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 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.
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