Sunday, February 27, 2011

Playing the "POOR LITTLE INDIAN" in Jack Abramoff Scandal

Cedric Sunray, MOWA Choctaw has an opinion piece in Indian Country Today on the Abramoff Scandal and how many, college educated tribal leaders played the "poor little Indian" card. We've discussed the "poor little Indians" who scammed other Indians HERE and how some have begun a huge lobbying concern, IETAN CONSULTING.

The Abramoff slam fest continues with another article pushed out by the Associated Press and carried in last week’s Native American Times. This time Michael Scanlon is going down and once again the many male tribal leaders who got exactly what they paid for in the form of government contracts, the elimination of gaming competition from neighboring tribes, and real Washington D.C. access, are playing the “poor little Indian” role. It is becoming rather tired.

People like Abramoff and Scanlon couldn’t scam highly educated and powerful Indian Country leaders such as former and now deceased Mississippi Choctaw Chief Phillip Martin or Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Chief Chad “Corntassel” Smith, as well as a host of others representing the Louisiana Coushatta and Saginaw Chippewa tribes, if they tried. What a ridiculous joke.        OP:  Recall Chad Smith gave us all a history lesson about how the Cherokee slaves were well treated.

I recall sitting in our living room in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, back in 2005 as C-Span broadcast hearings on the Abramoff scandal and guilty Indian leader after guilty Indian leader walked in with their heads down attempting to act as if they were not only the major partners in this immoral and unethical tirade, but also not the ones leading the charge. Senator John McCain, whose own personal life moral failings rival that of those who he was attempting to save face for during the hearings, was saying “all the right things” to place blame on the omnipresent white man caricature.

My direct phone calls to people like Abramoff’s right hand Kevin Ring told a very different tale as each attempted to pass the buck over to the next. The words I heard from those tribes who were overrun by Abramoff’s tribal “clients”, such as the Alabama-Coushatta in Texas whose council invited me down to speak on these issues, certainly rang much different then the company line concocted by those “clients” such as the Coushatta in Louisiana who had no problem deep-sixing the economy of their own cousins across the state line in Texas. Perpetrator as victim has become the cliché of the new millennium.        OP:  We saw the same thing with the Pechanga disenrollments of two families.   Chairman Macarro acted as if it were an affront to the tribe when he was asked questions.  It's NO BUSINESS of the white man said the guy who's great-great grandmother was the Indian.

But it didn’t matter; the Indians had found their hero in the face of the war hero. It was so very touching, but unfortunately the record shows clearly that this façade was indeed just that. These Chiefs and their cohorts, a word used liberally in current media to denounce the “evil” lobbyist’s behavior towards the “unsuspecting primitive and of course childlike Indians”, traded money to fuel their political campaigns, as well as other perks for accepting one another’s patronage.

These Chiefs who have made careers out of selling and parading their theoretical sovereignty and now have put back real sovereignty decades for their cowardly and blatantly false denials of their involvement. They mask themselves in “trail of broken treaties” romantic, played-out rhetoric and attempt to galvanize an unsuspecting Indian Country to their cult of personalities. They control the jobs, funds, and media within their communities, which by the way have been in part added to by the likes of Abramoff, Tom DeLay, and Scanlon, while truly impoverished and struggling tribal communities have been literally excommunicated from the coffers of the D.C. Beltway money trough.

Yes, Phillip Martin hired Team Abramoff to eliminate supposed area gaming competition and to land his tribe a multi-million dollar correctional facility, amongst other things. OP:  Is that the true "INDIAN WAY?" Yes, Chad Smith accepted financial “assistance” from Abramoff and his tribe purchased their favor through hiring his firm. Yes, the Saginaw Chippewa and Louisiana Coushatta leadership did the same in order to, you guessed it, do the same. And yes, this was done without the knowledge of most of their tribal membership. Of course it goes even deeper than this, but who has time to rehash the old song and dance.
It sounds better to blame a bunch of rich white guys in D.C., who in all honesty truly were a bunch of conniving, plotting con men, while highlighting some obscure racist email they threw out about their Indian clients, then to accept the fact that tribal leaders equipped with law degrees, business savvy, and flush with newly found gaming cash were the real puppeteers behind the golden curtain.

Friday, February 25, 2011

CA AG Kamala Harris Appealing Land into Trust action in Porterville.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the local Coalition of Retailers have both appealed the decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs placing 40 acres of land near the Porterville Airport into trust.

