Thursday, February 26, 2009

How To Contact Senators and other Reps. VOICE your NATIVE OPINION

Our elected representatives in Sacramento and in Washington D.C. need to be made aware of this situation. Letters, phone calls and faxes are the most effective - emails just get lost

The point is that they are elected to address our concerns, if they hear from enough people, they will become aware. We are the voters - we have the power --
Yes this may cost a few stamps and long distance phone calls --

Another option is to find and join one of your local Democratic clubs and put the issue to them, and ask if they will take action.
Find clubs here:

Our California U.S. Senators are Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein --
Contact their field offices, (not the D.C. Offices)

Ask for hearings and investigations into the civil rights abuses and enforcement of the Native American Civil Rights Act

Senator Barbara Boxer:
Inland Empire local office
201 North E Street, Suite 210
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 888-8525
(909) 888-8613 fax

Senator Diane Feinstein
San Diego local office
750 B Street, Suite 1030
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 231-9712
Fax: (619) 231-1108

FInd your U.S. Congressmen in Washington DC, and your State legislators in Sacto here:  type in your zip code -- then click on 'contact' when the reps name comes up it will give you mailing addresses and phone numbers
for congressmen - contact the local field office - it takes ages for anything to be read as far as mail in DC phone calls to DC would be okay - but letters take too much time.

For the state representatives, contact the local field offices and their Sacto offices

I would also suggest contacting state attorney general Jerry Brown's Sacramento office

Attorney General's Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry UnitP.O. Box 944255 Sacramento, CA 94244
(916) 322-3360 or
(Toll-free in CA)
(800) 952-5225

Thanks Becky and hey, a postcard is less expensive, but can be effective

My Civil Rights Were Violated by My Tribe! Won't Somebody Do Something?!

I've heard this a few times from many groups, Pechanga disenrolled, Freedmen, Picayune and Snoqualmie. They cry out in anguish, rightfully, about how they were mistreated, screwed, violated and hurt.

But the funny thing is, there are lots of questions like, WHY won't somebody DO something to help us?

Yet, many times, when requested to join in a local picket line, or to fax a letter or to make some calls, it's SILENCE. "uh, I can't make it." "I don't have anyone to watch the kids" "I don't have a fax" "I don't like to talk on the phone" "can't someone else do it?" "you have a blog, why don't you do it?" "I did work on some of the other stuff, I did my part, now it's someone elses turn." "I've given up, but call me if we get something ."

Pretty comical, that many want SOMEONE ELSE to do the lifting, but don't want to help anymore.

Think about this in just the case of Picayune Rancheria. There were 500 disenrolled people from that tribe. Is there a website for them? NO. Are they visiting THIS blog, where we have highlighted Chukchansi's issues? NO. Maybe 7 are COMMITTED (Hi Cathy!)to their struggle, but I'm sure all 500 would expect to get their rights back. Let's see, 500 letters or phone calls to congress or 7, which would have the most impact?

In our case, there are probably 30 active from two familes of about 300. 300 letters or 30? Which is greater? I can't decide... oh, maybe the 300. Imagine if their FRIENDS got involved!

800 letters or 37? It's estimated there are 10,000 Freedmen who are lacking their proper rights. 10,000 letters, or 100? ONLY ONE Creek Freedmen was at the Candlelight Vigil at Pechanga! ONE!

It's about IMPACT people and NOW, when we have a new administration in place, we need to increase the volume. That's what we have is numbers of PEOPLE. The tribes who don't care about your civil rights have MONEY, and we can't match that. It takes good, old fashioned W-O-R-K.

Visits to blogs regularly help drive up the ranks and make sure that those will be looking in know that people are watching. And this type of help can be done from the comfort of your own office. Not trudging uphill in the snow....

Time to get on the bandwagon....and build awareness. I await your comments.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Curry: Human and civil rights abuses not acceptable in Indian Country

Rebecca Curry of Lake County News has an excellent Op-Ed piece on Civil Rights and the many California Tribes abuses of the Indian Civil Rights Act.

In the summer of 2007, The Lake County Democratic Club and the Lake County Democratic Central Committee voted unanimously to endorse the California Native American Justice and Equal Economic Opportunity Legislative Initiative.

The resolution to support this Legislative Initiative was introduced to Lake County Democrats by Mr. Robert Edwards, a disenrolled member of the Enterprise Rancheria No. 1, of Maidu Indians. Mr. Edwards was Vice Chair of the Tribal Council. He and 70 other members of Enterprise Rancheria No. 1 were disenrolled in the winter of 2003.

We had hoped that our support, that a public endorsement and by notifying our legislators of the importance of this issue, that we would signal our belief that this action should result in enforcement of the legislation that allows American Indians the same civil rights, as well as the right to due process enjoyed by all Americans.

That legislation is the Native American Civil Rights Act that was enacted by Congress in 1968.

We support reform of the Indian Civil Rights Act in such a way that this would be possible. Our hope was to provide some of the 3000+ Indians in California who are being victimized by corrupt tribal governments the right to due process at the state and federal level.

The state of California must move to enact legislation that will insert the enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act into the gaming compacts.

The situation has now come to crisis in Lake County.

I am concerned about the possible violation of Indian civil rights happening at Robinson Rancheria.

When citizens voted for Indian gaming in California, they voted with the understanding that gaming revenues would improve the conditions of tribal people in the areas of jobs, health, education and general welfare on the Rancherias.

IN what appears to be a “form of genocide” that is being committed by the tribal government at Robinson Rancheria, tribal people have lost jobs and health benefits, loss of elders assistance including a senior meal program, loss of education benefits, and the loss of tribal cultural identity as a member of one’s tribe.

I have asked our state and federal legislators open an investigation on the growth of human and civil rights violations in Indian country, so that these civil rights issues can be addressed.

I am urging citizens in Lake County to contact our state and federal legislators to follow suit.

Read the rest at the link above. Thank you Rebecca for speaking out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Crack in the Sovereignty Dam: USSC limits Fed's Authority to Hold Land Into Trust

The Supreme Court on Tuesday limited the federal government's authority to hold land in trust for Indian tribes, a victory for states seeking to impose local laws and control over development on Indian lands.

