Monday, February 18, 2019

Conner Whitten, Pechanga Descendant, Strives to Help Other American Indians

My cousin Conner Whitten, a Paulina Hunter descendant, doing his entire extended family PROUD with this feature in CSUSM magazine

Conner Whitten
Pechanga Descendant

As the first in his family to attend college, Conner Whitten knows all too well the challenges faced by first-generation students.

For Conner, those challenges not only included helping his parents understand the often complex, painstaking process of earning a degree, but also his decision to continue pursuing higher education beyond a bachelor’s.

In fact, it was only a few years ago that Conner’s father figured his son had it made when he was promoted from busser to bartender at a sports bar and grill at Pechanga Resort and Casino.

“My dad was so happy when I was a bartender,” Conner said. “He said, ‘This is great. You’re set.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, but …’

“I just felt like there was more.”

Today, Conner is just a few months away from crossing the commencement stage at Cal State San Marcos, the proud recipient of a bachelor’s in psychology. He will continue his education in the fall when he begins a Ph.D. program in behavioral neuroscience.

The journey is about more than fulfilling his own dreams. It’s about creating opportunity for other American Indian children.

“He very much pays it forward to other students, just talking about how he got there and how he can help them,” said Kimberly D’Anna-Hernandez, a CSUSM psychology professor and one of Conner’s mentors. “He’s really dedicated to outreach.”

Conner is from the Pechanga Band of LuiseƱo Indians and has lived on the Pechanga reservation since moving to Southern California from Spokane, Wash., when he was 13. His family relocated in part to help care for his grandfather, who suffers from short-term memory loss due to a brain injury sustained in a car accident.

After graduating from high school, Conner spent his days in class at Palomar College and his nights and weekends working as a busser at Pechanga. While his eventual promotion to bartender meant more money to help his family, it came at the expense of his schoolwork.

“It was tough to juggle it,” he said. “I didn’t have the best grades. I didn’t know what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do.”

Conner’s grades hit a low point when he learned that his father had glioma, a tumor on the brain. Fortunately, the tumor was benign, and seeing the neurological issues that plagued his father and grandfather inspired Conner to pursue neuroscience.

Being able to focus on his studies has helped him raise his grade-point average to 3.9. He has already been accepted to doctoral programs at West Virginia University and the University of Tennessee, and he has an interview lined up at Georgia State later this month.  OP:  BREAKING NEWS:  TENNESSEE WINS!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Pechanga News Report: Thousands of Native Americans are being kicked out of tribes across the Country

Colleen Williams of KNBC Los Angeles fronted the story of Pechanga's Disenrollment, which is the STRIPPING of Tribal Citizenship, in this case, the Hunter Family, who had more documentation, than ANY other tribal family.  The Pechanga Resort & Casino has helped many in the tribe, and hurt many others. #stopdisenrollment

In the opening, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, sets up a strawman argument, which we beat down with facts here

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sexual Predator Pechanga Member Instrumental In Disenrollment of Two Families ARRESTED AGAIN

Former Pechanga Chairman
Vincent Ibanez
Old age isn't a deterrent from sex crimes, apparently, but no children were involved this time.   The man, whose statement from prison the Pechanga Tribe was HAPPY to use in the disenrollments of the Hunter Family was arrested AGAIN on suspicion of sexual crimes charges, which according to Riverside Sheriff's Arrest Log include:
243.4(B) - Sexual Battery On Institutionalized Victim
667(A)(1) - Conviction Of Prior Serious Felony Offense
29800(A)1 - Addict in Possession of Firearm
One of the statements against us was from former Pechanga chairman Vincent Ibanez who wrote a letter from prison, where he was finishing up a sentence for child molestation, in which he says, “I praise you for all your hard work and wish you all success in beating these imposters and all of the others too. I only wish I could be there to sense the real Pechangas coming forward.” Read more HERE.

THIS is the type of person the Pechanga Tribe was HAPPY to use against us, even if he was wrong...

After MURDER at Pechanga, ROBOTS Patrolling the Casino

Native Business Mag has the story:

Artificial intelligence may soon be coming to a Tribal casino near you. 
“Buddy” is the new, ultra-alert security guard at Pechanga Casino and Resort.
The impetus for the robot—that zips across the Pechanga lobby and even introduces himself to patrons—was extra security, following the Las Vegas shooting on October 1, 2017 (OP: I added the Murder at Pechanga because it did HAPPEN, but hey, Vegas is more sexy right? ) Buddy uses bot sensors to navigate a crowd with high-definition video and audio recorders, in addition to thermal imaging.
“The world that we’re in today, we got to be forward-thinking and creative and out of the box,” Robert Krauss, vice president of public safety for Pechanga, told CBS.
Buddy’s stationary counterpart Rudy monitors visitors entering and exiting the casino.
While Pechanga intends to increase its bot security, the resort will not replace human job opportunities with technology, said Krauss, describing the robots as merely a “tool.”
OP: Wonder if Buddy would record Pechanga's  Security guards BEATING their CUSTOMERS?

Native American Journalists Association Launches Investigations Collective: Disenrollment, Corruption...

I'll take.... BETTER LATE THAN NEVER for $1,000 Alex.   After half a decade of giving stories to NAJA on Facebook, they STEP UP on Investigations!

