Pechanga, Pala and Redding kick out lifetime members and allows druggies and child molesters, Hoopa banishes one who harmed the tribe.
“This is the center of the world for Hupa people,” says Jones, whom everybody call Arty. “This is where the creator put us. We’re as much a part of here as that tree over there, or that river over there.”
With his dark eyes still fixated on the sweep of land, the 58-year-old Hupa tribal member vows to never leave. It’s his home forever, he says.
But he doesn’t have a choice.
Jones was convicted of felony drug charges late last year in Humboldt County Superior Court. Last week, the Hoopa Valley Tribe banished Jones through Title 5, its controversial exclusion ordinance. He’s been ordered to leave the reservation and to never come back. If he won’t go voluntarily, tribal police will swing by, slap cold handcuffs on his wrists and escort him over the boundary. Where to? It doesn’t matter. Just not here.
Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman Leonard Masten Jr. promised to clean up the valley’s drug problem — particularly methamphetamine, a drug that plagues reservations across the country — when he successfully campaigned for the position in 2009. He’s already kicked out one non-tribal resident since being elected, and has enforced strict pre-employment drug testing for all tribal employees. Forcing people to pee in a cup and exiling drug dealers has made him both a loved and loathed figure in Hoopa.
Jones has some unusual supporters for a notorious and self-acknowledged drug dealer. Even Masten’s predecessor, Lyle Marshall, is staunchly against the banishment. Jones contends that Masten and the tribe illegally alt