Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hearings Underway in Cherokee Election Debacle; Two Breaches of Vault, No Video Record

UPDATE 3: There will be NO revote, as the justices got to see the video and this  recount will be done at ONE sitting, no breaks.

Updates as we get them!  Tahlequah Daily Press is updating.

UPDATE 2: Full hand count of some 15,000 ballots; Smith and Baker both allowed to have one representative present during recount.
UPDATE 1: Vault was entered twice by member of the independent contractor handling election at Cherokee Nation. Entered to retrieve readouts for mail-in absentees, and for early voting ballots. Boxes containing ballots remain sealed

Candidates for CN chief are in a hearing with election commission and court justices. The Daily Press is not being allowed in, but we are told there were apparently two breaches of the vault containing election results last weekend. Conveniently, the video from the security camera isnt available due to a "technical Difficulty

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cherokee Candidate Bill John Baker to File Request for FULL HAND RECOUNT in Election.

Cherokee Nation principal chief candidate Bill John Baker formally announced Wednesday afternoon that he will file a request for a full hand recount of this weekend’s election.

The tribe’s election commission overturned the unofficial results posted on its website early Sunday morning. The unofficial tally -- 7,600 to 7,589 -- listed Baker as the winner by 11 votes, but official figures released by the commission Monday afternoon declared current chief Chad Smith the victor by a 7,609-7,602 margin.

“We demand to know what caused the change in vote tally. We want to know who demanded the change and why,” he said at a news conference. “All Cherokees should demand to know the truth.”

“We also believe that Smith employees went in Sunday morning and came out with new results,” Baker said. “However, we won’t know for sure because we haven’t received the tapes and other information from the election commission that we’ve requested.”

Current principal chief Chad Smith denied Baker’s comments.

“I think you’ll find that nobody went behind the public barrier (at the election commission) from either camp,” he said. (OP: Meaning: My people didn't see anyone else there, LOL)

Earlier Wednesday morning, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court granted the Baker campaign’s petition for an emergency injunction, requiring the election commission to release certified vote totals by district and for absentee ballots. The court order also required the commission turn over any documentation explaining the difference in vote totals. The court order required the documents to be produced to both campaigns by 11 a.m., but the Baker camp had not had a chance to peruse them prior to Wednesday’s press conference.

Election commission attorney Lloyd Cole of Stilwell filed a motion with the tribe’s Supreme Court at 8:05 a.m. Wednesday to dismiss Baker’s request for emergency injunctive relief. Citing the tribe’s election law, the motion to dismiss states that the commission would not disturb anything in the commission’s secure location until opened by order for recount purposes or by order of the Supreme Court in an election appeal.

Baker has until 5 p.m. today to file a recount request. As per tribal law, there is a $750 fee for each district a recount is requested for and another $750 fee to recount absentee ballots. Baker said the approximately $5,000 will come from campaign funds.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

San Manuel Tribe Donates $200,000 to ARC of Montana for Relief Efforts to Assist American Indian Communities

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced today that it has made a $200,000 charitable contribution to the American Red Cross of Montana for its ongoing relief efforts to assist American Indian communities, which have been directly affected by late spring flooding along the Little Bighorn and Missouri Rivers. Initially damage affecting the Crow Indian Reservation grew to include more than one Indian tribe and reservation, including the Fort Belknap Indian Community, and Rocky Boy and Fort Peck Indian Reservations.

In response the American Red Cross of Montana was called into action to provide emergency relief through shelter operations, mass care, and feeding. They remain ready to assist all who need help in the coming weeks. San Manuel’s contribution is intended to support recovery and clean up efforts which continue to be hampered by a limited availability of funds and potential for more flooding as winter snows melt. In the near term, funds will be used to secure on-going shelter and the necessities of daily living

Nicely Done, San Manuel

In other news, the theft of per capita and health care, from tribal members, by the Pechanga Tribe is nearing the $400,000,000 mark.  What a difference between the tribes, eh?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cherokee Election Commission Reverses Election Results; Declares Chad "Our Slaves Were Well Treated" Smith Winner

WHY, are we not surprised?

Officials with one of the nation's largest American Indian tribes reversed unofficial election results Monday and declared the longtime chief the winner of a bitter, close race.

The Cherokee Election Commission said Principal Chief Chad Smith had defeated longtime councilman Bill John Baker and won re-election to a fourth term by seven votes. Unofficial results released Sunday showed Baker unseating Smith by 11 votes.

The Cherokee Nation is Oklahoma's largest American Indian tribe and one of the nation's biggest, with a membership approaching 300,000 people. The Tahlequah-based tribe has a 14-county jurisdiction in eastern Oklahoma, although many of its members live elsewhere.

The campaign between Smith and Baker was contentious, with the two men combining to spend nearly a half-million dollars as they sought the chief's job. Turnout for Saturday's election was considerably higher than in 2007, when Smith won a third term as 13,903 voters cast a ballot.

Commission clerk Joyce Gourd said she wasn't there when commission members certified the election results and didn't know why the unofficial results were overturned. The final count was 7,609 votes for Smith and 7,602 votes for Baker, she said.  OP:  Apparently, some votes were found in a back pocket...

Unofficial results had shown Baker the winner with 7,600 votes, while Smith had 7,589.

Smith, who had announced plans to challenge the election results shortly before they were overturned, said he was pleased with the results and believes his re-election vindicates his leadership of the Cherokee Nation over the past 12 years.

"We're doing very well in creating jobs and health care," Smith said. "We're very happy. The staff is just jubilant."

Baker, a Cherokee Nation councilman for 12 years, said he expects to ask for a recount. Baker has until Wednesday to make the request.

"I am obviously shocked that after an arduous and complete vote count that had our campaign in the lead against an entrenched incumbent with all the powers of the government at his disposal today some numbers were found to be incorrect," Baker said in the statement issued late Monday.

"I ask that all Cherokees and specifically my thousands of supporters stay calm as we get to the bottom of this election," he said. "We are a proud people who believe in honesty and transparency. And most importantly the integrity of our Constitution and nation must never be in question as that could also risk our sovereignty."

Smith, who was first elected in 1999 when he unseated Joe Byrd, who took office after the retirement of longtime chief Wilma Mankiller, focused on his record during the heated campaign against Baker.
During the race, Baker also criticized Smith for using a tribal airplane for travel and called for the tribe to spend more of its gaming revenues on health care. Smith said he followed a budget approved by the tribal council in using the tribe's twin-engine plane and noted that the tribe went from spending $18 million a year on health care in 1999 to more than $300 million annually today.

In spite of the tense campaign rhetoric, Smith said he believes any animosity between the two men has been overstated.

Monday, June 27, 2011


The U.S Supreme Court on Monday left intact a court of appeals opinion that will make it more difficult for states to hold out for certain payments from tribes who want to negotiate compacts to expand or build new casinos.

The court decided not to hear the California appeal by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, a San Diego area tribe that wants to add slot machines to Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort.

By refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court effectively upheld Rincon’s view that California went too far in its demands that general fund payments be made in exchange for the right to put hundreds of slots on the casino floor.

Tribes have been watching the case closely, saying the decision will have broad ramifications over compact negotiations between tribes and the governor.   EPIC FAIL on the part of Schwarzenegger

Pechanga Tribe Hilariously Gives Recorded Oral History as Evidence in Quarry Battle

The Pechanga Tribal representatives are trying to convince county supervisors that the land that Granite Corp is looking to mine in the Liberty Quarry is sacred, they used, recorded oral history?    All of a sudden, they believe in recorded oral history.   In their own disenrollment actions, they IGNORED, sworn testimony taken in the Luiseno language that Paulina Hunter was a Original Pechanga Person.    They ignored the oral history of Antonio Ashman, our vaunted elder of the tribe.

They ignored written documentation of their own hired historian, and NOW, they want us to believe they give a rat's ass about a mountain?    Remember, the council came to the tribe wanting to BUY the QUARRY to expand our business into....wait for it......GRANITE MINING!

