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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Snoqualmie Banishments: Do They Equate to Arbitrary Exile? Is this a Treaty Violation?

One of the banished Snoqualmie members, Carolyn Lubenau believes that the Snoqualmie Tribal Council is guilty of treaty violations. Here is a comment from her that has been promoted to a full post. Thank you Carolyn for your post.

We have posted on the Snoqualmie issues HERE HERE AND HERE

In answer to the question - "what the federal government actually can do" - the first thing they can do is honor our treaties.

I personally testified at the listening session in Albuquerque, New Mexico a few weeks ago and I was the only person there to speak about disenrollments/banishments.

I am one of 9 tribal members illegally banished by the Snoqualmie Tribal council - I will not say we were banished by our tribe because our tribe had no real say in this and have since overwhelmingly reinstated us back into the tribe but the tribal council found guilty of violating our civil rights will still not honor the will of the people and reinstate us.

This illegal banishment was overturned in a Federal court case in Seattle, Washington (Sweet vs

My tribe signed the 1855 Pt. Elliot Treaty and it has this article in it: ....."Nor will they make war on any other tribe
except in self-defense, but will submit all matters of difference between them and the other Indians to the Government of the United States or its agent for decision, and abide thereby. And if any of the said Indians commit depredations on other Indians within the Territory the same rule shall prevail as that prescribed in this article in cases of depredations against citizens."

Banishment and disenrollments are the acts of tyrants and thieves - depredations - "a destructive action". We have a treaty right to be protected and the Department of the Interior (Larry Echo Hawk) is not doing their job. I hope the State Department (Hillary Rodham Clinton) is all over them for sending this problem on to them because they also have a job to do now and that is to defend against "Human Rights violations".

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

Banishments and disenrollments are the very definition of "arbitrary exile".

To continue to cloak these hateful crimes under "sovereignty" is dishonorable and tribes should condemn these actions and stand out against them. Honorable nations should waive their "sovereign immunity" over civil rights issues and protect all of their people - they should not be afraid to defend their actions if they are honorable ones.

In honoring our treaty we cannot make war against them but we can take up our pens and write.....let us see if the "pen is mightier than the sword".

Snoqualmie 9


Alen L. Lee said...

Interesting documentary, I got to view the film a couple of years ago in Portland and shake the filmmakers hand.. Mirrors my views about banishments. They still aren’t unconstitutional in the U.S. for “criminal” punishments though most of the Indian Country dis-enrollments have no criminal punishment component but rather a eugenics component. It may be safe to infer that almost every reservation in Indian community is a result of racial banishment, left with the options of assimilation or occupied sovereignty. The fact that it is not some attempt to play the historic victim card, but like slavery, (yes it is back) has re-emerged into our human societies, requires that we act to address current non-criminal banishments and dis-enrollments as a current threat to Human Rights. Blacks and Indians weren’t the only victims of such banishments in America, and it would behoove everyone to make an effort to address it, not just dis-enrolled Indians.

Marco Williams
…sincerely hope that the film will galvanize Americans to think about the concepts of reparations and reconciliation. I tried very consciously to make evident why the notion of reparations is to be considered and part of a national discussion. I would be grateful if audiences saw themselves in my documentary rather than viewing the movie and the people in it as though their experiences and words don’t either represent or reflect who we are as Americans. And if audiences don’t immediately see themselves on the screen, or someone that they know (even if the circumstances are different), then it is my hope that audiences will be shocked, angered, surprised and ultimately inspired to be part of effecting change..."
"A few important points: Several people of Native American heritage felt invisible—as there was no mention of the original banishment of their people."

"1898 Wilmington Race Riot"


"The Tulsa, Oklahoma Race
Riot of 1921"
By James E Patrick

"..Historian James Loewen, author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, has estimated that over 10,000 U.S. towns violently or illegally prohibited blacks from living within their borders. Loewen’s meticulously researched book suggests that this practice continued well into the 1970s. The effect of this displacement on the material condition of black families, who often were compelled to leave towns, abandoning their land, homes, bank accounts and other assets, has never been comprehensively examined..."
"..Dr. SETSUKO NISHI (Retired Sociology Professor): April 1942, California. I moved zombie-like through the day of our banishments. I still have the order for removal, which I tore down from the telephone pole in front of our home in Los Angeles. I also have the button for the number two mess hall where my family was assigned to have meals, Army style, after long waits in line. This was in the camp the government set up in the stables and parking lot of the Santa Anita Race Track..."

