Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Secretary Washburn, YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS! On Disenrollment PART ONE

REALLY, Secretary Washburn?

In a recent interview with Indian Country TODAY, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn discussed the scourge of Tribal Disenrollment.   It was nice of him to do that, as he's NEVER discussed it with, you know, THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DISENROLLED.

Washburn says:  “I think the question is, should tribes always be sovereign and self-governing? Or are there times when the United States should trample over their sovereignty and self-governance for some other purpose – the principle of justice or equity or something like that?”  

Tribes give up portions of sovereignty all the time, for gambling casinos and building permits. Was Secretary Washburn a supporter of South African sovereignty, or was he a supporter of divestment?   South Africa had a SOVEREIGN RIGHT to practice APARTHEID in their country, didn't they?    NOW, under his watch, tribes like the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and their "chief" Mark Macarro practice APARTHEID on their reservations.
Washburn continues:  One can make a solid argument that the United States never has any business trampling on tribal sovereignty and self-governance, but that’s not satisfying to everyone because we all see occasionally a tribe doing something that well-thinking people outside the tribe disagree with. These are just agonizing decisions and I’m not convinced that the United States is better at making these decisions on average than tribes are at making them themselves,”

Washburn is being deliberately obtuse.  He knows how these things go.  A few people are jealous of others, they call their aunt on the enrollment committee.   In Pechanga's case, the disenrollment action heated up when to representatives of large families found that current enrollment committee members were shuffling papers for a decade, to keep another large family (not related) OUT of the tribe.  This month is the TENTH anniversary of the Apis family disenrollment.  Oh, yeah, their cousins are still in the tribe.  This wasn't an agonizing decision, this was cold and calculated.   If Washburn doesn't believe the US s better at these decisions, he shouldn't be Secretary.  He should be on a tribal council.

Then again, he may be right, his predecessor, Larry Echohawk, screwed up the San Pasqual tribe.

It's SHAMEFUL that it took MURDER and death to bring Mr. Washburn out of hiding on disenrollment and stripping of citizenship of Native Americans.  


for ALL nations...for ALL chukchansi people said...

i concur with gabe galanda's words in regard to washburn's statement:

"What Interior Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn fails to appreciate or articulate is that in addition to whatever direct responsibility a tribe has to respect human rights, under international law “host nations" like the United States "are ultimately responsible to all their respective citizens for individual rights.” By failing to afford or facilitate any domestic remedy to human rights violations committed in America by tribal governments -- against members or non-members -- the U.S. is complicit in the human rights violations."

A HO'!!!!

Anonymous said...

The civil rights violations are just as egregious as the human rights violations. Tribal members are also U.S. citizens, and they are entitled to due process and equal protection under the law. The goal for Indian tribes is self-government and self-determination, and it is the duty of the BIA to assist tribes in attaining these goals. By clinging to a policy of non-interference the BIA enables tribal leaders to diminish or destroy democracy in their tribes and the BIA gives its tacit approval.

In fact the approval is more than merely tacit; it becomes overt when the BIA rubber stamps constitutions and amendments that gives power to tribal leaders without any checks and balances on that power. As the disenrollments continue, the silence of the BIA is deafening. There is no condemnation or censure, no outcry over the often illegal and discriminatory acts, and no effort made at all to slow the pace of these actions. Thus the tribal leaders know there will be no consequences for their crimes, and they have permission to escalate their activities without any concern for the harm they are causing.

For the AS-IA to consider any action to restrain tribal leaders from eliminating tribal members as a trampling of tribal sovereignty shows that the BIA has completely disregarded the fiduciary duty with which they are entrusted. Tribal lands are held in trust, tribal governments are formed in order to conduct government to government relationships, and democracy must be fostered to protect the rights of dual citizens. That is the function of the BIA, along with the administration of benefits.

So what oversight is there and what kind of review performed to assure that the BIA is doing its job adequately? The BIA does as it pleases, and it pleases the BIA to succor tribal leaders. BIA employees are very comfortable interpreting tribal law to allow themselves to remain outside of disputes. They only time the BIA acts to benefit individual Indians is when they are compelled to do so by order of the federal courts.

