Monday, March 23, 2015

EVEN the DEAD Can't Escape Disenrollment at Redding and Pechanga: Wilkins

Professor Wilkins discusses the horrible acts of disenrolling the dead.   Many Americans have remarked on the strangeness of the Mormon church baptizing the dead into their religion, but how is that different from dishonoring the dead?

Even the dead aren't spared as the disenrollment epidemic spreads in Indian Country, observes professor David Wilkins:

For Native peoples then, and now, those on the other side continue as vital members of our societies. Centered between us and the Great Mysterious, they are able to bridge the worlds. They are conduits, providing critical guidance necessary for our continuance as peoples.

This is why more than a century and a half after these words were spoken, actions taken by tribal leaders to purge their tribal rolls, not just of their living relatives, but even of the bones of their relatives on the other side inspires such instinctive disgust. The very fabric of the cosmos as we have always understood it is being assaulted in this macabre fashion through recent attempts, some successful, by several Native governments to engage in the loathsome practice of disenrollment of deceased tribal members. By doing so, current officials may then more easily wield the legal authority to disenroll descendants who are currently enrolled tribal citizens.

The actions are inhumane. In one California case, a revered grandmother’s body was exhumed so that a DNA test could be performed. Even when the test confirmed her as a genetically bone fide member, the tribal government still disenrolled this long-deceased woman and all her descendants from the tribe’s rolls.

The case above references the case of the Foreman Family of the Redding Rancheria.  They were forced to exhume their ancestor for a DNA test.  That's disturbing the dead in a way that's worse than what tribal monitors watch for during construction on native lands......right?   The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians also disenrolled the dead, Paulina Hunter, even though the overwhelming evidence, written and oral, in the Luiseno language by elders who knew Paulina when she was alive as PECHANGA.  The Pechanga Chairman, Mark Macarro has NO HONOR.

1 comment:

nickey said...

It is so hard to read this without tearing up. I'm so sorry for Carla and Rick. So saddening.