Monday, November 19, 2012

More California Indian SHAME: Dry Creek Rancheria Disenfranchising Members


Disputes over tribal membership have flared up again within the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, prompting an indefinite postponement of the election for its board of directors, which runs River Rock Casino near Geyserville.
The November election was called off after the legitimacy of two candidates for office, both lifelong members of the tribe, was questioned.
At stake is control of Sonoma County's only operating Indian casino, along with payments and benefits that are lost by members disenrolled from the tribe.
For those who have been kicked out despite tracing their tribal lineage back for generations, it's a painful experience that also threatens their cultural identity and heritage.
"It's devastating when your citizenship is removed and you're challenged --- who and what you are. It takes a toll on your well-being," said Liz Elgin DeRouen, 48, a former Dry Creek tribal chairwoman who was disenrolled three years ago. "You're disenfranchised to the deepest level."
Tribal Chairman Harvey Hopkins defended the tribe's need to ensure that its approximate 1,100 members are legitimate.
In essence, they must be descended from someone who was living on the Rancheria when it was established in 1915 and cannot have been a member of another tribe.
"We've been down this road before. When election time comes, we have to review every member who wants to run, to make sure they are members of Dry Creek," Hopkins said.


Read More on Shameful Disenrollments at Dry Creek Rancheria

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, membership is ok as long as you don't try to run for election. Who made up that rule. Makes one think twice about running for office. Like the ones doing it now are the only qualified to do it. Greed... Power... Entitlement... The ruin of first citizens in the united ststes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like total lies, probably made up by the existing chairman so he does not have to lose his power. The greed shows through, no one is being fooled. This is all getting old really fast.

Anonymous said...

It's the same problem with all tribes operating casino's. These chairman do not wanna give up the power/money and will do anything to keep it. Including disenrolling other members running against them in elections. It will cause fear and nobody will run for council anymore. The current EC can run unopposed then. Just like Pala EC disenrolling families that vote against them months before the chairman is up for election and stepping down from the tribal court soon before they starting disenrolling to ensure the disenrolled would have no authority to appeal to. Pechanga disenrolled just to lower the numbers and raise percap! These disenrollments are calculating moves on part of many tribal EC's to stay in power.

Anonymous said...

why nobody the BIA , Federal gov't , DOI is not stepping in to help is beyond me. Well we know why the Sacramento or Riverside BIA isn't intervening in Pala's case because Robert Smith has got them in his pocket. Conflict of interest with BIA director Amy Dutschke's niece defending the Pala EC as their lawyer against members that took them to court. Of course she/BIA is not gonna help the disenrolled that would be going against her niece who is the lawyer for the Pala EC. Really how unethical is this?

Anonymous said...

Can somebody please post the current per cap per tribe?..it would help if the average citizen really knew what these tribes are making each month...somebody from each tribe should know,.....I want to write letters to Senators and Congressmen to bring attention to the State tax they are losing to these thieves and the phoney mailboxes they keep to avoid paying sales tax on purchases like all those expensive fancy cars and motorhomes, boats etc.....
If the average citizen knew the per cap, there might be some accountability demanded....like who watches the slot win/loss ratio?...oh thats right, the same people getting those monthly checks....

Justiceforpaladisenrolled said...

This is becoming very prevalent amongst gaming tribes. These people were probably running for office because the current leaders are incapable of doing so or corrupt and the leaders know of they run against them they would lose so they throw this in front of them to kick them out so they can keep their power. Such a shame the BIA, DOJ, IBIA allows these tribes to disenroll and disenfranchise their members is a mystery to me they must all have their hands in the cookie jar. We all need to stand up for what is right together fight for justice hold a large peaceful demonstration and get our voices heard. It is going to take more than a few to make this happen. We have already made a trip to DC and met with senators and congressman but the more of us that fight for this them more of a voice we have.

Anonymous said...

Tribal members will not post percap payments that's our business...it's just like any other business that is owned and the profits are given to its owners. The tribe is the owner. It's no different than any other company. I know how people think if they see the money the members get they won't feel bad they will be like oh well I never got free money. Well it's not free we vote, have meetings elections like any business. If there family owned a business and divided the profits between all parents and brothers & sisters it's the same thing. The profit of percap is our business many company's don't reveal that stuff.

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me you just want to be nosey and know how much each tribe is getting so it can be posted for the public. Also we don't monitor our own casino there are experienced people the casino hires to do all that there are still laws about operating casino's or any business and there is the gaming commission who monitors the casinos to keep things running according to the law.

smokeybear said...

"According To The Law? What a "Crock!"...."Eagle Eyes."

White Buffalo said...