Noting that there are maps, field notes and recorded oral histories that back up the importance of the land to the Pechanga, Petty asked, "Are we that linear that we have to go find something on the site?" The crowd, which included numerous tribe members, applauded him vigorously.

Tribal officials are scheduled to meet Thursday with county officials in Riverside to continue discussing this issue.

Read More at the NCTIMES

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Snoqualmie 9 Member Carolyn Lubenau Reports on her trip to Washington DC to Discuss Tribal Violations of Indian Civil Rights

Carolyn Lubenau is a Snoqalmie Indian who was disenrolled from the Snoqualmie Tribe.  We've document that history on Original Pechanga's Blog quite often.  She and her family continue to fight for their rights and the rights of Native Americans who have been victims of their own tribes.   Here's the story of her visit to Washington DC last week:

We had an amazing trip to Washington D.C. Because of a friend on Facebook who posted the information about the Community Leaders Briefing Series at the Whitehouse, and urged people to sign up so my cousin Marilee and I did. I really didn't expect anything from it, and to our total amazement we were invited to attend.

The Community Leaders Briefing Series is a project created from the newly appointed White House Office of Public Engagement. They are going to be hosting a series of briefings all through this summer every Friday. We had a "Listening Session" with Jon Carson who is the Deputy Assistant to the President & the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement - I of course spoke about Indian Civil Rights and many of the people present were surprised and amazed that Native Americans only enjoy civil rights bestowed upon them by their tribal governments and that the Federal Government does not recognize, defend, or enforce our civil rights within our tribes, and that some of those tribal governments like mine (the Snoqualmie Tribe) are guilty of violating our civil rights without any penalty and have been found guilty in Federal Court but the courts do not have the authority to prosecute tribal governments for civil rights violations because the Indian Civil Rights Act does not have any enforcement is just a suggestion to the tribes and they don't have to legally comply or even pay attention to it because no one will defend us....and certainly not the Department of the Interior or the BIA who just ignore it completely.     OP:  The Native American Rights Fund also refuse to help individual Indians in their struggle for their rights.

I had a dollar bill in my hand and I said the Federal Government spends billions of dollars defending and enforcing your civil rights (the audience) and yet they have not spent a single dollar to defend Native American Civil really got their attention!  I got business cards from people who came up to me to tell me to let them know how they could help. It was amazing and much more than I ever expected......truly worth going. We have to keep educating people and I met some really nice people who want to help. As a total surprise, President Obama arrived to speak to our group.....Marilee and I were 3 rows from the front and center and he was looking right at us - she even got video!
Every chance we get we have to educate, educate, educate......people just do not know that we do not enjoy the security and freedom of "enforceable" civil rights that everyone takes for granted - when my cousin gets banished for saying a prayer and we get banished for "treason" without any evidence or a trial or someone to defend us there is something very wrong......we will see a change and someday the last 1.5% of this Nations citizens will have enforceable and protected civil rights!

Pay attention tribal leaders - you need to recognize this epidemic of Native American Civil Rights abuses and be on the side finding a solution and not the side fighting this because we will never give up until this injustice is corrected. If you feel this is a threat to "sovereign immunity" should speak out against it and sanction those tribes who banish, disenroll and violate their citizens civil rights - that is not our way and you who do not speak out are part of the problem. I assure you we will be speaking out because you were not there to help and protect us.


Bill John Baker elected Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation; Chad Smith OUSTED

In a close election Bill John Baker sent Hall of Shame member Chad Smith packing. May he do what's right by the Cherokee Freedmen. Congratulations to the Nation,for ridding itself of an individual that has done so much harm to so many.
More than 15,000 votes were cast, and the margin between the men had been fewer than 30 since late Saturday.

The Cherokee Nation is Oklahoma's largest American Indian tribe and one of the nation's biggest, with a membership approaching 300,000 people. The Tahlequah-based tribe has a 14-county jurisdiction in eastern Oklahoma.
Baker, a Tahlequah businessman, will take the oath of office on Aug. 14.
The campaign between Baker and Smith was often contentious. The two men combined to spend nearly a half-million dollars as they sought the chief's job.
During the campaign, Smith emphasized the tribe's economic success during his tenure. He touted the creation of more than 5,000 "stable jobs" by the tribe during the past decade and said that most of those jobs had gone to Cherokees, something Baker disputed.

Baker criticized Smith for using a tribal airplane for travel and called for the tribe to spend more of its gaming revenues on health care. Baker said the tribe shouldn't settle for being good when it could be better

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cherokee Elections: Smith outgains Bill John Baker

In the race for Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, it looks like the strongarm tactics Smith took in the healthcare industry paid off....

Incumbent Chad Smith has raised approximately $72,000 more than his challenger, Tribal Councilor Bill John Baker, in this year’s campaign for the principal chief seat, with most of his funds stemming from donors listed as executives.

After analyzing campaign financial disclosure reports, the Cherokee Phoenix categorized donors into the categories of legal/lawyer, health/medical, small business owners, educators, executives, administrators, retired and “other.”

Overall, Smith’s donations totaled $244,649.86, with $147,134.14 coming from executives and $29,525.26 (ANY WONDER?) from health/medical. Contributions from “others” totaled $27,195.49, while administrators donated $16,361 to his re-election bid. Legal/lawyer donations totaled $12,433.97, while $11,335 came from retirees and $665 from educators.

Baker’s donations total $172,314.75, with most coming from small business owners at $57,018.61. Retirees have given the challenger $36,561.85, while “others” have given $34,889.18. Legal/lawyer donations total $32,013.51, and health/medical donations total $8,850. Educators have given $2,787.70, with executives giving $193.90. Also, Baker loaned his campaign $115,018.


AIRRO: American Indian Rights and Resources Organization and the Indian Civil Rights Act

Abuse of individal Indians at the hands of tribal governments and/or tribal officials- led to the introduction and enactment of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (ICRA).  Unfortunately the ICRA did not contain an effective enforcement mechanism to deter tribal governments from violating the rights of the individual.   Here is a portion of the information AIRRO put together on why we need enforcement of ICRA.   SIGN PETITION HERE

The American Indian Rights and Resources Organization (AIRRO) is a Native American rights organization which is dedicated to the protection, preservation, and enforcement of the human rights of individual Indians through-out United States Indian Country.  OP:  PLEASE consider supporting AIRRO with your membership, details at the link above.

Earlier this year, the AIRRO submitted information to the OHCHR for use in the Universal Periodic Review of the United States human rights record. AIRRO’s submission highlighted the trend of civil and human rights abuses indigenous people are being subjected to and the United State’s role in creating an environment for such injustices to occur. The AIRRO believes that both the UN and the United States should address the growing number of human and civil rights abuses in Indian Country and work towards the enforcement of previously enacted laws governing Indian civil and human rights.

The most egregious human rights issues that have gripped Indian Country over the last decade include the taking of ones citizenship; the denial of basic rights and freedoms; and the severing of spiritual and cultural ties to ones people and land. In place of actual physical genocide, acts such as disenrollment, banishment and the denial of citizenship are “killing off” generations of Indian people.

Disenrollment is the stripping of one’s citizenship in his or her tribe. Banishment is an act taken against individuals or groups whereby they are barred from entering and/or staying within their tribal reservation or other tribal lands. Denial of membership is an act to keep those eligible for tribal citizenship off the tribal rolls.
Disenrollment (described here, liked being RAPED and having the RAPIST judge you) has been characterized as an act committed by tribal officials “without any concern for human rights, tribal traditions or due process… as a means to solidify their own economic and political bases and to winnow out opposition families who disapprove of the direction the tribal leadership is headed…(It) has tragically become almost commonplace in Indian country, leaving thousands of bona fide Native individuals without the benefits and protections of the nations they are biologically, culturally, and spiritually related to.”
The State is in large part responsible for the growing problem of human rights abuses in Indian Country. Its responsibility lies with the laws it has enacted and the failures of its agencies to carry out the trust responsibility due the individual Indian.