There is no love for Indians who have been harmed by their leaders. The time, effort, and expense incurred by Indians fighting the BIA and trying to force them to do their job is overwhelming for those who are already suffering great loss. The BIA incurs time, effort and expense defending themselves against a constant stream of legal actions arising from disenrollment. That budget money and effort could be invested in improving tribal governments and teaching Indians how to manage democracy so such harm can not be inflicted on their own people.

If the BIA did this the threat of violence would be diminished, tribal revenue could be used to raise Indians out of poverty, misuse and misappropriation of funds could be punished, tribes would no longer be the feeding ground for corrupt lawyers, and the mark of shame that so many Indians now bear as a result of disenrollment would be erased.

I give Kevin Washburn a big fat "F" for failure. He is simply carrying on the incompetence of his predecessor. There has been absolutely zero progress made towards improving the situation, and the pockets of tribal leaders continue to be lined with the defeat and desperation of people who have done nothing wrong except to be on the wrong side of the power base in their tribe.

Anonymous said...

I say that Kevin Washburn should be stripped of his heritage, he is no Native American like he claims, even if he has proof, I disregard it. Let him feel the pain of the disenrollees and let his bribes from tribal leaders stop. I bet he would look at it differently if it was him or his family. He is shaming the Indian way and the Indian People, go back to the womb and start over Mr Washburn, maybe you will get it right the second time around, I know your ancestors are not proud of you, may they haunt your dreams and make you realize the harm you are perpetuating.

Anonymous said...

very well said 10:13 am, thank you

Anonymous said...

Can't have it both ways... demand sovereignty be respected, then turn around and ask for outsiders "responsible for the mess in the first place" to help mediate... Some tribes will have to learn the hard way that not practicing good faith, honesty, and justice, will ultimately destroy you from in the inside out, some are fortunate to not have to fathom such problems or to that great of an extent.. but one thing is guaranteed... If the Feds intervene for one tribe.. they will apply the rule to all tribes, regardless of if it is warranted or not or invited or not... For those seeking justice in diss-enrolment... the truth is you may never achieve or get what you want, or it might take 1000 years to accomplish your aims, but asking the federal government to help is a mistake.

Be careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

It is not intervention to protect the civil rights of U.S. citizens. The BIA doesn't even acknowledge that due process and equal protection under the law pertains to tribal members who have been disenrolled.

Tribal Sovereignty is limited because the land is held in trust by the BIA. Tribal membership is determined by tribes because of Santa Clara Pueblos vs. Martinez. You see, the intervention has already happened and continues to happen. Since that is the case, why can't the BIA intervene to protect those who have done no wrong, instead of protecting those who seek to do harm?

Expecting the tribes to sort this out while their leaders threaten members with disenrollment for opposing their policies is unrealistic. To say that there is no fair way to rule that disenrollment requires due process, equal protection under the law, meaning that the same standards must apply to all, is a failure to attempt to solve a problem that was created by BIA and US Government policies in the first place.

All disenrollees deserve an opportunity to face those who have seek to disenroll them, to review the evidence presented against them, to present their own evidence, and to have a hearing among the tribal members. Let the tribal members rule either for or against the disenrollment and not the tribal leaders. This would not violate sovereignty at all, and would uphold the civil rights of those US citizens who happen to be tribal citizens also.

Anonymous said...