From WaPo

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday limited the federal government's authority to hold land in trust for Indian tribes, a victory for Rhode Island and other states seeking to impose local laws and control over development on Indian lands.
The court's ruling applies to tribes recognized by the federal government after the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.
The U.S. government argued that the law allows it to take land into trust for tribes regardless of when they were recognized, but Justice Clarence Thomas said in his majority opinion that the law "unambiguously refers to those tribes that were under the federal jurisdiction" when it was enacted.
The ruling comes in a case involving the Rhode Island-based Narragansett Indian Tribe and a 31-acre tract of land that the tribe purchased in rural Charlestown, about 40 miles south of Providence.
At issue was whether the land should be subject to state law, including a prohibition on casino gambling, or whether the parcel should be governed by tribal and federal law.
"Thanks to the crystal clarity of this decision, however, there can be no confusion that Rhode Island has the power and the ability to protect our citizens' rights, health, safety and welfare everywhere in our state," Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch said in a written statement.
Jack Killoy, an attorney for the tribe, said he was disappointed that the ruling could cast a legal shadow over the land holdings for tribes like the Narragansetts that were federally recognized after 1934.
"The court has narrowly construed a statute intended to benefit all Native American tribes and reversed 75 years of federal Indian policy," Killoy said. "It affects so many tribes throughout the country that Congress is going to need to address this."

Schwarzenegger SO BAD, We should Apologize to Gray Davis!

Peter Hecht lets us know about this and Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro has said that the governator practices the "politics of PURE EVIL" and well, Chairman Macarro should know whereof he speaks, as that's what he practices.

GOP delegate wants apology for Davis recall

You have got to believe that the California Republican base is dispirited when a delegate at this weekend's state party convention is circulating a resolution to apologize to former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis for recalling him from office.

But that is exactly what party delegate Alex Burrola is suggesting.

The resolution, underscoring some party activists' seething displeasure with "post-partisan" GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, reads as follows:

"Whereas, in 2003 a grassroots effort was begun to recall then-Governor Gray Davis from office on grounds which included gross mismanagement of the budget and finances of the State of California;

"...Whereas, candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned as a reformer and champion of fiscal discipline and responsibility who would bring change and reform to government which it sorely needed;

"Whereas, in the subsequent years Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has instead proven to govern as a tax and spend politician precisely similar to the one he campaigned to replace in the recall election;

"Whereas, the trust and confidence of Republicans has been betrayed and shattered by Governor Schwarzenegger's repeated and ongoing efforts to collaborate with Democrats in the Legislature to seek solutions to the state's fiscal crisis by irresponsible borrowing and increasing taxes and refusal to make the needed reductions in state spending;

"Whereas, Governor Schwarzenegger's current budget solution includes more than $14 billion in higher taxes on sales, income, gasoline and the car tax which he specifically attacked Governor Davis for raising;

"Whereas, it is plain that Governor Schwarzenegger has abandoned the most basic tenets of Republican ideology and rendered the whole purpose of the 2003 recall pointless;

"Therefore, be it resolved that the California Republican Party officially extends a heartfelt and sincere apology to former Governor Gray Davis for its role in recalling him from office."

Sorry Gray

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pechanga Poses Problem to Bereaved Family. No room at the Inn

On Saturday, February 21st, the family of Sophia Madariaga celebrated her life. Pechanga provided a problem for the family, one more time.

As Sophia lived on the reservation, continually for over 40 years and her husband, Hunter family ELDER Lawrence Madariaga, still does. The family was looking to have their memorial at the Pechanga Senior Center. A deposit was placed but the family was turned down by the Silver Feathers, one final insult to the woman who fed, and diapered many of those people's children when they needed it.

Congratulations to Pechanga, for providing the disrepect, that people come to expect.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snoqualmie banishment case ripping apart tribe

We reported this story back in July with "Worthless BIA Allows Shadow Government...."
a story that generated over 150 comments from those banished and those who supported destroying families..

By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times staff reporter

Former members of the Snoqualmie tribe took the stand in federal court this week to fight what they say was an illegal banishment from the tribe.

They include the former chairman of the tribe, as well as several council members and an Indian tribal spiritual leader among nine former members in all seeking to overturn their banishment.

After hearing a day and a half of testimony, U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart won't rule until March at the earliest.

At issue is whether the banished tribal members received due process, including adequate notice and an opportunity to speak on their own behalf.

The judge would not take testimony on other issues, including a disputed election before the banishment last April, or which tribal leaders were the legitimately elected ones.

The controversy has embroiled this tribe of about 650 members, which opened a $375 million casino in November just a half-hour drive from downtown Seattle.

The dispute dates back to a council election in May 2007, which some tribal leaders contend had serious irregularities.

Banishment is a rare practice among Coast Salish tribes, and is the most extreme punishment within Indian Country. A banished person is no longer a member of their tribe and cannot go on tribal grounds or receive tribal benefits.

The banished took the stand to say they were barred from entering the meeting by armed Issaquah police officers hired as security by the tribe. OP: Sounds like what happened at San Pasqual, see video on the sidebar.
"We were treated like criminals," said Carolyn Lubenau, a former council member who was banished that day by her tribe.
She and others testified that they stood outside in the cold for nearly four hours, without any chance to enter the meeting and defend themselves, or hear the charges against them.

Read the full article in the SEATTLE TIMES

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Descendents of Cherokee Black Slaves

UPDATE: I'm bumping this up as the comments continue to swell.

The folks at Hudson and Holland Scholars have a talk scheduled. Did YOU know that the Cherokees were slavemasters to African people? Did you know they dragged their slaves with them on the "Trail of Tears"? Who cried more, the Cherokee or their SLAVES?

The descendents of Cherokee black slaves

February 13, 2009

The Descendents of the Cherokee Freedmen: Victims of Sovereignty?"
12pm at the Eigenmann 6th Fl Room 621

Talk by Delphine Criscenzo (African American and African Diaspora Studies)"

The descendents of Cherokee black slaves have been faced with severalactions on the part of the Cherokee Nation to revoke their citizenship.
These efforts climaxed in March 2007 and have given birth to an importantwave of resistance. The Cherokee Nation says that their sovereignty as an Indian Nation gives them the right to decide who gets to be Cherokee.
On theside of the descendents of the Cherokee Freedmen, they did not choose to beinvolved with the Cherokee Nation, nor did their ancestors. Is history stillrelevant or are the descendents of the Freedmen the victims of an Indianstruggle to maintain their sovereignty?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

PECHANGA SHAME: Without a Tribe's Second Anniversary

Yes, readers, Pechanga SHAME.