The United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the Tule River Indian Tribe’s application on Jan. 4.

Once into trust, the 40 acres of land is converted from private title to federal title and vested to the United States of America. The land is then placed under the control of the tribal government with the U.S. government acting as fiduciary. The land also becomes exempt from state and local government taxes and local land use regulations, something several local business owners feared due to potential unfair competition.  Recall that Pechanga got 700 acres given to them because they claimed it was culturally sensitive land.   Uh, it's now a golf course.

Now, however, the placing of that land into trust is in limbo as the appeal process moves forward.

According to Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up for California, the appeal goes to the Interior Board of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. No date has been set for the appeals to be heard. And, that board’s decision could be litigated.

“This could go on for a number of years,” said Schmit, calling the state’s appeal significant. “I’m really happy with his (Gov. Jerry Brown’s) position. He recognizes the impact that the fee of trust process has on the state,” she said

Indian Gaming, BIA, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pechanga Elections To Replace Norman Pico Sr after 5 Months of Vacancy

The Apartheid practicing Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, well known for decimating 25% of their tribal citizens,  will have an election on March 6, 2011 to fill the vacancy left by the death of Norman Pico Sr, last October.  Five months is a long time to hold the position vacant.

They will also vote to ratify the new secretary, who replaces Darlene Miranda.   Louise Burke has been tapped for that position. 

There will also be discussion of a new state gaming bill "favorable to Pechanga".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snoqualmie Tribe Pays CEO $14 Million To Leave. Outside their Authority,

We have written about the Snoqualmie tribe's ineptitude before and other issues  HERE and HERE.   And their despicable actions to disenroll members HERE

Apologies to our friends at the Snow Valley Star for forgetting to link to their story, which has ALL the details.
The SNOW VALLEY STAR has the story on the Snoqualmie squabble: 

A fight in the Snoqualmie Tribal Council prompted an unexpected $14 million buyout of the Snoqualmie Casino’s CEO, but doesn’t threaten the casino’s viability in the short-term.

The decision caught many members off guard because it came only two months after the council had voted to maintain casino CEO Mike Barozzi’s contract. The experienced casino manager had been an integral part of the tribe’s pitch to investors when they put together the casino’s financing.

Losing Barozzi could affect the interest rate the tribe gets when it has to refinance the casino’s debt in a couple years.

The controversy is the latest episode in a long series of internal troubles for the insular, tight-lipped tribe.

The council didn’t offer any explanation for its Feb. 13 vote.

The decision to buyout Barozzi, which passed 4-3, was a compromise between council members who “wanted to run him off so the tribe could get more control, operationally (and specifically over hiring and firing decisions related to native employees) and some on the council that wanted to support Mr. Barozzi unequivocally,” Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson wrote in an e-mail to the Star.

However, Councilwoman Maryann Hinzman offered a different view.

“It was his decision to leave,” she said.   OP:  Then why pay him $14 MILLION?  I'd leave to if that was my goodbye present.

Some tribal members filed an emergency injunction in tribal court following the vote, claiming that the council couldn’t spend more than $2 million without approval from the general membership.

Mattson said he could not comment on ongoing litigation.

Barozzi had originally asked for $19.5 million, which the council decided was too much at a Dec. 19 meeting.

However, at least one councilman — Ray Mullen — was absent from the meeting and brought the matter up again at the February meeting.

This time around, Barozzi and the council settled on $14 million.

The motion was introduced in council by Hinzman and Mullen. Their council seats are up for election this year, and they have come under criticism in recent months from many in the general membership.

Both members declined to comment on the matter.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cherokee Tribe Get Ruling to Keep Screwing Cherokee Freedmen, the Descendents of Cherokee Slaves

Tribal citizenship applications from Cherokee freedmen descendants will not be processed yet, a tribal district court judge ruled Friday.

Judge John Cripps, who ruled last month that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma had to accept applications from freedmen descendants disenfranchised by a March 2007 citizenship referendum, ruled in favor of the tribe’s request to extend a temporary injunction against processing new applications from the affected group.

The approximately 2,800 freedmen descendants who were tribal citizens before the referendum’s passage will still retain all rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship.
To date, the Cherokee Nation has received about 3,500 applications from freedmen descendants. The tribe is still accepting applications but will not begin to process them until after the tribe’s Supreme Court rules on the matter.