Any less fair than seeking a one size fits all solution,, by continually invoking the name of the BIA and feds to Resolve the issues of few? Understand that not all tribes have enrollment/citizenship disputes... the solution by advocating for the BIA/Feds to intervene, will set a precedent that will hurt tribes not involved in these types of disputes and who have and follow their own civil rights to the satisfaction of their tribes citizens. Take it up with the tribe you have beef with, and leave the rest of us out of it. Stop asking for a knight in shining armor to save you... aint gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:10, we don't want them to take away sovereignty, we want the individual Indian to have rights too, not just the leaders who act under pretense of the tribe and choose to do what they want with out the general council approval and then claim they acted for the tribe. Taking it up with the tribe would be great if the tribe had any choice, the tribe does not vote on the disenrolments, the executive committees do and they do not let the tribe vote on it, they pick and choose who they want to have Indian Blood and then threaten anyone that gets in their way, not only with disenrollment but with violence too and they are getting away with it as long as they claim sovereignty. The tribe is almost helpless at this point, these leaders rule everything in every way, the enrollment committee, the tribal affairs, the casinos, the election committee, and even the Post Office. They control the mail and discard what they want, they enroll non-Indians and throw out those that disagree with them. The only other option is violence. I hope this does not happen with your tribe but if you have any connection with the lawyers that Pala, Pechanga, or any other disenrolling tribes, you better prepare for the same action. These lawyers talk them into it to get more money and keep in power. We just want justice.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect for those of you that have not been out in a place of discord by being terminated from your job, pending eviction from your home and your heritage, history and cultural taken from you by a select group because "they can", please put your self in that position and ask yourself what would you do and who do you turn to for help. Tribal court is a joke and always rule in the
Councils favor. As a last resort to ask for consistent and fairness there has to be an avenue to make sure the checks and balances are done. At this day and age members have no where to go but the government, because they are the ones that created these problems. Tribes do not want to get involved with other tribes problems. Tribes will work together to get business decisions past but when it comes to internal personal problems it's hands off. Years ago authorities would not get involved with domestic violence issues in a household and now it is their right to enter the home and save people being abused. Who is the savior for the tribal members being anused by corrupt councils or leadership within a tribe? I bet your answer would be different if you were on the reviving end of the abuse.

Anonymous said...

Certain powers are vested with either The General Council or Business Committee/Tribal Council/Executive Committee, someone has to be responsible for making decisions, the General Council is the only body that can ratify amendments to the Constitution, but you have to organize, and sometimes that aint possible, or easy. You may not like all decisions that are made but even if the power is vested with your General Council, that does not guarantee justice, or protection of equal rights, sometimes the majority want the wrong thing, and then your wishing that the tribal council had the power because of the tyranny of the majority. Democracy aint all it's cracked up to be, and The form of Democracy that was forced on us, is a terrible fit, but it's what we have to work with. Even if you are diss-enrolled, Killing someone IS NOT THE ANSWER.. two wrongs don't make a right... the stripping of a modern political distinction does not take your Identity away, only you can let that happen. My point is that not all tribes are the same, or have the same problems, but the blanket appeal for the BIA or FEDS to intervene in a few tribes cases, will have unintended consequences for us all.

Anonymous said...

With our tribal governments, there are no training wheels, you either get it right or not, its sink or swim, no one is coming to our rescue. Until we get it together... some will not make it. That is a fact that we have to accept.

Anonymous said...

I have been on the receiving end, and I know what I'm talking about, but my answer is still the same, not all tribes are the same, I don't know what the answer is, but it inst asking the feds for help, because they won't stop with just one tribe. They will try to "Help" all tribes... is that what you want? Your all not thinking of the unintended consequences to all Indian People in the pursuit of your crusade. Your only thinking of yourselves

Anonymous said...

If other Tribes are afraid of what the Feds involvement may do to other Tribes, then why in the hell arn't you standing behind the "WRONGED"native people.If you are afraid to lose your soveriegn
status, then why won't you help those in need. Thats the Indian way.

Luiseno said...

Every Tribe that has been recognized by the U.S. Government has had to submit to the Federal Government a constitution to be approved. If the Tribes Leaders involved will NOT follow there own constitution (some even laughing at it, calling it "that silly little paper"). Then I see no reason why the same government that had to approve it could not be involved in some sort of action, to make sure that those effected who have exhausted every other option, could not involve the U.S. Government in making sure the Leadership was following there Tribes own constitution.

Anonymous said...