This week is the second anniversary of the KNBC NEWS piece WITHOUT A TRIBE. Originally airing in February 2007, this broadcast was one of the highest rated stories. It did so well that they repeated it in its entirety the next day.

In this piece, you can see Pechanga Tribal Spokesman Mark Macarro being caught in a LIE, in his first 16 seconds on air.

The story shows how the Pechanga Tribe hired noted anthropologist Dr. John Johnson to research the ancestry of Paulina Hunter. He proved she was Pechanga and MORE SO than any other family of the tribe. Yet, the Bobbi LeMere led, Frances Miranda-Ihrene Scearse backed enrollment committee did NOT use the report they paid for, instead, using hearsay from an imprisoned child molestor. Bobbie, Frances or Ihrene would not want that person babysitting their grandchildren, but they WOULD let him destroy the heritage of hundreds of the tribe.

Please watch WITHOUT A TRIBE at this link, and then ask yourselves who has a bigger incentive to LIE, Macarro or Dr. Johnson?

Here's what tribal disenrollments are being compare to.

Tribal Disenrollment Protest in Sacramento: More of the story

Chloe Auletta-Young Interviewing in Sacramento.

Poor Magazine has done a story on the protest in Sacramento agains tribal disenrollment. The reality of how many have been hurt by California's tribes primarily is finally gaining its voice. Thank you Chloe, for being there to hear our tales of corruption, civil rights violations by our OWN TRIBES.

Chloe Auletta-Young/PNN
Thursday, February 19, 2009;

On February 5th, 2009, I approached the State Capital in Sacramento for the first time in my life. I find it fitting that my reason was to witness a protest at its doorstep, California Native Americans uniting to charge certain tribal leaders with corruption, and to urge congress for more oversight and regulation. As the crowd trickled onto the north-side grounds of the building, those associated with the press started to make themselves known. As this was my first time working under this designation, I momentarily stepped into voyeurism to see how the others operated. At one point, a man obviously affiliated with some variation of corporate media stepped onto the scene with his large camera equipment and loudly asserted, “I need to get a statement from someone here, I don’t really care who,” only to get his brief interview and then promptly leave without gaining perspective on any of the happenings. I decided this was not the approach I wanted to take, so I went about my own way of piecing together the context for the event.

The crime is the unjustified disenrollment of Native Americans from their traditional tribe, not only stripping them of their ancestral right to belong, but also the educational, medical, and financial support provided by their governments. The root cause is an alarmingly inequitable distribution of casino earnings, triggering immense poverty on certain reservations, while others reap the benefits of an industry with annual revenue in the billions. “Reservations are essentially third-world countries here in the US, some operating with no running water, electricity, or stable education system,” said Quanah Brightman, Vice President of United Native Americans Inc., the hosts of the protest. He asks a very fair question, “Where is all the money going?”

Click the link above for the rest of the story

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Native Unity Blog has story on Pechanga Per Capita

Bobbie O'Neill at Native Unity Blog was nice enough to link to a story we posted on Pechanga Per Capita. Please check out Bobbie's blog for good articles on Indian Country.

You'll see why the argument that "it's not about the money" doesn't deserve much credence.

Filipino-American Boycott of Pechanga Temporarily Lifted

MABUHAY Radio supports the Pechanga people that have been disenfranchised by the Pechanga Tribal Council. They have been boycotting Pechanga since early this year and will only LIFT the boycott for ONE day. Thank you to the Filipino people who support this action.

An ongoing boycott of the Pechanga Resort and Casino will be lifted by the Filipino-American sanction organizers, as initiated by the The one-day lifting is due to the performance at Pechanga by some Filipino and Filipino-American entertainers. The boycott is the result of the continuing discrimination being practiced by the current leaders of the Pechanga Tribe on some tribal members whom they ousted from the community on flimsy grounds.

The has joined the boycott of the Pechanga Resort-Casino and continues to urge all its readers and the Filipino-American community to boycott the said resort. This website fought very hard against the propositions that were sponsored by the Pechanga and three other Indian casinos, as described in these articles, Please Vote “No” on Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 and Media Breakfast Club Follows MabuhayRadio and Endorses the “No” Votes on Props. 94, 95, 96 and 97

The boycott continues after the show on February 21. In fact, the will undertake a more-energized boycott of the Pechanga Resort and Casino until and unless the tribal leaders will take back the ousted members of the tribe and restore their civil rights. The staff compares the immoral and illegal action of the Pechanga tribal leaders not only to the infamous violations of civil rights in history but also as the “equivalent of ethnic-cleansing abomination.” More data about the Pechanga “ethnic cleansing” are found in this website, and/or http://originalpechanga/

Repost of Letter To Senator Dorgan; Please send in a request

February 17, 2009

Senate Indian Affairs Committee
838 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington , D.C. 20510

(202)228-2589 fax

Re: Request for Committee and field hearings on civil rights violations in Indian Country

Dear Chairman Dorgan and Honorable Committee Members:

I respectfully submit this letter as a request to your Committee to hold hearings on the growing number of civil rights abuses occurring in Indian Country.

The number of civil rights violations in Indian Country has reached epidemic proportions. Thousands upon thousands have been stripped or denied the basic due process and equal protection rights provided for in the United States Constitution, the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (“ICRA”), and tribal laws.

Most recently, a report by the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) referenced the fact that internal tribal disputes “seem to be occurring more and more frequently”. In response to the growing number of these types of disputes, the GAO felt it was necessary and appropriate that nominees to the Secretary of Interior be asked how they would address such issues.

The responsibility to address this issue does not lie with the Secretary alone. The number of civil rights violations in Indian Country will continue to grow unless Congress once again takes action, just as it did in enacting the ICRA, to further protect individuals from the “arbitrary and capricious” actions of tribal governments. Considering the current situation and an environment which rewards the villain and punishes the victim, I ask you, “How do you plan to address this problem?”

I believe that hearings on the current civil rights situation in Indian Country are not only warranted, they are long over due. Therefore, I respectfully request that your Committee hold hearings as an initial step to further action that will uphold and enforce the rights of those who, to date, have been stripped of or denied the basic rights guaranteed by law.