Of note, in 1968, after an investigation by the Constitutional Rights Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) was passed.
The ICRA was adopted to ensure that tribal governments respect the basic human and civil rights of individual Indians and non-Indians. The ICRA was intended to extend constitutional rights to individual Indians and thereby “protect individual Indians from arbitrary and unjust actions of tribal governments.” Under the ICRA tribal governments were prohibited from enacting or enforcing laws that violate certain individual rights.

Unfortunately, the ICRA failed to include an effective enforcement mechanism: save for a writ of habeas corpus, aggrieved individual(s) were barred from holding the offending tribal government or tribal official(s) accountable for violations of tribal and/or federal law.

The ICRA was further neutered in Martinez v. Santa Clara Pueblo which held that the ICRA, although a federal statute, was not enforceable in federal court. While the Martinez decision did allow for State intervention in limited instances, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), an agency within the Department of the Interior, has routinely declined to intervene.

The failures of the United States in regards to enforcement of the ICRA led William B. Allen, at the time, a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, to point out that no federal money had been spent on the enforcement of fundamental civil rights of American citizens (including the indigenous population) domiciled on reservations since the Martinez decision.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jeff Livingston, THIEF of Chukchansi Gold Casino, Convicted and Faces 20 Years. Ian Garriques Leads Successful Prosecution

The Picayune Rancheria, who stole MILLIONS from their own people, yet faced no consequences, have seen their former General Manager of their casino convicted of theft.  Using business credit card for personal use. (want to be the council members have done that?)

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Jeff Livingston, 51, of Las Vegas, was convicted today of six counts of mail fraud and three counts of theft by an officer or employee of an Indian gaming establishment, stemming from his embezzlement and theft of money and property from the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino. The guilty verdict was returned on all counts by a federal jury in Fresno after a five-day trial before United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill.

The evidence at trial showed that from October 2006 through October 2007, Livingston, Chukchansi’s general manger, executed a scheme to defraud Chukchansi by making a series of personal purchases using his business credit card and other Chukchansi funds. By accounting for such purchases as business purchases, Livingston caused the casino to pay for the items and defrauded the casino of its money and property. The personal purchases included a golf package to Hawaii, down payments on personal vehicles, a diamond necklace, and autographed sports and music memorabilia, including an autographed Master’s jacket. Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino is owned and operated by the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe in Madera County.   OP:  This sounds very much like what the shorter brother of Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro did that caused the tribe to take away HIS credit cards.  Isn't that CRIMINAL TOO?

According to United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner, “The United States will vigorously prosecute those who seek to defraud legitimate gaming establishments operated by federally recognized Indian tribes in California.”   OP:  BEN, see comment above.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Gambling Control. Assistant United States Attorneys Ian Garriques and Kirk Sherriff prosecuted the case.

Livingston is scheduled to be sentenced on September 2, 2011. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Note:  corrected the spelling in the title. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Federal Judge approves $3.4 BILLION Cobell Settlement; US Government Gets off CHEAP

A federal judge on Monday approved a $3.4 billion settlement over mismanaged Indian royalties in a case that represents the largest class-action settlement ever approved against the U.S. government.

Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont., claimed in the 15-year-old suit that for more than a century, U.S. officials systematically stole or squandered billions in royalties intended for American Indians in exchange for oil, gas, grazing and other leases.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, in approving the settlement after a daylong hearing, said the legitimacy of Cobell's claims could not be questioned.

"The government mismanaged these resources on a staggering scale," Hogan said.

The settlement does not make up for the losses Indian tribes suffered for more than a century, Hogan added, but "at least it provides some certainty" to hundreds of thousands of individual Indians who will now receive payments of least $1,000 each from the government. Many will receive substantially more money.

Juaneno Band Loses Tax Exempt Status; IRS claims FAILURE to File

The Juaneño Band of Mission Indians is among 20 local nonprofits whose tax-exempt status has been revoked by the IRS.

Nationwide, about 275,000 organizations automatically lost their tax-exempt status for not filing legally mandated reports for three consecutive years, despite what the IRS said was an "extensive effort" to inform organizations of the changes to federal laws.

IRS officials said they believe the vast majority of the newly revoked groups are no longer in existence and need to be removed under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The law requires most tax-exempt organizations to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS.

Tribal Chairman Anthony Rivera said in an e-mail that the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians has been in good standing and filed all appropriate filings since 1993 and expects to eventually receive proper reinstatement.

"The tribe will file all the rest of the appropriate filing required to continue with our fundraising for tribal programs like our tribal education, youth, and elders programs," he said.

In a statement, IRS Chairman Doug Shulma said he realizes there may be some legitimate organizations, especially very small ones, that were unaware of their new filing requirement. "We are taking additional steps for these groups to maintain their tax-exempt status without jeopardizing their operations or harming their donors,” he said.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pechanga Uses Threats of Sanctions on Their Own Tribal People for Disclosures

It's always curious which of the Pechanga Constitution and Bylaws the Pechanga Tribe chooses to enforce.   Does anyone believe they will not hesitate to enforce sanctions on tribal members for passing out information?    Here's is what is in the fine print of Pechanga's Meeting Notices:

All General Membership Agendas, Notices, Attachments and/or other related documents, including any documents handed

out at General Membership meetings ("Documents") are intended solely for use by the General Membership or the individual Tribal Member to whom the Documents are addressed.

These Documents are considered to contain sensitive, privileged and/or confidential tribal information and
may not be disclosed to non- Tribal Members or otherwise published, posted or disseminated. Any Tribal Member found by the Pechanga Tribal Council to have disclosed, published, posted or disseminated copies or the contents of any Documents shall be subject to sanctions pursuant to Article XIII of the Band's Constitution and Bylaws. Misuse of proprietary tribal documents by non-tribal members will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law . •

Pechanga's Mark Macarro-led Tribal Council is famous for overlooking constitutional provisions of the Band's Constitution.   Maybe BIA Direct Amy Deutshke will follow up with her discussions on sanctions for the band, now that she knows they are so hot to trot to do that to their people.

Q:  Does anyone believe HOLLAND & KNIGHT or HOLLY MACARRO or IETAN  has not been in possession of documents deemed private, sensitive and confidential?

Snoqualmie Tribal Council Girding for Protracted Fight to Stay; Opponents say they a illegitimate Government

We've written about the struggles of the Snoqualmie Tribe many times, including "Worthless BIA allows Shadow Government.."  and told about the Snoqualmie 9 getting their DAY IN COURT...  Now it looks like the Snoqualmie Tribal Council is going to take one on the chin...

The Snoqualmie Tribe’s division deepened Saturday when a group of members voted to throw out the current Tribal Council and hold new elections.

The move is the latest in an ongoing dispute. But formal opposition to the current government has been growing, and opponents are digging in for a protracted fight to wrest control of the tribe from what they say is an illegitimate government.

Tribal Council members and the tribal administration contend that the opposition is acting illegally and consists of members who have been disenrolled, or kicked out.   OP:  Imagine if the Republicans kept Democrats from voting by denying their citizenship.   That's what has happened.  It happened at Pechanga too.

The outcome will have big repercussions. Both sides are fighting for their heritage, and control of millions of dollars in casino revenue and federal money.

For the Snoqualmies who gathered at the Great Longhouse in Monroe, Saturday, June 18, there was no doubt that they crossed the Rubicon when they voted unanimously for a resolution recalling the current Tribal Council and to hold new elections. An election committee headed by Chief Jerry Enick will organize the elections on July 16.   OP:  Unanimous?  That means EVERYONE wants to get rid of the council doesn't it?  ALL means ALL..

“Once you do this, you’re going into the lion’s den. You have to go and look these people in the eye, and you have to stand firm,” said Leon Enick, the chief’s son. “There’s no turning back after this.”

As the tribe’s head chief, Jerry Enick had called the June 18 meeting after the Tribal Council postponed the Snoqualmies’ annual general membership meeting in May when new elections are held.

