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