I trust you will thoughtfully consider my request, and I will eagerly await your response.

Respectfully submitted,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UCLA Student addresses Sen. Byron Dorgan on Tribal Disenrollments

Disenrollment issue brought to Senator’s attention

Senator Byron Dorgan (SD- Dem), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
, held a listening session for tribal leaders at UCLA earlier today. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs which is responsible for hearing issues affecting Indian tribes and Indian .

The purpose of the listening session was to allow tribal leaders from the region to address Senator Dorgan
regarding their priorities and concerns. Representatives from Pechanga, Morongo, San Manuel, and other regional tribes talked about a wide range of issues pertinent to their communities. However, it may have been the remarks of a non-tribal leader that drew the most attention.

An unexpected speaker, a UCLA student, caught many tribal leaders off guard as he came forth and addressed Chairman Dorgan regarding the growing number of disenrollments occurring in Indian Country in general and California in particular. While tribes have the authority to determine their own membership, there is a growing concern that many tribes have violated the basic human and civil rights- such as those set forth in the United States Constitution, the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, and other tribal, state, and federal laws- in the disenrollment and denial of membership of thousands of California Indians.

The issue of disenrollment, as well as civil rights violations in Indian Country, had not been addressed by any of the tribal leaders in their presentations to the Chairman. And it was apparent that some tribal leaders wish the issue would have not been brought to the attention of Chairman Dorgan at such an event.

It is now up to the Chairman and the Committee as to how they will take the information gathered from today's listening session and address the issues brought forth. More importantly, how will the Committee address the concern regarding disenrollment and basic rights violations now that it has been formally presented to them in an open forum.

Sophia Madariaga, Hunter Family Elder Passes UPDATE

UPDATE: The services for Sophia will be held this Saturday, Feb. 21st at 2pm at:

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
24285 Lenox Ln.
Murrieta, CA

Our cousins at Teetilawuncha Blog have the sad news that Sophie Madariaga wife of Hunter Family Elder Lawrence Madariaga has passes away.

A 60 year resident of the Pechanga Reservation, Sophie knew most of those who came LATER.

You can see Sophie in action in the video below:

Pechanga Tribal Council has disgraced themselves with the disenrollment of the Hunter Family and the Manuela Miranda Family. They compound that disgrace by keeping members out via an unlawful moratorium.

Sophia, rest in peace

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cherokee Freedmen Conversations On FIRE

We had a post up on the Cherokee Freedmen and it's really had the comments coming hot and heavy. For those of you that still need to hear from both sides, I urge you to read the post below, Descendents of Cherokee Black Slaves or click this LINK. PLEASE, get involved in the discussion and let your congressperson know there will be hearing.

Stand up for JUSTICE.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Santa Ysabel Chairman Johnny Hernandez rebuked by Inter-Tribal Court

Judge says Hernandez overstepped his authority. Reinstates Vice Chairman with back wages. Hernandez needs to inform all of those that he told that he had fired Brandie Taylor, that she in back. Good work Judge.

The chairman of the Santa Ysabel Band of Mission Indians cannot unilaterally remove the tribe's chairwoman from her elected post, an inter-tribal court judge ruled this week.

Chairman Johnny Hernandez and Vice Chairwoman Brandie Taylor are involved in a bitter, ongoing feud over the tribe's casino and other issues. Taylor has said that the chairman excluded her from casino businesses and that he has fired tribal government officials without due process.In a letter dated Dec. 29, 2008, Hernandez told Taylor that he had decided to remove her from her duties for "blatant insubordination."

Taylor sued Hernandez for reinstatement in the Inter-Tribal Court in Rincon. The court's judge, Anthony Brandenburg, ruled Wednesday in Taylor's favor."The court concludes that Chairman Hernandez's act of dismissing the vice chairwoman was beyond his scope of his constitutional authority and far exceeds his powers as chairman," Brandenburg wrote in his decision

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Glenn Marshall, Mashpee Criminal is GUILTY

We wrote about the Mashpee HERE when they shunned people for disagreeing with this criminal. Now, this Jack Abramoff tainted former Tribal leader will be going to jail. We are researching an Abramoff connection to Pechanga and hope to have those detail shortly. Judge Rya Zobel had a few questions for Glenn Marshall in U.S. District Court yesterday. Did you use money from the Fisherman's Association account to make personal payments and pay tribe members? Did you set up an illegal political campaign contribution scheme? Did you knowingly file false tax returns and receive Social Security disability payments while being employed and receiving income? To each question, Marshall, the former chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal council, answered "yes." When he was then asked to render his plea to five federal charges, Marshall, 59, issued a quiet, "guilty." The once-storied Mashpee Wampanoag, who was the tribe's top administrator when it was granted federal recognition, was then released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to be sentenced for his crimes, including making $60,000 in illegal federal campaign contributions and embezzling nearly $400,000 in tribe money for his personal slush fund, on May 7.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Origins of Tribal Disenrollment Lecture

Hopefully, they will discuss the unfairness and unaccountablility that tribes are guilty of.. Ironic that it's a Tillie Hardwick Lecture Series. Didn't Pinoleville TERMINATE Tillie's family?

The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC)
Tillie Hardwick Lecture Series presents:

The Origins of Tribal Disenrollment

If you have wondered about the nature of tribal disenrollment
issues, this lecture may answer a host of questions for you. What is the
origin of tribal disenrollment ? Are there jurisdictional parameters? Why is
it a growing issue for tribes throughout California and the nation? What are
the options for individuals who are disenrolled? Do tribal governments have
an obligation to provide civil rights protections and due process to persons
undergoing disenrollment? These and other important issues will be probed in
this lecture. Whether you are Indian or non-Indian, this information will
enlighten you. Join us for an informative afternoon on this timely topic.

Saturday February 28, 2009 Time: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

FREE admission To Public.

The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center
5250 Aero drive, Santa Rosa, Ca 95403

phone: 707 579 3004 | fax: 707 579 9019 | Web address:

Murderers of Pechanga Member Daunte Mercado Bates found GUILTY

These two animals snuffed out two lives and will have to pay for it.

