Simply walking through wooden doors to the meeting with her held held high, can inspire many disenfranchised natives, from the dozens of tribes in California that have had their citizenship terminated.
Her adventure at today's tribal meeting was described this way:
Normally we must go through a metal detector ,have our purses searched, be wanded and show our Tribal card just to get in the door. I don't why it wasn't like that today. Cathy came on in. Said hello to friend and family and was welcomed with hugs from many. Cathy took a seat. She stayed the entire meeting. She even visited with people afterwards. Cathy KNOWS she's a Tribal member and obviously God does too cuz' He was with her today.
Apparently, there were no tribal members to speak out against her. She was the Rosa Parks of the Chukchansi disenrolled today.
Disenrolled for over 10 years, Cathy Cory has kept the struggle for her rights and the rights of nearly 1,000 disenrolled Chukchansi people going, while many others have stood back and watched from the sidelines. She is the right woman to lead this fight, through her grace and fighting spirit.
Cathy commented on her Facebook page:
Today I want to thank all of you from Picayune who welcomed me to the quarterly general council meeting...only with that coming together, and that love for ALL Chukchansi will our tribe move forward...as you know, the "quorum" was not reached, and the meeting opened for public comment/questions.
The most encouraging element of this meeting, besides the beautiful welcoming given by our Chukchansi people?
The fact that someone actually stood, respectfully with full heart, and asked the PRCI "council" just WHEN they would address the real issue at Picayune--the disenrollment of our people--and stated that other tribes, such as that recently in Washington state, were banishing disenrollment and making that a part of their governing documents, stating that Picayune needs to do so as well.
THAT is brave, truthful, and the way to a future for our people. I hope that this person, as well as others of the same heart and mind, will find a place on a newly, and fairly, elected council that wants to solve the true issues at picayune, and NOT just focus on opening of the casino.
And if just one more person attends these future meetings because of my presence there, or speaks out for what is right and juste for our people, that is truly a gift like no other...be there, and participate, in returning our tribe to what the ancestors cry for us to be...a tribe, a PEOPLE, united for the lives of our future generations and our elders, respectful of our culture and values, and inclusive of ALL our Chukchansi people in order to ensure just that...again, love to all our people...
I first met Cathy online and exchanged numerous texts and emails, as she shared the stories. I met her in person, fittingly enough at a protest in Sacramento, at the State capitol building. And spoke even more with her, later that day as I went to a lawyer's office to drop some paperwork off, protesting their work to disenroll Native Americans. Who was sitting in the front, contemplating her next move? That's right, Cathy Cory.
CHUKCHANSI'S SHAMEFUL HISTORY
Over 200 people were disenrolled from the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians in 1999, another 500-600 in 2006-2007, 57 in 2011, and around 70 in 2012 with another 200 pending...OVER ONE THOUSAND CHUKCHANSI PEOPLE--ELDERS AND FUTURE GENERATIONS--HAVE BEEN DISMEMBERED OR ARE PENDING DISENROLLMENT AS OF TODAY (significantly, in a tribe that had 1073 members in 1998 "pre-Chukchansi Gold Casino"--NEARLY 2/3 OF THE TRIBE)
Look at the stories of Chukchansi linked below:
Chukchansi Council Dispute
Morris Reid inducted into Native American Hall of SHAME
Editorial in the Fresno Bee on Chukchansi
Read Story for BIA quote here on Chukchansi