Monday, December 6, 2010

Picayune Rancheria Disenrollment: 50% of Tribe Terminated, Lives Destroyed; Carole Goldberg Said, "overblown". Tell that to 600 Terminated Picayune People, Carole Goldberg

Since the Office of the President of the United States checked our blog today looking for posts on Carole Goldberg, I thought it an opportune time to bring the Picayune Rancheria Disenrollment story to the front.

Mary Martinez sat on the grinding rocks of her ancestors - giant boulders with holes used for thousands of years to crush acorns.

"This is where my grandmother used to sit, pounding acorns to make flour in the old ways," she said, closing her eyes to let the memories seep in. "I ground the flour, too, like my grandmother's mother and her mother before her.

"It's what you do as an Indian. I am a Chukchansi Indian," she said.

She is - and she isn't.

The 77-year-old Martinez has been kicked out of the Picayune Chukchansi tribe in the tiny Madera County town of Coarsegold - the tribe where she was vice chairwoman just two years ago, the tribe that is full of her cousins.

The tribal council threw her out last year, just as it has tossed out almost half its membership that in 2000 was 1,500 strong. It's the biggest disenrollment of any tribe in California, observers say.

The council explains it as a readjustment of records to more accurately reflect who deserves to be a Picayune Chukchansi and an official member of the tribe.

"Each tribe, under sovereignty, has the right to set its own membership, and that may be difficult at times, but it is necessary," said Chanel Wright, a spokeswoman for the tribe. "It's about doing what's best for the tribe."

But Martinez and the 600 other outcasts say it's all about greed. They blame the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, a gigantic building of neon, slot machines and card tables that for five years has reeled in millions of dollars for those lucky enough to call themselves tribal members.

"They kicked me to the curb so they could keep more money for themselves," Martinez said, tearing up as she visited the historic grinding rock, used by local Indians for millennia, near the tribe's rancheria. "Our ancestors would roll over in their graves if they knew."

Carole Goldberg, chair of the UCLA Native Nations Law & Policy Center, called complaints over disenrollment overblown.

UCLA Law Prof.Carole Goldberg

OP:  OVERBLOWN?   Elders health care ended?  Children's educational access denied?   Heritage destroyed?  Income taken away? Access to Federal programs refused?  Voting rights stripped?  OVERBLOWN?

"Some of the human drama is being amplified," OP:  On the contrary, Carole, it's not amplified ENOUGHshe said. "The tribes concede their sovereign authority if they talk to the non-Indian world, so they don't say much, which just leaves opponents to do much of the talking.

"But the reality is that the new money has made a difference in immeasurable ways."      OP:  Yes, let's measure:  the money has been able to buy politicians, secure lobbyists to keep small tribes from gaining casinos, kept newspapers from writing negative stories so as not to lose ad revenue, camouflauged tribe's dirty deeds with small donations to local charities.

Read more: SF Chronicle

Bryan Galt, former Picayune Enrollment Chair Responds


I find that this quote “Carole Goldberg, chair of the UCLA Native Nations Law & Policy Center, called COMPLAINTS OVER DISENROLLMENT OVERBLOWN. Some of the human drama is being amplified," she said. "The tribes concede their sovereign authority if they talk to the non-Indian world, so they don't say much, which just leaves opponents to do much of the talking,” to be downright insulting. Who are you to make such a claim that the enrollment issue is overblown? Can you imagine being told that your US Citizenship is being questioned and that you have only 90 days to provide proof that you belong here? Can you imagine going to a hearing with the same rules as Gitmo and providing evidence that is swept under the rug? Can you imagine being told that your Citizenship has been terminated and you must move out of your home and leave the country at once (especially since another ‘Citizen’ needs your house)?

Well, just so you know, once you are out of a Tribe, you also are legally no longer an Indian under federal law (unless you are 50% at least is the only exception). So not only has your heritage been trashed, your family been broken apart, your legal standing ripped out of your hands, you are left with no recourse and then must deal with smart ass comments from allegedly educated people who apparently only know what they read in the propaganda from the Tribe’s when it comes to Indian issues.

Just to set the record straight ma’am, I was the enrollment chairperson at Picayune from 2003 to 2005. I was ordered to audit every member file in an effort to find out who had insufficient documentation so that they could be placed into a pending category, given a hearing and terminated. The Council knew full well that the member files would be deficient in many areas because they were not required to have any documentation when the member was enrolled 14 years earlier. The Committee ruled that the application of a new rule or law against the current membership amounted to violation of the principle of Ex Post Facto and declined to proceed.