Daunte Mercado Bates
Franko Daniel Bernal , 22, of El Cajon, and McCauley, 24, of La Mesa, who could face the death penalty, were convicted today of two murder charges in connection with the November 2006 deaths of Mercado-Bates, 18, and a convenience store clerk in Lemon Grove.

Daunte's sister, Sonserrie Camacho reports this: "After Bernal was found guilty on all charges including two counts of 1st degree murder. He had the nerve to say to me & my family "it's not gonna bring him back". " Happy Thanksgiving!"

He is truly unbelievable! A monster! All the time he's going to get in prison isn't going to bring him back either!!

It won't bring Daunte back, but it WILL keep a violent offender in prison where he belongs. Let's hope we see more justice for former Pechanga members.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dry Creek Tribal Council becoming Laughing Stock of Indian Community


Dry Creek, even the THREE STOOGES knew what they were doing. Do you?

The turmoil within the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians took an odd turn last week as several members of the board of directors moved to recall each other, then rescinded their actions two days later.

The judges are going to LOVE YOU. Say it with me: You guys ARE crazy.

Read the article about the goofballs from Dry Creek HERE

Indians don't need to receive full Due Process Says Judge

Who needs due process? What is this judge thinking?

Here's a story from AIRRO's President:

Judge rules Indian Housing Agency does not have to provide full due process in eviction of disenrolled Indian

Valley Center, CA- The judge for the Intertribal Court of Southern California granted a request by the All Mission Indian Housing Authority (AMIHA), a tribal housing consortium in Southern California, to evict a disenrolled member of the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians from here home on the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation.

The AMIHA instituted the eviction of the disenrolled member based on a January 9, 2008 request by the Santa Rosa Tribal Council seeking action against the disenrolled member and other occupants of her home. Based on an investigation by the AMIHA, the disenrolled member was served with a Notice of Termination on January 23, 2008. Subsequently, the AMIHA instituted an eviction proceeding against the disenrolled member.

In the Answer to the AMIHA's Complaint for Eviction, the disenrolled member denied the grounds listed for eviction and further claimed that the AMIHA violated the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Mutual Help and Occupancy Agreement (MHOA) which governs the lease agreement between herself and AMIHA. The Answer specifically pointed to procedural requirements contained in the MHOA which a housing authority must comply with before issuing a notice of termination. The procedural requirements at issue specifically protect lessees from arbitrary and unjust termination actions by requiring Indian housing authorities to follow certain steps prior to issuing a notice of eviction.

In spite of the AMIHA's failure to comply with the stated procedural requirements and case law from other tribal courts which state that a housing authority must comply with the procedural requirements set forth in the MHOA, the judge stated that it was not necessary for the AMIHA to provide due process and equal protection under all aspects of the MHOA as long as they did so after the termination.

The ruling and the judge's reasoning could have far reaching affects on all AMIHA lessees and other HUD program beneficiaries as it clears the way for tribal housing agencies to violate specific procedural requirements, without fear of legal consequences, meant to protect lessees from arbitrary termination actions.

Stay tuned for more on this story...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tribal Gets a New Look

Tribal has a new look. This website, started by the Foreman family, whom the Redding Rancheria disenrolled, thereby embarrassing Indian country can be found at:

PLEASE take a look at the new video story, which is in FOUR parts. It's POWERFUL and you should tell your friends about it.

10 Things You Can Do to Help Stop Lawlessness like Pechanga's

From the President of AIRRO:

10 Things You Can Do To Help Stop the Lawlessness in Indian Country

1. Call, Write, and Email your Congressional representatives and tell them that the violations of human rights and civil liberties must be stopped and the violators must be prosecuted.
OP: If only 10 people send a letter, it makes no impact, 11 is more, 120 is better. Don't sit back and hope somebody writes a letter, or email or fax. Send one yourself and one for you wife and kids.
2. Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers describing the violations of human rights and civil liberties occurring in Indian Country.
OP: How do you think we got a news piece on KNBC (linked at my blogroll)? The editors will right about what their readers want to read.

3. Boycott Indian Casinos owned by those tribes whose tribal officials have violated the human rights and civil liberties of its citizens and customers. (List coming soon to Pechanga.Info Homepage)
OP: I used to spend $3,000 a year at Pechanga, but no more. I tell people now, not to go there.

4. Get others to boycott with you.
OP: How about your reunion committee that's thinking of having it at the casinos? Nope.
5. Stand beside those who have been wronged - walk the protest lines.
6. Speak out about the injustices occurring in Indian Country. Don't hide behind the fear "that you might be next".
OP: Bullies will beat up on those who won't defend themselves.
7. Stand up to your tribal leaders and show them that you won't tolerate being a part of creating another era of dishonor and genocide against Indian People. Do not hide behind the shame of what is being done to your family and friends
OP: Had more of the other families brought their relatives in to vote, we wouldn't be in this situation. One vote lost by 4 votes.
8. Join and support the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization or any other organizations that work to promote, protect and preserve human rights and civil liberties in Indian Country.
9. Persuade local business and community leaders not to accept Casino money from tribal officials that violate the human and civil rights of any individual.
OP: How is it that school districts will support illegal immigration, but not violation of civil rights to their Native neighbors.
10. Support and encourage those who have had their human rights and civil liberties violated by tribal officials.
OP: Say, like commenting on blogs, or passing the blog address to friends or visiting the blogs 3-5 times a day to show some love?

For more information on the fight to end lawlessness in Indian Country, please continue to visit www.Pechanga.Info or contact or

Elizabeth Larson Reporting: The NEWS on Civil Rights Violations at Pechanga, Robinson Rancheria, Redding, Picayune

Elizabeth Larsonis one of the few reporters in California that is delivering THE NEWS on what is happening in California's Indian Country. It's somewhat mystifying that NEWSpapers are not willing to report the NEWS on what tribes are doing to their people, which is a blatant denial of civil and human rights. Elizabeth GETS IT, and here is her REPORTING.

SACRAMENTO – Braving a February rainstorm, Indian activists from around California gathered on the steps of the State Capitol Building on Thursday to seek the help of legislators, the state's citizens and each other in fighting what they believe is an attack on Indian communities that's coming from the inside.
The “Tribal corruption is not traditional” event, sponsored by United Native Americans Inc. and the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization (AIRRO), featured numerous speakers who addressed a large crowd for more than an hour and a half, beginning at noon.
Common themes emerged during the day – tribal governments violating civil rights, including attacking free speech; the rising tide of disenrollments that is taking place around California and the nation; and a call to state legislators and Congress to find a remedy.

