Jamul Action Committee attorney Patrick Webb says his clients, Walter Rosales and Karen Toggery, have cremated family remains that were interred on the portion of the cemetery property owned by the federal government, then excavated and taken to Caltrans land at state Route 125 and Interstate 905. Webb said Toggery is the half sister of Hunter.
Saying members of the Jamul Indian Village are offended, emotionally hurt and “outraged by accusations” made public and in court by a group looking to stop the building of a casino, Jamul Indian Village Chairman Raymond Hunter said the tribe plans to keep working on the site.
Hunter, Jamul Indian Village council member Richard Tellow and tribe legal counsel Anna Kimber on Tuesday morning spoke next to the cemetery, adjacent to a new community center and an administration building, about the casino, burial grounds and the lawsuit.
“The legal documents filed on behalf of his clients Karen Toggery, who is my sister, along with Walter Rosales are completely without basis,” Hunter said. “The Jamul Indian Village has been the caretaker of our lands for thousands of years, including the cemetery where many of our own family members have been laid to rest. This includes my own mother, Marie Toggery.”
Webb said that Toggery and Hunter’s mother as well as Toggery’s son, Matthew Tinaojheda, are buried in the Catholic portion of the cemetery.
“However, the tribe ignores their own heritage and culture, which buries the families’ funerary objects, grave goods and items associated with the burial near their houses on the cemetery property where they lived, which is now owned by the United States,” Webb said.
He said the tribe is also negating Department of Health documents filed with the court that show the state of California “was well aware of the interment at the houses on the cemetery property showing the exact address at 14191 Highway 94."
Tellow said that for the past 16 years, the Jamul Indian Village has conducted cultural resource surveys “as part of the development of our gaming projects.”
He said that in 1998, a survey by the tribe’s project manager “did not reveal any cultural resources or artifacts on the reservation that would qualify as potentially significant resources under the National Historic Preservation Act.” Tellow said no signs of human remains were found on the reservation.
Kimber called the latest lawsuit “abusive and frivolous” and said it is “intended to harass the tribe and interfere with its economic development plans on its reservation.”
READ about the EVICTION: Tribal officials had the homes of three evicted Jamul I ndian Reservation
residents demolished to make way for a casino, despite a promise from one official to hold
off on the destruction, it was reported Tuesday.