Our cousin, 'Aamokat spoke out in the comment section about how Pechanga Tribal Council hides behind sovereignty to hide their corruption. 'Aamokat is a guest blogger for today. (repost from Jan. 2009)
What I have been saying is that the Pechanga tribe used disenrollment to sweep corruption under the rug.
Any doubts any reasonable people may have had about our credentials as tribal members should have been laid to rest by the documents we turned in.
Below are allegations made against members of the Enrollment Committee that were made by family members of the Hunter and Manuela Miranda families:
On Feburary 21, 2003 new members on the Enrollment Committee who had been elected in 2002, including Hunter and M. Miranda family members, sent a letter to the Tribal Council informing them of corruption on the Enrollment Committee. The letter detailed how members of the Enrollment Committee had acted to deny enrollment to lineal descendants of enrolled members.
These (committee) members would require DNA tests, delay meetings, and misinform parties before the Enrollment Committee.
A letter from February 25, 2003 provided the Tribal Council with more information about the corruption irregularities, which included:
1. A copy of the 1940 Census roll with 13 additional members handwritten onto the list. Of the 13 listed, 12 were born after 1940. All of the names belong to an Enrollment Committee member's family (from the CPP).note: This person was a former employee at the BIA
2. Adults enrolled 8 months prior to the 2000 election despite the moratorium.
3. Enrollment files for enrolled members that were missing. Some member's files were completely gone. Enrollment files and documents that were determined missing, through exhaustive search, reappeared a few days later.
4. Enrollment files for enrolled members that were unsealed. This violates the practice that files should be sealed once a member is enrolled and only opened if there is a reason to investigate.
5. Minutes from past Enrollment Committee meetings were stored in the back of an Enrollment Committee member's vehicle.
I was not a member of the committee and I did not make the above allegations and while I can't document that the offenses allegedly committed by the committee are true, It is documented that the tribal council was alerted to the allegations. So regardless if the allegations are true, which I believe they are, but even if the are not true, those Enrollment Committee members who had been accused should not have been allowed to rule on my family's (Hunters) and the M. Miranda's disenrollment cases. OP: According to the Supreme Court: "The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judge's ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality and competence is impaired." Uh, ya think?
So, as I have said about a "thousand times" and I guess I will keep saying it until something is done about it, the tribal council and the Enrollment Committee violated Article V of the Band's constitution against malice or prejudice agaisnt individual tribal members when they disenrolled us.
BUT AS I HAVE PREVIOUSLY SAID AND I WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP SAYING, IF A TRIBE VIOLATES ITS OWN RULES, WHO CAN MAKE THEM FOLLOW THOSE RULES BECAUSE OF SOVEREIGNTY?
OP: The answer is: YOU can, by making sure the public knows the underhanded ways that tribes like Pechanga, Redding, Robinson Rancheria, Enterprise, Picayune, San Pascual, in CA and the Snoqualmie Tribe in WA, just to name a few, use to get rid of longstanding members who disagree with them. DO NOT patronize their businesses and tell your friends. IF THEY WILL CHEAT THEIR OWN MEMBERS, don't you think they will CHEAT YOU?