Allen L. Lee said...

Yes the exiles were "arbitrary" both in Snoqualmie and Pechanga. The actions were committed by rulers and factions without respect to known rules and laws of the tribe, making the actions arbitrary:

"...Members of the Snoqualmie Tribe banished eight tribal members Sunday, and more than 60 others have received letters informing them they have been disenrolled from the tribe.
A selected group of Snoqualmies designated "preferred voters" by honorary chief Jerry Enick and tribal council members gathered in an all-day, closed-door meeting
They were accused of operating an "illegal, shadow government" after being suspended by Enick last fall, when he asserted control of the tribal government
Sunday's gathering was painful to the excluded, as fellow tribal members, some wearing shirts declaring themselves "Followers of Chief Enick" on one side and "Yeah that's right, the REAL Indians" on the other, strode past...."

Let's take a look at a possible motivation for the arbitray exiles:
"...“…In October 2006, Barozzi and Mattson got their financing the same place as other startups: Wall Street. They came back with an $85 million loan -- enough to acquire the casino property and pay MGU $76 million to go away. The fat settlement included the $26 million Moyes put into the deal, and it also included, without having to take the risk or do the work, the amount of profit the company had expected to make from the casino.
…In January 2007, Mattson and Barozzi went back to Wall Street and asked for $330 million to build the project and pay back the original $85 million loan.
…Why was the tribe giving so much control over the casino to Barozzi? And to investors, who insisted the tribe rewrite a section of its constitution to ensure they'd get repaid? Why had the tribe gotten into such a bad deal with MGU in the first place, forcing the tribe into enormous debt before construction even started?
"We had questions about that $85 million," Lubenau said…”"
I've said it before, the tribes may enjoy sovereign immunity from U.S. Civil Rights violations but Wall Street, Banks and Investment Groups do not. Investors insisting the tribe re-write the constitution? I think they are liable. Perhaps injunctive relief to stop corporation from indirectly financing treaty and rights violations in the name of Casinos are in order.

Unknown said...

The response at the listening session was shock and surprise...some of the women tribal leaders came up and were visibly upset - they all believed this was just an issue with the California tribes.

They also thought my banishment was more "violence against women" and I would have to say the non-tribal members behind our banishment are very intimated and afraid of what will happen when we are reunited with our tribe and we will be! Although they also banished my older brother and several other male family members just to make it hurt more because they had nothing to do with tribal politics.

These people are empty shells with black hearts filled with greed and corruption. Most people also mistakenly believe that banishments/disenrollments are because of drugs and lawlessness and that is why I speak out because I have been with the same job for 40 years with a prestigious company. My Grandmother, who held a life-time counsel position in my tribe, would have wanted me to help the people.

These disenrollments are a problem coast to coast but it is difficult for us to speak of it. But we must all speak out - this is not our way and never has been. I had tribal elders come and take my hand and said they would pray for our situation. I also got into an argument with someone from AIM who think these things should be handled inside the tribes and not "air the dirty laundry"....short of violence, I don't see any other way to combat this issue. We must speak out - we must speak out loudly and we must help each other. Justice will come and the word is getting out - we have to be heard so please urge all of the people who can to go to the listening session in California. Get there early and sign up to speak as soon as you can - speak up under any topic they present. For example, if they have a time slot for sacred sites, sign up under that topic because being banished and disenrolled removes us from being able to go to our sacred sites. You will see they do not have a place on their agendas to hear about banishments and disenrollments so you must just sign up under every topic to be heard.


Unknown said...

Allen L. Lee is exactly right - the motivation for our banishment was to get us out of the way because we question to this day the money which has disappeared behind closed doors.

Today, the tribe has no services and no accounting for money or laws that are being made. We have not had a legal election since 2007 when we were elected but immediately removed by an "honorary chief".

The 9 of us banished by the tribal council were overwhelmingly reinstated by our tribal members in Sept. 2009, but the tribal government refuses to reinstate us against the will of the people.

They cannot allow a real election or even a General Membership meeting because they know they will have to face the people.