Quanah Brightman of United Native Americans Inc. faulted tribal leaders for abandoning their responsibilities to communities, and only taking care of themselves.
“We should not tolerate this in our communities,” he said. “We should not tolerate this at all.”

John Gomez Jr., who in 2004 was disenrolled by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, said the tribal leaders responsible for pushing members out have forgotten what it's like to be Indian, because they're not helping each other.

He estimated 2,500 California Indians have been disenrolled and hundreds more denied benefits.

Gomez said there's hope. “There are a lot of people in Indian Country who are standing up to this oppression.”

But if the oppression and disenrollment continues, Gomez said it will consume Indian Country.

California is ground zero for the problem, said Gomez.

While tribal leaders have all of the resources at their disposal, including millions of dollars, Gomez said the opposition has people.

Please read the Elizabeth's full story at her link above

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Anatomy of Pechanga Tribal Corruption: Bad APPLES destroy families.

Our cousins at Teetilawuncha’s Blog has the story on how APPLES like The Russell Murphy Family and the Masiel-Basquez Crime Family are exposed in this takedown of Pechanga's corrupt activity in their tribal disenrollment cases of the Manuela Miranda and Paulina Hunter family terminations. Bobbie LeMere, Frances Miranda, Ihrene Scearse are other examples of BAD APPLES.

This IS NOT like getting removed from the P.T.A.

Our Cousin 'Aamokat has some very valid points and would like an answer from the CPP.

Explain and defend specifically the list of violations below:

1. Our family member and members of the Manuela Miranda family who were also disenrolled found evidence of irregularities on the enrollment committee including not enrolling people who met the Band's membership requirements who were lineal descendants of enrolled tribal members in good standing.

2. Our family member and members of the Manuela Miranda family then informed the tribal council of the irregularities.

3. The tribal council and the enrollment committee were then asked to have those enrollment committee members in question to not be allowed to rule on the cases of my family and that of the M. Mirandas due to bias and conflict of interest.

4. Among the people who turned in challenges to my family's and the M. Miranda family's tribal membership were nieces, nephews, sons and daughters of two of the enrollment committee members in question (Yoli McCarter). So those committee members should have stepped aside in ruling on the disenrollees cases also on the basis of conflict of interest.These are clear violations of Article V of the Band's constitution and bylaws which states below:


So read your tribal constitution and then get back to us.Anyone else notice how our anonymous critic gets less and less specific in his posts after we shoot down his arguments time and time

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sacramento Event Draws Tribes from Throughout California UPDATE

The rally at Sacramento's Capitol Building today drew members from throughout California. Over 100 onlookers listened to impassioned speeches from speakers who have suffered the pain of disenrollment, had their civil rights violated and who suffer from corrupt tribal councils.

As I'm travelling tomorrow, pictures of the event won't be up until tomorrow. But until then, I ask you to look through the blog and get up to speed on the issues, and comment.

We will be asking for help with letter writing and building traffic on a few sites here in Indian Country.

John Gomez Jr and Carla Maslin of AIRRO represented many who have been unjustly disenrolled. Quanah Parker Brightman railed against the corrupt nature of entirely too many tribal councils, defining them as "APPLES" red on the outside and white on the inside. Laura Wass of AIM was also spreading the word to onlookers.

CONGRATULATIONS to Quanah on the birth of his daughter, last night, weighing in at 8 lbs 11 oz. and 22" long! At the same time, our best wishes for his father, Lehman, who is in the hospital, as we speak. Still, Quanah was able to advocate our positions to the press. I would be remiss not to mention that Quanah's wife was heavily involved in their daughter's birth! LOL

Please, stay tuned to the blog, for more of the story.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The DARK SIDE of Indian Gaming

For Immediate Release:
Press Contacts:
Quanah Brightman/United Native Americans Inc (415) 672-7187
Lisa Gray-Garcia,POOR Magazine/PNN (510) 435-7500

The Dark Side of Indian Gaming

What: Press Conference and Testimony
When: February 5, 2008 @ 11:00 am
Where: California State Capitol Building – North Side
10th st & Capitol Mall; Sacramento, California

An epidemic is sweeping through Indian Country, and in its wake, it is leaving thousands of victims struggling for basic rights protections.

"The civil rights of Indian people need to be protected from and enforced against the illegal acts of tribal officials. Until such a time, thousands more Indian people will be victimized as corrupt tribal officials violate tribal and federal laws to deny or strip them of the basic rights all other United States citizens enjoy," commented John Gomez Jr. of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization. "Tribal officials will continue to violate civil and human rights laws as long as they can escape prosecution for such actions by hiding behind tribal sovereignty."

The rights violations referred to are often characterized by the denial of due process and equal protection of laws specifically enacted to protect individuals from the "arbitrary and capricous actions" of tribal officials. In most instances, the violations have resulted in the stripping or denial of tribal citizenship of numerous individuals. The number of such reported rights violations in Indian Country has increased dramatically since the legalization and expansion of Indian Gaming.

In California alone, 20+ federally recognized tribes have stripped nearly 2500 Indian people of their tribal citizenship since the passage of Props 5 and 1A. And thousands more have been denied their birthright as tribes close their roles in an attempt to limit the number of those who benefit from Indian Gaming.

Some Indian activists have even gone so far as to call disenrollment the new Indian genocide, reminiscnt of the old termination policies practiced by the United States government. Unlike before, where it was the United States Cavalry or local militias who carried out the termination polices of the government, it is now tribal officials who are responsible for the acts of genocide being carried out against Indian people.

“It is a sad and shameful time for American Indians in this country because some tribals leaders are failing to protect the civil and human rights of their members," stated Carla Foreman-Maslin, a dis-enrolled member of the Redding Rancheria.
As a result, thousands of traditional First Nations People are now being denied adequate health care and other benefits previously provided to them as members of federally recognized tribes. Some have been denied access to their traditional gathering places and forceably evicted from the only home they have ever known. Others have been banished from their tribal lands and kept from visiting the resting place of their deceased ancestors.

Call it what you will- genocide, identity theft, disenrollment. It will continue to spread throughout Indian Country as long as the basic rights of Indian people are merely words on paper like so many of the treaties signed with their ancestors.

