OP: This sad story of the POVERTY of SOUL told on the Rumsey Band in the Sacramento Bee can be told on reservations throughout California. My regular readers are well aware of what Pechanga has become, once the greed, bred by wealth infusion or "affluenza" as my nephew calls it. It's a disease brought on by welfare, this IS welfare to some, an incentive NOT to work. The Picayune Rancheria has many sad story beginning with the EXTERMINATION of their people, BY their people.
I remember when the money started coming in, some of the Pechanga members were excited about getting a TARGET charge card. Then, things got bad, the greedy ones wanted no more people to share in the good fortune and they instituted an illegal moratorium (against the Pechanga Constitution and Bylaws). They no longer contributed to the youth trust fund, members didn't want the youth to be taken care of if member parent died. One of the Masiel Crime Family stood up and said he didn't trust his daughter in law to handle "that type of money", before backing off that comment.
POVERTY OF SOUL (SacBee link)
Ten years after the casino cash started flowing, the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians' good fortune is on display across the peaceful Capay Valley.
Thanks to their Cache Creek Casino Resort – which makes about $300 million a year and is scheduled to expand – each of the 26 adults in the 60-member nation gets about $1 million a year after taxes, more if they're on the tribal council or committees. They get a travel allowance to expand their horizons to Tahiti, Europe or anyplace they desire. OP: The Pechanga members, after eliminating 25% of their tribal members, now get $360,000 per year (corrected), while council members get over $95,000 per year. There are 750 adults now, so we believe that the tribe will look at terminating another family to boost per capita. Pechanga may say no, but then, they said no after extermination of the first family en masse in the history of the tribe.
They own luxury cars, custom homes on the rancheria and second homes elsewhere. They send their children to a first-class private school that offers their Patwin language and native flute taught occasionally by Grammy winner Mary Youngblood. OP: This is good for California's economy and Pechanga eliminated this from 25% of the tribe, forcing short sales, loss of health care, children kicked out of the tribal school, and elimination of elder care for lifelong members. The state of California lost a lot of tax money from those terminated that lived OFF the reservation.
But CEO and Chief Marshall McKay sees trouble behind the opulence. The demons of the past that have plagued his tribe since they lived in trailers and scrounged for work haunt them still: diabetes, substance abuse, fierce family feuds and chronic apathy. OP: There is plenty of evidence of that on many reservations, my archives are full of violent behaviors from Pechanga and it's Soboba cousins.
"I call it wealth shock … the poverty of the soul," said McKay, who's fighting to save his nation by pushing cultural rebirth and education. "I stress to members we can do a lot of damage by providing too much."
Only three tribal members have finished high school since the casino money started rolling in. They know they'll never have to work as long as they stay out of jail. OP: Not a simple task, when you have NOTHING TO WORK FOR. No goals, means nothing to strive for. The newest video game, car or toy is NOT a goal.
This is a great article and one that should be read by all in California. Is this what we thought Self Reliance would be? A few Indians getting richer at the expense of their families and friends?