The temporary injunction was issued in 2007 after the referendum’s passage. With Friday’s ruling, it is extended through the end of the appeals process

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

La Jolla Band Moves Forward with Casino Plans

The La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians is moving ahead with plans to build a casino south of Palomar Mountain, tribal officials said Tuesday. This will be the fourth casino in the North San Diego County area.

The 700-member La Jolla band previously ran a 30-machine slot arcade, once San Diego County's smallest tribal gaming operation, in a convenience store next to Highway 76. The arcade opened in 2002 but was overshadowed by larger neighboring casinos at the Pala and Rincon reservations and closed about a year ago.

The La Jolla band in 2004 announced a $25 million deal to expand its gaming operation with a Texas-based management firm called Nevada Gold. Under the state government's compacts, the La Jolla tribe's plans to have 500 slots will push it into the ranks of tribes that do not get revenue-sharing funds from other tribes.  Might be more benficial to have 450 machines.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Not only do we know that some California tribes have stolen citizenshipmoney, health benefits and educational assistance from tribal members, the OC Register has a story up on how the money from funds supposed to be used for gambling mitigation  were IMPROPERLY SPENT.  And expanded gaming hasn't helped either, as we discussed earlier.

The state handled more than $113 million in gaming-related dollars in 2009, the auditor said, $30 million of which was supposed to offset impacts for local governments.

“The grants that we reviewed were used to purchase a new fire truck, improve police departments’ communications systems, allow better law enforcement coverage, provide hot lunches for senior citizens, and fund shortfalls to ensure that existing services and programs, such as a science camp for local students and fire protection services, could continue,” the auditor said.
HOT LUNCHES for seniors?   While a good idea, how does a casino affect them to the point of needing mitigation funds?
Here's another one from the state auditor's report:
The benefit committee in Yolo County provided roughly $336,000 to a school district, which is an ineligible entity under state law
That should make us all feel good, when we know money is not being spent the way we thought it would.  And speaking of expanded gaming, here's some more good news:
Although the amended compacts have resulted in less revenue for the distribution fund, they have increased the revenue available to the State’s General Fund,
So expanded gaming didn't benefit those tribes that have no gaming.  Revenue available to the General Fund may have increased, but to what end?  It hasn't trimmed our budget deficit.   We need a closer eye on tribes, and local governments.
Remember, the city of Temecula is suing the Pechanga tribe for failure to PAY

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Evidence of Incompetence Shadows Pechanga Enrollment Committee

A post from August 2009, by request: A commenter from the CPP faction of Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians routinely tries to shunt aside arguments of the Manuela Miranda family and Hunter family disenrollments as "simply correcting the errors in enrollment."

Well, the CPP had the perfect opportunity to put their money where their mouths were, but:
G-R-E-E-D  +  C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N  +  D-I-S-H-O-N-E-S-T-Y

C-O-N-C-E-R-N-E-D  P-E-C-H-A-N-G-A  P-E-O-P-L-E

At the most recent membership meeting, a dilemma came up: The tribal enrollment committee recently 'discovered' nine applications that were submitted prior to the unconstitutional moratorium.

That brings up a few questions:

1. What happened to these applications? How could they be "lost" in a very small office?

2. Who had access to these papers and how did they suddenly become "discovered".

3. How incompetent are the members of the disenrollment committee. (remember, they disenrolled more people in the past 10 years than they enrolled)

Well, instead of doing the "right thing" and enrolling the nine applicants. The 'right' thing in correcting the tribal rolls by adding those who submitted their applications as required. The enrollment committee brings the question to the people.

All of a sudden, the general membership can now rule on enrolling members? Remember, the corrupt tribal council has ruled that the membership had no authority to halt the disenrollments of the Hunter family.

Well, a raucus meeting ensues. At these meetings, you get to speak by lining up at the microphone. Here's what sources had to say:

The Chairwoman of the enrollment committee presented to the General Membership at the last meeting that they found 9 applications for enrollment that were submitted before the moratorium but were never processed.

They wanted to know what to do with these applications. (process into the membership or not) The people discussed them at the mic and some of the comments were "do we have to share our $$ with them?"

When it came to a vote it was an overwhelming "NOT to enroll them".

