Monday, July 7, 2014

UCLA Professor's Debate over Disenrollment is an EPIC FAIL in Indian Country Today Article

In a recent piece for Indian Country Today, titled "The Debate over Disenrollment" by UCLA sociology and Indian Studies professor Duane Champagne, also a professor at the College of Law, we who have been disenrolled from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians were aghast at the inaccuracies.  Champagne was so incorrect, we can only believe he took the word of fraudulently enrolled tribal members, without checking the facts and doing the research.

I'll link to the story, but will address the Pechanga issues in bold here.
For example, the BIA prohibits Indians who are descendants of more than one nation to take membership in multiple nations. Some of the most publicized disenrollment issues, like the highly publicized Pechanga case, are the result of long standing issues within the community and BIA rules affecting enrollment.
During the 1890s, through the General Allotment Act, California Indians were encouraged to take small allotments of land and turn to farming. If they did so, they also were asked to sign documents that said they accepted U.S. citizenship and rejected tribal membership.
Are we supposed to take this statement at face value with no offer of proof?  No Temecula Indians were required to reject tribal membership for an allotment on the reservation. There is no evidence of any rejection of tribal membership.     Membership was NOT a country club or PTA.

Some Pechanga members accepted the land and withdrew from the Pechanga tribe, although many of their relatives still lived in the Pechanga nation.
 The Pechanga reservation was created for the displaced Indians of Temecula.  Prior to the establishment of the reservation, there was no Pechanga nation.   Although Paulina Hunter's ancestry records made reference to Pechanga.
During the hard times of the 1930s, some allottees returned to their relatives living on the Pechanga reservation and they were taken into the community.  
Without the reservation land, there would BE no Pechanga Tribe, the tribe was known as the Temecula Band of Luiseno Indians.  In fact the reservation was intended for ALL Temecula Indians.  Our ancestor, Paulina Hunter, was allotted 20 acres as head of household.  Her descendants all have rights to the land, and many still live on the reservation.
More recently, some elders among the Pechanga challenged the right of the allotee families to remain in the tribe, since their ancestors had signed agreements to withdraw form Pechanga tribal membership.
This is completely untrue.  The challenge came NOT from an elder, but from the niece of an enrollment committee member, demanded two families be "investigated" The demand came in the form of two paragraphs, and was brought forward because family members found evidence of shady dealings on another family's enrollment.  
The Pechanga general council, a body of all adult members, discussed the issues of allottee families and decided to not include those families as Pechanga tribal members since their ancestors had signed out of the tribe during the allotment period.
This is completely untrue.  We wonder who gave Professor Champagne this information?   There are still allottees in the tribe. No ancestor had "signed out" of the tribe. In fact the chairman refused to allow any discussion of enrollment at tribal meetings.  We all had enrollment numbers.  Former Chairman Jennie Miranda didn't have one, nor is current Chairman Mark Macarro on the base roll of 1979. Some members of the current Pechanga nation must trying to explain their presence, while the justifying the termination of allottees.
One can argue about the wisdom of why the BIA required rejection of tribal membership as a condition to gaining a farming allotment, but that is what happened.
This is NOT true, no allottee rejected membership into a Pechanga Nation that did not exist in the1890's.  Why did the professor not offer proof of this?  As allottees, this come as complete news to us.  He's encouraging the news media to research, when it's apparent he hasn't done his homework. 
The Pechanga general council decided the membership issue largely on legal grounds, something done often in U.S. society.
The General Council, in fact voted overwhelmingly to halt ALL disenrollments.  It was the Mark Macarro led tribal council that ignored the will of the people, and did NOT follow the tribal constitution and continued the disenrollment of the Hunter family.  Not only did they NOT vote to kick out allottees, they voted to KEEP allottees in 2005.  The General Council according to tribal law and custom and tradition are the final authority in all matters of tribal matters and business including enrollment. The established legal precedent on enrollment matters had been set in the heirs of Rose Murphy who had been turned down for enrollment by the enrollment committee which was overruled by the General Council in 1986.
 If tribal courts and tribal appeals court remedies fail, then disenrolled persons do not have recourse. Like in any nation, leadership, or a majority, can make bad decisions or poor judgement calls. Nevertheless, the whole of Indian tribal membership issues should not be brought into question because of the perceived actions of some nations, whose actions are often not well researched or understood by the press, and often while meaning well, are not accurately or fully reported.
Stripping Native Americans of their tribal citizenship is much more than a "poor judgement call".  This is PRECISELY when membership issues should be brought into question.  In Pechanga's case, a key witness to the "accusations" against us came before his SISTERS who were "judging" the case.  They should have been recused for conflict of interest, as they were directly related to him.  Additionally, the appeals came before the son and nephew of two enrollment committee members.  The proper thing would have been recusal for committee member Andrew Masiel. That would have been just.  
Are to we to believe that the professor thinks that the practice of apartheid in South Africa was simply "poor judgement" and not worthy of countries divesting themselves of business in order to sway South Africa from that practice?   Should we have left them alone and carried on that horrible practice as business as usual? 
Who belongs to a nation and the rules of membership are often contested and debated within many nations. Many people challenge whether President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen. They say that neither of his parents were proper U.S. citizens, and they doubt that he was born a natural citizen in Hawaii. Whether right or wrong, the discussion raises a lot of commotion. Indian enrollment issues are not terribly different.
Goodness gracious, the two issues are completely different.  Had Republicans had been able to get rid of 25% of Democrat votes, then held a trial with John McCain and Sarah Palin's family sitting in judgement of President Obama, the analogy would be more correct.
Often Indian disenrollment debates focus on specific membership rules particular to a given tribe .... It is difficult to make generalizations. Indian nation membership debates require deep understanding of tribal community, history, culture, and identity.
For a professor at a state funded public university to express these inaccuracies as truth is appalling.  Indians weren't granted citizenship until 1924.  Temecula Indians were NOT given US citizenship in exchange for accepting allotments on the reservation. Nor did we withdraw from the Pechanga Nation. The General Membership DID NOT vote to remove us from the tribe, in fact the opposite is true, by voting to halt all disenrollments.  Such views can attributed to a faction of fraudulently enrolled tribal members, many of whom have no Indian ancestry.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06/28/debate-over-disenrollment-155346?page=0%2C1

