Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Supreme Court GUTS McGirt, Neil Gorsuch in Dissent on Tribal Sovereignty

 The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Oklahoma can prosecute non-Native Americans for crimes committed on tribal land when the victim is Native American. 

The 5-4 decision cut back on the high court’s ruling from 2020 that said a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation. The first decision left the state unable to prosecute Native Americans accused of crimes on tribal lands that include most of Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city with a population of about 413,000.

Gorsuch’s lengthy dissent — 42 pages, 17 pages longer than the opinion — makes it clear that he feels that the court just gutted it. And in doing so, Gorsuch accuses the majority of intellectual dishonesty

A state court later ruled that the Supreme Court decision also stripped the state of its ability to prosecute anyone for crimes committed on tribal land if either the victim or perpetrator is Native American.

That would have left the federal government with sole authority to prosecute such cases, and federal officials had acknowledged that they lack the resources to prosecute all the crimes that have fallen to them.

But the high court's new ruling said the state also can step in when only the victims are tribal members.

“The State’s interest in protecting crime victims includes both Indian and non-Indian victims," Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the court.

After the 2020 decision, about 43% of Oklahoma is now considered Indian Country, and the issue of the state's ability to prosecute those crimes “has suddenly assumed immense importance," Kavanaugh wrote.

In a dissent joined by the court’s three liberal members, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that the decision “allows Oklahoma to intrude on a feature of tribal sovereignty recognized since the founding.”


The case highlighted the already strained relationship between Native tribes in Oklahoma and Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has fought to return legal jurisdiction over tribal lands to the state.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

NOOKSACK 306 EVICTIONS Three Cases Continued until August 16

 The Tribal Court  granted 86 year-old Auntie Ollie Oshiro and 22 others a continuance until August 16, citing the State Supreme Court’s injunction (but saying isn’t bound thereby) & questioning whether Nooksack is “owner” of the home for unlawful detainer purposes.

From KING 5 NEWS

Saturnino Javier is among the so-called Nooksack 306 – a group that Tribal Council voted to disenroll claiming a fraudulent ancestral link to the tribe that dates back to the 19th century. The 306 has fought this decision for more than a decade.

Over the winter, dozens of members living on tribal managed land were served eviction notices.

“It’s beyond stressful. You have 86- and 74-year-old elders that are not sure where they will live in a matter of days weeks or months,” said Gabe Galanda, an Indigenous rights lawyer who represents the 306.

It's an eviction process that has gained global attention. Back in February, the United Nations issued a statement calling for the US to “halt” what they called “imminent forced evictions” of former Nooksack Indigenous Tribe members.

“They are at risk of losing those homes and having those homes taken without any form of compensation recompense,” Galanda said.

Just two weeks ago, the Washington Supreme Court intervened, calling for a stop to evictions until the court has time to consider the case. But on Wednesday, via zoom, proceedings continued.

“I’m Native American, and that’s what I am. Want to see my pedigree like a dog or what?” Javier told the court via zoom. “I’m waiting to see the legal document that says I am not Nooksack, I’ve never seen it yet."

Ultimately, no decision was reached by Tribal Court on Wednesday.
For the Nooksack 306, the hearing marked the next step in a procedural saga that spanned a decade.

In a written statement, the Nooksack Tribe said Wednesday's hearing concerned three people who no longer qualify for low-income housing because they have no tribal lineage. 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Joanne Shenandoah Selected for Native American Hall of Fame

 



A proper honor, for one of the most accomplished Native Americans.  From the Wolf Clan of the Oneida Nation.  Joanne's husband, Doug George-Kanentiio lets it be known:

Joanne Tekaliwahkwah Shenandoah has been selected for the Native American (American Indian) Hall of Fame.

She will be formally inducted this coming November at a gala event in Oklahoma City. She joins our great friends Vine Deloria and Wilma Mankiller along with Tecumseh, Osceola and Hiawatha.

It is a wonderful honour for a woman I had the amazing fortune to be married to for over 30 years.

And yes, charismatic as she was in public she was loving, kind, generous and beautiful each day

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Secretary Deb Haaland Releases Investigative Report on Indian Boarding Schools TRAUMA

 


Department of the Interior Releases Investigative Report, Outlines Next Steps in Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland today released Volume 1 of the investigative report called for as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive effort to address the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding school policies. This report lays the groundwork for the continued work of the Interior Department to address the intergenerational trauma created by historical federal Indian boarding school policies.

