Wednesday, February 29, 2012

OPINION: The BIA Violates Sovereignty When it is In their Best Interest: Disenrollments Violate ICRA

Civil Rights attorney Donald R. Daines has written a post for us concerning the BIA and those with a "BIA Agenda", which surprisingly can be some tribal leaders.

The US BIA only violates Sovereignty when it is in their best interest. That’s why the BIA is known as the Bureau of Indian Annihilation. Once the BIA inserts the people its wants in power over the Tribal Nation, then when the People object and want their real leaders, the BIA says it cannot interfere because the dispute (which the BIA created in the first place) is an ‘internal’ problem which Tribal sovereignty prevents the BIA from interfering with. What took place in 1993 with the Oneida Indians of New York (not the Oneida Indian Nation that has existed for a 1,000 years as part of the Haudenosaune, but an entirely new ‘tribe’ called the Oneida Indian Nation of New York) is a textbook example of how the BIA (Bureau of Indian Annihilation) works.

Sovereignty is precious and to be protected. But some have said that sovereignty will be lost because of those who abuse power over a sovereign Indian Nation, like Hussein in Iraq, Kaddafi in Libya, but the US has shown that it only ‘steps’ in to protect the People if there are resources (oil, gas, casino revenues that can be used to balance State budgets instead of increasing taxes on the wealthy Americans, etc.) Colonization is ‘saving the indigenous people from a dictator’. Slavery by another name (PBS documentary)

The Indian Civil Rights Act was enacted in 1968 to protect the People from having their civil rights (freedom of speech, freedom of organization, etc) denied and taken away.

However, the only relief under ICRA is “habeas corpus” (free the prisoner from ‘custody’). The classic example is a ingle mother of 3 seized, handcuffed on a Friday night and driven by car 8 hours away to be ‘checked into a US Maximum Security Prison in Pennsylvania and remains in prison while the ICRA case winds its way through the US Courts. However, if those who seized control over the Tribal government or were put into power by the BIA release the person before the US Courts speak (‘catch and release’), then the US Courts have to find some other way that the individual is in ‘custody.

There have been (and will be many more) court cases in the US Courts defining and interpreting what constitutes ‘custody’ The US Courts have ruled that ‘banishment’ (Poodry) was found to be sufficient restraints upon liberty to be seen as ‘custody’ akin to being in prison. Finding ‘custody’ gives the US the right, responsibility and power to cross the sovereignty line and have the Tribal rights reinstated to the banished People.

In Shenandoah v Halbritter, the BIA appointee was shrewd enough not to utter the word ‘banished’, but achieved the same ends by labeling them ‘not in good standing’ and stripping the People of all rights of participation and benefits, even though they were kept on the rolls for US aid purposes.

The US Courts refused to find that labeling the people ‘not in good standing’ followed by enacting laws targeting the homes of those People for demolition to make them homeless was not sufficient restraint to constitute ‘custody’, therefore, the US Courts did not have the power under ICRA to do anything because it would violate sovereignty – mmm, and this was done by the US Courts AFTER the BIA had violated sovereignty to insert their appointee and given him control of the nation (so that the casino already agreed upon with the State of NY could move forward)- sound familiar?.

The US Courts also found that what the BIA inserted government did to the People by adopting laws aimed at destroying the homes of those labeled ‘not in good standing’ and leaving only those ‘not in good standing’ homeless did not constitute a ‘bill of attainder’. That issue and others were appealed to the US Supreme Court which denied certification to hear the.

I know everyone is scratching their head saying “a what?” ‘What’s a “bill of attainder” and what does that have to do with disenrollments?”

Well, don’t feel bad because most lawyers – as well as judges – have been asking themselves that question for hundreds of years – and will continue to ask themselves that question well into the future.

The U.S. Supreme Courts have defined bills of attainder as:... “legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without judicial trial.”
United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303, 315 (1945)

A ‘bill of attainder’ is a law adopt ‘legislatively’, like when a council adopts a new law, which declares a person or persons guilty of a crime for a condition that they already have and requires a forfeiture or loss of property or a taking away of civil rights resulting in a loss of freedom. A bill of attainder declares a person a criminal or inflicts punishment for an act or condition already committed. It deprives rights, property or liberty because the way the person is, or what they did in the past and inflicts punishment or forfeiture of property upon that person(s) without a trial. In effect, a bill of attainder punishes a person without that person being given a fair trial. Objecting during a public hearing against a proposed law is not a fair trial.

In Shenandoah v Halbritter, the US Courts refused to find that the new housing code adopted by the BIA appointee’s council requiring housing to meet standards selected by the council to make long standing and existing homes to be in violation of those standards, and therefore requiring immediate condemnation and demolition, was not a ‘bill of attainder’

A bill of attainder was part of English common law. Habeas Corpus guaranteed a fair trial by jury before some one is incarcerated or has property taken or forfeited, however, a bill of attainder bypasses Habeas corpus by having the law adopted legislatively. A bill of attainder was mostly used for treason or an already done act or being a certain ‘kind’ and simultaneously suspends a person’s civil rights. This process guarantees that the person would be found guilty of the crimes stated in the bill of attainder. A bill of attainder was a convenient method used the by the English Crown (King) to remove nobles who were deemed to be “getting above themselves” and forcing them to forfeit their entire ‘estate’ and castles including serfs to the Crown.

The victorious colonist invaders of North America, having just freed themselves from the dictates of a King did not want another King to ever come into power and seize control over them. So, while copying much of the Haudenosaune form of self governance (but leaving out things like decision by consensus and not giving the right of vote to women) the colonists included Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution stating that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed." We must give credit to the colonists because at least they did not want any bills of attainder used against them. The colonists knew that the Bill of Attainder Clause prohibiting bills of attainder served as an important “bulwark against tyranny”.

Welcome to Our New Readers and Thank You.

Thank you for coming and we hope you come back. The unfortunate violence at the Chukchansi Casino and the impending disenrollments at San Pascual and Pala have brought the civil and human rights violations back into focus.

We include links in most of our articles and we have an extensive archive on our right sidebar. Additionally, the pictures on the sidebar are linked to stories we feel need exposure.

We appreciate you coming and hope that you can share our site with your friends, classmates and family. Our comments are open, please be polite.

OP/ED: OCCUPY CHUKCHANSI Dr. Kenneth Hansen

I've asked our friends to submit their opinion on the Chukchansi matter. Dr. Kenneth Hansen, Ph.D and board member of the MANY LIGHTNINGS INDIAN LEGACY CENTER has one for us:

Occupy Chukchansi!

I am glad to see Fresno-area media now paying attention to an issue that has festered for far too long in California’s Indian Country--the blatant civil rights violations we call disenrollment. It is extremely unfortunate that people had to get hurt before they took note of it, however. Three people are reportedly injured, one with a serious head injury, with another, a 19-year-old security guard, stabbed in the abdomen. The melee that happened at the tribal government offices of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, located in the Madera foothills near Coarsegold, CA, was brought on by the Madera County Sheriff not allowing provisions to be brought to those Occupying the offices following the cut-off of electricity and water to the buildings, little more than portable trailers. A reasonable question might be why were they there in the first place?

In recent months we have seen moral clarity brought to bear on Wall Street abuses in the form of the Occupy Movement, which draws distinctions between the excesses of the super-rich versus the rest of us, who generally work hard and pay our taxes. Inherent in the movement’s complaint is the notion that wealth should not entitle certain people to more rights than the rest of us. That is also a problem in Indian Country, where the rich get richer with access to casino-generated benefits, while the vast majority of Indigenous people continue to do without.

Indian gaming was intended to provide self-determination and economic development to Indian Country. Instead, it caused certain people to “go wasichu,” that is, to become like the colonizers we despise from history. Whereas the US government once terminated their trust relationships, that function has now been devolved to the tribal governments themselves, who then disenroll their citizens. Ultimately disenrollment could lead to the same effect as was intended by termination—the assimilation and extinction of Indigenous people.

In tribal governments there are inequities in terms of rights—access to jobs, the ability to participate in community affairs, the right to vote, and equal protection under the law. These are known collectively as civil rights. Everyone has them. The distinction between civil liberties, i.e., speech rights, and the like, is that civil rights must be provided and protected by government. Tribal governments that disenroll their member-citizens have been negligent in protecting the civil rights of their people. The Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed by the Congress to protect people from their tribal governments, but it has not been enforced by the federal courts (the Cahto ruling being an exception), nor by the BIA.