So, the Council waited out our term and appointed three new committee members who didn’t have any understanding of legal issues, they only understood the mentality of a greedy mob and they had no problems terminating over 600 of their fellow Chukchansi people from the Tribe. Perhaps the reason that the Tribes don’t speak up is the fact that they have behave in an amoral fashion, that they have hurt their own people for money and that they know that if they engage in this discussion, it will come out that they are nothing more than greedy street punks who would stab their own grandmother for a buck.

Maybe your view from your perch has clouded your vision on the reality of how damaging the enrollment terminations are to individuals and to families. I have four cousins (2 first cousins, 2 second)who are still enrolled at Picayune. Since they received their first stipend check for $7,000 in December, I haven’t heard a word from them. They act like the rest of their family no longer exists.

That is what is really going on out here.

That is why the terminated people are crying out so loudly.

I never wanted the money more than I wanted the community, the feeling of belonging to something special but that has all been taken away so a select group who is charge can line their pockets. Example: The Council paid itself $250 per person for each enrollment termination ($250 x 600 = $150,000). That’s a nice haul for screwing over your own. Their average paycheck each month: $14,000.

After I was terminated from the Tribe, I was also fired from the Casino. That was 10-06 and I am still unemployed. It took me almost a year to come to terms with what had transpired. I was so hurt and depressed I didn’t leave my home for months. I know that I am not alone. When an injustice of this magnitude occurs, it should be the duty of everyone to speak up, including haughty college professors. The Tribes are damaging themselves for money. I didn’t need a degree to see that happening.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Making sure your not killing each other over the water bill?

Anonymous said...

I find it remarkable how much like carbon copies each and every case involving Tribal disenrollment is. The wording that is spoken by the leaders are exact word for word spoken statements that other Tribal leaders have spoken. Each and every action are carbon copies involving the disenrollment process.

Anonymous said...

With a name like "Goldberg" (sounds like Jewish descent) I would think she knows the injustice that Jewish people endured in Nazi Germany. Is this any different? Your citizenship is stripped, your homes, land, business, taken away. You are limited access to your tribal lands where once you hunted and fished. You can no longer bury your dead with your ancestors. Children are forbidden to attend tribal schools and speak their language. And thats not even getting to the money aspect.
UCLA? Is perhaps Goldberg in bed with California Indian tribes? Eventually anthropologists will be bought off too, to support unethical tribes.

for ALL nations...for ALL chukchansi people said...

thank you op, for bringing the chukchansi story back to the forefront...

and YES, the stories of disenrollment do sound similar...

not surprising considering the violating tribes are using many of the same attorneys, consultants, lobbyists etc. in order to commit their paper genocide and other violations of legitimate tribal members tribal, civil, and human rights...

tribal chair morris reid even stated at one of our tribal meetings a few years ago that he had talked with pechanga chair mark macarro at a conference and was EXCITED that mark macarro made mention that picayune was "doing a good job" with many of their issues...

hmmm...this collaboration/alliance is rather scary just as is the alliance of major federally connected players in indian country involved with ietan consulting...

i sincerely hope that the office of the president of the united states keeps a VERY good eye on this blog, and not just for information in regard to carole goldberg!!!

OPechanga said...

Cathy, please pass this post on to your relations and get them on board, again.

Shine the spotlight!

stand your ground said...

Carol Goldberg is a friend of
Mark Macarro, just 2 friends supporting each other? LIARS!!!

Anonymous said...

Shes hot,wonder if shes single?

Anonymous said...

the abuse of civil and human rights vilations are staggering Will Pre. Obama work to correct all the problems that occurred during the Bush Administration

'aamokat said...

DCI American, some sort of Native American legal think tank, puts on seminars where enrollment topics are some of the panel discussions.

If I remember correctly, late in 2005 they had a panel about working around a tribe's general membership and disenrollment.

Any connection to our being disenrolled after our tribe had ended disenrollment as a part of tribal law even after the new law took effect?

I wish I had saved the agenda announcement.

But I suspect the cookie cutter approach of shafting a tribe's own people could very well be cooked up in conferences like those.

Anonymous said...

Goldberg is a part of juggernaut. would she dare say; Jewish extermination was overblown?

Her position at UCLA paid for by San Manuel fronting for non-Indian casino interests.

Goldberg is one cog of Jewish Indian Law devils working against the interests of American Indians.

OPechanga said...