If Indians can't follow Indian way and abuse families to keep control, other Indians should stand behind the abused and support them. That's the Indian way. Factions in a band that abuse others, disrespect them, do not deserve to be left alone. Indian factions who use the outside government themselves to take abused families identity and push it under the carpet to get Federal recognition and settlement on issues is not the Indian way. Treat Indians like Indians and the same will come back to you. Treat Indians like trash and the same will come back to you. Karma is what it is. If the Government comes in to control abuse, look what caused it. Law Breaking factions, and factions who will do anything to keep the control they set up for themselves. Terrible but true.

Anonymous said...

"When the tribe had nothing people didn't want to be part of the tribe. When it appeared the tribe might have something soon, Then it seemed like a whole bunch of people came out. This is never about money, this is about integrity of tribal citizenship here at Pechanga. If there was a corn field instead of a Casino, these challenges would have taken the same path to the same conclusion."Mark Macarro

I wish it to be remembered that I was the last man of my tribe to surrender my rifle.
Sitting Bull

Indian way??

Anonymous said...

7:05. What part of "Self-Determination do you not understand?" Freedom aint free, and yes that means that bad things can happen to good people, but I would suggest that things are not as black and white as many would like to make it out to be.... Do you know the difference between IRA and Non-IRA tribes? Do you know that some tribes don't have constitutions approved by the BIA or Feds? Have you read the IRA? A tribe may have a Constitution, or it may rule itself by Custom or Tradition, Navajo Nation as an example, "although I've heard their wanting to adopt a Constitution" All IRA "Indian Reorganization Act" tribes have IRA "Boiler Plate" constitutions that were handed out like candy to tribes that were in many cases not fully informed of the implications of all the terms of those constitutions... and many with very screwed up membership requirements. I know this because my tribe is an IRA tribe, our land was taken into trust around 1900, but or government wasn't organized until the 70s. If you want the BIA to arbitrate your membership disputes, there is a simple fix to that.. amend your Constitution to allow for it, some tribes actually have language like that in their constitutions and the BIA has arbitrated, but it didn't resolved anything, folks were still not satisfied with the result, and the truth is they never will be, because justice is not what is being sought in all cases... but I suspect the majority of the tribes membership would be against that, so you want somebody "Feds" to force the tribe to re-enroll you... in what universe do you think that will happen?. Also, if you have ever served your tribe as a council member, and did it the right way meaning working for your people not just for you or your particular family, your perspective will be totally different form when you were not on your tribes council... many tribal members do not appreciate the world that their elected representatives enter... did you ever think to thank a council member who you seen doing a good job... you think maybe a little positive inspiration might be infections...? instead you know what we hear.... They "The Council" only does for themselves... they don't care about anyone but themselves.. their spending all the tribes money.. they just go on vacations... never a simple word of encouragement... they don't need a pat on the back, because the better ones don't honestly expect it, they went to work for their tribes because they believed in a better future... but would it kill anyone to try a little positive reinforcement every now and then? Instead no... we are nothing but crabs, pulling other down.

Anonymous said...