This brings us back to Chukchansi. The tribal council-in-exile who had won the elections last December in part because they oppose further disenrollments, broke into the tribal government offices early Monday morning, February 27. These Occupiers and their families, a group of some 40 people, were tired of waiting for a BIA decision on the election outcome that never came. The pro-disenrollment faction that refuses to give up power set up shop in the economic development office on the other side of a parking lot, and proceeded to harass the council-in-exile by throwing burning logs, rocks, bricks, tear gas, and the like through the windows of the government offices. One Chukchansi student of mine who was on the scene that night said that Chance Alberta, one of the group that refuses to give up power, had bear spray and bright lights that were used to blind people and intimidate them. It is not surprising that the violence escalated Tuesday morning. Once the melee and stabbing happened, Madera and Fresno County sheriff’s deputies, along with CHP, declared that a peaceable assembly no longer existed and ordered both the Occupiers and the Disenrollers to vacate the area of the government offices. Both groups were subsequently escorted off the Rancheria Tuesday afternoon.

Patrick Hammond, who is the spokesman for the Occupiers (though they don’t call themselves that), and a graduate of the Political Science Department at Fresno State, said that they might be back if the situation is left unresolved. I say they have the right to do so. Radical tactics have become a staple of American Indian politics. They get results. They shine the light of good government to expose the darkness of political corruption. Ultimately, for the Chukchansi legitimacy crisis to be resolved, those 500 or so individuals who have been disenrolled over the past few years need to be readmitted to the tribe, probably by order of a federal court. Then there needs to be another election to decide who governs. It may take further Occupations and demonstrations (as well as litigation) to make that happen. In the event they do occur, the safety and provision of supplies for the Occupiers needs to be guaranteed by law enforcement.

Kenneth N. Hansen, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Political Science at California State University, Fresno, and former co-coordinator of the Africana and American Indian Studies program. He is a board member of the Many Lightnings Indian Legacy Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit civil rights organization, and a co-editor of the book The New Politics of Indian Gaming (2011, University of Nevada Press).

Editorial: BIA's Refusal To Act Led to Violence Plus Response From A Disenrolled Chukchansi

Here's an editorial in the Fresno Bee that gets a lot of things RIGHT. But following the piece is a rebuttal from disenrolled Chukchansi member Cathy Cory

It’s difficult to find anyone in the Chukchansi tribal controversy who shouldn’t share the blame for the dispute turning violent today. Both factions in the leadership battle took calculated steps that made violence likely. Government officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Madera County sheriff’s office refused to act, even when it became clear that illegal acts had been committed.

It is no excuse to say that tribal sovereignty prevented authorities from moving earlier. When it got to the riot stage, law enforcement finally got involved, rushing to the scene with officers from multiple jurisdictions. Tribal sovereignty was no longer an excuse to look the other way.

But the agency that is most to blame is the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which repeatedly refused to sort out the tribal dispute. The BIA, which is under the U.S. Department of Interior, should be very embarrassed over its unwillingness to do its job when its presence was needed most.

Had the BIA heeded the many early calls to recognize the duly elected tribal leadership, the dispute likely would not have gotten this far.

There are many victims, includal tribal members. It’s a sad time for the once-proud Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. The tribe's leaders rioted instead of resolving their dispute honorably.

Official say up to 50 members of the rival Chukchansi Indian leadership factions were escorted from the tribal offices by law enforcement this afternoon. Two people were injured when a melee involving about 40 people broke out earlier at the grounds of the Picayune Rancheria.

This is a story of how gambling money ripped apart the Chukchansi tribe. It's about who controls the tribe's casino and who gets to benefit from the gambling money. An election in December, changed tribal council leadership, but the losing side refused to give up control. The BIA would not get involved and the sheriff called the dispute a “family matter.”

Both were outrageous responses to growing trouble with the tribal leadership. The election results were clear, but the BIA empowered the losing side by not acting.

While authorities ducked the difficult issues in this dispute, the refusal of the losing faction to leave in December started us on the course that ended in a riot. But that did not give the other side — which was the duly elected council — the right to break into the tribal offices on Monday.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs could have recognized the proper leadership. But the BIA shamefully refused to get involved.

This is a very sad saga that just might make California voters rethink their support of tribal gaming.


Cathy Cory's Response:

Although many of the articles in regard to the conflict at picayune seem to describe it as "recent," this is hardly the truth...these conflicts in regard to disenrollment and power within the tribe have been ......occurring for almost a twenty year period...the BIA and CONGRESS have long been aware of what is going on within several gaming tribes--this horrendous violation of thousands of indian people's tribal, civil, and human rights by their own corrupt tribal governments--BUT HAVE REFUSED PLEAS FOR HELP IN THIS VERY THEFT OF THEIR BIRTHRIGHT AS INDIAN PEOPLE...



Over 200 people were disenrolled from picayune in 1999, another 500-600 in 2006-2007, 57 in 2011, and around 70 thus far this year with another 200 pending...OVER ONE THOUSAND CHUKCHANSI PEOPLE--ELDERS AND FUTURE GENERATIONS--HAVE BEEN DISMEMBERED OR ARE PENDING DISENROLLMENT AS OF TODAY (significantly, in a tribe that had 1073 members in 1998 "pre-chukchansi gold"--NEARLY 2/3 OF THE TRIBE)


Picayune is only the tip of the iceberg...redding, dry creek, table mountain, pechanga, pala, san pasqual, enterprise--over 20 of the gaming tribes or those attempting to establish gaming here in california are engaging in this horrific genocide and theft of the very birthright of THOUSANDS of indian people WITHOUT SANCTION BENEATH THE GUISE OF "TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY"...


Department of justice, the federal bureau of investigation, congress, and the bureau of indian affairs-- ALL should be involved at picayune...the tribal government there should be made to bring ALL the people home to picayune, and if unwilling to do so the casino should be closed and federal funds withdrawn until they do...


Honor the ancestors, the history, and the circle of our chukchansi people...bring the people--ALL the people--home to picayune...AND to every other tribe engaging in this blatant destruction of their people through dismemberment and nonrecognition...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CHUKCHANSI: Morris Reid Issues Request for BIA & Justice to Intervene in Dispute

Says Sheriff acted outside their authority.

From the Picayune Rancheria Morris Reid issued a statement this afternoon requesting that federal law enforcement intervene.

Here is the statement:

"We are issuing an emergency call to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs (Larry Echo Hawk), the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services and the Attorney General of the United States to send federal Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers to the Picayune Rancheria, and to exercise the law enforcement authority granted to the United States over Tribal lands within California under section 221 of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.
This federal statute unquestionably authorizes the United States to assume and exercise concurrent law enforcement authority over the reservation until such time as the duly elected Tribal government is no longer being harassed and threatened. Failure by the Federal government to respond positively to this emergency call will be in violation of President Obama's commitment to Tribal sovereignty and the stated policies of his Administration.

"As the duly elected leaders of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, charged with protecting the inherent sovereignty of the Chukchansi people, we strongly oppose the action of the Madera County Sheriff and other local non-Indian law enforcement officials ordering the removal of elected Tribal officials from a Tribally-owned Tribal Government building on federal trust land.

This action by local non-Indian law enforcement is in excess of their authority under Federal law and is a flagrant violation of Tribal sovereignty and an affront to Tribal governments and Indian people across this country. To curtail this dangerous precedent, we are asking the Federal government to assume law enforcement authority over the Picayune Rancheria immediately."

Related Stories:

disenrollments

Amy Deutschke, BIA

United Auburn Indian Community

on tribal sovereignty

UPDATE: FACTIONS ESCORTED OUT BY SHERIFFS: STABBING AT CHUKCHANSI: Scanner Reports Road Closures

The Fresno Bee reports: Up to 50 members of the rival Chukchansi Indian leadership factions, including those who broke into the tribal government building Monday, were escorted from the tribal offices by law enforcement this afternoon.

The group that occupied the tribal council building, led by Morris Reid, left the building about 2:15 p.m., escorted by Madera County sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers. The other group, led by Reggie Lewis, was escorted minutes earlier out of the tribe's economic development building.

Supporters of both sides yelled and jeered as the people walked though the office gates.