It can seem outlandish to readers when Nazi/Jews get thrown about. Especially due to the horrible loss of life. This is nothing similar.

That being said, in order to make this relative, at Picayune, if you take the number of tribespeople harmed, you would have to equate it to roughly 140 MILLION Americans. In Pechanga's case, it would equate to 75 MILLION Americans. Each sovereign nation, harmed 45% and 25% of their tribal membership.

Take the 3,200 Americans killed by extremists on 9/11. If the extremists killed the same percentage of the population of Israel, there would have been 120,000 dead.

As tribes want their sovereignty recognized, so too, must the damage done be recognized.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Goldberg has been e-mailed regarding this story and we will see if she cares to comment?

'aamokat said...

Ms. Goldberg says that the issue of disenrollment is overblown maybe because she doesn't think the numbers are very large.

Does she realize that her friends at Pechanga allowed us to be disenrolled without any resemblance of due process or fairness whatsoever?

The following are some examples of the gross unfairness that we had to endure when we were disenrolled.

1. The people who were the deciding votes against us on the enrollment committee, who we asked to be recused from our case due to obvious conflict of interest, were the very people who accused us of not belonging and when their first challenge failed their close relatives and friends were the ones who issued the challenge and submitted statements against us.

2. We were denied legal representation at our hearing with the enrollment committee, copies of proceeding transcripts, and at our appeal to the tribal council we were again not allowed legal representation, to ask questions, or to even take notes.

3. The enrollment committee ignored key testimony in our favor including notarized legal testimony from tribal elders who verified our family are legitimate tribal members both in the 1915 probate hearings for our family land allotment, which we have a land patent for as Temecula Indians, and before the first written enrollment of 1978.

4. The tribe allowed us to be disenrolled in 2006 in spite of a law ending disenrollments passed the previous year in 2005. The council's reasoning was that the enrollment committee could overrule the wishes of the people despite clear tribal legal precedant, that states just the opposite, that the people are the final authority in such matters and not the committee.

As a lawyer how could she say our rights were not violated?

I know she would cite sovereignty but my question to her would be as follows.

If a tribe doesn't even follow their own rules, what in the world can be do about it and who can make a tribe do so.

We are American citizens with rights but not only that, Pechanga's own tribal consitution says under Article V:


Ms. Goldberg, how was this equal protection clause in the Band's own constitution not violated?

And a similar story can be found at other reservations here in California up and down the state and elsewhere.

'aamokat said...

I took the liberty to copy and paste this from the other thread. I had posted on the wrong thread on this topic so I reposted my post here and this post as well as there are some good points.

"Anonymous said...
Overblown? What if a tribe can violate a decision made by a Federal judge? What if there is no one to enforce a Federal judge's decision? 9 members of the Snoqualmie Tribe near Seattle, Washington were banished in 2008. In 2009 a Federal Judge overturned the permanent banishment and even though tribal officials swore in Federal court that we were all tribal members, after the Judge's decision, they proceeded to disenroll us because there is no remedy for illegal disenrollments....only banishment and yet that cannot be enforced.'s just lawlessness and everyone should be concerned with that. An injustice to anyone is a threat to everyone! Overblown!..I don't think so.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Goldberg, overblown?

A family of about 70 people from the Redding Rancheria tribe, including the tribe's first chariman when they got their federal recognition back, Robert Foreman, were disenrolled despite the fact that they proved by at least a 99.9 Percent probabilty with conclusive DNA evidence after exhuming their ancestor that the tribe claimed wasn't their biological ancestor that they are indeed blood members of their tribe.

Ironic that the Redding tribe's casino sits on the allotment of the Foreman family because at some point they bought the land from the family.

So they can use the land for huge profits but they have disowned the family?

Anonymous said...

Now thats a great point ,wonder what Ms Goldberg would think about a tribe telling a Federal judge to pound sand?

What about banishment Ms. Goldberg?

That case is a slap in the face of american justice.

Anonymous said...


That case has destroyed AMERICAN JUSTICE,because the tribe told the judge we don't care what you say , they told the judge to screw off !

Anonymous said...

At Enterprise Rancheria, Glenda Nelson worked to get 25% of the tribe terminated.

That's the same as 8 million Californians denied their RIGHTFUL citizenship.

The stories go on in California.

Look at

Anonymous said...

What if carole is married and Goldberg is her husbands name?

creeper said...

So what? No matter who she is married to,WITH HER COMMENTS she still aids the rich Tribes and disrespects the civil and human rights of the disenfranchised.