Tribal corruption, disenrollments the focus of Thursday event in Sacramento

YOUR presence can make the difference between an event, and a MAJOR event. Bring a friend.

Indian activists from around Lake County and the state will converge in Sacramento on Thursday to shine a spotlight on critical issues facing Indian Country – from disenrollments to corruption on the part of tribal leaders.

The gathering, titled "Tribal corruption is not traditional," will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, on the north side of the State Capitol Building, 10th and Street and the Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento.

United Native Americans Inc. and the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization (AIRRO) are sponsoring the event, whose guest speakers will include Lehman Brightman, founder of United Native Americans Inc.; Wanda Quitiquit, who the Robinson Rancheria Citizens Business Council has targeted for disenrollment, along with her family; John Gomez, president of AIRRO who was himself disenrolled from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in 2004; Cesar Caballero of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok; Clayton Duncan of the Lucy Moore Foundation and a Robinson Rancheria member; Norman "Wounded Knee" DeOcampo, a disenrolled Miwok from Vallejo; and Ukiah resident Loise Lockhart, another victim of disenrollment.

"Nobody quite understands what's going on in Indian Country," said Quanah Brightman, vice president of United Native Americans Inc., based on the Bay Area.

Brightman, who is Lakota Sioux and Creek, said it's important to get beyond some current myths about Indians to get to the core of the very complex issues facing Indian nations around the country.

For one, he said, it's believed that because of casinos and an exemption from income tax that Indians are rich. “It's the furthest thing from the truth,” he said.

To emphasize that point, Brightman said the gathering is scheduled for Feb. 5, the one-year anniversary of California voters approving gaming compacts between the state and the Pechanga, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Brightman said one of the event's goals is to give Indian leaders the chance to meet with state legislators and to educate them and the general public about the issue of disenrollment – the increasing practice of tribes kicking out members.

He called disenrollment "the new form of termination" for Indians. "We're becoming extinct," he said.

Disenrollment is having far-reaching, divisive consequences for Robinson Rancheria.

In December, Robinson Rancheria's tribal council disenrolled about 50 of its members. Those who were disenrolled included the Quitiquit family, who supported EJ Crandell for the tribal chair seat in a general election last summer. The sitting tribal chair, Tracey Avila, disputed the election, which was decertified.

Avila said the disenrollments were necessary to clean up the tribal rolls and address the membership of those whose place in the tribe had been questioned.

This Lake County News Article has the rest of the story

Another Day, Another California Indian Tribe Running Amok: Santa Ysabel

Another example of a California's Indian Country tribe sqabbling. This time the SANTA YSABEL tribal chairman is seeking to be all powerful chief of tribe. Tribal leaders across the country know that California is giving a bad name to all Indian Tribes.

In a bitter ongoing feud, the chairman of Santa Ysabel Band of Mission Indians is attempting to unilaterally remove the North County tribe's vice chairwoman from her elected post.Both sides are expected to meet Tuesday at the Inter-Tribal Court in Rincon to discuss the removal.

In a letter dated Dec. 29, 2008, Chairman Johnny Hernandez told Vice Chairwoman Brandie Taylor that he had decided to remove her from her duties for "blatant insubordination."Taylor wrote back in a letter, addressed to the tribal court, that Hernandez did not have the power to remove her. She said the only legal ways to remove a vice chairwoman were through a recall process or through a legislative removal process.
That's a matter that will have to be resolved in court, said Cesar Luna, an attorney representing Hernandez."I understand those arguments," Luna said. The tribe's constitution "can lend itself to that argumentation, and that question should probably be resolved by the court."

In her letter, Taylor alleges that Hernandez defamed her by forwarding the removal letter to other tribal leaders and tribal organizations that she works with. She is asking the court to award her $10,000 in punitive damages."I believe that this letter has tainted my reputation as a professional woman tribal leader," Taylor wrote.

Taylor also is seeking an injunction barring Hernandez from removing her.Critics opposed to Hernandez say he has overstepped his authority on several occasions."

It's starting to get ridiculous," said June Sortore, a tribal member who is seeking to remove Hernandez from office

Read Edward Sifuentes article here

Monday, February 2, 2009

Letter in Support of San Pasqual Members who were Disenfranchised in their Last election

You can see the video on the sidebar to the left.

Here is a letter in support of their right to vote. There will be MORE coming shortly about the the BIA's culpability or negligence in allowing the election to proceed.

Congressman Darrell Issa
2347 Rayburn House Office BuildingDistrict of Columbia 20515-0549
Phone: (202) 225-3906
Fax: (202) 225-3303

Re: Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Indian Gaming Commission enforcement

Dear Congressman Issa:

I am submitting this letter in support of those members of the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California (“Tribe”) whose enrollment as a member of the Tribe has been confirmed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on numerous occasions in accordance with its authority to make final determinations involving the enrollment and disenrollment of San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians tribal members.

I write today to request your assistance in getting the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) and the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC) to enforce the BIA decisions which have upheld the enrollment of Marcus Alto, Sr. and his descendants as members of the Tribe.

In a November 26, 2008 letter, the BIA Pacific Regional Director affirmed an earlier 1994 BIA decision which identified Marcus Alto Sr. and his descendants as enrolled members of the Tribe.

In fact, the November 26, 2008 letter explicitly states:

“It is inappropriate for the (Tribe’s Enrollment) Committee to continue to raise this issue of the validity of the inclusion of Mr. Alto and his descendants on the Band’s membership roll or to attempt to disenroll his descendants and to continue
to seek remedy from the BIA.”

In spite of numerous BIA decision’s validating their membership, the Tribe has cut off the Marcus Alto Sr. descendants from all tribal benefits, including participating in tribal meetings and other tribal functions; participating in children’s education programs and; participating in tribal assistance and tribal housing programs.

The Tribe has also prohibited Marcus Alto, Sr. descendants from entering tribal buildings; denied basic and necessary services family member’s who reside on the reservation; denied eligible members elder services; terminated the employment of family members who worked for the Tribe and removed family members from elected positions on multiple committees, boards, and commissions; denied each and every family member per capita payments in violation of the Tribe’s Revenue Allocation Plan and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act; and, most recently, denied each and every one of the eligible voting members the right to participate in Tribal elections.