Looks like things are coming to a violent head. We received word that police scanners are saying:

Lucky lane and 41 both closed by law enforcement--stabbing reported at tribal office.

Some additional details are coming: Heard that a young man was trying to guard one of the doors to the offices, which were being occupied by newly-elected Morris Reid's group, and then the young man was stabbed by someone trying to get in. OP: That makes it REGGIE LEWIS's responsibility...VIOLENCE.

STAY AWAY FROM CHUKCHANSI!

UPDATE: Called Chukchansi and their operator said the casino is OPEN. She said what was going on was across the street. BUT, she said the hotel is not making reservations. Yikes.

UPDATE: POWER SHUT OFF/Pepper SprayVIDEO ADDEDBREAKING NEWS: Morris Reid Led Group Cut Locks to Enter Tribal Offices.

UPDATE: The power was shut off to the occupiers and pepper spray way used on them. The occupiers broke windows to vent the offices. Two women were cut by broken glass. An incendiary was tossed into the building. Water and power have been restored. Sheriffs are "monitoring the situation".


A group that says it should be sitting as the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians tribal council cut locks and entered the tribal office building this morning.
The group, headed by Morris Reid, sought to be sworn in as the council at a meeting in December but was denied. The Reid group and the group now in power, led by Reggie Lewis, have been at odds since then with no clear resolution in sight.

Madera County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Erica Stuart confirmed the break-in at the office adjacent to Chukchansi Gold casino, south of Coarsegold, but said no arrests have been made.
Stuart said deputies arrived at the offices about 6:30 a.m. Sheriff John Anderson arrived about an hour later;
Stuart said the situation has been calm since then. Anderson has been talking to both sides trying to mediate, and attorneys for both groups have been called.

UPDATE: Here is some video. Morris Reid hates disenrollment NOW. He didn't mind it so much when he helped get rid of 500 members:




ABC has more coverage:


Monday, February 27, 2012

IS it Time for: OCCUPY CHUKCHANSI?

As hundreds of us from Pechanga know, not being active in your own disenrollment defense will hurt you. We made the mistake of thinking that our tribal council, led by Mark Macarro, would "do the right thing" when confronted with the evidence. We should have occupied the government building...and that's our recommendation for the 800 Chukchansi people who have been disenrolled to take a stand for their rights, occupy the casino and force the tribe to draw attention to themselves and their heinous actions. Let them forcibly EVICT them on camera...

OCCUPY CHUKCHANSI

Our friend Marc Benjamin of the Fresno Bee is doing great work keeping the Chukchansi disenrollment story out front.

The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians tribal council is trying to guarantee its hold on power by targeting tribal members who support a group that also claims to be the rightfully elected council.
The council is taking away financial benefits and banning tribal members if they supported the group headed by Morris Reid that sought to be sworn in as the council at a turbulent meeting in December.
Concerned that continuing disenrollments would disenfranchise supporters, Reid's group thwarted a Feb. 4 election that was supposed to choose a replacement for a disqualified candidate.

The dissident group hoped that federal authorities would decide which council represents the tribe. But Bureau of Indian Affairs officials in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., said last week that the dispute must be handled by the tribe, not the federal government.
That federal indifference came as no surprise to those following Chukchansi issues.

"Given the BIA's history and given the political clout wealthy gaming tribes have amassed, people in Congress and the bureau are reluctant to step in, but they shouldn't be because they have jobs to do," said David Wilkins, an American Indian studies professor at the University of Minnesota.

BIA Pulls a Sergeant Shultz move: I KNOW NOTHING!

Troy Burdick, the BIA's central California superintendent, said only Congress has authority to make laws requiring tribal courts or more BIA involvement.

Chukchansi's standing as a federally recognized tribe is at risk, and Congress must do something if BIA doesn't, said Laura Wass, a Fresno-based representative with the American Indian Movement.
"Congress set this up and Congress is not intervening when the situation is the most toxic ever," she said.

The tribal council now in power is led by Reggie Lewis. His group's lawyer, Arizona-based Robert Rosette, said members of the group led by Reid thwarted the Feb. 4 election for the disqualified candidate's seat by convincing the accounting firm that runs the election that it shouldn't be held

Read more here: Chukchansi Council Dispute


Related Stories:

Disenrollments are Paper Genocide

NYT on Picayune Rancheria; Discovers Disenrollments 10 years Late


Chukchansi Disenrollments

Unelected Council of Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tribal Disenrollments are SHAMEFUL ACTS: Forum in NCTIMES

The North County Times has our editorial up. It's important that our readers check out the link and COMMENT at the NCTimes. Keep it up front as one of their most commented articles. Interesting to note that the editorial has run in two newspapers, and Indianz.com yet no mention in the Pechanga run website owned by Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro. And thank you to our friends at Temecula Patch for linking to the NC times article.

The North County Times and The Californian have done an excellent job in bringing the shameful acts of disenrollments of members of the San Pasqual and Pala reservations to the public.

A November editorial compared membership in tribes to belonging to a church. Nothing could be further from the truth. Membership is a birthright and shouldn't be subject to the whims and prejudices of people with personal agendas.

Tribal membership is about heritage. It's the corrupt tribal councils of the above-mentioned tribes, along with those from Pechanga of Temecula, Chukchansi and Redding that are tossing aside the history of their tribes with a dismissive attitude that should be alarming to the people of California. Pechanga ran ads for expanding gaming, claiming 10,000 years of history ---- yet quickly shed two families with more historical ties to the land, proven by the tribe's own expert, than one of their sitting council members.

Tribal governments are using sovereignty as a weapon to beat the weak and helpless. Our federal and state governments are happy to stay out of the issue by saying that membership is a tribal matter. Fair enough, but what about the government's trust responsibility to Indians, to see that tribal constitutions are followed?

Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force. That simply is not what is happening on tribal reservations.

Should the BIA CEASE Recognition of the Shrinking Chukchansi Tribe UPDATED with new graphic

The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, of Coarsegold near Fresno have drastically reduced their membership.   They have recently removed 200 people including their few remaining language speakers.  The BIA's director Dale Risling was quoted in 2007 saying there was nothing they could do "short of ceasing to recognize" the tribe because of the Martinez decision.   Well, how many would recognize the tribe from what is was in 2005?

I have put together a very rudimentary graphic that explains what the destruction of the Chukchansi populace looks like if you put them into buses to move them.   Once a proud convoy of 30 buses would have been used (at 50 people per bus) to transtport the tribe.   Now, after the tribe has thrown so many UNDER the bus, less than eight full buses would be needed.

I believe the BIA should cease to recognize THIS tribe, especially after the recent election debacle.



Will the BIA get its head out of the sand and exercise it's moral outrage?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Shingle Springs Miwok Tribe Threatens to Shut Down Red Hawk Casino

The tribe that owns Red Hawk Casino is warning that the facility might close because of a $30 million jury verdict in December.

OP: Yeah, right, then they'd have to find real jobs. Ain't gonna happen. PAY WHAT YOU OWE.

A lawyer for the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, in court papers, warned of a "doomsday scenario" if the tribe is forced to pay the court judgment.

"Any efforts to presently execute on the judgment would likely have catastrophic consequences for the tribe and all who depend on the casino for their livelihood," wrote tribal attorney Sanford Kingsley in a filing in El Dorado County Superior Court. Dear Sanford, did the tribe threaten to NOT PAY YOU? Or do you get paid first?

A jury in December ordered the tribe to pay $30 million to the Miwok band's former casino partner, Sharp Image Gaming, over a breach of contract dispute. Shingle Springs tried to pull a sovereignty fast one and got beat.

Matt Jacobs, the lawyer for Sharp Image, called the warning of a shutdown "nonsense" because the casino's creditors would do everything possible to keep Red Hawk going. Not to mention the tribal members would be short a bit of income

Get your settlement, Matt. Make them pay for cheating Sharp Image. Hold their feet to the fire.

San Manuel Tribal Chair James Ramos WILL NOT seek Re-election

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Chairman James Ramos will not seek re-election to his chairman position. He announced that he will instead be focusing on his San Bernardino County Supervisor bid.
"Running for county supervisor will be very demanding and will need a lot of positive energy," Ramos said. "It will take a good commitment of time and that is my biggest reason for leaving my current position."

We hope he will speak out of the actions of tribes that have harmed their people in California.