The council postponed the elections earlier that month saying that the tribe’s membership must be vetted by an outside party, a Seattle-based genealogist. However, opponents of the council say that the audit is politically motivated and that the 2004 member rolls are legitimate.

Arguments over who is and who is not a Snoqualmie stalled a general membership meeting in January called by council members in an effort to strip the 77-year-old Enick of his title.

After Enick challenged the postponed election, Tribal Council passed a resolution warning the hereditary chief that he is acting inappropriately and could face punishment, Councilman Ray Mullen said.

The council will not recognize the June 18 meeting.

“It was an unsanctioned meeting. Period. The council has control in setting meetings,” Mullen said.

For the time being, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has declined to get involved in the current dispute. But it has stepped in before during earlier episodes in the past two years.

If no general meeting is called for several months, the situation would become a concern, said Stan Speak, the Pacific Northwest regional director of the BIA, before the June 18 meeting.  OP:   Really?  Why Stan?

Enick expects the push to unseat Mullen and the rest of the council to be difficult.

“They’re fighters,” he said.

Enick should know. In 2008, he sided with several of the current council members in an effort to overthrow a disputed 2007 election that led to a federal civil rights case that overturned the banishment of nine members.

The nine formerly-banished members were on hand at the June 18 meeting.
“We’ve been banished, disenrolled and blacklisted from everything, and we’re still fighting,” said Marilee Mai, one of the nine formerly banished members.

The past is the past, she said.

The long-running feud has been painful for some of the tribe’s elders.

“It’s heart sickening for me to watch the tribe fuss and argue,” tribal elder Barbara Beauchamp said.At 83 years old, Beauchamp lived through the tribe’s decades-long fight to regain federal recognition.

Like members on both sides of the dispute, she hopes the tribe can be reunited one day. “I know it will with God’s help,” she said.

Mullen said he prays daily that the tribe will be able to get along again.

In the meantime, the fight for control of the tribal government continues, but opponents say they finally feel like they are getting somewhere.
We’ve been dragging at the bottom for so long, but now we can see that there is a bright light up there,” Enick said. “We can’t quit. What’s in it if we quit?”

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Despicable Picayune Rancheria Turns to DNA Testing. Will terminated members be able to re-apply?

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in California is stirring controversy for a proposal to use DNA tests to help determine who does and who doesn't belong to the tribe.
In the 1980s, only about 30 people were enrolled in the tribe, New Scientist reported. But after Indian gaming came along, the numbers swelled to over 1,000.
The tribe has since removed about 500 people from the rolls and has frozen its membership. A vote this month will determine whether DNA tests can be used for future applicants.
"We know that at first there will be an emotional issue between families," Secretary Jennifer Stanley told New Scientist, "but in the end what we're hoping through DNA is a unified tribe that actually knows who they are."
QUESTION:   Will they allow those they removed to RE-APPLY for membership?   They KNOW who they are.    Remember, the Redding Rancheria required a DNA test of the Foreman family.   99.9% later, they STILL disenrolled them.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Protesters accuse Morongo Tribe and others of LAND GRABBING

We wrote earlier about the planned press conference, and here is some of the details presented by Debra Gruszecki

Lloyd Fields, 73, has made his fortune bundling land.

He’s all business when it comes to dealing with land entitlements to spin a chunk of property into gold -- with one exception.Fields wants to develop 41 acres west of the $250 million Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, but says he can't because the only road leading to it is blocked by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ guard shack.
Fields takes this barrier personal. His family has owned the land for 55 years, he said. The road that divides the Morongo Reservation on one side and the Fields land in Banning on the other was built by, and named after, his father.
Fields has filed a lawsuit against the city of Banning and a billboard along Interstate 10 has gone up.
On Thursday, he forked over cash to mount a protest.

“It’s time to expose this land-grab and give due consideration to non-Indian property owners,’’ Fields said in the protest he staged with Stand Up for California outside the Riverside County Superior Courthouse in Riverside.

Forty other property owners who live near the Soboba Indian Reservation and near a reservation along the Colorado River near Blythe flanked him.

Michael Fisher, a spokesman for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, said Thursday this is a legal issue that will be resolved between the city of Banning and Fields.

See the link above for the rest of the story.

We know that the Pechanga tribe has excluded landowners from the Tosobol clan from access to their own property. One of many acts of Apartheid that tribe practices

Letter to Larry Echo Hawk: Requesting Status Review of IBIA 08-109-A

We have waited FIVE YEARS for a response.    We expect an answer

Larry Echo Hawk Via USPS and facsimile
Assistant Secretary- Indian Affairs
United States Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW, Room 4160
Washington, DC 20240

Re: Status of Review of Docket No. IBIA 08-109-A

Dear Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk:
I submit this letter requesting the status of your review of the issue listed above. I am a party to the action, and I received a notice, dated August 12, 2010, from the IBIA that they were forwarding this issue to your office for review (see attached letter).
I and others submitted our original request for intervention to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in April 30 of 2006. We requested that the Bureau of Indian Affairs refuse to approve, recognize, and deem null and void the Pechanga Band’s upcoming tribal elections which are scheduled for July 15, 2006. We also request that the BIA intervene in this matter to ensure additional violations of tribal and federal law do not occur and to hold elections in which all members who were enrolled as of July 18, 2005 would be allowed to participate.
We based our request on the following: (1) the Pechanga Band’s Tribal Council denied members of due process in violation of the Indian Civil Rights Act; (2) the Pechanga Band’s Tribal Council denied members of the equal protection of tribal laws in violation of the Indian Civil Rights Act; (3) the Pechanga Band’s Tribal Council stripped members of certain rights, including the Constitutionally protected right to participate in tribal elections; (4) the Pechanga Band’s Tribal Council overrode the General Membership’s Constitutionally and Supreme Court sustained right to determine the Tribe’s membership; and (5) the Tribal Council's actions would taint the outcome of the tribal elections.

In support of our request to intervene, we submitted documentation supporting our claims of gross violations of tribal and federal laws, including the Indian Civil Rights Act, (“ICRA“), 25 U.S.C. Section 1302 et. seq, which stripped many of us of the rights and privileges provided to tribal citizens.

In our original request and subsequent filings with the BIA and IBIA, we referenced several IBIA decisions which provided for BIA intervention in situations which were similar to our own. Specifically,
1. In United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma v. Muskogee Area Director, 22 IBIA 75 (1992), the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (“IBIA”) affirmed the BIA's authority and right to decline to recognize tribal elections which are tainted by Indian Civil Rights Act ("ICRA") violations involving enrollment.

2. Greendeer v. Minneapolis Area Director, 22 IBIA 91 (1992) declared:

"Whatever accommodations must be made to arrive at a viable interpretation of the constitutional language, a short circuiting of the rights of the individuals (by the Tribe) cannot be one of them. As a matter of Federal law, i.e., the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) 25 U.S.C. Section 1302 (1968), Indian Tribes are required to afford their members due process."

3. Wells v. Acting Aberdeen Area Director, 24 IBIA 142, 145 (1993), the IBIA stated: “Both the Federal Courts and the Board have recognized that there are times when, despite the lack of specific statutory authority, the Bureau must make determinations concerning intra-tribal disputes, most often those disputes
involving tribal elections.”
We also referenced an action of the General Membership of the Tribe, the supreme governing authority, to determine its membership and halt disenrollment of tribal citizens enrolled as of the day of the legislations’ passage. The Tribal Council subsequently determined that the tribal law did not apply to all tribal citizens and approved actions to disenroll a large percentage of tribal members just prior to regularly scheduled elections for Tribal Council.
It has been nearly 5 years since our initial request to the BIA was filed. Since then we have waited patiently and submitted additional information as requested. We now respectfully request a status update on the IBIA’s action to forward this issue to your office for review.
We eagerly await your response to this request.


Pechanga Tribe Opposes Murrietta's Future Development

Let's see, Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro once said, "what goes on at Pechanga is NO BUSINESS of the White Man", yet the tribe wants a say in what goes on in the city of Menifee?

