Saturday, July 25, 2015


Disenrolling their ancestors, which is exactly what the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians did to both the Manuela Miranda descendants and then two years later, to the Paulina Hunter descendants.  Shameful.
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Appeals judges hold the fate of 233 people - living and dead - after hearing arguments regarding disenrollment Friday.
Chief Judge Robert Kittecon and associate judges Dennis Peterson and Andrew Psatkowit listened to oral arguments by the Tribe’s attorney, Sara K. Van Norman of the Jacobson Law Group in St. Paul, Minn. and Paula K. Fisher, who is representing the Tribal members who could face disenrollment if the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court approves a motion by the Tribal Council to re-open cases that were dismissed six years ago.
There are 167 living Tribal members appealing Judge Patrick Shannon’s March decision that would allow the cases to be re-opened;
the remaining plaintiffs are deceased, and if they are disenrolled, it will affect the standing of their descendants.
Fisher told the judges the case involves the Tribe’s assertion that it can repeatedly disenroll members, and that the case is bigger than that.
It is about the fundamental agreement that the Tribe enters into with the plaintiffs and numerous others, Fisher said.
When the disenrollment cases were heard in Tribal Court in 2009, they were dismissed with prejudice, and Fisher said she believes the reason was to put the issue to an end permanently.
However, every time there is a political shift in Tribal government, cases that were previously closed can go back to court, Fisher said.
If appeals judges don’t overturn the March decision, Fisher said, Tribal Council has “the green light to foul its own word.” Disenrollment proceedings that could be filed against the plaintiffs if the appeals judges don’t reverse the earlier court opinion involve members tied to the Tribe through collateral descent - ancestry that can be traced back to relatives that are not immediate family such as a great-great uncle, aunt or cousin - rather than lineal descent, which can be traced back to a parent, grandparent or great-grandparent.
Fisher said most of the cases have been heard at least twice already, and that allowing them to be re-opened will subject her clients to a third trauma.
Federal law recognizes two means of becoming a citizen of the United States - birth and naturalization, Fisher said.
Members of the Tribe have not given Tribal Council the authority to disenroll, she told the judges.


Unknown said...

Maybe the US Government ought to disenroll the tribes from federal support when they violate the civil and human rights of their members! What a cruel method to strip citizenship! It's appalling!

Anonymous said...

The sad truth is our Ancestors never thought their heirs would have similar actions put to them by the band instead of the federal government. That is a sad fact. Pechanga thinks it's ok to dishonor and lie, or ignore the truth.