Redding Rancheria, Which Ruined Many Lives, LOSES in Court. Civil Right Violators Do Not Benefit

The Redding Rancheria loses in court, where they were trying to get a second casino approved.

Last week, federal Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco approved the department's request for a summary judgment against the Rancheria. A summary judgment is a court decision on the evidence before going to trial.



Marston said he thought the Rancheria could win an appeal. "I think Judge Conti is just wrong," he said.


The tribe had argued that the department's regulations governing opening new Indian casinos went beyond what Congress intended, according to Conti's decision.


To open a casino, the government has to acquire property in trust for a tribe and determine the property would be eligible for gaming. The Rancheria applied for that determination in March 2009, according to Hawk's letter denying the tribe's request to open a new casino.


While the tribe was seeking approval to open a second casino, Rancheria CEO Tracy Edwards told the Record Searchlight in February 2010 that her organization had no immediate plans for the property

We already know Tracy Edwards is a thief and scoundrel, so what she says always has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chukchansi Elders Voices Cry Out From The Reservation

Our Friends from Sierra Star had a letter printed from a Chukchansi Elder. It's worth reading. If the Star wasn't keeping this out front, few people would see it. Please help by sharing on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and email.

Tribal concerns fall to the wayside.

Where is our due process, civil rights, freedom of speech, sovereign immunity? Our rights to policy, procedures and votes -- all phases ruling one-sided.

Tribal people without an appeal process.

Lack of Bureau of Indian Affairs assistance has caused a void standing with the Department of Interior at the local level and with Washington D.C.

Hearings in federal court or a tribal court system on a reservation hinders all investigating processes for tribal people concerned with tribal legal affairs, constitution (interregnum) interpretation, rulings, due process, filings of appeals, (Habeas Corpus) banishment from our lands, our identity, dishonoring our elders and tribal children's futures.

The cry of the people that have been enrolled and recognized through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, now banished and forgotten, have a right to be heard at a local level, for without the tribal people, there would be no grants, 638 contracts serving all tribal people, casino compacts, memorandum of understandings with county, state and federal levels, and tribal revenues that go out to all counties and communities -- the later phase discarded due to an audit for disenrollments.

Where is the justice and honor? My Chukchansi people have been broken and divided by our own casino, revenues and serving tribal governing bodies.

What's next?

The cry of an elder(s).

Susan "Adena Johnson" Holguin, Madera;

WHAT'S NEXT?

Trial Date Set for Former Pechanga Insurance Agent of Record James Riley

An April 26,2012 trial date has been set for the former insurance agent to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians James Riley.

After 2 years of continuances, Judge Richard Fields orders NO FURTHER continuances to be granted, and counsel are ordered NOT to be engaged in any other trial.

No word on the FBI investigations into corruption at the Pechanga Reservation. Pechanga is well known for stealing the per capita of 25% of its tribe, totals now reach over $300 million. They also cancelled health insurance for seniors and children, forcing their health care onto the backs of Californians.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

American Indian Rights & Resources Organization to Have Representation at American Indian Law Review Sovereignty and Identity Symposium

There will be a Symposium on Sovereignty and Identity in Oklahoma March 1. John Gomez Jr. civil rights activist and a disenrolled member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians from Temecula CA will be on a panel discussing Contemporary Perspectives: Current legal issues surrounding tribal membership
and Indian identity. Mr. Gomez represents the American Indian Rights & Resources Organization

I'm sure the topics will include tribes not following their own constitutions. Disenrollments are an epidemic in California's Indian Gaming Country. Tribal terrorism is on the rise as tribal member fear speaking out for justice.

Additional participants in Jon Velie, who will discuss the Cherokee Freedmen issue. The Freedmen are descendents of the slaves dragged along the "Trail of Tears"...as property.

Symposium Agenda

Illegitimate Chukchansi Government Chains & Blockades Tribal Offices

Does this sound like the actions of a legitimate government? Wouldn't you think they would be proud of what they had done? Are they afraid of their own people?

A report from our Central California friends:

The tribal offices remain closed, and have been locked and chained since immediately following the "illegal" installment of the "new" council December 26th, 20ll--almost eight weeks ago.

The entrances not only are chained, but are blocked by Picayune
Tribal vehicles inside the gates and guarded by at least two members of security at each chained/blocked entrance.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Japanese American Evictions, Our Shameful History Repeats Itself on California Indian Reservations

Yesterday was 70 years since President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law his executive order allowing the eviction and relocation of American citizens of Japanese descent. It's a shameful period in our history.

70 years later, it's Native American who are eviciting people. The San Pascual Tribe is evicting some who they disenrolled. This is 4 years after the Jamul Indian Tribe evicted tribal members who were against a casino going up on their land.

132 years ago, the Pechanga people were forcibly evicted from their land, forced to move where their reservation is currently and the Tribal Council, lead by Mark Macarro are practicing apartheid and segregation on descendents of Original Pechanga people, including those whom Mr. Macarro's people called "aunt". Shameful.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pala Tribe's Robert Smith Advises Disenrollees to Go on WELFARE

Pala Chairman Robert Smith was quoted in the NCTIMES story on Pala disenrolled facing hardships:


"Gaming revenues are not a guarantee," Smith said. "There are resources (welfare programs) for them. They should have saved their money."



Robert Smith with the Welfare President Barack Obama
 I think it's past time that we prove the Chairman correct. Gaming revenues were supposed to be for the Native American people and to help their tribesmen. With Pala, San Pascual, Pechanga, Redding Rancheria, Chuckchansi ALL eliminated Indians, it seems they only want to get richer. It's time to interrupt their revenue stream with a quick boycott, say, of one quarter.
Then, we need to expand gaming across our state, regulated by the government.

Read more on tribal disenrollments

Read more on TRIBAL TERRORISM

Friday, February 17, 2012

TERRORISM via Disenrollments, Moratoriums and Banishment

 The Sierra Star News prints the editorial on TRIBAL TERRORISM.  (link fixed) Thank you to Sierra Star for keeping the spotlight on the corruption. Indianz.com has also picked up the editorial. Pechanga.net hasn't put it up...wonder why?



The Fresno Bee, North County Times and Sierra Star News have done an excellent job in bringing the shameful acts of disenrollments  and and Tribal Cleansing of members of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, Pala Band and San Pascual to the public.

Chukchansi leaders have forgotten tribal membership is about heritage. It’s the corrupt tribal council of Chukchansi, along with those from the Pechanga tribe of Temecula, and Redding Rancheria that are tossing aside the history of their tribes with a dismissive attitude that should be alarming to the people of California.  Pechanga ran ads for expanding gaming claiming 10,000 years of history; yet quickly shed two large families with more historical ties to the land, proven by the tribe’s own expert, than one of their sitting council members who has NO Pechanga blood.

Corrupt tribal councils are using sovereignty as a weapon to beat the weak and helpless, and terrorize them into submission. Our federal and state governments are happy to stay out of the issue by saying, that membership is a tribal matter. Fair enough, but what about the government’s trust responsibility to Indians, to see that tribal constitutions are followed? Forced evictions, such as what happened at Jamul Indian Village, and those expected at Pala shortly are acts of tribal terrorism that belies the calm peaceful face that Mark Macarro presented in his commercials for expanded gaming. Now, Macarro’s tribe practices apartheid, and recently presented his plan for segregation on the Pechanga reservation.

Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force. That simply is not what is happening on tribal reservations.

On reservations across our state tribes are using fear tactics and yes, terrorism to keep members in line for fear of losing their land, homes, per capita shares and health benefits. More critical they also lose their rights to choose a representative government and to vote on issues that pertain to them. Imagine if the Republicans were able to eliminate 25% of the Democratic vote? What if anti-union proponents were able to eliminate 70% of the union votes? Well, that’s just what happened at Pechanga, Redding and Chukchansi.

Currently at Pechanga, the tribal council is threatening allottees with fines, banishment and restricted access to their property. One family is taking it upon themselves to try to force another family who was given an allotment with the creation of the reservation, off their land. They’re using their family members on the council to issue the threatening letter that is published on Original Pechanga’s Blog.

Colusa Tribe OPPOSES Enterprise Rancheria; But Not for the Right Reasons

They are more worried about losing business than a tribe that has violated the civil and human rights of their people get a lucrative casino.