The research Mr. Lee has done is exactly on target for what happened to us. I want to be clear - this is not my tribe doing these things, this is a group of black-hearted corrupt people with the help of non-natives acting on their own desires and greed and manipulating our "puppet" government too weak to stand up to the corruption. They are taking advantage of the pitifully created Federal Indian Laws that make this corruption so easy - it really is like "stealing candy from a baby".


'aamokat said...

"The 9 of us banished by the tribal council were overwhelmingly reinstated by our tribal members in Sept. 2009, but the tribal government refuses to reinstate us against the will of the people."

This sounds so familar because in July 2005 the Pechanga General Membership voted to end disenrollment as a part of tribal law but we didn't find out the new law supposedly didn't cover us, the descendants of Paulina Hunter, until March 14, 2006 just two days before we received the Record of Decision on March 16, 2006 informing us we had been disenrolled from the tribe.

Obviously timed so that we couldn't respond and refute the contentions of the tribal council.

So even though the disenrollment procedures no longer existed as a part of tribal law as of the date of the justification of the new law in June 2005, we were unlawfully disenrolled anyway.

The problem has been all along that even if a tribe doesn't follow their own laws, so far there has been no one to make them do so.

And even though the Snolqualmie 9 has been able to take it a step further in getting an outside court to rule on their case in their favor, which we haven't been able to do thus far, they still haven't gotten back what was illegally taken from them.

Our opponents at Pechanga like to come here and say that the people have spoken regarding our disenrollment and that is what is frustrating in that they did speak to stop our disenrollment but we are still disenrolled anyway.

Luiseno said...

In the largest gathering of our Tribe in recorded history, they voted to STOP ALL dissenrollments and remove the disenrollment process from Tribal law by a HUGE margin.

This so shocked those in power that they stopped ALL tribal meetings for the next few months, and in secret behind armed closed doors, decided to overthrow the vote of the people and disenroll our family anyways.

With such a HUGE voting block now disenrolled they now have assured there control and take over of the tribe.

Luiseno said...

In the largest gathering of our Tribe in recorded history, they voted to STOP ALL dissenrollments and remove the disenrollment process from Tribal law by a HUGE margin.

This so shocked those in power that they stopped ALL tribal meetings for the next few months, and in secret behind armed closed doors, decided to overthrow the vote of the people and disenroll our family anyways.

With such a HUGE voting block now disenrolled they now have assured there control and take over of the tribe.

Anonymous said...

This is the very same tactic that is being used at Snoqualmie - now they refuse to hold General Membership meetings despite 5 different petitions according to our constitution to call for a meeting.

The "interim council" that the BIA put in place is currently involved in trying to hold another fraudulent election on April 12, 2010 to elect a chairman and several other council positions that have been in dispute - the problem is they have disenrolled or placed other tribal members on a list of members "not in good standing"......what that means is every member that is against them and their tactics has been put on the "not in good standing list". A totally fraudulent election that should have them all placed in jail if it were to happen in a United States election.....tampering with eligible voters and candidates. They also refuse to give Tribal Identification cards to eligible tribal members to keep them from voting. They have cut themselves off from the tribal members and have security that will not allow members into tribal offices without prior appointments, that you cannot get. All it is, is organized crime.....

We have to keep pressure on the Department of the Interior to do their job - they have a trust responsibility to all of us. In the 1972 American Indian civil Rights Handbook published by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, there is a section under "Protection Against Excessive Fines and "Cruel and Unusual Punishment". "The Constitution forbids excessive fines and "cruel and unusual punishment". The Indian Bill of Rights contains the same protections.

Some forms of punishment which were common in the past may be considered cruel and unusual now. It may be that traditional forms of punishment, like banishment, will not be permitted under the act.

For any single offense a tribe cannot impose a penalty "greater than imprisonment for a term of six months or a fine of $500 or both." (I know this limited has been increased to a year in jail and $5000, but the point is there is a finite limit to the penalty.)

My argument is that disenrollments, which to me are the same as banishments, should not be allowed because they exceed the limits of the authority of tribal courts. How can a government impose a greater penalty than their courts can inflict? Our treaty rights, our civil rights, and our human rights are all being violated by these acts of greed and corruption and we have to continue to fight against it.


Anonymous said...