Okay, so the tribe was NOT concerned about correcting the tribal rolls, or, they'd accept these applications. MONEY and GREED triumphed over what is right. Here is the kicker, GUESS which family the applications belonged to?

The enrollment committee was not allowed to say who these 9 apps were but everyone there knew (word leaked out) that they were all from the Murphy family!
That means that the tribe REFUSED to admit family of members ALREADY in the tribe! Was there a question about their lineage? IF so, shouldn't the whole Murphy family be evicted? After all, that family has NO lineal descent to a Pechanga person.

The members didn't want to do the right thing, which would have been to:
1. Enroll the members if they were valid, as the applications came in before the moratorium
2. Give per capita dating back to the moratorium which would have been somewhere near $1.4 MILLION dollars. to the nine.

So, when Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro said "it wasn't about the money". Was he lying?
What say you?

John Cornsilk Drops Out of Race for Cherokee Chief, Throws Support to Bill John Baker

Friend to Original Pechanga's Blog John Cornsilk has announced that he is dropping out of this year’s race for principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, citing his health, finances and a concern of a split vote in the effort to oust Hall of Shame member Chad "Our Slaves were well treated" Smith.

After talking with Bill John Baker, I feel he will uphold these needed principles and steer our people back onto a steady course,” Cornsilk said in his statement on his website. “He has listened to what I have to say, and we have opened up a dialog that will continue through the election and into his time as our next leader.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

Freedmen Descendent to host Black History Program on their History

The Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association and their Supporters will host a Black History Program focusing on the History of the Freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes on Saturday February 12, 2011 at the Martin Luther King Center, 627 N 3rd Street in Muskogee Oklahoma.

The program will begin at one pm central time and is free and open to the general public.

Special speakers are retired educator Mrs Shirley Ballard Nero and Conners State Professor Jimmie White. Meeting attendants will learn about black towns as well as leading citizens of Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma Statehood. Attorney Keen will also brief meeting attendants on recent events in the Cherokee nation tribal court.

For more information contact: Mrs Vann (405-227-9810) or Mrs Brown: 918-683-2753 . The organization website is:

How has Expanded Gaming worked out for California? Pechanga doesn't even use the slots they said they needed.

Remember when tribes like Pechanga and  Sycuan   promised us they'd help balance the budget if only we'd give them MORE slot machines?   That can't be anywhere near the truth,especially since Sycuan hadn't ratified the new compact we we voted on it.

HOW BIG IS THE DECEPTION?  Recently, BUDDY FRANK, VP of Slots at the Pechanga Resort and Casino answered a question on slots this way:

 Buddy Frank Louise - We have over 2,800 machines open everyday of the week (that's more than just about any casino in Nevada). On weekends and holidays, our counts can go as high as 3,800. We measure the play levels all the time and make adjustments as needed. This saves energy, labor and hopefully matches the excitement level to the guest demand.

So, Pechanga doesn't ever OPEN all the slots they pressed us for.   Remember, they were going to pay a HUGE increase in taxes on the slots over 5,000 machines?   Well they don't even REACH that total, so how can we get enough money to balance our budget?     Gov. Jerry Brown, friend to tribes wants US to extend taxes on ourselves.

JUST SAY NO to MORE taxes.

Are You a Native American That Deserves a Share of Cobell Trust Suit? See Info in Post

The word that the suit is in settlement brings GOOD NEWS to those who have ownership interest in land held in trust.  This would include Native Americans that have had their citizenship ripped from them by tribal councils like those from Pechanga, Redding, Enterprise, Picayune to name a few.  

On December 21, 2010, The United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted preliminary approval to the Settlement. On December 8, 2010, President Obama signed legislation approving the Settlement and authorizing $3.4 billion in funds.

You may be a part of this Settlement with certain rights in this Settlement if you are an:

•Individual Indian Money ("IIM") account holder (even if the account is currently not active or open),
Individual Indian who has or had an ownership interest in land held in trust or in restricted status,
•Heir to a deceased IIM account holder or individual landowner.

If you are NOT currently receiving quarterly or annual IIM account statements and believe you are part of this Settlement, you will need to File a Claim Form / Register to Participate. You have the option to File a Claim Form / Register to Participate online, or to download and print the Claim Form for mailing. To obtain a Claim Form, you may also call the toll-free number or write to Indian Trust Settlement and request that a Claim Form be mailed to you.

