Monday, June 25, 2012
We received a letter that is being circulated to Congress and the Department of Interior and BIA. Please send a copy to Congress, and of course, if your tribe is not represented, add a paragraph.
I am writing to you for your assistance and your involvement to step in on behalf of hundreds of individuals throughout Indian Country. Many gaming tribes are committing criminal and civil crimes and then hiding behind the blanket of "sovereignty" all while congress allows them this power. The most recent incident occurred when the Pala Tribal Council (southern California) disenrolled 134 members against the recommendation of the B.I.A. whom had already informed the that the individuals in question provided documentation to prove rightful enrollment into the tribe. The tribal council refused, ignored and unjustly disenrolled these individuals, going as far as removing these families from their homes on the reservation; these families have never lived off of the reservation and are presently homeless and destitute.
Prior to Pala's Tribal Councils actions, Pechanga Tribal council allowed the disenrollment of two families; 230 members not counting children. When one of the families, the Hunter’s was being investigated Pechanga hired Dr. John Johnson a renowned anthropologist from Santa Barbara to dispute the documentation the Hunters had. Dr. John Johnson's findings did the opposite; his report only verified and even added more documentation and factual information to prove them to be rightful tribal members. Pechanga's enrollment committee, during their disenrollment proceedings decided not to use his report and disenroll this family with no factual documentation only hearsay, Jointly the Tribal Council and enrollment committee went as far as overruling the general memberships vote to put a stop to all disenrollment including that of the Hunters.
As of as recent as April the Pechanga tribe has been dealing and covering RICO act violations and discussion of money laundering and embezzlement, committed by Jennie, Larry, Anthony, Andrew and Raymond Miranda all were found to have purchased slot machines illegally and illegally sold them. This family has held positions of power serving on the tribal council, the gaming commission and the Pechanga Development Corporation. Please be aware that this is the start of a new type of organized criminal organization. Because of sovereignty congress is to a degree giving their "blessing" to this activity by ignoring numerous violations and illegal activity. The Tribal Councils involved fear of wielding sovereignty like a sword to destroy anything or anyone that will get in the way of their agendas, legal or not. There is no concern for the individuals or the tribe as a whole.
Another example is that of San Pasqual where individuals have the opportunity to file a final appeal with the B.I.A., the B.I.A. reviewed the case and decided to rule in favor of those disenrolled, Mr. Larry Echohawk overturned the decision, in turn this was appealed in a court of law, the ruling again found in favor of the disenrolled whom were to be reinstated as members of the tribe with all benefits returned to these individuals, again Mr. Echohawk overstepped his authority and directed the tribal council to deny the benefits to these individuals, interestingly the court's ruling had found Mr. Echohawk's decision to be biased. The Tribal Council knows they are ordered to reinstate these persons but refuses to do so. To be noted is the fact that Mr. Echohawk has resigned from his position. The BIA has a legal responsibility to fix this.
As my congress person I demand you have the B.I.A. enforce, The Commissioner of Indian Affairs Delegation of Authority Regarding Tribal Enactments section 18. If the tribes do not follow the outcome then all federal funding should be cut off until the tribe does so. I would not like to see the beginning of a new criminal organization when congress should have stepped in to prevent this. For more information please refer to originalpechanga.com, a blog chronicling the for mentioned.