In a historic step to support investigative journalism in Indigenous communities, the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) launched the Indigenous Investigative Collective (IIC).
Aimed at providing training, resources, and networked support to Indigenous reporters covering the day-to-day activities of their tribal governments, the IIC will support transparency and accountability in Indigenous communities by securely handling sensitive documents, data and news tips.
In what could be a significant shift for accountability in Indian Country, NAJA has responded to press-blackouts and opaque tribal government structures by working to empower Indigenous journalists to work safely, and securely, with whistleblowers.
NAJA believes that to safeguard tribal sovereignty and self-determination, tribal citizens must have access to information about their governments as well as their associated institutions and enterprises. This includes, but is not limited to, budgets, meeting minutes, records, business dealings, and deliberations. NAJA also believes that tribal sovereignty and self-determination are dependent on the transparency and accountability of tribal governments.
For the launch of this initiative, NAJA has developed a set of baseline security standards, training and protocols that news organizations will need to adopt in order to become members of the IIC. At this stage, we welcome partners, foundations, and free press advocates to help build a network of investigative journalists in Indian Country.
Press freedom in Indigenous communities is the exception, not the rule. To enable Indigenous journalists to accurately report despite press-blackouts and opaque government structures, NAJA believes it is critical to provide support and tools for journalists to work with whistleblowers in an ethical and responsible way.
If you are a whistleblower in possession of information regarding financial mismanagement, discrimination, harassment, disenfranchisement, disenrollment and/or other unethical, and/or illegal behavior by government or enterprise, IIC members will want to hear from you.

For more information, please contact

Friday, February 8, 2019

#StopDisenrollment: Saginaw Chippewa Disenrolled Reach the Suffering Stage

From the Saginaw Chippewa Disenrolled

What is most tragic about disenrollment is that some have lost their homes, no health insurance and some have major health issues, they are just trying to survive, legal bills to fight the disenrollment has now taken over. It has taken a deep , devastating toll on them all.  

#StopDisenrollment: Former San Manuel Tribal Chairman Deron Marquez Speaks Out Against TRIBAL DISENROLLMENT

A stellar opinion piece from Dr. Deron Marquez, former chairman of the San Manuel Band in San Bernardino CA.
Image result for Deron Marquez images
Dr. Deron Marquez

Since the turn of the century, tribal governments (Pechanga, Pala, Chukchansi, Nooksack among them) have quickened the dismemberment pace and it has become far too easy for tribal governments to “tribally divest” tribal citizens. These actions are a hold-over from a foreign government’s attempt at a “final solution” once used to rid the land of Indians, but it is now tribal governments who seek to rid their lands and financial obligations to Indians.

Tribal governments refuse to engage in local or national dismemberment conversations, citing the federal court decision Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez and calling the act of deciding who is enrolled to be a “sovereign” prerogative. But this is not a query of enrollment; that axiom is long accepted.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Elizabeth Warren BUSTED: SHE DID Identify as Native American. Can She be TRUSTED After Apology

Using an open records request during a general inquiry, for example, The Washington Post obtained Warren’s registration card for the State Bar of Texas, providing a previously undisclosed example of Warren identifying as an “American Indian.”

This makes her a LIAR, yes?   To find Warren's GENEALOGY, Go to Twila Barnes' website Thoughts From Polly's Granddaughter

The Texas bar registration card is significant, among other reasons, because it removes any doubt that Warren directly claimed the identity. In other instances Warren has declined to say whether she or an assistant filled out forms.

The card shows her name, her gender and the address for the University of Texas law school in Austin, where she was working at the time.

The date coincided with her first listing as a “minority” by the Association of American Law Schools. Warren reported herself as minority in the directory every year starting in 1986 — when AALS first included a list of minority law professors — to 1995, when her name dropped off the list

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Cherokee SecState on Elizabeth Warren, DNA and Tribal Citizenship

Well done opinion piece from Chuck Hoskin Jr. The Cherokee Nations Secretary of State.
Recent political events from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA results have raised important questions nationally of what it means to be a citizen of a federally recognized tribe. These events—and disparaging statements made by elected leaders and political pundits in response—may cause some to question the value of tribal citizenship. 

The right of a tribe to determine its citizenship is the most basic and inherent function of a sovereign government. But citizenship is a concept that many outside tribal governments do not understand.

As I discuss citizenship with non-Native friends, I talk about my family table. During holidays, our family table is shared by my immediate family, and friends we do not get to see that often. They are all welcome and loved as we share food, stories and laughter.

However, if something tragic were to happen to me or my wife, not everyone at that table would be entitled to inherit my house or become legally responsible for my kids. Those friends at my table will no doubt be critical in healing and providing love for those left behind, but it is my immediate family that will have their own rights and responsibilities in the eyes of the law.

This concept of family is key to understanding why citizenship matters. Everyone who cares about us as Natives are welcome, but at critical moments those that have legal and cultural standing have a unique place with specific rights and responsibilities.

That is why it offends us when some of our national leaders seek to inappropriately ascribe membership or citizenship to themselves. They would be welcome to our table as friends, but claiming to be family to gain a spot at the table is unwelcome.