The Pechanga Tribe joined some residents and developers in opposing a plan that maps out Murrieta's future development for the next several decades.

A public hearing for the General Plan 2035 was held last week.

"This is the legally enforceable document for the city and we are concerned that it doesn’t protect the city or the tribe or the resources within the city," said Anna Hoover, cultural analyst for the Pechanga Tribe, in reference to the city's proposed stipulations for protecting cultural resources.

"The mitigation measures that are proposed are somewhat vague, are lacking a few things," Hoover said.   OP:  Is that "vague" like Pechanga putting in slot machines that look like slot machines, but called them bingo machines?

"We have no concern with the human remains condition," she continued. "At this point in time we are asking for a continuance of this project. We would like to work with planning staff to develop something with a little more teeth so that we can address these before we get to the City Council."

City planners remained firm on the 300-page document, stating that many of the issues could be resolved through further cooperation but did not call for major changes to the document prior to its adoption.

Planning Commission Vice Chair Gregory Goodman likened the detailed document to reading the Bible.

"The General Plan is a living document, it can change over long as we maintain the flexibility of how to get there," said Mary Lanier, community development director for the City of Murrieta.

Now that the plan was approved by the Planning Commission, it moves on for City Council review, which is slated for July.
Lanier said the update to the plan started in fall 2009 and was built with the City Council's stated objective: economic development.

"So all of our focus has been on that," Lanier said.

"Great places really evolve over time and Murrieta has evolved to a great place.”

The elements of the plan -- a document required by the State of California that guides development and forms the basis for city services, ordinances and regulations -- includes policies and goals for land use, housing, circulation, conservation, open space, noise and safety. Included in that is an Environmental Impact Report.

Pechanga Tribe's Concerns

In a letter submitted to Murrieta City Planner Greg Smith, the Pechanga Tribe wrote that it was concerned that the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) contained in the plan did not spell out specific enough guidelines should developers unknowingly unearth human remains during excavation.

"...the Tribe is concerned that this lack of specificity may cause potential conflict and confusion in guidance of future development projects," wrote Hoover on behalf of Pechanga Cultural Resources, Temecula Band of Luiseño Indians.

As the most likely descendant within city boundaries, the Pechanga Tribe seeks an added clause to the city's FEIR that all future developers be required to conduct cultural resources studies for archaeological, historical and paleontological significance.     OP:  The tribe seems more concerned with bones, rather than their people.   They had no respect for their own hired archaeologist's report of tribal ancestry.   Why are they concerned NOW?   The put a GOLF COURSE over the bones of our ancestors.   Pechanga's concern is nothing but tripe.

"We are happy to meet with Pechanga represenatives to discuss wording but at this time we do not recommend including them in the General Plan because it is much more specific than the General Plan calls for," Lanier said in response. "We are willing to work with tribal representatives before it goes to City Council."

The city received 18 comments on its FEIR during a 45-day public comment window, the correspondence from Pechanga among them. Other concerns were also raised.

See the rest of the story HERE

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cherokee Nation Employees PRESSURED to Donate To Chad "Our Slaves were Well Treated" Smith?

Would Corntassel really strong arm employees?  Yes. See below

The primary election for the Cherokee Nation's Principal Chief is coming up June 25.

And some Cherokee Nation employees say they feel like they're being strong-armed to back a certain candidate.

As FOX23's Janna Clark shows us from Tahlequah. It all started with a letter that was sent out.

The letter that's sparked the controversy was written to employees of Cherokee Nation's clinics and hospitals like Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah. Some say the letter's putting pressure on them to donate money.

At first Bill John Baker thought it was just a rumor. But then a Cherokee Nation employee handed him a copy of the letter.

Baker's running for Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. He says the letter was sent to Cherokee employees working at clinics and hospitals around Green Country.

The letter asks for a $500 to $1,000 dollar contribution toward current Principal Chief Chad Smith's campaign. It was signed by three health administrators.

Baker says it breaks a federal law to ask employees to donate money. We called the U.S. Attorney's office, and an attorney there told us since the health administrators who signed the letter are not federal employees, sending the letter is legal. Baker says even if it's legal, it's still wrong.

"It's absolutely wrong to strong-arm people and give a suggestion to give $500 to $1,000 when you're their bosses," Baker said.

Baker says because their bosses signed the letter and because Chad Smith is their ultimate boss, employees feel pressured to pay.

Several wanted to speak to us on camera but feared if they did, they might lose their jobs.

"They're obviously scared for their employment or retribution," Baker said.

We spoke to Chief Chad Smith. Even though he didn't sign it, he stands behind the letter. He says sending it was legal and those who wrote it have the right to do so.

"I support their right to support whatever candidate they want. In this instance, they supported me rather than Bill John Baker," Smith said.

Smith says Baker's the one intimidating employees - the three administrators who wrote the letter.

"By dressing them down in public... when all they did is send a letter to friends and colleagues to support me rather than Baker," Smith said. "This is a desperate move in a campaign to gain standing where he doesn't have any."

Smith wants to reassure employees, they shouldn't feel any pressure.

"They're protected by our constitution, and I adhere to our Constitution," Smith said. "I'll defend their right to campaign against me."

The three people who signed the letter are high-ranking managers in Cherokee Nation's health services. We tried each of them. But as of Tuesday night, they hadn't returned our calls. In Tahlequah, Janna Clark, FOX23 News

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Property owners, blocked by Indian tribes, to host press conference to share Frustration

About 40 disenfranchised property owners will be at the Riverside Courthouse Wednesday, June 16.  They will tell their stories of how Indian tribes, in their quest for more casino-fueled power, are infringing upon private property rights.

This will be an emotional event since these folks are scared and frustrated because their property, lives, dreams and investments are on the line.
Lloyd Fields' story in Banning is typical. The Morongo Tribe has blocked the only public road leading to his property, stripping it of nearly all of its value.  (The blocked road is named after his Fields' father – adding insult to injury.) 
These property owners from throughout Riverside County are simply asking for fair treatment by local, state and federal officials to protect their legitimate interests and life-safety.

The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and will include five property owners who have allegedly had their properties blockaded or devalued or vandalized as impacted by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.

Others will represent property owners impacted by the Sobaba Band of Luiseno Indians and the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

BOYCOTT, SCHMOYCOTT: Los Angeles' Threatened Boycott of AZ Fizzles

The Los Angeles Times has a story up on what happened to the Los Angeles City Council's ridiculously stupid boycott of the State of Arizona over "possible civil rights violations".    Lip service only it appears:

But a year later, little has changed in the way Los Angeles does business with the state next door.

The city still buys street sweeper parts from one Arizona firm and has a contract for emergency sewer repairs with another, officials say. The Harbor Department alone has four contracts with Arizona companies that total nearly $26 million.
A similar pattern can be seen across California.  Boycotts in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles County made headlines last year but have since delivered little punch.

None of those jurisdictions has canceled a contract with an Arizona-based company because of the boycott — leading some immigrant-rights activists to dismiss the high-profile calls for economic sanctions as empty symbolism.

The disappointment is especially felt in Los Angeles, where Latino elected leaders strongly backed the sanctions.

"This is a moment of hypocrisy if the city of Los Angeles says one thing and does another," said Rabbi Jonathan Klein, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Klein was speaking to a crowd of protesters gathered at City Hall to demand follow-through on the business ban.

Protesters have complained about several exemptions the City Council has granted in the last year, including approvals of contracts for made-in-Arizona Taser guns and red-light traffic cameras, as well as a contract with a Los Angeles International Airport shuttle provider that has offices in the state.

Councilman Ed Reyes, who wrote the boycott, voted to approve those exceptions. He said the deals were in the best interest of the city. Reyes said he, too, was disappointed with the boycott's slow progress, but he blamed City Atty. Carmen Trutanich's office for taking more than a year to draw up an ordinance specifying the terms of the ban. A spokesman for Trutanich said an ordinance is still in the works.