WHoa you just do not get it 9:56PM, in our tribe we were all about "you are doing a great job" for the first 10 years, then the tribal chair got a little conceited and the money was good and everyone was praising all of the good things that were happening, then something changed and they started holding back things and being secretive, there were words of violent attacks on some members,and major drug use on their part, and the people tried to vote them out, but they controlled the voting, they eliminated the term limits, and they changed or amended the Constitution and got a small quorum of friends and family to help pass it without the tribes knowledge then the BIA eventually approved it, and it directly said that they would not disenroll existing members, then they got away from the tribal court system so that we would have no where to turn, believe me if we could change it we would. The lawyers are really the ones to blame because they showed them how to do this and get away with it, they strategically planned it out piece by piece until complete control was in their hands, we gathered our information and proof, sent packets of papers, and tried to talk with them, after all these are our cousins, and they got meaner and meaner, disregarded our proof,and told lies about us to the other members and to the BIA. When the economy was not as good the money was going to have to drop, which was fine with us, but not them they did not want to lose the lifestyle they have gotten use to and the lawyer making over 25 million did not want his share to go down, so what better action to take then to dump some members. Thanks for the advice though, you never know when someone is going to come up with something that we have not thought of. We do not want to hurt anyone, we do not want the tribe to lose anything, we just want what we know is right and that we belong, it is like they are trying to erase our family all together, yet they are members of one side of it, they have caused so much havoc and hatred among the people,it is sad.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing to look forward to is that,Robert Smith will not live forever, and the same goes for his little puppet, Theresa Nieto.I heard from someone down in Pala last month, that the Pala Tribe is making some big loan to some of its members.Up to 150,000 dollars. Thats all good for some, but the interest rate is so fucking high, its unreal, "25%" on some of the loans.So now Nieto and Smith figured out how to screw the remaining Tribal Members.My friend turned down her loan when she was told about the kigh interest rate.These corrupt leaders do not deserve a pat on the back, they deserve a knife in the back.

Anonymous said...

All of the comments and discussions above are valid and point to the fact there is much confusion and fear of this issue. However, the issue is before us all. If we go forward in the Indian way, as Indian Peoples, we can surly agree all who are fully connected to their tribal heritage have the inherent right of tribal citizenship. What is not being mentioned here are those who, through the Termination Act, were removed from their tribal bodies by the BIA during the reconstitution of the tribes back into federal recognition. So, you see, there are even more being denied their rightful places. It is simple to resolve; Indians are Indians and share the same culture and history. It is our sacred duty as Indian Peoples to stand up and see that our tribes flourish once again. WE have been given the responsibility to care for our Mother Earth and we're failing miserably due to all this dysfunction!

Anonymous said...

I hear you, I know what living through that experiences like that with your own relatives threatening to kill you if you stand in opposition to their political agenda, or calling them out on things that are wrongs against the tribe. In my tribe we were lucky that enough members stood together in bringing about change, but we were just lucky. I know not all tribes have it so easy, and that our own luck might run out if we get people back on the council who want to return to the old ways, which would be like much of how you described happening in your tribe. I'm abit shocked by the no term limits If I am interpreting that correctly, I hope that doesn't mean elected for life? Or just that your tribe had a constitution requirement at one time that said you could only run for office/particular office for a limited amount of terms? In any case, I'm no defender of corruption, I served my tribe not myself or just my family and so I see both sides of the coin. I've been on the brunt of many personal attacks by my own members because I wouldn't authorize assistance to them that they didn't qualify for under the federal requirements we had to abide by, but many did not want to understand that, they were just mad that they were denied for ineligibly for services. My point is not to complain about them but that I worry about them/us all. We have lost sight of the bigger picture. The Govt. wants us to fight each other, and if we say we are to be treated fairly as nations that means we have to walk our talk as well internally. Instead of recognizing our true enemies, we turn on each-other, when does it end? It starts with you/us all, making a choice to end the cycle. That doesn't mean giving up, it means not giving in. Not giving in has a deeper meaning than what it may sound like on it's surface, it means not being consumed by hatred.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear if your council supports bad policy, but that isn't every council person of every tribe., The point I was raising is even when some council members are just doing their duties according to tribal law, they are still accused of wrong doing by their follow members. Council members need to be level headed and fair, but members also need to remember that as well, and quit gossiping without knowing first hand or proof! Yeah right that will never happen.., I know ndns lol, we love our gossip.. but honestly it can get out of hand.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing that the disenrolled should stop asking for the congress and the B.I.A. to step in on the illegal disenrollment because it will erode sovereignty. These tribes do not follow their own tribal constitution or laws when disenrolling and when question on it they throw up sovereignty like a shield to hide their actions. Our intent is not to attack sovereignty but when these tribal governments use it to hide their action we won’t back down and then they cry stop you are going to hurt our sovereignty who is to blame if sovereignty is eroded. This is a two Way Street on this sovereignty erosion of pointing fingers at. The tribal governments that have disenrolled could waive their sovereignty per case of disenrollment and settle it in front of the dept of interior this does not mean the tribe is giving up their sovereignty it only means they are waiving it for that case. So before you attack us and say you are going to ruining it for everyone in that same breath you should be telling these tribal governments the same thing.