Please be sure to review the Detailed Notice to fully understand your rights.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Schwarzenegger Says He Gives CAA (Agents) the Green Light to Take Offers, WE need his tax dollars

From Arnold's twitter:
Gov. Schwarzenegger
Exciting news. My friends at CAA have been asking me for 7 years when they can take offers seriously. Gave them the green light today.

I wrote back that it was terrific, as we needed him back to work to pay taxes on the huge deficit he left us with.   He may not have taken a salary as governor, but his lack of acting roles probably cost the state a couple of million dollars.

Susan Bradford on Ietan Consulting: A connection to Fake Indians and Tribal Councils?

Our friend Susan Bradford continues to explore the relationship with Ietan Consulting, lobbyist for many Indian Tribes including the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians.  A principal for Ietan is Holly Cook Macarro, who just happens to be married to Pechanga chairman Mark Macarro, who led the tribal council that destroyed the citizenship of hundreds of longtime tribal members.   Ietan has links to Jack Abramoff.

One of the nation’s leading tribal lobbyists, Larry Rosenthal of Ietan Consulting, which enjoys a “strategic alliance” with the McCain-affiliated Akin Gump, became the inspiration behind both the Congressional Automotive Caucus and the Native American Caucus, which coordinate legislative action on behalf of both special interest groups and which his mentor, Congressman Dale Kildee Chairs.
The future lobbyist would acquire influence within Indian Country such that by 2006, Rosenthal had visited over 100 reservations in over 28 states. As Chief of Staff for the NIGC, Rosenthal became liaison to the White House, Department of Interior, and Congress. As lobbyist, he represented the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), which lobbies the federal government and Congress on gaming-related matters.

Tribes have essentially become conduits for money laundering, fund raising, single source contracts for the industrialists, which they can justify by claiming minority preference. The stimulus funds President Barack Obama directed to tribes for development, infrastructure, skating parks, among other things essentially allowed the recipients of tax money to enjoy tax-advantaged and unsupervised use of the money. As Elaine Devary Willman writes in Going to Pieces: The Dismantling of the United States of America, only 19 percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars granted to federal tribal governments has been accounted to, reinforcing the perception among tribal members that “the money just disappears.”

Ietan Consulting’s tribal clients are rife with tribal memberships issues with its principals unerringly championing the interests of the non-Indian infiltrators. With federally recognized tribes bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands of pseudo-Natives and many more seeking admission, it’s time to re-evaluate what it means to be Indian and to put a stop to the looting of the national treasury. Once the faux Indians gain entree into tribes, they acquire per capita payments, which are generated from businesses, built on capital reserved for Natives. They are provided subsidies and other benefits for housing, health care, education which are denied the taxpayers who support them. These individuals often acquired their membership through fraud, which is running up a significant tab at a time of looming deficits. While Natives and hardworking taxpayers are receiving the short end of the stick, General Motors, which received a federal bailout in 2008, has gone on to make record profits in China, which owns the U.S. debt. GM is rapidly acquiring a monopoly in this vast market, as the leader of automobile sales there. The nation’s industrialist elite and the bankers who finance them continue to realize a boon into their fortunes as the solidify their plutocracy at the expense of free enterprise and the honest, hardworking American taxpayer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

San Manuel Band Donates $3 MILLION DOLLARS to Loma LindaCancer Center

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have made a $3 million donation to the Loma Linda University Cancer Center to continue work on creation of a new, integrated medical oncology center and a biospecimen laboratory.

It is the largest single donation to the cancer center, which draws patients from all over the country. It is also the largest donation the San Manuels have made to the Loma Linda University complex.

"Tribal members were among the very first patients of Loma Linda University Medical Center when it opened in 1906," said Jacob Coin, a tribal spokesman.

"It was a very poor community who would have been grateful to anyone who provided services," Coin said. In those early days, LLUMC was the charitable donor, Coin said.
"But now the San Manuels are in a position to give back to the whole community," Coin said. "Since 2005, the tribe has donated $4.5million to various LLUMC projects, including this one, Coin said.

It's amazing what can be done by tribes that are honorable.  Contrast that with, say Pechanga, who touts a donation of $25,000 to a school.   And couple that with the theft of per capita payments of 25% of it's tribe, is there a choice between which casino you should support? San Manuel's late Pauline Murillo's PERSONAL donations are as much as Pechanga's corporate..