This investigative report is a significant step by the federal government to comprehensively address the facts and consequences of its federal Indian boarding school policies—implemented for more than a century and a half—resulting in the twin goals of cultural assimilation and territorial dispossession of Indigenous peoples through the forced removal and relocation of their children. It reflects an extensive and first-ever inventory of federally operated schools, including profiles and maps.

The investigation found that from 1819 to 1969, the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of 408 federal schools across 37 states or then territories, including 21 schools in Alaska and 7 schools in Hawaii. The investigation identified marked or unmarked burial sites at approximately 53 different schools across the school system. As the investigation continues, the Department expects the number of identified burial sites to increase.

“The consequences of federal Indian boarding school policies—including the intergenerational trauma caused by the family separation and cultural eradication inflicted upon generations of children as young as 4 years old—are heartbreaking and undeniable,” said Secretary Haaland. (OP:  NOW do Disenrollment) “We continue to see the evidence of this attempt to forcibly assimilate Indigenous people in the disparities that communities face. It is my priority to not only give voice to the survivors and descendants of federal Indian boarding school policies, but also to address the lasting legacies of these policies so Indigenous peoples can continue to grow and heal.”

“This report presents the opportunity for us to reorient federal policies to support the revitalization of Tribal languages and cultural practices to counteract nearly two centuries of federal policies aimed at their destruction,” said Assistant Secretary Newland. “Together, we can help begin a healing process for Indian Country, the Native Hawaiian Community and across the United States, from the Alaskan tundra to the Florida everglades, and everywhere in between.”

As part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative and in response to recommendations from the report, Secretary Haaland today announced the launch of “The Road to Healing.” This year-long tour will include travel across the country to allow American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system the opportunity to share their stories, help connect communities with trauma-informed support, and facilitate collection of a permanent oral history.

“The Department’s work thus far shows that an all-of-government approach is necessary to strengthen and rebuild the bonds within Native communities that federal Indian boarding school policies set out to break,” added Secretary Haaland. “With the President’s direction, we have begun working through the White House Council of Native American Affairs on the path ahead to preserve Tribal languages, invest in survivor-focused services, and honor our obligations to Indigenous communities. We also appreciate the ongoing engagement and support for this effort from Members of Congress and look forward to continued collaboration.”

Volume 1 of the report highlights some of the conditions children endured at these schools and raises important questions about the short- and long-term consequences of the federal Indian boarding school system on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

The investigation found that the federal Indian boarding school system deployed systematic militarized and identity-alteration methodologies in an attempt to assimilate American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children through education, including but not limited to renaming Indian children from Indian to English names; cutting the hair of Indian children; discouraging or preventing the use of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian languages, religions and cultural practices; and organizing Indian and Native Hawaiian children into units to perform military drills.

Despite assertions to the contrary, the investigation found that the school system largely focused on manual labor and vocational skills that left American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian graduates with employment options often irrelevant to the industrial U.S. economy, further disrupting Tribal economies.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting closures of federal facilities reflect the need for further investigation. The report identifies next steps that will be taken in a second volume, aided by a new $7 million investment from Congress through fiscal year 2022. Recommendations by Assistant Secretary Newland include producing a list of marked and unmarked burial sites at federal Indian boarding schools and an approximation of the total amount of federal funding used to support the federal Indian boarding school system, and further investigation to determine the legacy impacts of the school system on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities today.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Former Mashpee Wampanoag Leader Cedric Cromwell CONVICTED of BRIBERY and EXTORTION

Yes, Cromwell was DIRTY. We've been posting on him since 2009.


Cedric Cromwell Former Leader
Mashpee Wampanoag

Photo: John Tlumacki Boston Globe


Cedric Cromwell, former leader of a Massachusetts Native American tribe was convicted Thursday of bribery and extortion charges related to the tribe's long-planned casino project, federal prosecutors said.

Cromwell,  was cleared by the federal jury in Boston of some charges, including one count of extortion and a count of bribery conspiracy, prosecutors said.

David DeQuattro, Cromwell's co-defendant and the owner of an architecture firm in Providence, Rhode Island, was also similarly convicted of bribery but cleared of other charges, according to the office of Rachael Rollins, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Chairman Rosemary LaClair, Nooksack Leader Sends ARMED POLICE to Serve Elders Eviction. Is this the 21st Century "Indian Way"?

 
We can't tell if this officer is wearing jack-boots, or just acting like it


Will they DRAG the elders from their homes?  When does self-defense come in?

For the second night in a row, Nooksack police returned to Elders' homes last night to serve them with 14-day notices to vacate. 