Anonymous said...

It would be a good thing if each tribe had a government developed by themselves over time that could handle the affairs of the tribe, the finances and revenue of the tribal gaming, the government to government relationship with the US and local governments, and do so with equity, fairness and responsibility to needs of the community.

Which tribe has developed that type of government?

The one that works in practice is democracy, but it requires citizens to be informed and vote wisely on issues and representatives. Indians seems susceptible to leaders that refuse to serve their constituencies, and instead follow a path of self-enrichment and accumulation of power.

The solution is constitutional law with checks and balances of power, term limits for tribal officers, well defined policies of enrollment, and provisions for fairness such as guarantees of civil rights.

This is not a new idea, but tribes are reticent to relinquish their customs and traditions. Many tribes end up using a combination of democracy and tradition, and that gives their leaders an opportunity to play the two methods of government against each other to divide the voting base.

The real issue in disenrollment is basic fairness. This could easily be guaranteed by prohibiting unfairness, or by allowing mediation by an independent third party.

Would'nt most tribal members compromise tribal sovereignty to assure themselves that their basic right to fairness and equal protection under the law is guaranteed against corrupt tribal leaders that prefer wealth and power to the just government of their people?

Anonymous said...

Lets break it down. In practically even tribes with treaties with the US, govern themselves still at the leisure of Congress, who have "Plenary Powers" over all Indian people. This is fact. We have no military, or economic Leverage over the United States,.. at best we have Guilt and the Truth. And those are only as powerful as the ability for the US to feel Guilt or Shame about the Truth of what happened to Native Peoples of this Land. It waxes and wanes, but has not been reliable.

Currently we are still in the Era, of "Self-Determination" coming just out of the Era of Termination. Tribes are free to make laws that effect only their peoples, and theoretically those laws can not exceed Supreme Federal laws. I.E. tribe can not make a law legalizing murder/rape/genocide, etc.

Indian Civil Rights act was passed, but is not enforceable, as to enforce it would violate tribal self-determination, and Sovereignty.

Self-determination says you tribe, figure out how best to take care of your people, the Federal Government will not interfere in the domestic affairs of your governments.... period.

The exceptions to these self determination clauses, if if the Tribe willing retroceeds "Gives Back" specific authorities back to the BIA "Federal Government" to manage as fiduciary, "Guardian/caretaker" on behalf of the tribe. This could be to manage the tribes 638 contracts for administration, and services. But it can include things like membership determination and processing. The catch is the tribe has to vote and authorize either, by resolution or amendment of the Tribal Constitution. If authorized, your local agency BIA or Regional Office, would be responsible for processing enrollment applications for the tribe, and determining eligibility, as well as hearing appeals.

But what does a person do, if the tribe has been Hijacked, and you no longer are a player, in proposing or affecting a change in the laws of the tribe.....

Now, how do we break back into the system, who is going to play good cop, and enforce justice?

Anonymous said...

Need to convince those who diss-enrolled to re-enroll, and reconcile with them.

There are cases of legitimize dis-enrollments though. Not all are "illegal Acts" according to tribal law. Some are based on findings of fraudulent enrollment.

Anonymous said...

March 7 at 11:11. this is true but of the Illegal one there needs to be a appeal proses in place and not back to the same people that disenrolled you but ether to a court or the B.I.A.. This is how you separate an illegal disenrollment from a legal disenrollment all base on the tribes constitution and membership criteria.

Anonymous said...

I am not personally in favor of allowing the BIA to decide anything for Indians. The entire agency is corrupt to the core. The BIA needs checks and balances too, and some sort of review process to make sure they are doing their job, with consequences for poor performance that include evaluation of the harm caused by failure to protect the rights of tribal members and means of restitution for peoples that have suffered due to agency failure.

