Thursday, August 18, 2016

REMEMBER: Wilton Rancheria Used Disenrollment To STOP DISSENT? Now Casino Springing up in ELK GROVE

The Elk Grove Citizen had the story.   The ancestor's Cemetery meant nothing, to the tribal and share. Word is coming that there may be more disenrollments?

A heated altercation between a Wilton Rancheria tribal member and a former member occurred on March 16 just before the tribe heard a presentation regarding a potential casino that could be built four miles south of Elk Grove.

The argument took place in the parking lot near the Elk Grove Pavilion at Elk Grove Regional Park.
Boyd Gaming was scheduled to present an update on the tribe’s desire to build a casino in unincorporated Sacramento County.

Several media outlets including the Citizen were denied entry to the private event held at the public facility at the park.

Organizers said that tribal Chair Andrew Franklin, Vice Chair Dennis Heffington, and Rose Weckenmann, the tribe’s general counsel, were unavailable to speak to the media.
Franklin wrote about the meeting in his message that appeared in the March/April edition of the Miwok Times.

“Economic development is taking off at an exponential rate,” he wrote. “Local governments and communities have been so supportive of our project and very inviting into their communities.”
Franklin also wrote that Boyd Gaming would brief the tribe on the progress on the potential casino and next steps.

Franklin told the Galt City Council on March 5 that the tribe plans to build a complex that includes a casino, hotel, and his tribe’s headquarters south of Arno Road outside Galt.
He said then that members are considering buying the property. If the purchase occurs, the tribe would ask the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to take the land into trust, which would then remove the property from the Sacramento County rolls.

Franklin said before the council meeting that he and other tribal members want to develop a good relationship with city officials including council members and department managers. He and other tribal leaders also met earlier this year with Elk Grove and Galt officials to discuss the project.
“We’re fortunate enough to find a site close to our burial grounds,” he said of the Hicksville Cemetery, which is east of Highway 99 on Arno Road.

However, Lisa Jimenez, the tribal chair of Historical Families of Wilton Rancheria, said the tribe disenrolled her and several other previous members. She said current tribal council officials did so in order to achieve positions of power within the tribe.
Jimenez said the tribe needs the history of her ancestors buried at the cemetery in order to show the ability to build the casino on the Arno Road property.
“They can’t use our history,” Jimenez said. “They can’t use the cemetery until they realize there are 160 people who fought for them to get to where they are at.”
She and several former members staged a protest outside the pavilion. They held signs that read “No History, No Gaming” and “You Will Not Get Our Cemetery.” The protestors were vocal but did not yell at members as they tried to enter the pavilion.

The incident in the parking lot took place between tribal member Dennis Blue and former member Dennis Counsil. Blue asked why he wasn’t allowed to attend the funeral of his aunt, Billie Blue, who was Counsil’s mother. Blue said he had dug 37 graves including those for his father and brother at the cemetery.

The altercation became violent. 

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