In February, the United Nations wrote “it was not necessary to have an armed police officer serve the families at home.”

Nooksack 306 attorney Gabriel Galanda writes on his Facebook page

Armed police visits are certainly unnecessary; certified mail would suffice. But this isn't about process or protocol. It's about intimidation and dehumanization, under guise of "tribal self-determination."

Sunday, May 1, 2022

CHUKCHANSI Lessons on Disenrollment: If Nothing Stops Us From Harming OUR OWN PEOPLE, KEEP DOING IT!

 




The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, a tribe that is the most egregious in the action of tribal disenrollment, is at it AGAIN.

The Fresno Bee is reporting on the storm clouds brewing for the Chukchansi people, now the the casino debts, after a default, are finally ending, ensuring a larger pot of cash for tribal members.

Is it Greed or Power?

Why can't it be both?  If the pie gets sliced amongst fewer people, they are bigger slices. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Nooksack Tribe Serves 14 Day EVICTION NOTICES to ELDERLY, Infirm. Predatory Seizures of Homes

 You may have seen the ABC News report  earlier this month on this issue, linked here. But now, the dreaded notices that even the United Nations requested be stopped, has begun anew.

OLIVE OSHIRO
She's recovering from pneumonia. She cannot see well, she's had cataract surgeries in both eyes. Nor can she hear well. She cannot walk without assistance. There should be no scenario in which she could be evicted from her home of 24 years--a home she should own outright.  But the act of humanity eludes the Nooksack Tribe


Chairman Rosemary LaClair foreshadowed this act of depravity during the ABC interview.  She lacks heart and continues the abuse the Nooksack 306 has been subject to.  She's no better than the two chairman, including felon Ross Cline, and Bob Kelly.


RoseMary LaClair

Friday, April 22, 2022

Yolanda McCarter, Architect of Pechanga Disenrollments and Destruction of Families and Ancestors, Dies

 Sad news for her family, to the HUNDREDS of Pechanga people who were disenrolled BECAUSE of her, not so much.

It's hard not to speak ill of the dead, but for McCarter, I'll make an exception.

As I wrote years ago in the post Pechanga Disenrollment Decade.. 
In December 2001, apparently in the holiday spirit, Yolanda McCarter (niece of Irene Scearce and Ruth Masiel  OP: She is the porcine one on the Pechanga infomercial saying she could die happy if she didn't have the casino money. Obviously, a lie, as she was looking to gain more per capita via disenrollment) submitted a letter to Enrollment Committee demanding the Committee research several families including ours.  The request stated that "this (be) straightened up before the next election in July." (So that there would be fewer votes for any opposition, a clear sign that they wanted to disenfranchise "several families" from voting.

Maybe she was loved by her family, but for dozens of Pechanga families, it's a hard NO.  May she rest in eternal damnation.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

ABC NEWS REPORTS On Nooksack 306 Disenrollments and Evictions

 A good report from ABC News on the Nooksack 306 evictions from their Washington State tribe.  Our friend Michelle Roberts was given ample time to detail what the experience had meant to her and her family.  Santana Rabang did an outstanding job and did the elder Robert Rabang.  I have embedded it here, please watch.



Many of us contributed to the background of the disenrollment issue and it's important that this information got out to national media.  Please share so ABC news can understand how this affects Indian Country.,  Your views, show them many people are interested,.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Tribal Disenrollment Retrospective: Moratoriums As Bad As Disenrollments, When You Rightfully Belong. Petra Tosobol Descendants 11th in a Series

 



Pechanga has a moratorium on membership.  There is also a right to belong.  The Tosobol descendants fit this criteria.  They have cousins in the tribe, the Munoa clan, who has stood in their way.

The moratorium has been in place for nearly 25 years now and it was created to "give the enrollment committee" time to catch up. We again ask: How is that "catch up" going? Can the enrollment committee be so INEPT that they can't look at the applications and see who rightfully belongs?

Below is a story we posted in December of 2008 describing one family. We will post it again in its entirety and would LOVE to read comments from those in the moratorium. Tell us YOUR story, what family you belong to, how many are in your family that SHOULD be in the Pechanga tribe. Let's HEAR FROM YOU.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

HOPLAND Tribe & Robinson Rancheria May Have Casinos SHUT DOWN

The Press Democrat has the full story on this here
 
Five Indigenous California tribes, including two based in Mendocino and Lake counties, are locked in a legal dispute with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office over renewing their gambling compacts with the state.

The outcome of the case, experts say, has potential implications for every California tribe that holds casino rights.