A comment for Alan L. Lee .....Just to add to your research on "motivation" for our banishments - are you aware that Barozzi was originally an employee of MGU during the first $85 million dollar fiasco? Can you imagine that??? The tribal council hired one of MGU's employees........even after they got $85 million dollars from us!

Now Barozzi is running Casino Snoqualmie and like he told us at a council meeting before we were "suspended" and ultimately "banished" - he had carte blanche in building, hiring, firing, and running the casino and there wasn't a "damn thing we could do about it!".........He would not tolerate us asking questions and his good pal (at the time), the Honorary Chief, got rid of us - he didn't want to miss any football games at his luxury suite in Safeco Field. It was all very convenient!

Allen L. Lee said...

No anonymous, I was not aware of Barrozi's previous association, thanks. But if I could re-hash an opinion with an additional source:
"...I've said it before, the tribes may enjoy sovereign immunity from U.S. Civil Rights violations but Wall Street, Banks and Investment Groups do not...."
Allen L. Lee
"...Corporations can exercise human rights against real individuals and the state,[3] and they may be responsible for human rights violations.[4]
^ Phillip I. Blumberg, The Multinational Challenge to Corporation Law: The Search for a New Corporate Personality, (1993) has a very good discussion of the controversial nature of additional rights being granted to corporations"

Luiseno said...

I wish our Tribe had had a court to hear our case, but we do not. The same people who were against us, and who voted to disenroll us, were those that were to decide if our appeal had any merit.

It was horrible to see those who hate your family, those who would rip you from your Tribe, looking down on you to decide your fate.

Kind of like having a rapist as judge and jury, deciding the merits of his victims case.

Unknown said...

I know exactly how you feel. We have a tribal court but it is worthless to us because we can't get past the court clerk who is directly related to the tribal council. Besides, we had a tribal court case and they just ignore that too! Who is to compel them to follow any laws? I know it is hard not to be discouraged but we just have to keep trying to be heard.


Luiseno said...

I find it quite odd to say the least, that every single instance of dissenrollments, banishments, moratoriums are EXACTLY THE SAME . Almost a carbon copy, like there must be some form floating around on how to take over a tribe. Or it is being orchestrated by a single party.

White Buffalo said...

It does sound very familar, crooks as judge and jury

Luiseno said...

"It does sound very familar, crooks as judge and jury

More than that, it was our accusers that had the roll as our judge and jury (all the same people)

'aamokat said...

"I find it quite odd to say the least, that every single instance of dissenrollments, banishments, moratoriums are EXACTLY THE SAME . Almost a carbon copy, like there must be some form floating around on how to take over a tribe. Or it is being orchestrated by a single party."

There is an organization called DCI America that holds seminars on Native American legal issues and I remember seeing an agenda on one of their events in about December 2005 where one of the topics was how a tribe's enrollment committee could get around a tribe's general membership regarding disenrollment.

Could this organization have something to do with the "cookie cutter" approach that seems to be invading tribe after tribe?

Anonymous said...

I know our enrollment department just copies all the moves of other tribes successful at disenrolling their members. With the "puppeteer" (the tribal administrator) and the tribal attorney's pulling the strings they just dance to the music.

They know all the low down dirty tricks. They don't have an original thought in their combined heads so they have to copy everyone else. They go to all the DCI training - it's a great getaway and all expense paid trip. They go every year! The secretary training is usually held in Hawaii.......nice....I guess it's more conducive to study.

Allen L. Lee said...

Just to re-iterate, it's not just my opinion that the dis-enrollments are a Human Rights violation
"...Nationhood implies conformity with international human rights ethics. Ethnic cleansing is a violation of human rights."

Anonymous said...

Allen L. Lee - Thank-you for all your help and research! It is encouraging when this battle can be so discouraging at times.

We just received information from a third party company who is taking a part in our tribes illegal elections, that they are going ahead with the elections despite our very well documented concerns.

It is disheartening to see company's with so little honor or integrity who will do anything for a few dollars and take part in these human rights violations.

'aamokat said...

To add on to my last post, was it a coincidence that after that session on disenrollment and the general membership held in Dec. 2005 put on by DCI America that in March 2006 we were disenrolled from our tribe despite the fact that disenrollment didn't exist as a part of tribal law after the July 2005 vote of the Pechanga General Membership which is supposed to be the final authority on all matters of tribal government?