We are aware of how the business/casino is ran as well as how the profits are distributed, so do not insult when we know there are ways of not claiming monies. For example your W2’s do not show any bonuses that are given throughout the year, so you do not report them which means that you are not paying your fair share of taxes on them. That’s two ways you cheat. Then if you are truly corrupt, you have a PO Box on the rez, so you do not have to pay State tax. As for not knowing how your money is actually divided then I would say whose fault is that. Last if you were like any business then you would not be able to hide behind sovereignty like you let your leadership, so I guess that makes you just as corrupt as them, why because you did nothing, or were too weak to do anything, for fear of being disenrolled yourself, or you agree with what was done. In any case they and you are wrong for letting such corruption stay in power.

kDogg said...

The tribes pay something like 30% to the state instead of the normal 9% corporate tax, so to say they aren't paying their share isn't all that fair. While some local tribes are making mad profits, more than 90% of tribal casinos don't. What they want to do with their money is their business. However,any money they make is somewhat regulated, as they have to spend/donate percentages to local governments, etc. They are only doing themselves harm in the long run by maximizing individual percap. If they minimize percap and pooled their massive financial resources, they would easily be able to expand beyond gaming and get away from the 30% payment to the state and ultimately literally rule the planet. In all, greed will ultimately lead to the demise of most of these tribes.

Anonymous said...

I own a corporation and I pay corporation tax and personal tax on my earnings...why shouldn't they?..and it is the business of California tax payers....we are the ones that were talked into giving the tribes the ok to have Casinos....remember...it was put to a vote...you pumped up your membership numbers to make it look like more people were getting helped and then kicked out hundreds to increase your per cap....so technically you lied to get your Casinos....and by the way...30% of what?...and some of the tribes refused to pay....and since there is no transparency, who knows if they are really paying the right amount.

Anonymous said...

Gaming commission?...that is a HUGE joke....your own tribal members are the gaming commission...why would they want people to win ?...it cuts into your "profits".
It's like the wolf guarding the hen shack!

Anonymous said...

Soveriegnty, unfortunately, is earned! Tribes win their soveriengty through the State Compact Process, yes? What if this disenrollment debackles playing out in many tribes were to jeopardize the state compact process? This is the spector of the host nations' oversight, that which tribes wish to be free from. If tribes continue to demonstrate an inability to govern themselves, they invite reform from the entity most responsible for the present situation: responsible for the several hundered years of genocide against Native Americas, and resposible to for the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Find a way to regulate yourselves with justice for all, or Uncle Sam will do it for you!

Anonymous said...

What has Hopkins done for the tribe in the last four terms? Have the debts been paid? What accomplishments earn him the right to continue his dictatorship over the tribe? Is there a hotel yet? No!, read there is a new fire department and no fires to put out! What a money pit. Hopkins sounds like a goof, step up or step out.

ERIN HOPKINS said...

It makes me laugh.....reading all the "comments" all done by ANONYMOUS...... that last comment there done on 11-22 at 7:41 in the morning...is the most amusing.
Hopkins....Mr. Chairman, my father, is the best thing that has happened for my tribe in a very long time. The accusations that I, and my family have heard, and continue to have to hear out of ignorant & un- educated people is such a waste of time. My father is not"stealing" anything from this tribe!! He never ever has nor will he ever! He is open, honest, intelligent,he is strong,believes in deep values, and my dad is a decent and great man. I believe he is a fine example of what a CHIEF in today's Native World should be. I have kept my mouth shut for almost 8 years, that is out of respect to my dad because if you haven't noticed he NEVER talks shit about ANYONE EVER..even if he has legitimate "shit" to show and to prove those that are telling out right lies need to give it up. He is not a dirty person and don't play that way either. Me..if I could I would dish some back,,,so many times I had to bit my lip, and hold back my anger in defense of him. I have so much "truth" to reveal about certain disenroll`'eees! But I will be decent and let karma continue to do the dirty work for us. They will have to face their fate when they have to admit one day they were wrong. Cuzzzzins or not they knew the way they were going was going, well being LED was going to backfire, because it was wrong, the backlash hit not only them but others in their family as well.And for them I have sympathy. SHE with her power trip, said it would all be okay....just come on over to Dry Creek Rancheria...you are now legal members here no worries, just make sure ya vote me in as CHAIR again tho!!!!!!!!!!
Wow now that is some real shameful crap you all should be whining about..........
Lets hope the New Year that is just around the corner will bring all of us peace and a little more kindness.
I am the proud, eldest daughter of Tribal Chairman Harvey Hopkins of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians

Salena Shaffer said...

Omg what is wrong with you people.,I am appalled at all these ignorant people who clearly know nothing about Indian Gaming and our tribe Dry Creek Rancheria. Very sad to comment on something you know nothing about. It had been a struggle for us Pomo Indians especially my Uncle Harvey Hopkins who is our Chair our Rock in our Tribe. For those uneducated folks out there. My Uncle repaired bridges for a living making excellent money living in a beautiful home. Since being Chair for our tribe he has taken a HUGE pay cut which he had to sell his beautiful home due to the pay cut. So screw all you monry hungry bastards who no nothing you should all be ashamed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Salena