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sad News from the AIRRO Family

Original Pechanga's Blog has heard that son of Helga Walston one of AIRRO's (American Indian Rights and Resources Organization) founding members has passes away suddenly.   Glenn Walston  succumbed to heart disease at 54.  Our condolences to Helga and family.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saginaw Chippewa Indians Seek Congressional Investigation from House Resources Committee

Our friend Susan Bradford has the story on her Investigative Reports page:

Dennis Kequom campaigned for a seat on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan’s Tribal Council on the platform of combating corruption. Many tribal leaders before him have made similar promises, but Kequom, who was elected Chairman, has been good on his word. Recently, the Kequom Council submitted a letter to Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), the Chair of the House Resources Committee, requesting that Congress investigate the legitimacy of tribe’s constitution, which was rewritten in 1986 to accommodate economic development on the reservation and alter qualifications for tribal membership.

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe was formally established in 1937. The newly minted members – that is, the descendants of the Swan, Saginaw, and Black River Band of Chippewa Indians who populated the state over a century ago – appealed to the Indian Claims Commission for compensation for land the federal government had stripped from their ancestors.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Using the Wrong Tactics in Shingle Springs Tribal Dispute Leads to Charges


An El Dorado County man who claims the tribe that built the Red Hawk Casino is a band of imposters has been charged with trying to divert the tribe's mail.

Cesar Caballero, 41, faces three misdemeanor counts of mail obstruction in a complaint filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

According to the complaint, Caballero submitted three change of address forms with the postal service last August to forward mail from a post office box belonging to the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians to Caballero's home address in the town of El Dorado.

Caballero is locked in a bitter dispute with the Shingle Springs Band, claiming he and several hundred other Native American outsiders are the true descendents of the Miwoks who lived in El Dorado County.

Interlude: ...Will the Packers Win Super Bowl XLV?...


It can't be all corruption all the time time.   As an interlude, who's your choice for the SUPER BOWL this Sunday?

I'm hoping for the Green Bay Packers, they are playing well and HEALTHY.     Put your choice in the comments.

Agua Caliente Presents 10th Annual Festival of Native Film and Culture

Wednesday through Sunday
March 2-6, 2011

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum presents the tenth annual Festival of Native Film & Culture at Camelot Theatres in central Palm Springs. The Festival is one of the nation’s most highly-regarded events of its kind -- featuring the best in films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other indigenous peoples. Engaging, entertaining, and enlightening feature films, documentaries, and short films from some of today's premier Native American and indigenous filmmakers will be followed by informative Q&A sessions.

BIA's Amy Dutschke Recognizes Trust Responsibility to Allottees on the Pechanga Reservation

Many members of Paulina Hunter descendents are receiving letters from Amy Dutschke, Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in response to our concerns over not  being consulted on the Water Rights Bill that Pechanga was trying to get pushed through the last Congress.
From the BIA letters, here is where the DOI admits to our water rights:

The Department of the Interior recognizes that allottees have water rights on allotted lands and that the United States has a trust responsibility, independent of any responsibility to the Pechanga Band, to protect those interests.
The Department is currently reviewing the proposed settlement legislation and its effect on allottees within the Reservation.

Please remember that the Hunter family is one of the few original allottees to maintain their land on the reservation.  We have homes on the original 20 acres we were allotted in 1895.  We were part of the Temecula Band of Luiseno Indians, which somehow disappeared and became the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, which has FEW allottees in the tribe.

Next passage:

Second, while a settlement may contain a provision to the effect that a tribe shall have the right, subject to applicable federal law, to manage, regulate and control the on-reservation use of all of the water rights granted or confirmed by the settlement, it must also require that, within a set period of time following execution of the settlement, the tribe enact a comprehensive water code governing all water rights granted or confirmed by the settlement.  OP:  A tribe that came into existence 100 years AFTER we got our land would set up a code for water that is OURS and then put us at their mercy?  Do you think the tribal council cares about water for allottees, or water for the casino?   HINT:  Tribal Chair Macarro does not live on the reservation, and rarely VISITS the reservation.