The tribe behind the Colusa Casino, the Cachill Dehe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown's office this week stating their casino would lose at least 40 percent and as much as 60 percent of their business if the Yuba County casino opens.

Their analysis was based on what happened when Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln opened in 2004 and caused Colusa Casino's revenues to drop by 23 percent, even though it's further away and offers something different, according to the letter.

We wrote about the Enterprise Rancheria Abuses HERE:

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."

"Unlike Thunder Valley, it is our understanding that the proposed Enterprise casino would provide a similar gaming experience to Colusa's," the letter states.

In such a scenario, there'd also be a ripple effect on the city and county of Colusa because the tribe spends hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on local vendors, the tribe states. Losing business would also result in layoffs of casino employees.

"While the State might offset its loss of sales tax revenues in Colusa County with gains in other jurisdictions, the City and County of Colusa would have no possibility of regaining those lost revenues," the letter states.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jamul Indians, Four Years after Beatings And Evictions, Revive Casino Plans

The Jamul Indians have put out notice that casino plans are revived.

Several years ago, a public outcry ensued after the tribe floated plans for a 12-story, $350 million casino. Many residents said it would destroy their rural lifestyle and make driving on the windy, two-lane highway even more dangerous.

At a meeting of the Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group, Davis and other tribal representatives promised to meet with the advisory board as the project evolves.

Here's a description of what went on at the eviction:

The scene at the Jamul Indian Village on March 10 mixed irony with pathos in a combination that demonstrated the intense emotions that surround the proposal to construct a casino in Jamul (“Despite promise, homes demolished for casino,” Our Region, March 13). Walter Rosales and Karen Toggery sought two things – to preserve their homes, and to show respect for the remains of their ancestors buried on the land.

According to construction plans, their land, which they have lived on since childhood, and their homes will be bulldozed. Their ancestors' remains will be desecrated by a phantasmagoria of cement and neon that will be erected over their graves. They were evicted from their homes and jeered by the evictors. Dozens gathered to protest the eviction, facing pepper spray and beatings with metal batons to do so.

As we stood with Walter and Karen on that Saturday morning, a backhoe loomed in the foreground, obscuring the view of a hillside dotted with crosses from the Indian cemetery. Native American activists have persuaded politicians at the state and local levels to pass laws prohibiting desecration of the remains of their ancestors. Yet, apparently, such laws can be flouted with impunity by those who urged their passage.




Robert Mesa, a member of the Jamul Indian Village council, said he wants to make sure the tribe does a better job of informing nearby residents of its plans. He believes much of the animosity generated by previous proposals grew out of a lack of communication.

Michael Casinelli, chairman of the planning group, said the willingness of Indian representatives to appear before his panel was an encouraging sign.

"Everything previous to this point the public got through hearsay," he said.

He said whatever the scale of the new proposal, many residents are likely to still view a casino as incompatible with the community. Many believe it would create insurmountable traffic problems and pose serious fire safety issues.

"I think the public concerns are still the same," said Casinelli.

Davis, a Culver City architect who is serving as project manager, said the tribe is preparing a detailed environmental evaluation that will address those concerns and others.

A draft of that study is due out next month. Davis said Caltrans is working on its own environmental analysis that will focus on access to the project.

The gambling hall would be about 25 miles east of downtown San Diego. Mesa said it would not include a hotel.

Mesa said the six-acre Jamul Indian Village recently opened a 3,000-square-foot building on the reservation that will be used for tribal functions, including weddings and funerals

Breaking News: Liberty Quarry Plan Defeated by Riverside County Supervisors

Supervisors Bob Buster, Jeff Stone and John Tavaglione voted NO against the project to have a quarry and bring business to Riverside County.

Pechanga Chairman, who cares more about the land than he does his own people, was quoted as being gratified.

Strange Happenings At Chukchansi: Checks Going Out To Long Time Disenrolled for Unknown Children

We have received word that a few people who were disenrolled from Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians last decade, have received checks for "clothing allowances" for minor children. That'd be terrific news, making one think that the tribal council members who signed the checks, in this case Nancy Ayala and Nokomis Hernandez were coming to their senses.

But the strange thing is that they never heard of this "minor child". Also strange is that these people were disenrolled in 2006. WHY would Chukchansi have them on any roster that would allow them to be paid?

IS it POSSIBLE that Picayune is conceivably continuing to use disenrolled
tribal members in their statistics reported to the federal government in order to secure grant monies?

Need I say, "FRAUD and EMBEZZLEMENT of FEDERAL FUNDS?" Isn't this an example of "waste, fraud and abuse" our President is looking to eliminate? IS the Chukchansi tribe not telling the BIA and the Feds how many people they REALLY have on the roster?

Unless the Chukchansi Tribe enrolled a lot of new people recently, how many do they have? Does the BIA even CHECK? Or do they just hand out money with no oversight? Anyone?   Deutschke? Deutschke?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Morongo Tribal Execs Spend $1 Million in Travel Expenses in 2010.

The website  The Indian Runner has some interesting articles.

Tribal Council Expenses


During 2010, Macho, Dennis, Damon and Charles were found to have used their tribal credit card to spend over one million dollars for travel expenses. After some research on the accounting procedures for these costs, we discovered the credit card bills were paid for by the Casino and were deducted out of the profits before per capita was calculated.
 
Therefore: these bills came directly out of our Per Capita. When caught red handed Macho was heard to say " I didn't know I couldn't do that". To this day Council Members continues to justify their actions and only a small portion of the money has been returned.
 

APPARENTLY, some Morongo tribal council members have NO common sense. $250,000 EACH? That's $5,000 per week. Why stay at a Marriott Courtyard when you can stay at a Ritz-Carlton?

Didn't Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians Chairman Mark Macarro shorter brother do the same thing? Family vacations on the tribe?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Will Pechanga Require Allottees To Wear A Yellow Star To Designate Their Status

Oh, if only the question was too far-fetched to believe, since they have already stripped voting rights and elder care from 25% of their tribe.  The Nazis forced Jews to wear these stars on their clothing in an overt act of persecution.    As we wrote about recently, the allottees on the reservation, who have had their land in the family since the beginning of the Temecula Indian Reservation, have now been threatened with trespassing chargesA yellow star would make it easy for tribal members like the Masiel-Basquez crime family to recognize them on sight.

Top:  Yellow Star Jews in Nazi Germany were forced to wear
Bottom:  Will Pechanga force Allottees to wear emblem so Rangers can see them?



The drinking fountains at the park will be one area where the tribe could have a sign saying:  Tribal Members Only, No Temecula Indians Allowed.

They say that allottee may be excluded from their land if they are on the land of a tribal member, yet, Chairman Macarro's jackbooted Tribal Rangers trespassed on allottee's land to deliver the message. Yep, right to the front doors.     And since a sexual predator is in charge of dispatching Rangers and is a member of the tribal motorcycle "club", wouldn't you be worried?  
\
Remember, some  Moratorium People have already been excluded...

Since the casino is on tribal property, any visitor could be charged with trespassing ..for any reason.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Letter: Attack On San Manuel's James Ramos Deceitful

A good letter on the deceitful tactics that SB Supervisor Neil Derry is using in his campaign with James Ramos, of San Manuel.  We know there are legitimate attacks on some tribal chairman, such as Pala's Robert Smith and the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians Mark Macarro

Attack on Ramos deceitful

In any healthy democratic society, political discourse means candidates will disagree on issues and attempt to convince voters that the quality of their positions and character is evidence of their superior leadership. Unfortunately, a candidate also can smear his opponent, who in this case is a dedicated public servant (“Gang allegations show gloves off in S.B. County race,” Feb.5).

San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry is using a deceitful and pathetic flier trying to tie his opponent, James Ramos, to “gang members,” “drug dealers” and “killers for hire.”

I am the retired police chief of Redlands. Ramos has never been tied to criminals. He is a good, decent man who has selflessly served the public in a wide variety of ways. Derry’s assertion that he was somehow tied to that activity — simply because he is a member of the San Manuel tribe — is at best illogical, and at worse, an expression of racism.

His assertion is akin to a claim that because a former member of the Board of Supervisors has been linked to criminal behavior, Derry himself should be tied to criminals.

Derry should immediately retract his disgraceful position, apologize and focus on the issues important to the voters in the 3rd District.

