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.
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