The Family of Pala Disenrolled continues their quest to get the tribal ancestry questions out in front of the public. Why? Because if these issues aren't brought out, people will think that everything the tribe does is good and proper. As a disenrolled Pechanga of Hunter ancestry, I know FIRST HAND that this is NOT true. Yes, it may be dirty laundry, but it must be aired. And as we are finding out, the BIA is complicit in the destruction of so many Native lives, you'd think it was the 19th century and NOT the 21st.
Who was Remijio Lugo? The short answer is he was a Cahuilla Indian with no ties to Warner Springs or the Cupeño Indians. At the same time, it is not possible to discuss Remijio Lugo without first learning something, or maybe nothing, about Alejandro (Alexander) Barker. Why are these two men important in Cupeño history? Not for the reason you might think. It is the progeny of these two men that cast the deciding votes in the decision to deprive the Brittens of their membership in the Association known as the Pala Band of Mission Indians. PBMI is an Association whose membership that the descendants of Alejandro Barker and Remijio Lugo are not entitled to share.
No one really knows who and where Alejandro Barker came from. He is reported to be one-half Indian. It is reported by Phil Brigandi that he was born around 1854 and that his father was a White man. A review of the 1860 United States Census reveals that there is no Alexander, Alejandro or Alex listed on the census of the Agua Caliente Village. Alejandro Barker would have been 6 years old at the time of the census. In the 1886 census of Agua Caliente Village it does list Valeriana Barker as the mother of Angelita Barker, Ginoviva Barker and Samuel Barker.
Valeriana is listed as a sister-in-law to a Mooat. It does not list Alejandro Barker as her husband or that she is even married or widowed. In the later census records they do appear as husband and wife.
The name Barker is the very first Anglo name to show up on the census records of the Agua Caliente Village. But where did Alejandro/Alexander Barker come from. We will probably never know. What we do know is that he was a Citizen Indian meaning that he gave up all of his rights as an Indian person. He was a registered voter. This is more proof that he was a Citizen Indian. He is on the voter rolls of San Diego County. Indians were not allowed to vote. Maybe this is proof that he was not Indian at all. It is possible that he may have been allotted in another state and became a Citizen Indian through his allotment. There are Barkers listed on the Cherokee Allotment Rolls. There are Barkers in Pit River territory and South Dakota. To get to this quickly, Alexander Barker married Valeriana Barker who had Angelita Barker who married Remijio Lugo.
Now who is Valeriana Barker. In her 1928 California Indian Judgment Roll Application No. 1108, she identifies her parents as Juan Chutnicut of San Ysidro and Antonia Arenas of Cahuilla. SHE IS NOT AN AGUA CALIENTE CUPEÑO.
The Chutnicut identify themselves as San Luiseno. This only makes sense since Chutnicut is a Luiseno word meaning charcoal. So it should be obviously clear that neither Alexander Barker or Valeriana Barker were from Agua Caliente.
Now we are back to Remijio Lugo. Let’s start with his 1928 California Indian Judgment Roll Application No. 1211. And yes Remijio, where were you born? “I was born at Sulphur Springs near Cahuilla.” His parents are listed as Patricio Lugo and Barbara Casero, both Cahuilla. Patricio is from Morongo/Malki and Barbara is from Cahuilla. Remijio is carried on the Morongo census records for several years before he moved to Pala from Morongo. He does not ever appear on the census records for the Agua Caliente Village at Warner Ranch.
So let’s throw a little more insult on this injury to the People of the Cupeño nation. Remijio Lugo was apparently a Teamster (paid driver of a horse drawn wagon). Remijio Lugo, whose ancestors are disenrolling real Cupeño Indians, was hired and paid to remove the Cupeño from their home at Warner Springs. In a letter from the Special Disbursment Agent, L. Wright, Remijio (Ramigio) is requesting that his paycheck be sent to his home in Banning. The letter is dated October 29, 1903. The Teamsters had also just finished moving the People of San Felipe to Pala and Remijio was on his way home and did not want to wait for his check. So Remijio’s home was definitely not Pala in 1903.
Let’s add it all up. Alexander Barker. Not a Cupeño Indian. His Indian heritage is unknown or he is simply not an Indian by virtue of his status as a Citizen Indian. Alexander Barker marries Valeriana Barker who acknowledges in her 1928 California Indian Judgment Roll Application that she is a Cahuilla and San Luiseno Indian. She was born at San Ysidro and not Agua Caliente. Alexander Barker and Valeriana (Chutnicut) Barker are the parents of Angelita Barker. There is still no Cupeño blood here. Simple math, two Cahuilla does not equal one Cupeño. OP: BOOM!
Angelita Barker marries Remijio Lugo and according to his 1928 California Indian Judgment Roll Application he was born at Cahuilla. So, 1 Cahuilla + (Cahuilla + Cahuilla) still does not add up to 1 Cupeño. OP: BOOM!
So there is still one more possibility that these Cahuilla Indians could belong at Pala. There is a special clause in the law authorizing the purchase of lands for the Warner Ranch Evictees. This clause allowed for the BIA to locate Homeless Indians, with no entitlement to other lands, on the lands purchased for the Warner Ranch Evictees. So maybe, just maybe the Lugo/Barker group can be salvaged under this clause. Maybe they do have rights at Pala. Nah! They still don’t qualify. They have/had rights at Cahuilla and Morongo so therefore they were not entitled to any lands at Pala. OP: BOOM!
Here we go again. Why does everything end up back with the corrupt practices of the BIA? Even when the allotments were being made at Pala many of the people objected to Remijio receiving an allotment. It didn’t matter. Remijio was a good Indian and always did what the BIA wanted. He even helped remove those nasty Cupeño from Warner Springs.
So why don’t we go back and do this right. If Robert Smith has authorized the use of the 1928 California Indian Judgment Roll then let’s do it. Let’s really do it and ask those Lugo/Barker Cahuillas to leave Pala, They really do not belong there. Even a BIA agent once referred to them as Charlatans.
Oh my gosh, there is one more chance that the Lugo/Barker Cahuillas belong at Pala. What about Valeriana Barker and her offspring? Nah again! She is also considered a Citizen Indian due to her marriage to Alexander Barker and her children are also Citizen Indians and not entitled to Indian Allotment.
Yet through the power vested in Amy Dutschke and the BIA the Lugos have almost completed their takeover of Pala. A place they do not belong; a place where they are not entitled to hold office within PBMI; and a place where they do not have any authority to disenroll anyone.
Everyone is waiting to see who really will be the victims of disenrollment next. People are wondering if it will be the Lugos disenrolling the Smiths or the Smiths disenrolling the Lugos. It is what they do when they don’t get their way. It is what they do when they are close to getting caught involved in stealing, or murder or rape or any of the other awful things they have a reputation of doing.
It is amazing what you can find once the door has been opened. Robert Smith chose to open the door to the 1928 California Indian Judgment Roll as determining who is and who is not an associate member of PBMI. (One more little secret, there never was and there is not a tribal roll for Pala)
So really, if we are going to use the 1928 California Indian Judgment Roll then the Lugos next official act as EC members of PBMI is to disenroll themselves and let the rest of us get on with what is ours. Truly ours!!!!