Luiseno said...

Very interesting, no wonder every disenrolled Indian tells the exact same story, with the corrupt ones in power mouthing the exact same rhetoric, word for word!

Allen L. Lee said...

You may have a point, 'aamokat.
I just sense that the corporations think they have found a new angle to the old Off shore incorporation and Swiss Banking dodges around U.S. laws and taxes. the new angle is to hide behind Indian tribal sovereignty. The problem is that Indian tribes are still under federal jurisdiction, but as long as well placed politicians continue the diatribe of “none of our business” and “no intervention,” the corporations are safe.
Case in point:
"...Palmer and Brown, as sole owners of the Indian-sounding Buffalo Brothers Management, Inc., have pocketed tens of millions of dollars from the St. Croix's two casinos in western Wisconsin, where they employ no staff and incur few expenses. In 1992, the pair raked in $13.8 million in profits, more than twice the $6.5 million that went to the tribe.
...Officials have been bribed, tribal elections have been influenced, critics have been threatened, harassed, and even shot at. All the while, regulators in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., have, with one notable exception, stood by and winked. And the one regulator who spoke up was promptly fired.
.... band member, recalls that ninety-ten profit splits were once common throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Indians got a 10 per cent share for making space for the machines; the owners got 90 per cent for providing them. "These guys pretended to be the tribes' friends," says Hall, "but in fact they were stealing from them."

White Buffalo said...

Mr. Lee that sounds like a "Mob" owned operation.

Allen L. Lee said...

You probably should hit the link below "White Buffalo" and read the whole story, quite telling. When you visit the site, the chrononlogy is from the bottom of the page to the top. The only thing left out of the previous "Officials have been bribed, tribal elections have been influenced, critics have been threatened, harassed, and even shot at." quote was the dis-enrollments, but they are included in this information:
"Fight For Justice
On the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Reservation

“June 1, 1996
In a press release by Fight For Justice:

The Fight for Justice Anishinabe of Keweenaw Bay have today asked for last rites and traditional ceremonies for 24 young warriors who have committed themselves and their spirit to the Creator in defense of their Elders and children in the face of certain death now being planned at the hands of Tribal Chairman Fred Dakota.

These individuals represent the truest spirit of the Anishinabe world and their family and friends now pay them the highest respect and honor possible.
… In the first week of June, we were present to witness the crisis at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, an Ojibwe (Chippewa) reservation next to Baraga in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
…The action took place three days after the tribal council took steps to nullify a tribal election and remove 202 people from the tribal rolls. The tribe had about 2400 members, about half of whom live on the reservation, and the community has been reeling from the disenrollments, the occupation, and resultant threats and violence.
…Press Release from FFJ

….Fred Dakota's indictment for bribery and tax evasion, and the Tribal Council's response raises several concerns:
The Council claims that Dakota's secret fees from an organized crime corporation for selling millions of dollars of gaming equipment at inflated prices were not kickbacks but were somehow "legitimate" consulting fees. If so, we have a few questions:
….Dakota's corruption, violence and political repression are inextricably linked. Fred Dakota nullified the 1994 election and disenfranchishised 202 voters because he needed desperately to cling to power. Why? Because he needed to be in a position to continue hiding his corruption.”

Governments may be immune. Individuals and corporations exercising the same rights as individuals are not immune. Immunity can be granted by a government to an individual or a corporation who claims the individual or corporation acted at the government behest, but that simply brings the Human or Civil Rights accountability back to government. It does not absolve the actor of the violation.
The Qatar diplomat who smoked on the plane to Denver recently may have enjoyed some diplomatic immunity from U.S. prosecution, but he still wasn't allowed to smoke on the plane, and was given a choice to remedy the violation.

Anonymous said...

Hey, is the Muckleshoot casino part of the Snoqualmie?? I heard yesterday from someone who works there that there is a conection. Is she right?

Anonymous said...

No, the Muckleshoot casino is not a part of Snoqualmie, however, what you may have heard is that the Salish Lodge (near Snoqualmie Falls), was purchased by the Muckleshoot Tribe a couple of years ago. To the Snoqualmie people, the Snoqualmie Falls is our sacred place of creation.