Friday, June 21, 2013

Corrupt and Vindictive Pala Chairman Robert Smith Responds to Article on Pala's Shameful Acts

Thanks to our friends at PALA WATCH      we have a letter from the DESPICABLE ROBERT SMITH seeking to correct the story in a recent article in the San Diego Reader. See the link for the REAL details of the Brittain family. Apparently, the rotund Smith isn't paying attention. br />
Attention to Detail

Determining who is and is not a member of an Indian tribe is a decision that requires meticulous attention to detail. That is why it is critical for me to correct several major inaccuracies in the June 6 cover article, “Can You Find the Big Secret in this Casino?”

Decisions regarding tribal membership are always difficult. The individuals who are disenrolled are relatives, friends, and neighbors who we have all grown up with.

As new facts are discovered about key events in the tribe’s history, there are consequences in today’s world. It is unfortunate that mistakes were made a long time ago. But those who blame other people for these mistakes are ignoring the facts. You would not perpetuate a mistake simply because everyone has become accustomed to it, and the Tribal Council has a duty to correct these mistakes.

The most important factual errors in the recent article concern Margarita Brittain, and the blood quantum to be a Pala member. Brittain was not six or seven years old in 1903; she was 46 or 47. Additionally, the blood requirement to receive a land allotment in 1913 for any Native American was 50 percent. This was determined by the federal government, not by the Pala tribe. The blood quantum to enroll as a Pala member was not even established until the 1960s.

The other critical mistake is the characterization of the relationship between disenrollments and per capita distribution. The article incorrectly asserts that because some tribal members were disenrolled that other tribal members will see increases in per capita distribution.

The Pala Tribe follows strict guidelines in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) that designate the way the tribal government uses funds. It is irresponsible to suggest that this was the motivation for the Tribal Council’s actions, and only perpetuates the misstatements of those who are ignoring the truth.

Additionally, the Pala General Store was not established in 1867. There was a Pala General Store established in 1897, but it was not owned or operated by the Freeman family. The Pala store that exists today was established much later.

Also, there are nearly 1,000 members of the Pala Tribe, not 800.

There are also several statements that mischaracterize the realities of the situation. The author’s characterization of the Pala casino as a “garish” contrast to the rest of the reservation is misleading. During the past twelve years, we have made many modern improvements. We have a tribal housing program that has constructed beautiful homes for members.

We take pride in caring for our reservation, which includes maintaining our ten-year-old — not brand-new — administration complex.

We have enhanced our tribal cemetery with ornamental fencing and a veterans memorial. The Pala Mission cemetery is equally well-cared for — not overrun with wildflowers. The white picket fence described in the article does not even exist, as the cemetery is surrounded by a stone and concrete wall.

While these corrections might seem like quibbles, how can the reader trust the accuracy of the reporting when such easily verifiable details are reported so inaccurately?

Finally, as it relates to revenge threats against members of the Tribal Council, the threats are real and could easily be found if the editor had thought to verify the information. Despite the threats, no one has hired armed security guards to follow anyone around.

I only correct these details because, as I mentioned, the determination of tribal membership requires great attention to detail, and complete accuracy. Things that seem like minor mistakes have significant consequences down the road. I urge the San Diego Reader and its readers to strive for this same standard.

Robert Smith
Chairman, Pala Band of Mission Indians


READ Pals’s Big Gamble

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

He still doesnt provide any proof that Margarita was not full blood...the details hes mentioning in his letter are simply irrelevant...the fence around the cemetery?! the hired bodyguards?! the year General Store was established?! and the age of Margarita in 1903?!...now tell me are these any questions that will prove blood lines?? Pay attention to detail on documents provided proving that Margarita was in fact fullblood. Its all there!

Luiseno said...

"The most important factual errors in the recent article concern Margarita Brittain, and the blood quantum to be a Pala member. Brittain was not six or seven years old in 1903; she was 46 or 47. Additionally, the blood requirement to receive a land allotment in 1913 for any Native American was 50 percent. This was determined by the federal government, not by the Pala tribe"

Interesting in that her children also received land allotments, which means that they also had to have at least 50%. So by your own words you have confirmed that Margarita Brittain was 100%

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Also keep in mind that the error that Robert Smith is talking about did not happen in 1962. Or in 1913. The error happened in 2011 when the Pala EC decided to change the long established blood degree of Margarita Brittain.