We all deserve better from him.

Jim Bueermann
Redlands

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Susan Bradford on: Deja Vu: Ietan Takes Aim at the Next Abramoff

Susan has a greatly detailed story on IETAN CONSULTING, a lobbying firm run by Holly Cook Macarro, the wife of Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, to which that tribe pays $250,000 per year. That led to Macarro being the subject of a recall attempt.

Tribal attorney Howard Dickstein is facing accusations eerily similar to those which dogged Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The complaint the Rumsey Indian Rancheria filed against Dickstein in 2007 in the U.S. Superior Court in Yolo County, California can be found here:

http://lesliebrodie.blog.co.uk/2011/06/28/rumsey-indian-rancheria-vs-howard-dickstein-57-pages-complaint-with-14-causes-of-action-for-greed-betrayal-against-spouse-of-bog-member-jeannine–11389017/

Of particular note is that a year after the case was filed, Rumsey was picked up Ietan Consulting, whose lobbyists gaslit Abramoff and staged the Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearings where the Republican super-lobbyist was set up for criminal indictment on trumped up charges. Ietan’s lobbyists and its partners coached dissidents among Abramoff’s casino-rich clients to lodge false allegations against Abramoff in the media and before Congress.

Once Abramoff was removed from power, Ietan and its partners immediately commenced representation of his casino-rich clients and cashed in. The allegations could easily have been refuted, but the accusers were banking on the fact that paperwork would be difficult to secure, ensuring that their false narrative prevailed.

Ietan’s representation of the Rumsey in 2008 is documented here:

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000037284&year=2008

The complaint against Dickstein trots out the tired narrative that this tribal attorney exploited the poor hapless Indians, who are always cast as victims in Ietan’s manufactured scandals. “The lawsuit is about greed and betrayal,” the complaint alleges, taking its cue from McCain’s Final Report on Abramoff’s tribal lobbying. “The Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians…has discovered that its long-time (and now former) legal counsel and financial advisor breached their trust obligations and violated duties of the most basic and indeed, sacred, kind.”

The discoveries were made “after terminating” the attorney at which time the tribe retained Kroll & Associates to review his work. Upon further review, the complaint alleges that Dickestein “placed his own interests and the interests of others ahead of the tribe’s in order to enrich (himself) at the tribe’s expense.”

According to the complaint, Dickstein allegedly betrayed the tribe’s trust by involving the financially unsophisticated Rumsey in “complicated investments and transactions in which the business arrangements were more favorable to others than the tribe and which were allegedly fraught with self-dealing and conflicts of interests (he) failed to disclose.”

Dickstein also was alleged to have used tribal assets for personal purposes without having sought permission or informed the Tribal Council the full extent of his compensation.

In a similar vein, during the Abramoff scandal, Ietan-backed dissidents accused the lobbyist and his partner, Michael Scanlon, of having hidden their financial arrangements from tribal leaders who were fully knowledgeable and agreeable to them.

Read the full story at Susan Bradford’s site

Carmen George of Sierra Star News Wins McClatchy Award for News With Her First Report On the Shameful Chukchansi Disenrollments

Our friend and reporter Carmen George has won the prestigious McClatchy Presidents Award for Community News. THANK YOU, Carmen for bringing this story to light and Congratulations from all of us.

News

First Place: Sierra Star (California)
Chukchansi Issues Disenrollment Letters
Carmen George

The Chukchansi Indians' move to disenroll tribal members caught the attention of reporter Carmen George, who documented its efforts and put them into context in a comprehensive story that thrust this far-reaching topic into public view. His dogged reporting included interviews with 13 people affected, leading experts in Indian American affairs and reviews of a wide range of tribal and federal documents.

The story linked the disenrollment to tribal officials' desire to increase their share of casino profits, limit membership geographically and deal with old grudges. George also took care to document the emotional and financial toll of the tribe's actions on those affected. Months later, The New York Times and Associated Press addressed the same issue.

As the third largest newspaper company in the country, McClatchy's operations include 30 daily newspapers, community newspapers, websites, mobile news and advertising, niche publications, direct marketing and direct mail services. The company's largest newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

North Fork Rancheria Chair: Attack Ads are NOT Accurate

Here's an opinion piece from Elaine Bethel-Fink on their casino plans and the attack ads against them:

As the proposed Madera/North Fork casino nears successful completion after more than seven years of rigorous state and federal review -- we are one signature away -- opponents to the project have launched a massive campaign of negative attacks.
Recently Madera County residents have been barraged by an onslaught of bogus polls, anonymous mailers and letters cajoling the public, and according to reports, also Chukchansi employees, vendors and even tribal citizens to oppose the project.
In the past the Chukchansi tribe employed high-priced lawyers, lobbyists and public relation operatives to produce such attacks. Now they have enlisted other rich gaming tribes and outside anti-gaming groups to try to stop the project.
These outsiders aren't working for the good of Madera County. They are paid opponents hired by tribes who already have casinos. They are also distorting the truth.
Their negative attack ads have twisted the history of the Madera project beyond recognition. They claim that a Las Vegas developer bought land in Madera and then "recruited" our tribe. In fact, we selected Station Casinos as a recognized leader in the industry known for exceptional worker and community relations. We selected Station -- not the other way around -- and then authorized them to secure an option for our proposed site.
The recent attack mailers also suggest we are going against the will of the people of Madera and somehow skirting the law by "reservation shopping." This is not true. Maderans twice voted to support Indian gaming as a tool for tribal self-sufficiency and good governance. Cheryl Schmit, a leading gambling opponent, is on record as far back as 2006 in a statement regarding the Madera / North Fork plan, saying: "This is not reservation shopping ... this is the state exercising its authority to locate gaming where it is wanted."
We are following the precise process that Congress established in 1988 to provide tribes who do not have a land base, such as North Fork, the same opportunity to engage in tribal governmental gaming that Chukchansi and its rich allies now enjoy. This process is the only way left to us to develop economically so that we, like the opposing tribes, can take care of our citizens and communities.

We have followed the very rigorous process of qualifying these lands, satisfying every level of federal approval.

This is not "reservation shopping" at all, but rather "responsible development" that works in the best mutual interest of both Tribe and community. Once completed, the casino will be on "Indian lands" in full accordance with all state and federal laws. It will also generate nearly 4,500 jobs as well as $100 million annually in economic stimulus and $5 million in community funding.

Read the rest at  SIERRA STAR NEWS

In An Act of TRIBAL TERRORISM, the Unelected Tribal Council Disenrolls 70 more Chukchansi Indians; BIA Silent, Absent

The bad news keeps coming for lifelong members of Chukchansi. The BIA watches as the tribe burns. The government plays the fiddle while the destruction of CA tribes happens on their watch

Our friend Carmen George of the Sierra Star News has the latest tragic news. If you would like to voice your displeasure with Reggie Lewis you can do it at: rlewis@tcouncil.com

For one family, descendants of the last Chukchansi chief, Chief Hawa and his daughter Princess Melliot, being Chukchansi has always been a way of life.

Since 1892, heirs of Chief Hawa -- who the family refers to as "Grandpa Mukchaw" -- have lived and raised their children on the family's 1,000-plus acre ranch in Ahwahnee beside the Fresno River, living off the land and raising cattle.

"In my family, from the day I was born, my dad told me I was Chukchansi," said Chris Ballew, 70, wife of the late Larry Ballew, well-known in the mountains for his work in conservation. "We were always proud to be Indian, even when it wasn't a fad to be Chukchansi."

Ballew's river house, an oasis tucked into a quiet valley, shelters dream catchers and wind chimes, healing crystals, carved walking sticks tucked into corners, and rawhide drums scattered here and there.

While she's spent a lifetime living in a native way, she, her daughter Ricginda Dryer, and her grandson Luke Dryer, received letters last week stating they are now disenrolled as members of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians.

The letters are signed by chairman Reggie Lewis, voted out by the tribe in a Dec. 3 tribal council election but still seated on council at the rancheria, and secretary Jennifer Stanley.  jstanley@tcouncil.com


A disenrollment means tribal members lose monthly stipends, currently about $380 a month from the rancheria's multi-million dollar casino revenues, and benefits for things like housing, education, medical, and elder and child services. Perhaps the most devastating, however, is what it can take from a family and culture, Ricginda said.