I can hear the laughter from here. Those BIA jerks have never concerned themselves with the harm their ineptitude and incompetence causes. They only care about tribal leaders who they refer to as the "Band", and the pot of gold they share for helping tribal leaders stay in power, operate casinos, make themselves rich and destroy their tribes.

Those who say that tribal sovereignty means that tribes must determine their own methods of disseminating justice need to help us out with examples of tribes that abide by principles of justice and fairness.

The Indian concept of justice is most probably completely foreign to those who have experience and knowledge of American justice. It is mostly based on the principle of restorative justice, and consists of bringing together the parties involved and resolving problems in a manner that embraces community and healing.

Just crazy guessing here, but I bet tribal leaders that disenroll wouldn't know Indian justice if it bit them in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Proof? With so many tribes in the US you are bound to have a wide range of governing flavors., Many human rights abuse's to little to no abuses... I don't think there is a society on earth past or present that hasn't abused the rights of individuals at some point or another to a major or minor degree... humans are flawed by design, we all know this.. we are humans, heck we abuse each-other each day, even the smallest infractions hurt somebody..

Well, I'm not against all of your efforts, I just feel it could use a little fine tuning hear and their, I see us Throwing ourselves at a brick wall that aint gonna move with the argument presented, needs a little adjustment and slightly different approach. There are only a few logic options that I see from my perspective, not that I agree with them but they are avenues that seem to be being pursued or hoped for.

1, Congress/Feds Intercede. Exert Plenary Power, and enforce mediation, because of human rights violations., Problem is who and how do you decide when it's appropriate to intercede? Can't this process or mechanism if developed be subject to abuse as well to counteract the legitimate will of a self-determining society by a minority within it?

If tribes had the same international standing as nations of the world, their actions would not only be on review in their host dominant nations, but on a world stage as well, with special reporters conducting investigations... but it would be simple to sidestep, the tribe would just need to secede from the United Nations, to not be subject to the investigatory process. It takes a certain amount of willingness to subject to review of an outside body, that tribes really are not keen on, some for legitimate concerns, others not so.

2, Other tribes put public pressure on tribes with ongoing disputes, or try to involve themselves in some sort of peace process, Think, Israeli,Palestinian relations with outside nations trying to broker peace.

The problem with both scenarios, is both of the parties that might be able to help, really don't want to get involved in the disputes that are highly sensitive and not really all that clear,.. you have to admit our memberships requirements can be pretty screwy and abit arcane to wrap your head around, becaue they vary soo much from tribe to tirbe, lineal descent, blood quantum, adoptees, A list B list, State Census Rolls, etc etc. Or to pick winners and losers, who knows after their findings, maybe non of you really belonged in your tribes, and they rule you non-existent... It might be their ruling is one that no one likes.

In order to resolve must find a way to satisfy the concerns of all, and assure a fair process, because everyone's backs are on the wall when you get into their personal space.

Keep thinking, keep talking, don't close your mind to all possibilities, even ones you may not like, might hold the key.

Anonymous said...

Neither of your solutions is attractive or likely. Culture change that is imposed by external forces historically destroys the original culture.

How about this solution? For gaming tribes that must have a federally approved constitution so they can participate in the NIGC, there must be a provision in the Constitution guaranteeing the rights of tribal members.

This provision must state that all members are entitled to due process, equal protection under the law, the right to confront their accusers, the right to review evidence against them, the right to present evidence in their favor, and the right to a hearing by their peers. The provision must also stipulate that the party making the decision at this hearing cannot be the complaining party, and that the decision process must be representative and not exclusive.

We are only talking about disenrollment here, but this provision would probably apply to any action that would endanger the benefits of a tribal member.

If tribes want gaming revenue, they already have to compromise sovereignty to a certain extent. This kind of provision would also prevent corrupt tribal leaders from leveraging their positions to threaten disenrollment for opposition to their policies and actions.

