Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Cupeno's Trail of Tears; A horrible beginning and now Robert Smith wreaks more sorrow on Pala

Tony Perry of the LA Times has a story of the beginnings of the Pala Tribe, which their Chairman Robert Smith is shredding via disenrollment....

The history of the Pala Band of Mission Indians begins with an event so traumatic that it is known as the Cupeño Trail of Tears. It remains so central to tribal members, they memorialize it in the entryway of the building that has come to symbolize the tribe's modern prosperity: a casino off Interstate 15 in northern San Diego County.

In 1903, U.S. officials forced hundreds of Cupeño Indians, at gunpoint, to move their household possessions, wagons and livestock from their longtime home in what was then called San Jose del Valle, now Warner Springs. A court had ruled that the tribe did not own the land that it had occupied for generations; the new owner had dreams of a resort.

The tribe was herded around Mt. Palomar to a spot beside a Catholic mission in the San Luis Rey River Valley. During the 40-mile forced march, women and children were terrified.

When tribe members arrived at their new home, they found "nothing but tents and the rundown mission," according to the casino display. At the insistence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Cupeño tribe melded with the Luiseño tribe that lived nearby — creating the modern Pala Band of Mission Indians.

Under the hand of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the two groups existed side by side despite occasional rivalries. To this day, descendants of the Luiseño pioneers prefer one cemetery, descendants of the early Cupeño largely prefer another.

One of the survivors of the forced march was Margarita Britten. She was an expert in basket weaving; she and her husband had seven children. At Pala, she became a tribal elder.

The disenrollment controversy involves a decision by the Pala governing board that Britten's father was not an Indian and thus she was not a full-blooded Cupeño. In all, 162 of her descendants have been cut off from sharing in the tribe's profits from its casino, hotel and other business ventures.

Britten's relatives note that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has repeatedly ruled that Britten was a full-blooded Cupeño. And they say it is unfair to expect her descendants to have documents such as birth certificates or marriage licenses that predate the relocation.

Tribal members who have been disenrolled have made plaintive appeals to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, although the agency does not have the authority to overrule the Pala board. Says one appeal:

"Indian ancestry is a priceless personal truth, central to identity, culture and community. It is rooted in individual biology and being, inalterable by the whims of others. Ancestry is not a political status to be erased with the stroke of a pen."

26 comments:

Dennis G. Chappabitty said...

I am the attorney for the original 8 disenrolled descendants of Margarita Brittian. They were disenrolled on June 1, 2011. The Pala "governing board" has never made a formal written decision that Margarita Brittian's father was not an Indian. Smith and his cronies have never told exactly what it is why they disenrolled 162descendants of Brittian. That is because if they did, they would be proven wrong. Even concerned members of the U.S.Congress know that the Pala Executive Committee can't put one foot in front of the other and produce a formal written decision on why they did what they did. This is for sure. Robert Smith, where is the beef? No one has seen it. Truth or lie?

smokeybear said...

So, let me get this straight. In 1903, the "Government" took their "Land" and gave it to a "White Man" and forced marched the "Owners" of said land to worthless land? That is a reservation. Same old stuff. And the B.I.A. says that, now, when these same Indians are allowed to have a "Casino," and $$$ flow like water in their direction, these same "Indians," now, "Force March" true "Lineal Decendents" out of their "Tribe," much like the "Government" did to them way back when. The B.I.A. has the ability, means and the authority to overrule Pala and "Make Them" reinstate the "Illegally Disenrolled." But they refuse to act "Responsibly" because there is no $$$ in helping these "Oppressed Indians!" There is no "Justice!"

Anonymous said...

Good one Robert Smith...Don't give a reason why you are disenrolling large families from the Tribe. That way you don't have to explain yourself and be caught in lies like Mr. Macarro was on National TV, when he disenrolled hundreds with his outright lies, inspite of the families certified documents saying they were bonafide Pechanga Indians. Robert Smith has been quoted as saying, "There is NO WAY IN HELL I am going to DO what the BIA says and take back the Brittian Family into the Tribe." Well, it's now your turn BIA....

Anonymous said...

Mark is in deeper than he ever thought he would have to go. The lies and misinformation he and his wife’s consulting firm continue to spread will be his downfall. Lying to cover up your desperate attempt to change history will backfire on you Mark like nothing you ever expected. Your brother John, has used the tribes sovereignty to shield you and corruption as you falsify the tribes history and allow corruption to flow through and you paint your lies in a corner. The Pechanga legal department assisted the corruption with written documents that will continue to be presented to lawmakers as proof that Pechanga does not follow custom and tradition, and legally has used government positions to try and erase family lines who do not agree with the corrupt factions of the Pechanga Indian reservation. One of the biggest mistakes you have made is allowing the use of the Legal department to send out a memo saying that the tribes General membership cannot determine membership issues, when you know how your friend sitting next to you on the council had to go to the General membership and ask to be adopted according to custom and tradition. Allowing corrupt information to be used to follow through on illegal actions of elected officials is serious and you yourself know that written documents will erase any thing you say to the contrary. Jennie will be facing embezzlement charges, will you be next?

'aamokat said...