Robert Smith believes that he knows better than all the people of the past who actually knew Margarita Brittain and never questioned her full blood. Robert Smith also believes he knows better than Agent L.W. Green who conducted censuses for the BIA at the village of Kupa where Margarita Brittain was born. L.W. Green consistently recorded the blood degree of Margarita Brittain in censuses throughout the 1890's and the records are published for all to see on the Pala Watch blog. Margarita Brittain is shown as full blood on all of them, and her children all as 1/2 blood.

Now comes this assertion that if there are errors in a statement, that it casts doubts on all the statements made in a letter or document. Better watch out Chairman Smith. We are about to apply that principle to all your statements. Such as the statement that Margarita Brittain's father is unknown, or the statement that some of the disenrollees' appeals were not filed on time, or the statement that he made to our family members that there would be no more disenrollments.

These were all made by Robert Smith. Doesn't that mean that everything he says is untrustworthy?

Anonymous said...

What a crap statement about the per cap....of course the per cap would go up if you shrunk the people getting it....what is he stupid?...the less people there are, the less the pie has to be cut. ..yet, his own tribe can't get rid of him?

Anonymous said...

Wow....do the math....1,000 members @$150,000 per cap a year totals 150 million a year....now wonder that casino has such cheap payouts on the slots....the tribe needs all the money for themselves....depending on the amount of tribe members "claiming" they live on the reservation, that's a huge amount of UNTAXED money by the State Of California.!...
WAKE UP CALIFORNIA POLITICIANS,!.

'aamokat said...

And what about the letter that Smith himself signed that states Margaritta's childen were 1/2 Indian? Smith himself contributed to the evidence in support of the disenrollees claims of meeting the tribal requirments for membership.

Anonymous said...

"ROBBER" SMITH.....what a silly little boy. Every time he opens his mouth he spews nothing but lies.

Anonymous said...

but, but, it is nit about the money!

Anonymous said...

Smith is a doofus

Anonymous said...

All this talk ,and newspaper stuff is getting you no where.

Look at pechanga Disenrolled 15 years later?

Pala will that be you ? Or will you do something ?

Luiseno said...

"All this talk ,and newspaper stuff is getting you no where"

You could say the same thing in whole about the American Indian. We are accustomed to being treated like this (although by our own people is a new thing). Our lands were stolen our heritage was taken away, even making it against the law to learn our own language (now its against the law for us to make use of the building where it is being taught). We can't practice our original religion which involves the burning of Sage(being arrested for collecting Sage on out own property).

Anonymous said...

Smith is a coward and a LIAR he will pay for what he has done along with Teresa Nieto. We're coming for you both

Anonymous said...

I always say hello to Robert who is always standing in the field right before I get to the Pala Casino while travelling east on highway 76.

By the way, he is a large buffalo or bison standing in that field. Take a drive by the field and see Robert standing there for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

"...the determination of tribal membership requires great attention to detail, and complete accuracy."

Then why did the Pala EC ignore the 1989 Final Decision, and BIA Document Specialist's Elsie Lucero's identification of Margarita Brittain's father, Pelegrino Ortega? And all the census records that show her as full blood? And the 1984 Pala General Council decision to change her blood degree to 4/4?

This version of attention to detail must mean something different. And this version of complete accuracy is way off the mark.

Jo Jojola said...

The Pala tribal members should of got a great increase on there checks where is the millions going? Time to find a new leader of Pala Rez.

Jo Jojola said...

The Pala tribal members should of got a great increase on there checks where is the millions going? Time to find a new leader of Pala Rez.

Kallee said...

Who is robert smith? Ive been routed to the valley center sheriff dept to the san marcos sheriff dept directly from the people that answer at the call center at the casino. Is he a sheriff or the leader of the tribe . why doesnt he want to be found. Or is it that he doesnt wanna be found out. I need to talk to whoever he is. Im sick of being harrased and lied to by the casino etc. Its all weird