Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pechanga, Picayune Rancheria, Redding Rancheria: Tribal Disputes an Issue For Obama Nominees

It looks like the new Obama administration may be willing to step into "tribal disputes", which hopefully means they won't support tribes like PECHANGA, that act against their own constitution and bylaws, with land into trust or federal financial support.

Internal tribal disputes an issue for Obama nomineesTuesday, December 2, 2008Filed Under: Politics Nominees to the Interior Department should be asked about tribal membership and leadership disputes, the Government Accountability Office said in a recent report.

According to the GAO, internal tribal disputes "seem to be occurring more and more frequently." The report recommends nominees be asked about their ability to resolve these controversial matters.

"What experience do you have in working with tribal leadership and trying to resolve these types of disputes or in trying to prevent them?" the report states. The GAO hasn't released any investigations into internal tribal disputes. But the inclusion of the question -- one of three directly related to Indian affairs -- indicates it's on the radar of key members of Congress who will consider president-elect Barack Obama's executive branch nominees.

OP: HALLELUJAH! Finally, someone is hearing what the problems THOUSANDS of Native Americans are encountering. Apparently an UNconstituional act by tribes such as Pechanga, is only a "dispute".

"This letter provides you with a series of questions that Senate committees of jurisdiction could use to help determine the management experience and capabilities of upcoming nominees," the GAO told Sen. George Voinovich, a senior Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The other two questions cover topics that have been the subject of recent GAO reports. They include the land-into-trust process and the backlog of maintenance at Indian schools and at reservation irrigation projects.

OP: Land into trust issues/process should include some consequences when a tribal chair promises before congress that they want the land for it's historic value to the tribe... and then put a GOLF COURSE on it.

Additionally, the GAO included tribes in questions about the Clean Air Act and the sharing of information to prevent terrorist attacks.
But the closest the GAO has come to tribal membership and leadership disputes was in a report that examined the federal recognition process. In some cases, disputes can delay consideration of a petition or lead to confusion in the process.

Still, Congress has been reluctant to step into such disputes out of respect for tribal sovereignty. Tribes retain the right to determine their membership and to determine their leaders.

OP: The respect for tribal sovereignty should go both ways. If tribes wield sovereignty like a CLUB, then Congress should NOT support a nation with new land for trust, or, in the case of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, federal funds. Pechanga has acted unconstitutionally, that's not about sovereignty as it should be.

A controversial incident involving the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma shifted the landscape after the tribe voted in 2007 to exclude the descendants of the Freedmen, or former slaves. Some members of Congress sought to cut off federal funds to the tribe unless the Freedmen were restored to citizenship.
Other high-profile disputes -- especially those involving gaming -- have caught the eye of Congress as well. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2002 held an unusual hearing into a small California tribe whose leaders were fighting over a proposed casino.

A slew of disenrollment disputes among wealthy California tribes have generated significant media coverage but so far members of Congress have not been willing to get involved.

OP: DIANE WATSON, are you reading this? California is YOUR state! GET INVOLVED

Officials at Interior have shied away too, with the exception of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, whose constitution gives the Bureau of Indian Affairs authority over membership matters.
According to Indian activists, California tribes have removed at least 1,500 people from their rolls in recent years. One of them was Bob Foreman, who served as the first chairman of the Redding Rancheria before he was disenrolled in 2004. Foreman died on November 19 without seeing a resolution to his struggle.
Obama has yet to announce his pick for Secretary of the Department of the Interior, although at least two members of Congress who have experience in Indian issues have been the subject of speculation. Obama also gets to name a new assistant secretary for Indian affairs.

Read more HERE


Anonymous said...

Hello O.P,
I also think the word "dispute" is a little too polite. As for internal, it stops being internal when a citizen is dis-enrolled and forced into refugee status.
Allen L. Lee

Luiseno said...

Sovereign nations are held accountable for human rights violations. When there people are tried without representation or legal council, when they lose there citizenship and have there children forcibly removed from school and denied education. When they use deception to acquire land from another sovereign nation.

Why is it that we can hold other sovereign nations accountable, and then turn a blind eye to those within our own nation borders?

t'eetilawuncha! said...

We are making an impact. Thank you everyone for just doing something. Light always overcomes darkness.

OPechanga said...

Sunshine is the BEST disenfectant.

Anonymous said...

I have to say MY HAT GOES OFF TO YOU! I heard about this site from team members @ the casino and try to catch up every couple days and you have not only given a voice to many families torn apart by their greed but those inside the casino walls. I thank you for that. To many in Temecula that were employed under Mr. Miranda it means a lot more than words could ever express. Many of us lost our homes, cars, and some even their families. Not many marriages can survive living on the streets. I know parents that were forced to up and leave everything. THEY JUST COULD NOT AFFORD ANYTHING. My friends just up and left their 1 bedroom apartment just the other day with their 3 kids because they could no longer afford even that. BUT THESE SELFISH COLD HEARTED INDIVIDUALS IN THE CASINO CAN AFFORD HIS LAWYER AND BAIL AND HE STILL GETS HIS PERCAP CHECK EVERY MONTH??? And has the NERVE to go in there and GAMBLE STILL! TABLE GAMES TOO!!! How big of a slap in the face is that for those that know who and what he is? How many kids did he have to look at that were hungry or wanted to know why santa didnt come this year? I guess what I am going on about is first and foremost THANK YOU! I am EVERYWHERE talking this blog up! I came close to putting it on a tee shirt and wearing it in there not to spend money but to spread the word. My spouse suggested otherwise! And second WHEN IS THE NEXT PROTEST AGAINST THESE GREEDY BASTARDS, sorry, NOT NICE PEOPLE? Because many new comers to this blog would probably like to help support the cause. I know I will. thank you again!

stand your ground said...

To Anonymous posted on Dec.5,7.09p

I want to thank you for your comments, you are seeing thru the fog and the lies that the Pechanga Tribe is spreading around and, those that work inside the casino
must have seen it all.
The corruption, the brutality, the arrogance and the total ignorance of human decency to their fellow
human beings.
There are still some nice people left in the tribe but they are afraid of the Pechanga corrupt element.
You'r support is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I hear that some employees are planning a group walk off in a few days! Many inside do support your cause, for some it's about how they are treated. I hope to see a resolution to this dishonorable conduct of a few that seem to control the many. Justice will come for the families and employees treated badly by a few dark hearted greedy people. KEEP THE FAITH! And for those saying they are only 1 person and 1 letter wont make a difference, well as I know Miss Rosa Parks was only 1 woman but she stood up and refused to be treated badly and have her rights taken, and sometimes it only takes one voice. A VERY LOUD VOICE!

Anonymous said...

Well if employees are planning a walk out, let us know when so we can join them on the picket line!

If those who are planning to walk out haven't already done so, Contact AIRRO, (American Indian Rights and Resoureces Organization) at and click on the contact link.

While I can't speak formally for AIRRO, I believe that this is something that we should support.

Larry Miranda still gambles there?

When some of our family members who were kicked out of the tribe picketed in front of Pechanga the casino security took their pictures so I am not sure if some of our family would even be allowed in the casino, not that they would go there anyway.

I for one will not even spend one penny in any business owned by the Pechanga tribe.

But it is ironic that someone who was fired for stealing from employees is still allowed in there when all our family members were doing was standing up for our rights.