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Exactly, the Bad Actors broadcast the lies again and have assistance in broadcasting them in the Article that was mentioned. If the publisher really wants the truth it's crystal clear. Everything posted in this blog and current conversation can be proved accurate except the lies being broadcast by the Bad Actors club. Again since they want to tell the lies, it's our turn to expose it for what it is. The liars Bad Actors club tells more lies and is not provable. An article that belittles our Ancestors and what they went through is unbelievable and will not be tolerated. Our Ancestors were bullied by outsiders to get what they wanted, we will not allow it to happen again inside the band or outside.

Anonymous said...

Who would give such laughingly false information to the UCLA professor? Is this what passes for public schooling?

Anonymous said...

Methinks the Professor should show all his work on this one..

Anonymous said...

good question, he should have to show his information sources to justify his article. just as the bad actors should have to do the same. maybe it's time to ask for the probable facts.

Anonymous said...

Indian Country blog sucks,..

Anonymous said...

I never thought Indian Country news would support the Bad Actor Association with misinformation on such a delicate issue. Opinions are one thing, but sharing lies and misinformation in a shared network deserves to be broadcast so the truth can be shared instead.

Anonymous said...

At least they said a splinter group stole the tribe,..

Credit for that,..

To bad people don't fight like OP , and don't tell me you do.

Anonymous said...

It's great that anyone does anything. Not doing anything, or doing the same and expecting different results really is a form of insanity. I've done that and it took me a while to feel the reasons nothing was changing.
If we try we try, new or not results are truthful. Keep trying, or sit back and try later. The question I ask myself is what would my Ancestors do? That's why we ALL do what we do.

polysqwalis said...

Some fight for native civil rights while others have blogs for thyself perhaps this Professor is in name only for self

Anonymous said...

He was thinking of homestead land which WAS offered if U.S. Citizenship was accepted, and denounced Indian...... It sucks but its history, and how the government planned to integrate the Indians into/with whites.

Anonymous said...

Here the recent change in the story comes out. Elders are now saying what our Ancestors did took their rights away to be recognized. Sadly it's the bad actors club right to say "ALL" turned into we and we have to follow through with the disenrollment and we don't care about your rights because we are more than you. I hope the bad Actors club know how disrespectful they are to our Ancestors and why they are here. Our Ancestors took this land grant from the US Gov. so we "ALL" could have federal recognition. Our Ancestors gave several depositions of recorded recognition, now today the bad actors want to say that does not matter and we don't need to respect them our their knowledge because I'm more important than them. Sad truth showing through.

Anonymous said...

The CPP faction is now saying "ALL" starts in 1930 if you can show your from Pechanga then. We don't recognize "ALL" Allotted Indian Ancestors, even if you show us communication from the 1930's because we said no. We don't care about the true recognition from the beginning of Pechanga. We only care about today, not then. Ancestors can see that we are more important than "ALL".

Anonymous said...

If you really want recorded truth it's all available. Above the recorded depositions from before the 1930's in 1915 there is more records available from written communications with the Hunter family descendants and the US Government about the Allotment rights. If you ask for them, I'm sure the documents would be shared truthfully. Or are lies and misinformation to justify the disenrollment more important?

Anonymous said...

It's more important to those who lied originally.
The Masiel Basquez crime family were looking to get rid of the voters who got their leader ousted from the PDC.

Anonymous said...

Why would the descendants of the Hunter family be communicating about the Allotment and land issue with the BIA back in the 1915, 1920,1930 and today? Maybe because they cared about Pechanga before the Casino? Maybe they cared about the power lines being built through the rez back in the day? If they didn't' care back then, their would be no recorded communication that clearly exists.

