a worsening domestic situation, she left him in 2007. Brown, who noted that she once had a drug problem, said she’s been clean for years now. But in other ways, her present looks a lot like her past. She’s on welfare and food stamps, living with her mother in a two-bedroom house, and running four payments behind on her car. OP: So tribal gaming hasn't helped these native children.

And there’s another crucial difference: she’s responsible for the children. She has five over all — one before her husband, three with him and one after. The three youngest live with her, including two from her husband, but she says he hasn’t paid child support in years, despite the fact that he still gets thousands of dollars a month from the tribe.

Under the program, the federal government offers grants to tribes of up to $200,000 to set up their own programs to enforce child support laws, and will pay 90 percent of the ongoing cost of these programs. As of late 2008, 30 tribes had approved child support operations through the program. None are in California


See More at: CAPITOL WEEKLY My comment there:


Remember when tribes told us it was about self reliance? No, it was about getting "ours". Child care is the basic responsibility of the parents and any tribal member should be paying for their own children. Instead, the tribes think it's just that the people of California pay. When tribes eliminate members from their tribal rolls, the tribe thinks it just that elders go back on the public dole. Legally they may be on firm ground, morally, they are bankrupt. Simply DO NOT patronize tribal casinos where you KNOW they have done their own people wrong. Pechanga, Redding, Enterprise, Picayune-Chukchansi, San Pascual, Guideville are just a few of the CA tribes that do not deserve your business. Original Pechanga's Blog has more...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Decision Soon of Federal Recoginition for Juaneno Band of Mission Indians

After nearly 30 years, the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians will learn in a few weeks whether their petition for federal recognition will be granted.

R. Lee Fleming, director of the Office of Federal Acknowledgement, said the announcement will be made on or before October 4. The decision comes after the Juanenos scrambled to change course in the wake of a preliminary ruling in 2007 that found the tribe did not meet four of the seven criteria for federal recognition.

Federal recognition would allow the tribe to form its own government, enforce laws (both civil and criminal), tax, license and regulate activities, zone, and exclude persons from tribal territories—which can be acquired from the federal government. The recognition is also a key step in allowing a tribe to operate a casino or other business enterprise.

More than 560 tribes have gained federal recognition, but the process is painstaking and lengthy. San Juan Capistrano Native Americans initially filed for the recognition in 1982, and now more than one group seeks the federal authority. But in a June 2007 proposed finding, federal officials said the Juanenos fells short in four of the seven criteria required for recognition. The ruling said then that only 4 percent of the tribe’s 908 members could show they descended from the original Mission tribe.


Read more: The Capistrano Dispatch - Decision Near in Juaneno Federal Recognition