Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pechanga: A Bad Neighbor that Does Some Good Deeds

It’s been a decade since Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro asked the People of California to help Native Americans in their quest for self-reliance. I believe that most people took self-reliance to mean that Native Americans would help take care of their own people with the proceeds of Indian Gambling. This is the messaging of every public relations campaign during every California referendum on Indian Gaming, Each time the leaders of Pechanga were the face of the California Native community.

Unfortunately, self-reliance to Pechanga means keeping rightful people from joining the band and removing people who don’t think the way the leadership wants them to think, so there will be no dissent among the membership. The Council’s policy is cash your check and shut the hell up.

Pechanga’s Constitution and Bylaws provides for OPEN ENROLLMENT each January, yet in 1997 the band approved a petition, which called for a moratorium on member enrollment so that the tribe can get caught up with the applications. There are 10 members on that committee, how long could it take to catch up? The will of the people was the rule of law in an enrollment matter, upheld by the tribal council.

When the people passed a valid petition to halt all disenrollments in 2005, the tribal council maintained that the petition couldn’t be enforced, because the general council had no authority in enrollment matters.

Let’s get this right, the general council says the people could keep people OUT, but they can’t keep people IN?

So, we have the Pechanga Tribal Council acting in a shameful manner by eliminating
25% of their citizenry. They stripped this group of their status as Native Americans, and grabbed their share of per capita payments to grow their own. They keep rightful members from their place at Pechanga via disenrollment and abused the elders and children of two families, terminating their cultural heritage.

In direct contradiction to these reprehensible actions, Pechanga donates to groups like the Boys and Girls Clubs, The Temecula Valley School District, and other organizations, which gladly take generous donations from the tribal government. Would these groups accept these donations if they knew what Pechanga had done to their own people?
Pechanga used those donations to trumpet how they were generous to the community, and good neighbors. Yet, I can’t believe that the organizations mentioned above would believe it’s okay to screw someone, let some people die knowing their heritage was stripped, so that they can have a new swing set on their playgrounds? I really don’t believe they would have endorsed Pechanga in the last elections if they knew what was really happening on the reservation in their own neighborhood.

Ethical businesses and governmental agencies should be expressing their outrage at what Pechanga has done, not turning a blind eye. Many sovereign countries quit doing business in South Africa because of their apartheid policies. Pechanga’s policy of denying basic civil rights to the people that they were purported to be helping with Proposition 5A is little different than S. Africa's, or Saudi Arabia's denying women the right to vote.

If Wal-Mart is so bad for not providing health coverage for all of their associates, which bring protests for each new store, why isn’t the same outrage aimed at Pechanga, who not only took away per capita, but health coverage, education assistance, employment and elder care for the citizens they kicked to the curb?

What Pechanga is doing is the epitome of hypocrisy. They are hiding their ‘dirty family secret’ behind a veil of sovereignty, and then publicizing their good deeds to local charities to show what honorable people they are. Don’t allow them to get away with it. It is time the people of this community learn the truth.

Please spread the word and if you must patronize an Indian Gaming facility, it is time to go elsewhere. Let Mark Macarro know that you DO NOT support his actions.


Anonymous said...

What a joke Pechanga has become.
Lie's,Lie's,Lie's ya there gonna get ya.

OPechanga said...

There will be more information coming, so that we make sure the Temecula area population is well informed. They can't all believe the infomercials running.

WHY would someone spend so much money trying to convice people of something they should be well awareof? Because they are HIDING the Truth!

Anonymous said...

if the people on this blog hate tribes so much, why continue trying to be a member of one? all you are doing is hurting the people of indian county. you are trying to give fuel to the us government to burn all of treaties that they barely honour anyway.
if you do not like it be a good little white american like you guys all want to be anyway.

OPechanga said...

Who says we hate tribes? That's a moronic, childish statement.

We are not hurting the people of Indian Country, On the contrary, those councils that abuse their people are responsible for harming Indian Country.

The Cherokee are not honoring their treaties, that's why it's in court and Congress.

Those tribes that have abused their citizens can keep the government OUT, by doing the right thing. Simple isn't it?

Anonymous said...

We are not trying to hurt any tribes as we are actually trying to make tribes better by restoring integrity.

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't hate tribes. But, there's a difference between hating tribes and not supporting a tribal enterprise that simply does not follow their own rules.

I can't believe that the schools could teach their kids about civil rights and the struggle to obtain them, and then take money from a venture that has denied their members their own basic rights.

I'm sure that when the school district and clubs, as the post mentions, understand what has happened, they will refuse to accept the few thousand dollars of 'blood money'.

I've still got a long way to go in reading the information here, but I'm working on it.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is certainly news that I don't read in the Press Enterprise.

Why is that?

Anonymous said...

HYPOCRISY, Thy name is Pechanga.

Anonymous said...

Hey, how come the PE didn't say anything about this when the election was happening?

stand your ground said...

IN MY OPINION The Press Enterprise in Riverside,Ca.will not publish anything about the Pechanga Tribe's Chairman Mark Macarro unless i'ts been "o.kd by him". They don't want to lose the advertising dollars that this Tribe brings in, therefore the truth about this Guy will never come to light in that paper. Granted, once in a while they will print a little article that scims over some things this Tribe does but never the real nitty gritty and the corruption and evil this Guy allowed to happen on the Reservation. I have written letters to the opinion page at the P.E. NONE WHERE EVER PUBLISHED. To many advertising dollars involved.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...
"Part of the disenrollment story that is not being told is how much the disenrolled themselves gave to charity when they were in the tribe.

I know of members of the Hunter family that gave more than 25,000 dollars a year to homeless shelters, disaster relief, Children's hospital, and other worthwhile organizations.

Pechanga gives 50000 dollars to some local group and they make a big deal out of it but the missing part of the story is that now that the disenrolled are cut off, many charities are also cut off of funds.

It wouldn't surprise me if the disenrolled, when they were in the tribe, gave more money to charity than the tribe itself!"

June 9, 2008 1:55 PM

Luiseno said...

When a high profile mainstream company does a employment purge they generally take care of those who have been let go. Offering reeducation, the ability to buy into there health care programs, and various other aids to soften the effect of there financial blow.

Now lets turn to Pechanga and how they treated the Indians they let go, there own relatives, and there elderly. We got jeering laughter, mockerings, snikering and jokes like "GET A JOB" (I would like to add many of the Hunters were already employed, but unsure how some of our elders are supposed to get a job at there advanced ages). Not even an offer to help some become employable (I know some were handicapped and are having a real hard time).

Anonymous said...

Yeah..... Right.....