Yes, it is true, the tribal council's letter to the tribe saying the Hunters were not included in the new law, just two days before the Hunters got the letters saying they were kicked out of the tribe in 2006, said that the general membeship couldn't question or interrupt the enrollment committee regarding enrollment or disenrollment that it violated tribal legal precedent.

But the only legal precedent was that the tribe had in fact questioned and overruled the committee in 1986 when it took in Butch Murphy's family after the committee had turned them down for tribal membership.

So if the tribe could vote to take in the Murphys they could and did stop the Hunters from getting disenrolled in 2005 when they voted to outlaw disenrollment.

So the 2006 disenrollment of the Hunters was illegal according to a duly passed law and the tribal council violated the tribe's constitution and bylaws by not upholding and enforcing a duly passed law passed by the General Membership.

Anonymous said...

I read about a period in time when tribes were scrambling to keep enrollment numbers up, in threat of the entire tribe being wiped out. How sad these times are. Nobody is immune to the green-eyed monster, us dis-enrolled still have enrolled family members that vote! OVERTHROW SMITH!!

Anonymous said...

Smith and his corrupt Executive Committee need to realize and recognize 2 things..
1. persons who are enrolled are based on the original 1913 allotment roll as per thier own constitution
and
2. The Sept. 11 1989 letter to Pala from Acting Secretary of the Indian Affairs says "In this situation (meaning the question of Margaritta Brittain blood quantum), therefore, the decision of the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs is FINAL for all purposes." They have done extensive research and found her to be 4/4 degree blood. She IS listed on the original allotment for Pala AND the BIA has given a "final" determination in 1989. Why does the BIA not make Pala stand by this previous decision???? Time for them to step up and let Smith and his rogue committee know that they need to reenroll those that have been wrongfully terminated of their membership and had their civil right violated. I agree OVERTHROW SMITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

HOW MUCH INDIAN DOES A MAN (and I use that term loosely!) named SMITH HAVE RUNNING THROUGH HIS WHITE VEINS???? CAN ANYONE TELL ME??

smokeybear said...

Anonymous said...
HOW MUCH INDIAN DOES A MAN (and I use that term loosely!) named SMITH HAVE RUNNING THROUGH HIS WHITE VEINS???? CAN ANYONE TELL ME??

You have a valid point, has anyone checked "Smith's Bloodline?" Or is he "Hiding" that from "Prying Eyes?" I think "A look See Is In Order!"

'aamokat said...

I used to think of Pala as being an example of people living together fairly as one tribe as for over 100 years two groups, the Luiseno who were there first, and the Cupeno who were moved there in 1903 didn't try to disenroll the other group after they got gaming.

Anonymous said...

Geeez Robert Smith. With the Mission right there and the Priest telling you every Sunday that You Burn in Hell for Treating People like this. You still have time to change. It's not worth eternity in Hell. God sees what your doing.

Anonymous said...

This is what Rob & Mark hear at their so called church.
It describes them well.
2Ti 3:1
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.


 2Ti 3:2
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 



2Ti 3:3

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  



2Ti 3:4

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;



2Ti 3:5

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away

Anonymous said...

"Farewell to Milanovich!"

"He was born!

He lied; he cheated...he lost his
soul...but!

He died with $ in the bank!"

Anonymous said...

Smith does not have blood running through his veins... It is ice that runs through his veins.

His soul is already dead... he is not aware.

He still walks and talks but his heart failed a long time ago.

smokeybear said...

Anonymous said: ...and legally has used government positions to try and erase family lines who do not agree with the corrupt factions of the Pechanga Indian reservation.

Do you mean....."ILLEGALLY?

Anonymous said...

This site has no edit for posters.

The poster may have meant to type illegally but instead typed legally.

You are now dubbed 'eagle eyes.'

White Buffalo said...

Smokeybear-eagle-eyes i like it

smokeybear said...

White Buffalo said...
Smokeybear(Eagle-Eyes), I like it.

Have I been given an "Indian Name" of sorts? Or is it because I caught a "Typo?" Doesn't matter, because I kinda like it. Thanks, "Anonymous." His post was "Right On," and, I thought, that "Illegally" is what he meant.

Anonymous said...

Lol..keen eyes can now proof read white buffalo's...mine...tyvm

smokeybear said...

I guess you might say, in "Retrospect, "Keen Eye for the "Obvious?"....."Humor, What A Concept!" lol.

Anonymous said...

Alot of small talk off subject here!

Anonymous said...

What's it to you!

smokeybear said...

Anonymous said...
Alot of small talk off subject here!

Small talk makes us a "Family," as we are all "Native American Indians."...."Eagle Eyes."

smokeybear said...

You know that some of you, who post here, try to spread "Hate and Discontent, and that in effect "Gives Comfort to the Enemy."..."Is that your intention?" Are you, infact, in the enemy camp? Well, it won't wash. We see your attempt at "Disharmony," and can "Easily" dispell your "Lies and Feeble Attempts" at "Sub-ta-fuge." We are right in our fight for "Justice, In A world Of Injustice."...."Eagle Eyes."

. said...

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Anonymous said...

rumors have it that Smith saved some of the descendants, which would open up the case against Smith, but names are needed of those who were not disenrolled. Any names out there? Follow the money. Also,Howard Dickstein and his wife are under investigation by the FBI.