To be effective, the code should contain (a) a process by which any allottee may request and receive an equitable distribution of irrigation water for use on his or her allotted lands; (b) a decision making process that gives the allottee due process of law in deciding on such requests, including a process for appeal and hearing before an impartial judge or tribunal; and (c) a provision that the code does not take effect until the Secretary of the Interior has approved those parts of it, or any subsequent amendments thereto, that address irrigation water use by allottees.  OP:  Uh, yeah, Amy, we TRIED that with our disenrollment or rather extermination from the tribe.   There IS no impartiality when someone who does NOT own land tells you what to do with your land.


We are aware that the Pechanga Tribal Government presented and discussed with the Tribal membership the Settlement Agreement, allottee rights and a section by section review of the legislation on Septmber 12, 2010.

OP:  But were you AWARE that we, the allottees were NOT party to the settlement agreement?   WE receive NO notice of the meeting, the presentation.  WE were NOT party to the construction of the agreement.     Pamela Williams was at a meeting with the tribe, interesting that we were not made aware of it.    We have requested meetings with her and haven't heard back.   We REQUESTED to be involved!

I. The Department of the Interior and Pechanga Band Failed to Notify Allottees of the Negotiations to Settle Water Rights

2. After several requests, the Department has not allowed us to participate in Negotiations

3. Pechanga Tribal Officials do not Represent the Interests of all Temecula Indians or Temecula Indian Allottees

4. Temecula Indian and Temecula Indian Allottees should be Parties to the Settlement Negotiations and consulted regarding pending Acts of Congress

5. Prior to any action, HR 5413, and other Acts, should be Amended to Reflect the Ownership Interests and Water Rights Due Temecula Indians and Temecula Indian Allottees not represented by Pechanga Tribal Officials

6. The term ‘Tribal Water Right’ should be Amended to Reflect Benefit for Temecula Band and Temecula Indian Allottees

7. Entitlement to Water Shall be Satisfied by the Department of the Interior, the Temecula Band, or the Pechanga Band; and Temecula Indians and/or Temecula Indian Allottees shall not be Subject to the Pechanga Water Code or other Pechanga Band laws


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will Legalized Gaming Throughout CA Solve Our Budget Crisis? Could Supreme Court decision Make the Crisis Worse?

California's budget deficit is nearing $25 BILLION dollars.   We've asked a few times in the past if it's past time to legalize gaming in our state.    With court decisions looming about whether the failed former Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to strong arm tribes into paying into the general fund being legal, we need to find sources of income.    Taxing the rich just won't be enough, they can simply leave our state for one with smaller tax rates.

Jerry Brown has taken a MILLION DOLLARS from tribal interests, much less from racetracks and card clubs.  Who will he be beholden to?

Dan Morain has an article up in the Sacramento Bee that speaks to the issues:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lobbyist for Gaming Tribes Frank Molina FINED by Fair Political Practices Commission

The Sacramento lobbyist for a prominent Inland Southern California gaming tribe has agreed to a $30,000 fine by California's political ethics agency.

Frank J. Molina, of Strategic Solutions Advisors, has lobbied since 2007 for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which operates a large casino near San Bernardino. The firm also has worked with the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, which operates a casino near San Jacinto and the Chumash Tribe of Santa Ynez. He was also former chief of staff to Democrat legislator Simon Salinas.

According to the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Molina and Strategic Solutions Advisors failed to file lobbying reports from January 2007 through December 2009. The firm received $840,000 in lobbying payments during that time.

The state commission is scheduled to act on the fine -- tied for the largest since October -- at its Feb. 10 meeting. Molina has agreed to the penalty, according to a commission staff report.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dept. Of Interior's Larry Echo Hawk Rules 60 members of San Pasqual Band Are to Be Ousted

About 60 members of the small San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, which operates the highly successful Valley View Casino, are not really members of the tribe, the United States Department of the Interior ruled Monday.
Those subject to the decision, which overturns one made in 2008, will be ousted from the tribe. They will no longer share in casino profits, will have to move off the reservation, and will not be able to take advantage of any other tribal benefits, the band’s spokesman, Allen Lawson, said Monday.

At the heart of the issue is whether the descendants of Marcus Alto Sr. should be considered blood members of the tribe.

Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, the highest authority for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, ruled that Alto was adopted when three days old in 1907 by members of the tribe and therefore his descendants are not truly blood members of the San Pasqual band. Alto died in 1988. Even the year of Alto’s birth is a point of contention. Documents also mention 1903 and 1905 as birth dates.