Despite the lack of clear guidelines, Reyes said there had been at least one boycott victory: Last year the Los Angeles Police Department opted not to send a team of helicopter pilots to a training conference in Phoenix.   OP:  Big Whoop

In fact, the Los Angeles Times itself proves it doesn't care much about ACTUAL civil rights violations as they recently accepted sponsorship from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, a tribe that ACTUALLY practices apartheid on their reservation.   Pechanga ACTUALLY violates the civil rights of it's people, not "potentially does".

Snoqualmie Tribal Chief Wants Elected Officials Thrown Out

It seems a tribe that doesn't follow our laws is having some trouble running their show:

Snoqualmie Tribe Chief Jerry Enick is calling on the tribe’s members to throw out most of their elected officials. The longtime chief has called for a meeting of the general membership Saturday, June 18 in Monroe.

The Tribal Council has done nothing wrong, and Enick is acting beyond his authority, says Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson.

The catalyst came when the Tribal Council voted in early May to postpone the tribe’s annual general elections until July, after an audit of the tribal membership is finished.

For several years, the Snoqualmie Tribe has been plagued by completing claims of who is and is not a member. At stake is control of the tribe’s casino proceeds. In an effort to quell the ongoing fights over membership, the Tribal Council voted in January to hire an outside genealogist to audit the member rolls using records from the tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

But the council cannot simply postpone the election, Enick says.

As the tribe’s head chief, it is his responsibility to act.

“I oversee what’s going on in my tribe. If I see something that’s going wrong, I attempt to take care of it,” he says.

Without an election, the Snoqualmies have no functioning government, because most council members’ terms expired on June 1, according to Enick. The lack of a legitimate government could threaten the tribe’s financing agreements for Snoqualmie Casino.

That concern is overblown, Mattson says.

The tribe hasn’t broken any parts of the loan agreements it has with the bondholders, who provided $330 million to start the casino, he says.

The ongoing political fights don’t hurt the tribal government’s ability to provide services to its members and Snoqualmie Valley residents, according to Mattson.

The tribe runs two medical clinics in the Valley. Together they handle more than 5,000 patient visits a year. It also runs a food clinic in Carnation, among myriad other social and cultural services it provides.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pechanga Protest: Details of Attempt to Meet with Larry Echohaw, from the BIA Security Team and the Protest

Protest organizers Mike & Nancy Rios gives  first person accounts of their attempt to meet with ASIA Larry Echohawk, whose relative Walter Echohawk had scheduled a book review at Pechanga during this event.  Hmmm.

We arrived at Pechanga casino 8 am we decided to try to register to speak MICHEAL RIOS AND MANUEL RIOS JR went to registration and were taken upstairs to forum area , three women informed us we had to belong to an organization and to speak we had to pay a fee of 525.00 per person.  We requested a registration packet to read and they declined to give one. 

We were then escorted by security to first floor , there we met with Nancy Rios Kent Appel and Wayne Mong.  After some discussion we decided to request to meet with Mr ECHOHAWK at which time security called upstairs and two huge men from BIA came. IAM talking 6-8’!  Nancy said ARE you REAL bIG or is it me just too short?  To BIA security, Nancy explained to them she had submitted a request for hunter clan and Tosobol clan to meet with ECHOHAWK ON MAY 18,2011 which was WELL WITHIN THE TIME PERIOD REQUIREMENT. THE BIA AGENTS THEN SAID they were going to ask for us to meet ECHOHAWK we gave id and one showed his id they went upstairs.



MIKE: When protest began we were introduced to Lieutenannt Moqnuin.  He and I disussed how many police would be protecting us and he was very pleased with us a group we had two motorcycle policemen and two in patrol cars and we needed them!  We had obscenties hurled hand gestures and one tribal member at least was pulled over for this.

We got a lot of support from city of temecula we gave out many fliers and got good response s of keep fighting you deserve your heritage at the end of the day we stood in fron t of waterfall signs down than Yolie McCarter nancys enemy stopped and was shooting video so I held up my sign no-Banishment no- moritorium no- disenrollment

Istill feel that a counrty wide unification must be enacted in order to bring the corrupt Tribal govenments down to a place with supervised enrollment by washington ,at the risk their may be damage to sovreignty reason being that the destuction of their own people is imminent WE had in numbers about one hundred at the protest.

OP: Protestors simply want the tribes to be held accountable for their apartheid, banishment, unequal protection.  We have heard of exhumations at other tribes, DNA tests required,then ignored,  homes destroyed at Oneida,  Black Cherokee descendents, as well as Creek denied their treaty rights,  water rights being stolen, tribal leaders telling lies to get free land.....   please add your voice to the protesters, share on facebook, increase the volume.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

US Declines to Try Half of Native Crimes

Below is an interesting story from the Associated Press regarding the Federal Government's failure to prosecute crimes within Indian Country. The violent crimes referenced are those that included some type of physical injury.  However, a definition of "violence" includes: an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws. Something to think about as the Protest at the Tribal Leaders Conference nears.
The arbitrary and capricious acts of those in power to strip and/or deny targeted individuals or groups of rights or laws guaranteed by state, tribal, or federal actions are acts of violence. Just as the acts referenced in the story below, the federal government must remove itself from its practice of declining to prosecute such actions less the number of crimes continue to rise and those suspected of such crimes continue to walk free to violate again.

There was swelling on the little girl's skull and hemorrhages around her brain. There was a tear between her right ear and scalp. The scars on her 36-pound body were consistent with burns from a space heater, a curling iron and hot noodles.

The mother said she had accidentally rolled over onto her daughter in bed, smothering her. The medical examiner concluded that the brown-eyed toddler with the wavy dark hair had been beaten, declaring her death a homicide.

Had 2-year-old Kiara Harvey died elsewhere the case likely would have been handled by the county sheriff or police, and the local district attorney.

But Kiara was a Navajo and she lived on the expansive Navajo Nation. On tribal lands, only federal prosecutions can lead to serious penalties for major crimes involving Native Americans. Those prosecutors, however, end up declining to pursue half of the cases nationally.

"No one speaks for that baby," said Bernadine Martin, the Navajo Nation's chief prosecutor. "It's OK to kill her and go on because prosecutors apparently don't want to put a little more effort into investigations."

In the Arizona portion of the Navajo Nation, which also stretches into New Mexico and Utah, Kiara's case was one of 37 that federal prosecutors declined to take during a 9-month period last year, an Associated Press review found.

Among all tribes in Arizona during the same period, there were 122 such cases. The overwhelming majority were alleged sex crimes that included rape and abusive sexual contact, followed by assaults. Nineteen cases involving deaths were rejected.

The AP's analysis found the reasons to be both complicated and frustratingly similar, and perhaps as exasperating to federal prosecutors as they are to tribal authorities. They cited poor evidence, reluctant witnesses and jurisdictional issues.

Federal authorities "want to prosecute the individual, they want to get a stiff sentence, they want to go to trial, so declining it is tough," said Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, whose office issued the letter saying that it would not take the Kiara Harvey case.

AIRRO Reports on ASIA Larry Echohawk's Refusal to Meet With Protesters At Pechanga Casino

Protesters Gather at Tribal Leaders Forum, ASIA Echo Hawk Declines to Meet

Temecula, CA- As tribal leaders and federal officials met inside, a large group gathered in front of the Pechanga Resort and Casino to protest the ever growing problem of corruption and illegal activity in Indian Country. The protesters, representing tribes from throughout Indian Country, decried actions taken by tribal officials in violation of tribal and federal laws.

