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Elk Grove Blue – The Story of Disenrolled Longtime Members of Wilton Rancheriaroposed Indian casino in the city of Elk Grove, California unfold has undoubtedly heard several speakers discuss the topic at Elk Grove City Council meetings and through social media. While there have been numerous supporters and an equal number of opponents who have voiced their thoughts on controversial project slated for a portion of an unfinished shopping center, there has been one critic representing a group of people who have a unique and historical perspective.
That person is Elk Grove resident and founder of the Disenrolled Members of the Wilton Rancheria, Lisa Jimenez. A descendant of the Blue family, Jimenez has spoken in opposition to the casino on numerous occasions and provides a unique perspective on the development of the project, and the efforts that stripped her and about 45 other tribal memberships just as the tribe regained recognition by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
While the experience of Jimenez and her members of the family, who were voted out of the tribe by a vote may not immediately resonate with the casual observers, their perspective on the $400 million project and their experiences in the last several years are worthy of consideration.
To understand how these longstanding Miwok members were stripped of their membership requires a brief history lesson of the tribe history in California, and in the Elk Grove area specifically
Areas of discussion
- Brief history of Miwok in Central California; two or three paragraphs include story of children killed with small pox, John Sutter enslavement, etc
- Founding of the Wilton Rancheria in 1927 with the 13 families including Blue, Taylor, Brown
- History of families living on Rancheria
- Children forcibly sent to boarding school
- Mistrust of officials because of children being sent off to boarding schools
- Census records
- 1958 termination of tribe, families moving off tribal land
- 1960’s land being acquired
- Founding of Blue cemetery
- Discussion of 1999 move to gain reinstatement
- Jump in membership from 1996, 2005, 2016
- Documentation of tribal history provided by Blue, Lisa, etc. for gaining recognition
- Some current members not Miwok tribe
- Re recognition 2009
- Constitutional convention change from shall to may, voted out
- Opinion from attorney on disenrollment process
- Thoughts on why there were disenrolled
- Motivation for disenrollment
- Desire to formally, legally be recognized; importance of maintain and ensuring heritage