White Buffalo said...

July 3, 2014 at 12:22 AM is correct about the Homestead Act from the Bureau of land management. this act has several parts that were enacted over a period of time.

"1875 – March 3, 1875: A section within an appropriation act for the first time extended to all Indians the possibility of getting a homestead if they would “abandon” their “tribal relations” and thus become acculturated into non-Native society"

It should be mentioned that this law was directed at those tribes who remained in the east and Midwestern plains who had formal treaties with the US. California tribes did not participate, for most of the remaining California tribes were not recognized through formal treaties.

"1884 – July 4, 1884: Another section within an appropriations act further defined how Indians could homestead, with their homesteads to be held in trust by the federal government for 25 years."

This section helped to define what is most commonly know as the Dawes Act. This is the specific act that directly disassociates Indians from their land and people. Again this was not practiced in CA. Remember Pechanga was just being formed, and the Allotment process was not part of the Dawes act.

"1887 – February 8, 1887: Passage of the Dawes Act provided for the division of tribally held lands under treaty into individually-owned tracts, with “surplus” lands being opened up to homesteading and other forms of disposal. Over the 47 years that the law was in effect until 1934, about 90 million acres of land left Indian ownership"

For the most part when CA became a state in the late 1840s the tribes who were active and who had survived the Spanish, Mexican, and White settlers encroachments were recognized and grandfathered in as quasi sovereign entities. Making the CA tribes ineligible. Remember the Dawes act is dependent on lands held in trust by treatise.

Be clear on who you accuse of being a bad actor. The juy who wrote the paper does not understand the difference of treatise tribes and those here in CA.

White Buffalo said...

Now do not misunderstand me when I say that Pechanga was being formed, for we know that the San Luis Ray Temecula Luiseño Indians were already a distinct people who did trade with travelers and new arrivals to the Temecula Valley. We know that the people who first occupied the reservation know as Pechanga are the very same who lived on the Apis Rancheria. On a personal note the Corrupt who govern Pechanga have attempted to rewrite history as they have excluded Pablo Apis from any meaningful reflection of history and the important part he and his ancestors played in the continuance of the proud Luiseño Temecula Indians.

I would not be surprised if the tribe will attempt to use this guys bad research to support a new amendment to the water rights act for allotted Indians at Pechanga. What they do not realize is if they insist that The Hunters or Tolsibal's are not Indian because of their allotments, as the guys paper suggest, then the standard would suggest that all Pechanga allotte's were participants of the Dawes act. There is no way in hell that, that will fly.

Anonymous said...

It's not flying and the interesting thing is the Bad Actors have faced the truth twice when the water rights act was being asked for by the band. The Government has told them that they recognized allotted families and have to honor the allotted rights. Now the corrupt actors are coming at it from another angle and making the story even more provable in the lie book written chapter after chapter. Every Idea the want to share can be shown under custom and tradition they are breaking the law of the band again and again. Now a guy writes misinformation outside again? Good luck it you believe this is ok.

O Pechanga said...

Thank you White Buffalo, for your clarification of how the acts worked. I sent an email to the professor, letting him know we broke down his article.
I'm hoping to hear back from him.

Anonymous said...

The true story is available for anyone anywhere to do research and find it. Thank you White Buffalo, OP and everyone else who wants the truth to be told. The misinformation should never be shared, but since it has I'm glad some want to show the truth instead of the lies and misinformation.

Anonymous said...

The most dangerous liars are the one who think they are telling the truth. Even when they are questioned about provable facts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
It is so sad that the only thing these committees and tribal councils will be remembered for is how they helped dismantle their own history and legitimacy as a tribe. What is even more disturbing is the amount of people that were a part of a tribe from before federal recognition and worked side by side with members to get federal recognition and now people that know the truth are arguing those same people that put in the work, blood, sweat, and tears do not belong. Are people that ignorant to think that people don't know the actual truth and even more importantly were present when original forms were signed and articles of association were put in place. It is time to stop allowing ignorance to continue and allowing people to lie there way into disenrollment hearings. Make no mistake, those that do not stand up for what is right will be exposed in name for what they allowed to happen by being silent. Your good name is as good as gone forever if you encourage and support termination and relocation of your own people. Stand up people or you are one disenrollment away from losing all your history, heritage, advocates, and legitimacy as a people.
May 22, 2012 at 4:45 PM

O Pechanga said...

Indian Country Today will be publishing my rebuttal to the professor, AKA Carol Goldberg's hubby

White Buffalo said...

I should have know that she was involved. I met her a few years ago and she had the classical Eurocentric belief that she was the expert. She did not answer questions directly, more to the point she was evasive especially when asked if she looked at both sides of an issue. Her statement was that tribal governments supersede those of the individual members of a community especially those communities where there are non tribal residences. So I then asked the question again have you talked to any disenrolled tribal members. She then just ignored me.