Several protestors had made formal requests to meet with Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, who was scheduled to attend the forum. Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk is charged with carrying out the Department of Interior’s trust responsibilities to tribes and individual Indians. The protestors wanted an opportunity to discuss the problems of corruption and rights violation in Indian Country and question him on the actions the Department would take to uphold its trust responsibility to the thousands of individual Indians who have been victimized by tribal leaders. To date, the Department, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has declined to intervene and allowed tribal leaders to continually terrorize targeted individuals and groups unless the tribe's governing documents allow BIA intervention
Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk failed to respond to the numerous requests, and when several protestors attempted to enter the forum, they were confronted by individuals claiming to be the Assistant Secretary’s bodyguards. The protestors were questioned by the bodyguards and asked to provide proof of their identification, but they were not allowed to meet with the Assistant Secretary.
A small group of protestors was eventually allowed to meet with BIA Pacific Regional Director Amy Dutschke and Superintendent Robert Eben of the Southern California Agency. The BIA representatives listened to the individuals concerns regarding corruption and rights violations in Indian Country. Regional Director Dutschke did inform those she met with that sanctions could be levied against offending officials and tribal governments and promised to take the issue to ASIA Echo Hawk.
The BIA is no the only forum that has declined to intervene in matters considered internal to the tribes. The courts have almost always declined to hear cases involving internal tribal matters. Tribes and tribal officials accused of violating tribal and federal laws- such as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968- have routinely claimed that their actions are cloaked by sovereign immunity and beyond the jurisdiction of the courts.
In a recent case involving the Snoqualmie Tribe of Washington State, a federal judge ruled that tribal leaders had illegally banished members of the tribe. In spite of the court's ruling, the Snoqualmie tribal council has failed to comply with the decision and continues to cite sovereign immunity as justification for their unlawful actions. The illegally banished members are now being subject to disenrollment, against the wishes of their tribal members, by the very same tribal officials.

A contingent of the banished Snoqualmie Tribal members travelled over the course of several days to join representatives from several California tribes, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The Snoqualmie and others believe it is important that tribal leaders and federal officials begin to understand the breadth and impact of human and civil rights violations in Indian Country.

"In the past decade, thousands of Indians throughout the United States have been the victims of gross human and civil rights violation," stated John Gomez, Jr., a founding member of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization. "The rise in the number of crimes committed by tribal officials against individual Indians appears to coincide with the expansion of Indian gaming. Greed and the desire to maintain control of businesses that bring in millions, sometimes hundreds of millions, of dollars are motivating factors to get rid of opposing factions within the tribe and deny membership to those who would share in any profits."
"As long as tribal officials can continue to escape prosecution for their illegal acts by invoking immunity from suit, such crimes will continue unabated. Many more will be banished; disenrolled; denied membership; denied voting rights and medical services; and stripped of the rights guaranteed by tribal and federal laws," Gomez concluded.
Congress enacted the Indian Civil Rights Act in 1968 in response to claims made by individual Indians that tribal officials were violating basic human and civil rights. The ICRA provides that tribes and tribal officials are barred from denying individuals rights such as due process and equal protection of laws. Unfortunately the ICRA failed to include an effective enforcement mechanism by which tribal officials could be held accountable for violations of its provisions.
Those who gathered at the protest agreed that tribal officials must be held accountable for their actions. A means to accomplish this goal would be to amend the ICRA and provide for the prosecution of tribal officials for any violations of the actions prohibited in the law. While such an action would be seen by tribes as an infringement on their sovereignty, those who have already been victimized do not believe that sovereignty

Temecula Patch: Tosobol Family Should Be in Tribe, Protesting Moratorium Other Tribes Represented

Peter Surowski of the TEMECULA PATCH gets the story RIGHT.   Protestors were NOT JUST PROTESTING the despicable actions of Pechanga but were stand for ALL whose civil rights were violated by tribes:   Redding Rancheria, Snoqualmie, Enterprise, Laytonville Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, the ONEIDA Tribal Nation, the Cherokee and Creek Freedmen among many.....

Disenrolled members of Indian tribes protested during a leadership meeting at the casino in Temecula today.

Several dozen people held signs criticizing tribal leaders in front of Pechanga Resort and Casino as Indian officials from across the country came together for the Native Leadership Forum.

The protesters were kicked out of their tribes unjustly, they said.  

“The government is more like a dictatorship,” said Desiree Mojado, a Los Angeles resident who was disenrolled from the Pechanga tribe. “They do whatever they want over the people’s vote.”

She attended the event with her two children and four grandchildren who still live on the reservation.

Despite living on Pechanga land, they are barred from voting or getting any services, she said. “They have no rights.”

She descends from Paulina Hunter, who was a member of the Pechanga tribe, she said.

Though Hunter died in the late 1800s, the tribe’s Enrollment Committee deemed in 2006 she was not a Pechanga Indian. That means her descendants, including about 100 families, were kicked out of the tribe.  OP:  DESPITE evidence to the contrary, provide by PECHANGA's own expert and SWORN testimony taken in the LUISENO language from people who were alive and KNEW Paulina Hunter.

Mojado’s family was one of those, she said. This means they get no voting rights, health care or “per capita” money from the tribe. 

“When money comes into play, it becomes a power struggle,” she said.

Her cousin, Kent Appel, of Murrieta, was also disenrolled.

Though each member stands to benefit from being in the tribe – he declined to say how much the per capita payment totals – the money is not the reason they fight.

“When you start to focus on the money, you lose the fact that it’s more than that,” he said. “It robs you of your culture.”
His family still has land on the reservation, and one road, called “Hunter Lane,” bears his ancestor’s name.

The enrollment committee’s decision to kick his family out was arbitrary and unfair, he said. “They ignored every piece of evidence,” he said.

To read more about the Hunter family’s disenrollment, click here.

Some families have it worse. The descendants of Petra Tosbol were banished from the reservation two years ago.

Petra was a Pechanga Indian, and her descendants still have property on the reservation, said Michael Anthony Rios, a Beaumont resident who said he is Petra’s great-great-great-great-great grandson.

“We still have land on it, we just can’t go on it,” Rios said of the reservation. “They never did give us a reason.”

Former Pechangas were not the only Indians protesting. Carolyn Lubenau, who said she was disenrolled from the Snoqualmie tribe, came from Washington to join the demonstration.

Her disenrollment came after some of her relatives won an election to their tribal council. The incumbent council members butted heads with her relatives, so they disenrolled her family before they could take office.

The family took that act to federal court and won, but the court can do nothing to enforce the decision because the tribe has sovereign immunity, she said.

To see the court’s decision on the case, click on the photo gallery above.

A spokesperson for the Pechanga tribe was unavailable for comment before this story’s publication

Press Enterprise Reports On Protest At Pechanga. WILL Mark Macarro Again Threaten to Pull Advertising?

Congratulations to the Riverside Press Enterprise and Jeff Horseman for reporting news about the protest of the despicable actions of the Pechanga Tribal Council and their lying tribal Chairman Mark Macarro, as well the horrible treatment many Indians across the country have received from their equally corrupt tribal councils.

Mark Lucero(l) and Wayne Mong, the event organizer in front of the Pechanga Resort and Casino

Indian tribal leaders from across the nation gathered at Pechanga Resort & Casino on Thursday for an annual conference dealing with tribal government and sovereignty.

Outside, more than 30 protesters called attention to the practice of "disenrollment," the expulsion of tribal members. Many of the pickets had been disenrolled from the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.

Hosted by the American Indian Resources Institute, a group advocating tribal sovereignty, the Native Leadership Forum took place in the Eagle's Nest Room on the top floor of the resort hotel

Disenrollment, Trudell said, was not on the agenda.  OP:  But Mr. Trudell was WELL aware of this protest, letters to him went unanswered.  I believe that is akin to turning up the radio so you can't hear your busted engine .  But it was at the heart of the demonstration on the sidewalk across from the casino.

Protesters waved signs such as "Indian Civil Rights Now!" and "Temecula Indian Rights Violated."

Pechanga tribal officials did not respond to a request for comment. Over the years, Pechanga and other tribes have disenrolled members on the grounds that they aren't descended from original tribal families.   OP:  GROUNDS that included DNA testing of over 99.7% match, which is more than they got for Osama Bin Laden.

