Saturday, May 28, 2011

How the Enterprise Rancheria Penalized Members for a Lawful Recall Vote

Bringing stories to the forefront, since there will be a protest of civil and human rights violations in Indian Country, June 2 at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.  Here's a story of the ENTERPRISE RANCHERIA, please take a look.  Please keep in mind, the numbers may look small but they equate to a significant population of a tribe.   For instance, the Picayune Disenrollment would equate to 16,000,000 Californians being eliminated as state citizens, with no rights to vote, or any state services.   Redding Rancheria disenrollments would equate to over 8,000,000 California citizens being denied their rights.  


Thirty former members of Enterprise Rancheria protested in front of the tribal office Saturday, while one disenrolled member waited for an appeals hearing at the Palermo Grange.
In November 2003, the Enterprise Rancheria booted 70 tribal members who questioned the way the tribal council spent a human services fund, according to Robert Edwards, a disenrolled member. Later two more tribal members were disenrolled.

Saturday, the Enterprise Tribal Council held an appeals hearing at Palermo Grange to decide if one disenrolled member, Rick Wilson, could return to tribal rolls.

"Everything they did there was a farce," Edwards said. "It was another kangaroo court."

Edwards said the tribal council brought up issues for Wilson's disenrollment that had happened after Wilson was removed from membership. Edwards said Wilson was escorted into and out of the meeting by two armed security guards.

"They're treating us like criminals, and we aren't criminals," Edwards said.

Edwards said he and 11 other members would go before the council on November 4, which will be almost three years after they requested appeals hearings.

The disenrolled members had signed a petition and asked for a vote to recall the tribal council back in 2003. However, the council responded by disenrolling the members who asked for the recall.

A few months ago, Enterprise Rancheria Tribal Chairwoman Glenda Nelson said the council had disenrolled the 72 members to keep the tribe from being divided and preserve the unity of the remaining tribal members. 

OP:   Preserve UNITY?  By taking away the right to VOTE the way you want?   What if the Republicans took away the Democrats citizenship because they were against the Republican candidate, or because they voted to recall a politician like Gray Davis or Cunningham from San Diego.


Nelson was one of the tribal council members the disenrolled members tried to recall in 2003. Edwards said several Indian rights groups were fighting for legislation that would protect tribal members from arbitrarily being disenrolled by tribes, which has happened in California and around the nation since tribes started receiving gaming revenue.

Ricky Wilson said he applied for an appeals hearing after he was disenrolled in 2003, which he said was supposed to be scheduled within 60 working days.

Almost three years later last Saturday, he attended the hearing in Palermo, where he waited outside from 9:30 a.m. to almost 2 p.m., he said. The hearing lasted until 5:50 p.m., he said, with the tribal council taking most of the time to cite his actions against the tribe after he was disenrolled.

The tribal council cited issues that had taken place since the disenrollment he said, such as speaking out against the tribal council including a "Letter to the Editor" he wrote to a newspaper.

When Wilson tried to speak in his defense, the council said if he didn't keep quiet, they wouldn't let him testify after the council had spoken, he said.

"They didn't allow me due process," Wilson said.

He said the complaints the council testified that he publicly criticized the tribe's tactics regarding the disenrollment. He said the tribe violated his civil rights including free speech, and he would like some government entity to hold tribes to the letter of their constitutions, so members couldn't be disenrolled so easily.

Before the disenrollment, the 72 members received incomes from casino gaming funds. According to the disenrolled, they were kicked out because they criticized the way the tribal council did business.

"It was to get me out of the way, so they could do their own business, and it wasn't above water," Wilson said.

Nelson, the tribal chair, didn't respond to requests for comments before press time. However, in the past, Nelson has maintained the tribal council did not mismanage funds, and they disenrolled members who were trying to divide the tribe.

4 comments:

'aamokat said...

We invited members of the Enterprise tribe who have been disenrolled to attend our protest rally in front of the Pechanga resort and casino on June 2, 2011 at 4 PM. I know Mr. Edwards won't be able to make it but please, if at all possible, others from this tribe make an effort to attend.

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