It has been discussed that tribal disenrollments in Indian Country is nothing short of genocide of families. It's nothing compared to the horrors in Rwanda or Armenia of last century, however, tribes are eliminating large percentages of their people. Just recently, The Pala Band of Mission Indians in N. San Diego County eliminated 154 people, taking a cue from their relatives and neighbors at Pechanga.
The Picayune Rancheria, near Fresno, eliminated almost 70% of their tribe, and STILL Fresno State University accepted money from the tribe for their linguistics program! Pechanga at about 25%. The Redding Rancheria even terminated the family of their FIRST Tribal Chairman, Robert Foreman. Tribes are small, so when you phrase it as 400 people, it doesn't sound so bad, if you equate that to say, 8 MILLION Californians or 78 MILLION Americans, you'd get a truer picture. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has done the same with their Freedmen population, and I'm sure many readers would be surprised to know the Cherokee took their SLAVES on the Trail of Tears, dragging them as property..
We've taken an article from Genocide Watch that details the stages of genocide and used them to illustrate what went on at the Pechanga Reservation in Temecula California, the tribe is led by Mark Macarro. There is an urgent need for the enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act.
Please check out the links as the provide additional information.
From GenocideWatch.org: Genocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable (unalterable). At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The process is not linear. Logically, later stages must be preceded by earlier stages. But all stages continue to operate throughout the process.
1.Classification: The Pechanga Enrollment committee claimed that Hunter Family was from a different set of Temecula Indians, not Pechanga. Pechanga claimed the Manuela Miranda (Manuelas) descendents had broken ties to the reservation, even though they served on tribal government committees. They are not us, they are "them" or "those people". They similary marked people in the moratorium. saying they "didn't belong" or there were too many of them.
2. Symbolization: Rather than calling Hunters and Manuela’s Pechanga, they claimed Hunter’s were “San Luis Rey” because one relation put that on a census form, disregarding the fact that so many other families did the same thing. San Luis Rey and Luiseno meant the same thing. The separatists claimed that Manuela Miranda wasn’t Pechanga anymore, as she cut her ties to the tribe as a FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD. Her mother died and she had to move in with an older relative who just happened to be Candarlaria Nesecat Flores, whose descendants are still in the tribe. Flores was NEVER listed on ANY Census in the 1800’s, as Paulina Hunter was. This disenrollment was targeted because of the numbers of voters, and because their family stood up for what was right, namely the enrollment of rightful members.
3. Dehumanization: The separatist group Concerned Pechanga People (CPP) issued flyers saying Manuelas and Hunters were trying to “take over the tribe”. Which means they didn’t like the way we voted or rather, couldn’t control the votes. Hunters and Manuelas were no longer “We”, but “THEM”. “THEY” don’t belong. Hunters had been living on the reservation DECADES before chairman Macarro was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA.
4. Organization: The CPP, includes adopted member Butch Murphy and gadfly Ed Burbee, pushed for disenrollments. Murphy had previously tried to splinter the tribe. Burbee was concerned about increasing his income from the stolen per capita. Mark Macarro, stacked the enrollment committee with those pro-disenrollment families, even allowing families to be brought up out of turn, so that more enrollment committee members could vote for disenrollment. Families who were cleared from disenrollment out of the order the cases were taken were cleared by only three members of the enrollment committee, less than a legal quorum of the committee so they were never lawfully cleared. Mark Macarro also overruled the will of the people, claiming a lawful petition was invalid. The BIA should suspend recognition of the tribe for violations of federally approved Tribal Constitution.
5. Polarization: The CPP pushed for disenrollment with numerous flyers, saying Hunters were trying to "take over" the tribe and with vocal shouts at meeting of “you don’t belong here” even though Hunters had an allotment from 1890’s when the reservation was created and vaunted elder Antonio Ashman’s sworn deposition stated he knew Paulina Hunter as a tribal member. The tribe believed Ashman about the eviction of 1875, but did NOT believe him about Paulina Hunter, whom he KNEW personally. The Macarro-led tribal council did nothing to stop the tactics, not using the “bully pulpit” to bring the tribe together. They preferred the separatist view, because it meant more money for them.
6. Preparation: The enrollment committee forced all Hunter paperwork to be certified, yet accepted handwritten notes, not notarized as evidence against the family. They refused to answer when questioned if there was anything missing or were there any other evidence against us. They paid the highly respected anthropologist John Johnson to trace Paulina Hunter’s ancestry and he proved Paulina Hunter was Pechanga. They did not use his report. There was a quid pro quo with enrollment committee member Bobbi LeMere, enrolling members of her family, despite a moratorium on enrollment. They built a case to fit a pre-determined outcome.
7. Extermination: Macarro’s goal was to wipe the opposition votes out, to control his chairmanship. Extermination of families was no big deal to this man, who was a member of the Democratic Party’s platform committee. While the genocide against the Manuela’s and Hunters is "paper genocide" the reality is there. His goal was to make sure the Manuela’s and Hunters no longer exist as Pechanga. We lost all voting rights, right to attend and speak at meetings, health benefits, educational assistance, per capita distribution, elder assistance. Tribal members, who get a huge per capita check per month (As high as $30,500 at one point)that went up each time families were disenrolled still get benefits from the federal government that they don’t even need, but we who need those benefits cannot get them because we were disenrolled.
8. Denial: Macarro had stated that there would be “no more disenrollments” after the Manuela Mirandas were terminated. He also said “what goes on in the tribe is no business of the white man”. He claimed it was “not about the money” yet the total lost to terminated members is over $250 Million. Lost to terminated members, means “found” by those remaining. He claimed that all parties had due process, when if fact, we were herded into groups, denied writing implements, denied attorneys, denied copies of charges and denied the right to question our accusers. We were given 30 minutes to appeal and again were forced into groups. While not the ovens of Nazi Germany, the implications were clear, we were exterminated.
Disenrollment is PAPER GENOCIDE.
Adapted from a 2009 post...