Non-gaming tribes would not be required to include such a provision, and probably such tribes do not have mass disenrollments anyway.

So you see a solution doesn't have to have wide-ranging impact. It can be designed to address the simple problem of corrupt tribal leaders terminating the memberships of people they don't like, or who oppose them, or because they want to give larger shares to fewer people.

Anonymous said...

Interesting 3:45,
How would you address RSTF tribes that also might have the same notion or sentiment from "Theoretically Corrupt" tribal officials who want to per-cap the 1.1million amongst a smaller body of members, preferably their own family? Similar regulations on the Revenue sharing tribes as well?

Anonymous said...

Also, diss-enrollments are not just over per-capita shares. Sometimes just plain hatred, and blood feuds.

Anonymous said...

There are already regulations on revenue sharing for gaming tribes. These are stated in NIGC agreements and gaming management contracts. Sadly though lawyers like Howard Dickstein and others have taught tribal leaders how to get around the regulations.

The problems with revenue sharing can be solved too though. The simple step of requiring independent audits of tribal financial reporting and distributing the audit results to tribal members, or perhaps a more limited distribution to an elected oversight committee on which Tribal officers are ineligible to serve would at least let tribal members know how their money is being spent. From there it would be up to the tribal members to assess the honesty of their elected officers and take any necessary action.

None of this requires interference from the US Government except to withhold constitutional approval unless such requirements are incorporated. Gaming revenue really is a multi-billion dollar affair and there are no customs and traditions that can enable tribes to manage such funds. It is in the best interest of all involved that honesty is assured with audit review and oversight.

I know that disenrollments are not just over per-capita shares. I guess plain hatred and blood feuds would go into the "people they don't like" category.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know what Pala is up to, but word has it that the EC
is firing alot of long time empolyees. Some of them have 10-12
years working with the Tribe. And Smith & Nieto are replacing them with fresh meat.They hired a Orasco kid as Howard Maxey JR'S assistant, i believe he is the grandson of Loretta (Blacktooth)Linton.And Shannon Cagey has taken over as the senior director.
Nick was a maintance supervisor for almost 12 years, and they fired him and Jimbo Goodpasture has taken over his spot as well as the auto shop that is supposed to belong to the Tribe. Ha Ha Ha.
It seems that the EC thinks that it is safer to have new empolyees that don't know anything,rather than having long term employees that know to much.

Anonymous said...

If Smith & Nieto, are not stopped by what ever means possible, they will run the Pala Tribe into the pits of no-return.They really need to be taken out of office, either by the Tribe, or by,force.

Anonymous said...

Here is a question for Washburn,
if the Pala Band had a constition
when they signed the Compact with
the Gov.of Calif.,"Why was it
signed under the Articals of Assoc
as their legal and binding Doc's?
and not the Constition that Amy
Duschbag says that was in effect at that time.
Thats more proof that the Pala EC
is as crooked as hwy 76.

Anonymous said...

And Kevin Washburn says it was simply an oversight that the Pala Website said the governing document of the tribe was the Articles of Association even as late as Feb. 2012.

U.S., State, and Local Governments all have turned a blind eye to the corruption at Pala and Pechanga. Politicians accept campaign contributions, the Democratic National Committee accepts contributions, local governments receive a share of the casino revenue distributed according to the state gaming compact, and every so called charity anywhere has its hand out begging for money.

All of them remain silent on the human tragedy of disenrollment and the non-stop theft of casino revenue so the flow of money will continue.

Anonymous said...

Its really to bad that Robert Smith,and Theresa Nieto are allowed to breath the same air as the rest of us. Nothing more than a couple of dirty pigs.

Anonymous said...

You stated that Washburn said that it was just an oversight that the website says Articial of Ass. and not a constitution.
How could this be an oversight, the Website wasn't built until 2006. That just goes to show you how corrupt the EC is, along with that pussy, K Washburn.Also the Pala compact was sighned under the Articials of Ass.with no mention of a constitution.