Her son Gabriel was disenrolled in 2007 when he was 13 because he was born a few years too late to be enrolled. He locked himself in his room for four days and cried and cried, she said.

BOYCOTT CHUKCHANSI GOLD CASINO

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Open Letter Requesting The Native American Caucus of the DEMOCRATIC Party Stand Up For The Civil Rights of Native American who have been Harmed by: Pechanga, Redding, Picayune, Pala and the BIA via Their Inaction

Here is an open letter to the NAC of the Democratic Party. We hope they care about civil rights of THOUSANDS of Native Americans in the state that have been violated right under the noses of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Native American Caucus of the
California Democratic Party
PO BOX 1477 TEMECULA CA 92593


Dear NAC Members,

I am writing to ask for your support in protecting the civil rights of Native Americans in California.

I’m sure you have read about the shameful acts of disenrollment that are in the newspapers now. Most recently, the Pala Reservation, United Auburn, San Pascual Band, as well as the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians are in the process of terminating Native Americans from their tribes.

This follows the despicable actions of tribes such as the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and the Redding Rancheria, which eliminated so many people last decade to control power and to punish those who spoke out against injustice.

Pechanga terminated 25% of their tribal members, including descendents of an original reservation allottee and descendents of the man upon whose land grant their casino sits. Their own experts proved the heritage of one family, yet the tribe didn’t use the report they paid for as it didn’t fit their agenda.

The Redding Rancheria forced a family to desecrate the burial ground of their ancestor to extract DNA to prove their heritage and with 99.8% match; they terminated the family of their first tribal chairman.

Please stand up for the THOUSANDS of Indians who have been harmed by tribes. The loss of voting rights, elder care and the threats by corrupt councils to evict our brothers and sisters from their homes and to steal their property is NOT something the Democratic Party should stand for.

Please commit your caucus to the enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (25 U.S.C. Sec.1301 and following), which safeguards tribal sovereignty while simultaneously ensuring that the civil rights of Indian people are protected.

Stand up for those who have been harmed by those who use sovereignty like a club to beat the weak and helpless.

Please stand up against a corrupt tribal council like Pechanga, who has harmed nearly 400 Native Americans, or Picayune which has eliminated 70% of their tribes. Don’t be fooled by a small donation, when if fact Pechanga has stolen $330 Million from rightful tribal people and Picayune is taking away heating stipends from their elders.

Please educate yourselves by looking in on Original Pechanga’s Blog at http://originalpechanga.com which details the issues. Don’t stand by while the abuses and tribal terrorism continue. Your expression of moral outrage at these tribes must be clear and vocal. We stood up to sovereign nations like South Africa that abused their people, PLEASE, stand up for California Indians.


Regards,

Word Coming From the Pala Reservation That EVICTIONS are Imminent

Sources tell us that there are evictions coming at the Pala Reservation, which recently terminated 160 Native Americans.

Are those bodyguards that Chairman Robert Smith has hired?

Did Pechanga show them how to eliminate tribal members? Did they attend the same courses on disenrollment?

ACLU Jumps the Shark on Religious Freedom and is Absent on Civil Rights Abuses by Tribes Against Their Own People

Many of our family and friends have asked, "WHY don't you ask the ACLU for help on these obvious civil rights matters?" The answer is we have, numerous times. But the questions remain as to whether they actually do care about civil rights, or are simply an organization that pushed a political agenda.

Our friends at Hot Air have a post up on the current administrations assault on religious freedoms. And then it brings into focus why the Obama administration has been no help on our issues either. It seems they want to have fewer Indians.

Read the Hot Air story here

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sen. John McCain's Complaint Against Tribal Attorney Belies His Cronyism: Susan Bradford

Susan Bradford has a hard-hitting post on John McCain. McCain apparently doesn't like Howard Dickstein.

Any official actions Sen. John McCain undertakes must be evaluated within the context of what the Senator and/or his fundraisers and cronies stand to benefit politically or financially from those decisions. Bereft of any principles beyond self-interest, McCain has established a long pattern of accusing rivals of corruption in order to eliminate them from markets so that his allies can cash in.

Most recently, McCain wrote a letter to the National Indian Gaming Commission to complain about fees billed by tribal attorney Howard Dickstein, the lawyer for the Thunder Valley Casino, which is owned by the United Auburn Indian Community. Dickstein earned a reported $26 million during a six-year period ending in 2009. The contract, which incorporated a two percentage cut of the casino’s profits, amounted to a “lapse in oversight authority,” the Senator wrote in his letter. OP: Interesting that McCain is concerned about high fees, yet, remarkably is UNCONCERNED about the $500 MILLION that tribes have stolen from Indians via disenrollment

In response, Dickstein remarked on McCain’s longstanding desire to enhance the power of the NIGC, which the Senator’s allies control, to oversee and approve tribal contracts with business partners. “He’s trying to resurrect something that died an early death,” the attorney said, conceding that the Senator “has no idea the value of the services our firm rendered” to the tribe and casino.

On the contrary, the Senator understands the value quite well. However, McCain is intent upon securing lucrative contracts for his fundraisers and allies in Indian Country by sponsoring legislation he can then selectively enforce, or twist, to his own ends.

Reflecting the hypocrisy and hollowness of McCain’s latest allegations, according to the Village Voice, Roger Stone, a fundraiser for the Senator who helped set up Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff for wrongful conviction, earned both flat fees and percentages of future casino revenues through deals he negotiated with tribes and developers. McCain has yet to challenge Stone over these practices.

The Senator also has a longstanding interest in this United Auburn Indian Community, a tribe that allegedly consists of Miwuk and Maidu Indians indigenous to the Sacramento Valley region.

Most legitimate tribes were established through the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, which provided a mechanism through which Natives could organize themselves into self-governing tribal communities that were recognized by the federal government. Given the opportunity, however, the Auburn Indians rejected federal recognition

Read more at Susan Bradford’s Investigative Reports

Mark Macarro led Pechanga Tribal Council THREATENS Allottees With Fines and Exclusion From their Allotments

We have written before on the APARTHEID system in force at Pechanga at Pechanga. 

APARTHEID as described by the dictionary is:
a•part•heid
2. any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc.

Pechanga is doing just that, determining that families with historical ties to the origins of the reservation are ‘no longer pure’ in their eyes. They may be Temecula Indian, but “they aren’t Pechanga.” Even though the expert hired BY Pechanga proved that we were


Here is what Pechanga members who have been stripped of their citizenship in the tribe have lost:

Pechanga now has a group living on the reservation that have:

• Lost the right to vote
• Lost their rights to healthcare provided by the government.
• Their children can no longer attend tribal schools
• They can no longer be buried in the reservation cemetery with their relatives.
• Have no access to tribal health center
• Are not protected by the Tribal Rangers. Or in some cases FROM the tribal Rangers

Here is a copy of the letter that was presented to those people living on the reservation who are called "non-members" even though most are living on land that was given to their ancestor when the reservation began, roughly 90 years before council member Russell "Butch" Murphy was adopted into the tribe.


Threatening letter by Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro and the Tribal Council including Adopted Member Russell "Butch" Murphy    Click on photo to enlarge

The threat is very clear: Fine of $5,000 and exclusion from their own property. THAT is APARTHEID, pure and simple. The tribe is trying to force residents who own property OFF the reservation. Remember when they tried to Steal allottee’s water rights?

Mark Macarro, have you NO shame?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

PECHANGA Tribe Complains Liberty Quarry Re-Writing History: SAY WHAT? Pechanga Does That

The recent meeting concerning Liberty Quarry in Temecula brought this from Pechanga Tribal Councilman Andrew Masiel:

The Pechanga Band of LuiseƱo Indians says the project would destroy a site central to its story of creation. Tribal Councilman Andrew Masiel Sr. said Monday he wondered what he would tell his granddaughter if the quarry obliterated the site.

“With every ounce of energy that I have, I’m going to ensure this isn’t going to happen,” he said.

Granite contends its quarry is well away from the creation site and that the tribe only recently raised cultural concerns. Tribal officials angrily deny this and accuse Granite of trying to rewrite Pechanga’s history.

This is a JOKE, right? Pechanga has constantly done just that. Councilman Andrew Masiel should tell his grandaughter that his family came from nowhere, latched onto the Pechanga Rez and fabricated it's history. Tell them her Aunt Jennie has a higher membership number than 75 Hunters who have had property since the reservations inception.