The actions listed above specifically violate an additional BIA notice, dated June 26, 2008 and served on the Tribe that states, in pertinent part, that:

“… there are no provisions in the Tribal Constitution or other enrollment
criteria for suspension of tribal membership privileges, nor is there criteria
in the Tribe’s approved Tribal Revenue Allocation Plan (TRAP) for the suspension of benefits.”

I understand that the descendants of Marcus Alto, Sr. have made numerous pleas to the BIA and the NIGC to intervene and enforce the above referenced decisions, as per their trust responsibility and in accordance with federal law, but to date, neither agency has enforced the BIA decisions which confirmed their tribal membership and the rights and privileges associated with said membership.

Therefore, I request that you correspond with the BIA and the NIGC, on behalf of the Marcus Alto, Sr. descendants, to determine why neither agency has acted to enforce the BIA’s decisions and the Tribe’s violations of the federal law, including the IGRA and the TRAP.

Respectfully submitted:

Trial Coverage in MURDER of Pechanga Member that Tribe Disenrolled

Daunte Mercado Bates was a Pechanga Tribal member, who in March 2006 was disenrolled by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Sadly, he was murdered in November 2006. Pechanga destroyed his heritage and slandered his ancestry, then these killers destroyed his life.

Here is a story on the trial of his murderers:

A Murrieta teenager inflicted wounds on a murder defendant's chest before he was gunned down, not a kick, a prosecutor suggested Thursday.
Defendant Franko Daniel Bernal repeatedly testified that the three small lines on his chest were probably the result of being kicked by co-defendant Samuel Thomas McCauley during a fight they had about a day after Murrieta resident Daunte Mercado-Bates was killed.
"Those marks are from Daunte Mercado-Bates," prosecutor James Romo said as he questioned Bernal.

"No," Bernal, a former Murrieta resident, testified during his trial in El Cajon.
Bernal, 22, of El Cajon, and McCauley, 24, of La Mesa, could face the death penalty if convicted of two murder charges in connection with the November 2006 deaths of Mercado-Bates, 18, and a convenience store clerk in Lemon Grove.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Candlelight Vigil Draws Groups from throughout Indian Country

Candlelight Vigil draws groups from throughout Indian Country

John Gomez, Jr. and Rick Cuevas contributed to this story.

Temecula, CA— Nearly 150 people, Indian and non-Indian alike, gathered in front of the Pechanga Resort and Casino on January 24th in a peaceful protest for Indian civil rights. Those in attendance represented tribes from throughout California and other parts of Indian Country.

"It gives me great pleasure to be involved in this event," stated Allen Mitchell, Muscogee Creek (Freedmen) who was kicked out of his tribe in 1979. "The presence of so many elders and children from the many different reservations makes a statement to Indian Country and our elected officials that this issue needs to be addressed or many more will fall victim to the actions of corrupt tribal officials."

The event, which was advertised as a candlelight vigil, was called to draw attention to the growing number of human and civil rights violations occurring in Indian Country. The violations, which include the denial of such basic rights as due process and equal protection, have contributed to the growing number of disenrollments, banishments, and denial of membership that have swept through Indian Country. In California alone, nearly 2500 Indian people have been stripped of their tribal citizenship since the approval and expansion of Indian Gaming in 2000. Additionally, thousands more have been denied their birthright as tribes close their roles in an attempt to limit the number of those who benefit from Indian Gaming.

“Considering the weather, it is good to see so many people willing to brave the cold and the possibility of rain and come together for such an important issue. There are people here from tribes up and down the State of California , and there are even representatives from tribes in Arizona , Oklahoma , and Nevada ,” stated John Gomez, Jr., one of the events organizers.

While the protesters braved the elements and lined the sidewalk across from the casino, Tribal leaders were inside at a reception for U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (Dem- HI) and his wife. The reception was the culmination of a two-day conference on self governance and working with the Obama administration.

“Many of the people you see here sent in requests to Senator Inouye and the Obama administration requesting to meet with them while they were here for the conference. We received no response from Senator Inouye nor from the Obama Administration,” said John Gomez, Jr. “I and many other Obama supporters in attendance held out hope that the President and his administration would be true to his word regarding basic rights and grass roots campaigns. Unfortunately, it looks like the same old politics.”

Hundreds of passersby honked and waved to those gathered, and many asked for information while stopped at intersections at both ends of the event. Event attendees handed out leaflets and flyers describing the violations of basic rights committed by tribal officials, and many people were directed to visit internet sites such as the Original Pechanga Blog, Pechanga.Info, and to get more information.

At the close of the vigil, thanks were given to all those who attended and commitments were made to hold more events and to continue the struggle for Indian civil rights.

“It would have been nice if Senator Inouye or the Obama Administration would have responded to our requests, but this event was a good start to 2009 and provided an opportunity to re-connect with old friends and to welcome new people to the fight for Indian rights. This event was also significant in that it was filmed and many of the attendees were interviewed for an upcoming documentary chronicling the growth of rights violations in Indian Country,” said Gomez. “Now it’s on to Sacramento for a February 5th event at the State Capitol.”

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dry Creek Rancheria Leaders Come to Their Senses on Disenrollments

Well, some of them anyway. Shouldn't those up for disenrollments attend the demonstration in Sacramento on Feb. 5?

Dry Creek Rancheria which owns Sonoma County’s only Indian casino, say they hope the tribe will reverse plans to kick out 13 percent of its adult members.

In a controversy that has played out increasingly within tribes where casino payments and other benefits are at stake, 73 individuals were recently put on notice by their fellow tribe members that they do not qualify for membership.

The issue has pitted cousins and other relatives against each other, generated hard feelings, threats and a lawsuit.

And now, it has put the five-member board of directors of the 965-member Dry Creek Band of Pomo, which owns River Rock Casino, seemingly at odds with the recent vote by the members authorizing the disenrollments.

“This board to my knowledge has never wanted to remove any person in this tribe,” Chairman Harvey Hopkins said this week. “We always put our arms around each member, as a member of Dry Creek, and still do that today.”

Ousted members face being cut off from cash payments generated by the casino — approximately $600 per month for the 565 adults — as well as potential tuition, housing and medical benefits. They also face losing the cultural heritage and identity that comes with being a tribe member.