Sad news this week as word reaches us of the death of Karen Toggery, noted activist against the recently opened Hollywood Jamul Casino, has walked on
|Karen Toggery of Jamul Indian Village|
“She believed (the casino presence) would be a loss of the ‘Indian ways,’ ” Spurgeon said. “She spoke out against having any gaming at the community.”
Spurgeon said Ms.Toggery struggled after losing her home and became an urban Indian after being denied affiliation, rights and privileges by the tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“Although she was not a tribal member at Jamul, her mother, Marie Toggery, my grandmother, was a tribal member at Jamul,” said Jamul Indian Village Tribe Chairwoman Erica Pinto. “Karen was my aunt, she was just 62, she was young, full of life and outspoken.
“Regardless of our disagreements, she was our relative,” Pinto said. “We are mourning the loss of one of our family members.”
She said the family has been sharing their memories. “My mother Carlene and Karen grew up together at Jamul, and they were friends as kids and played Barbies together.”
Until she became ill last November, Ms. Toggery had been working on a dictionary to memorialize the Kumeyaay language so it would not be lost to future generations. She spoke fluently in the old dialect, Spurgeon said.
“Karen fought the good fight against cancer,” Spurgeon said. “She will be remembered for her courage by the Jamul community, her many friends and relatives.”