Tell his grandaughter WHY he was part of destroying the fabric of the tribe along with his Uncle Raymond Basquez Sr, and elder in the Masiel-Basquez Crime Family.

FOLLOW THE MONEY III: Tribal Per Capita Theft over $500 Million Elders Stripped of Health Care; Children's Education Ruined

That's half a BILLION DOLLARS, stolen by corrupt tribal councils and their leaders. They claim disenrollments weren't about the money, but the figures don't lie. That's something the Bureau of Indian Affairs, led here in California by Amy Deutschke, buries their heads in the sand to avoid. We first wrote about this story in January 2011: Follow the Money....

From the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula CA:

The Hunter family has lost $1,561,000 per person, in per capita payments alone. We arrived at that figure by taking the last full year of per capita $268,000/12 months and multiplying that loss times 70 months of disenrollment. 95 adults at the time of disenrollment equals:  $148,295,000

The Apis/Manuela Miranda family was disenrolled two years prior in 2004, our previous posts mistakenly put their disenrollment in 2005. The per capita was slightly less, about $17,000 per month times 94 months of termination: $1,598,000 times 135 adults equals:  $215,700,000

Moratorium People NEVER shared in what was rightfully theirs. The per capita went up to $360,000 per year for those remaining after elimination of tribal citizens.

From the Picayune Rancheria in Coarsegold, CA:

In the case of Chukchansi Gold, the casino had been averaging $5 million per month in payments to the Tribe over the past 48 months (as reported to me by a former Tribal Council member).
The tribe disenrolled 625 members whose share would be $3,200 per month. This equates to $104,000,000 stolen. They are now disenrolling an additional 300 members


Lets add what we have so far:

Pechanga: $388 MILION Includes additional $17.4 Million in Health Insurance. Corrected Insurance due to coverages, some double covered as family. Per capita losses are $200,000 PER DAY. These totals do not include lost education assistance nor does it account for family members that attained the age of majority.

Picayune: $ 104.0 MILLION Money is from share of dollars casino sends to tribe per person will grow with 200 just receiving ejection letters..

Redding Rancheria: $ 35.3 MILLION Per capita only. Totals being tabulating but includes tribal JOBS lost.

Mooretown: $12 MILLION

Enterprise: $2.9 MILLION No Per Capita. Tribe gets revenue allocation. Losses include housing help.

Pala $24 MILLION. Amount includes one year projection of losses of 160 tribal members ejected. $14K per member in per capita and benefits PER MONTH.

United Auburn $2 MILLION per year projection is for one year. and growing by 180 K per month

San Pascual    $6 MILLION in losses for the first year of Alto family’s ouster.

$560 MILLION
but,


the tribal councils will say, it's NOT about the MONEY!  The Truth IS it IS because so many have lost homes, health insurance because their rightful per capita was taken away

Saturday, February 4, 2012

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY. PATRIOTS OR G-MEN

Who is your favorite for the Super Bowl?

Hope you who are fans enjoy the game. Go Giants!

Ed Sifuentes Has Story of the Theft of Per Capita By San Pascual: $6 million per year

"A Lawyer With a Briefcase can steal more than 100 men with guns" Don Corleone

Members of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, which owns Valley View Casino in Valley Center, each earn nearly $100,000 a year in gambling revenues, but not all members of the tribe are receiving their share, according to court records.

The 280-member tribe (five school buses!)is locked in a bitter dispute with about 60 people in the Alto family, who the tribe says do not belong in the tribe. The tribe is trying to remove them from its rolls.

The Altos filed a lawsuit last year against the U.S. Department of Interior for going along with the tribe's plans to expel them, effectively cutting them out of their share of gambling earnings, health benefits and participation in the tribe's government.

In November, lawyers for the family asked the court for a preliminary injunction that would block their removal and force the tribe to return some of the benefits while the lawsuit is resolved. U.S. District Court Judge Irma E. Gonzalez granted the family's request in December.

Last month, Larry Echo Hawk, the assistant secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, issued a letter implementing the judge's order and restoring the Alto family members' rights as San Pasqual Indians. It restores their ability to participate in tribal elections, receive Indian health services and get their "per capita" payments, as the casino money paid to tribal members is called.

Alto family members, however, say Echo Hawk's letter does not go far enough, because it places their share of the gambling money into a trust fund, which they can't access unless they win the lawsuit. OP: That's NOT restoring rights!

"If the Alto descendants ultimately prevail in this litigation, the band must distribute the funds in the escrow account to the Alto descendants," Echo Hawk wrote.

Moreover, the tribe already has distributed millions of dollars owed to the Alto family to other tribal members, said Thor Emblem, a lawyer for the family.

San Pasqual leaders have declined to discuss the case, saying it is an internal tribal matter.

Read more about San Pasqual

Friday, February 3, 2012

Editorial: BIA MUST GET INVOLVED in Chukchansi Dispute. Fresno Bee Gets it RIGHT

The Fresno Bee has spent a lot of their reporter, Marc Benjamin'stime on the Chukchansi debacle, even the NYTIMES covered it...ten years late.

Here, the editorial board of the Bee steps up to the plate:

There was a time before Indian gaming exploded when tribal council elections were rather routine. But as millions of dollars began pouring through casinos, the councils became centers of tribal power, and controversial.

With so much money at stake, elections often don’t go smoothly, and sometimes, as is the case at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, election results aren’t even recognized. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way of resolving the issue because of the tribe’s sovereignty.
Now we have two tribal councils operating — one that was duly elected, and one that refuses to give up power, claiming that an opposing member was not qualified to run.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs could recognize one of the councils, thereby giving legitimacy to those who should be operating the Chukchansi casino and overseeing aspects of tribal government. But so far, the BIA has been AWOL when asked to get between the opposing tribal councils. The longer the timid BIA waits, the bigger a problem that will be created.

So far, the BIA says this is an internal tribal matter. That ignores the obvious issue of the federal agency having to deal with one of the councils on casino issues and tribal matters. When the BIA has a question, which council faction will it call?

At some point, it must be decided which tribal council will operate the casino and handle the obligations on the tribe’s $311 million casino/hotel debt.

This election also impacts individual members. The tribal council that refuses to recognize the election results has been disenrolling members and taking casino jobs from members they disagree with. The newly elected council has pledged to stop the disenrollment process.
Tribal members who are disenrolled have a lot to lose. According to the newly elected tribal council, these are the main benefits: Adults (age 18-64) get $380 a month, and educational benefits for schooling or a training program. Elders age 55 and over get payments of $380 a month; another $250 a month for utilities; a food allowance and other benefits. Children get free preschool, a day-care subsidy, and allowances for clothing, computers and college.
While the well-being of the Chukchansi members should be the overriding issue, this dispute has come down to who will have the power to run a gambling casino. This is not what California voters intended when they voted to expand Indian gambling.

Read the Fresno Bee and Comment

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pala TERMINATES 154 Native Americans 15% of their Tribe: Attorney calls for Congressional Field Hearings

The Pala Band of Mission Indians on Wednesday expelled 154 people from its North County tribe, according to a Pala spokesman.

The removal of the 154 people appears to be connected to the removal of eight people from its rolls last year. Those eight people were told in June by the tribe that they did not meet the 1/16th Pala "blood quantum" requirement.

Pala spokesman Doug Elmets said the tribal council made the decision to remove the additional 154 people Wednesday, but he declined to discuss the reason for the removal.

"It is important to remember that the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez case in 1978, held that a tribe's right to define its own membership has long been recognized as central to its existence," Elmets said.
Edward Sifuentes of the North County Times has the story:

Pala officials said last year that the tribe had 918 members; thus the 154 people expelled Wednesday account for about 15 percent of the tribe.

The terminated members lose their ability to participate in Pala's tribal government and other benefits, including health care, housing and educational services.

Those who have been expelled from Pala stand to lose more than $150,000 a year in payments from the tribe's Pala Casino Resort and Spa, which is about 15 miles north of Escondido.


Attorney for some Pala disenrolled, Dennis Chappabitty is asking that Congress hold field hearings to see that the disenrollments are designed to extort tribal members to silence them from questioning whether there are millions of unaccounted tax dollars spent without accountablility..

The amount of per capita STOLEN from those terminated will total $23 MILLION per year.