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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's good to know that persons with-in the tribe are willing to speak against dis-enrollments. They aren't just resting on the argument that it is their sovereign right to do it, but thinking about tribal/nation ethics. A good part of this dis-enrollment resolution must come from enrolled members of tribes, like the Cherokees have in the Cornsilks. I'm sure there are enrolled Pechanga's who have pondered this situation and could meet the dis-enrolled at the line somewhere, they just need to speak up, stay focused on the agenda rather than a personal vendetta and perhaps stop signing as anonymous.