While tribes have said they have a right to determine their membership, critics say greed is driving the disenrollments. Pechanga members receive a six-figure annual payment of casino profits, medical care and other benefits.

Louise Appel, of Murrieta, who was disenrolled in 2006, said she now has to spend $4,300 a month caring for her disabled daughter.   OP:  This will soon fall on the California taxpayers, as Louise is moving through her funds.  In fact many of the tribespeople that Pechanga has exterminated now are on the government dole.  YOU are now paying for what Pechanga has done.

"It hurt," she said. "I thought they were my friends."

Protesters said Pechanga violated its own rules and due process when disenrolling members. They added that tribes use sovereignty as a shield to justify their actions.

Manuel Rios, of Riverside, said his application to join the Pechanga tribe has been held up for 14 years.  OP:  TWO families was disenrolled, because their members on the enrollment committee questioned WHY this family was not enrolled.  ALL their paperwork was properly filled out and timely.   One enrollment committee member, FRANCES MIRANDA was heard to say, "there are too many of them".

"We need Washington to do something about this," he said


Friday, June 3, 2011

Protesters Gather at Pechanga; ASIA Larry Echohawk REFUSES To Meet with Aggrieved Indians

A large group gathered in front of the Pechanga Resort and Casino to protest the growing problem of tribal corruption by tribes across the Inited States. Pechanga was chosen as the protest site because the was a convention of tribal leaders meeting. The pechanga tribe is well known across Indian Country for practicing Apartheid on their reservation.

Individuals from many tribes, including Snoqualmie in Washington state traveled ling distances to attend this protest.

Formal requests were made to ASIA Echohawk to meet and he gave no response Echohawk is charged with the trust responsibility to tribes AND individual Indians. Thousands of individual Indians have had their rights violated. Is turning a blind eye to this part of the Obama administration master plan to reduce the population of American Indians?

Update:Pechanga's Masiel Crime Family is Four Generations Long

Update from Pechanga protest: Leiva family members, better known as the Masiel Basquez crime family were harassing protesters at Pechanga resort and Casinp. Felon Raymond Basquez Jr. One of the more stupid members of the family was one and Yolie "they are just herbs" McCarter was another. They had no effect

I've had requests to move this up again, so here it is.

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians has a crime family that spans GENERATIONS.

It's well known that the young, thuggish generation of the Masiel-Basquez crime family are violent offenders, which we reported on HERE and HERE the next older generation of criminals HERE and HERE and HERE and NOW WE KNOW where they get it from:

Francisca Leivas Basquez
As shown below there are two pieces of evidence that show the Matriach of the Basquez family, Francisca Leyva (Leivas) tried to defraud the government and gain of three per capita checks when only one was legal. Fraud, such as her family then perpetrated on the Pechanga Band.
Sins of the mother, passed on to her progeny.
How can the Pechanga Members continue to support them? How much theft has to happen?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Protest At Tribal Leader's Forum Information; Please Bring Your Friends


Protest at Tribal Leaders Forum
Thursday, June 2, 2011
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Pechanga Resort and Casino
Temecula, CA

Representatives from throughout Indian Country will gather in Temecula , California on June 2, 2011 to protest the growing number of human and civil rights violations committed by tribal officials.

The protest is scheduled to occur as tribal leaders, Congressional representatives, and Obama administration officials meet to discuss tribal governance issues at Pechanga.

Please join us and add your voice to the thousands who oppose the continued efforts of tribal leaders to strip or deny individual Indians of the basic rights guaranteed by tribal, state, and federal laws.  This is not for Native's only, bring friends.

Please contact

NANCY RIOS: 951-655-0598

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Robinson Rancheria Disenrollment Story: 25% of Tribe Terminated Redding Rancheria, the same disgraceful Story

We are on vacation this week and we are pulling stories of disenrollment forward, since there is a protest June 2 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino.  Pechanga is a tribe that practices apartheid on their reservation.  These tribes deserve your moral outrage.    Join the protest at Pechanga, 4500 Temecula Parkway, Temecula CA

Our friend, Elizabeth Larson has the story  on The Robinson Rancheria and Redding:

Late last month, the Robinson Rancheria Band of Pomos Citizens Business Council informed several dozen members of its intent to remove their tribal membership, an action taking place not just locally but around California and the nation.

Between 60 and 74 members have reportedly been told they will be removed from the tribe's rolls unless, as a result of a half-hour appeal hearing granted to those who request it, the council chooses to let the members remain.
The appeal hearings to determine the future for these potential disenrollees began this week.
Tribal Chair Tracey Avila said this week that questions surrounding these tribal members and their entitlement to be included among the band's number have been an issue for years, going back to 1990.
This is the largest disenrollment action the tribe has ever taken, she concedes, as the tribe prepares for a January election to determine who will be tribal chair, as well as two other seats
A June 14 election was decertified, and the tribe's election committee – dominated by Avila's family – has ruled that her challenger for the seat, EJ Crandell – who won the June election – has been disqualified from running.
Crandell and other tribal members, including potential disenrollee Luwana Quitiquit, say the disenrollments are purely political and retaliatory.
The tribe's own enrollment ordinance states that disenrollment is possible on three grounds: the person obtained enrollment by error, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; they became a fully recognized member of another tribe without relinquishing their Robinson Rancheria membership; the person is a descendant of a disenrollee and doesn't otherwise meet membership requirements.
The ordinance doesn't allow for disenrollment due to adoption, which traditionally has been a common practice among American Indians.
However, the tribal council has passed a resolution to strike the adoption process, which Quitiquit and Crandell say is an ex post facto law, which is prohibited in the tribe's 1980 constitution, just as it is the US Constitution.

If it's truly the case that Robinson's disenrollment is born out of politics and animosity toward rival families, the Robinson band wouldn't be unique. That's because attempts to reduce tribal membership through these types of actions aren't new to Lake County, California or the nation.

On Nov. 10, 2007, 25 members of the Elem Colony were removed from that tribe's rolls, including the last native speaker of the tribe's language. Then-chairman, Ray Brown Sr. acknowledged the move to County News in a previous interview, saying that the move was justified because many of the people were adopted into the tribe and weren't blood relations.

To date, an estimated 2,000 Indians have been disenrolled by 15 California tribes – not including those currently proposed at Robinson, according to John Gomez, president of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization (AIRRO), a group that focuses on human and civil rights issues.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Deputy Regional Director Dale Risling, based in Sacramento, said “quite a few” tribes are going through disenrollments currently.
He said his agency hears about most of them through the media, and not directly, since they don't usually have a role in settling the disputes because of tribal constitutions. “The ones that we really get are the ones that require our involvement.”

Tony Gonzales, spokesman for the American Indian Movement-West, said gaming tribes decertifying members has become a big problem nationwide as well.That's because a lot is at stake, with gaming tribes across the nation generating revenues in the realm of $46 billion.

“Unfortunately, in the process to gain more money for themselves, they are decertifying members,” said Gonzales. “The irony, too, is they're adopting non-Indians into their tribes.”
Some blame gaming for disenrollments
In California, Gomez said the vast majority of disenrollments have occurred since the passage of Proposition 5, the Tribal Government Gaming and Economic Self-Sufficiency Act of 1998 that allowed gaming on tribal lands, and Proposition 1A, passed in 2000, allowing tribes to operate slot machines and banked and percentage card games.

He said it's mostly the gaming tribes who carry out reducing membership in this way. “I don't believe it's just about greed. I think it's about greed and retaining political power.”

Gomez was among 200 people disenrolled by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in 2004. Two years later, as many as 175 more Pechanga tribal members saw their membership disappear. “Both times it just happened prior to regularly scheduled elections for tribal council.”

The Redding Rancheria's first tribal chair, Bob Foreman, and his family – all 76 members – were disenrolled in 2002 after their lineage was questioned. Despite providing DNA samples to prove their ancestry, Foreman – who had been tribal chair for 20 years – was pushed out of the tribe.

Gomez said Foreman, who incidentally was born in Nice, went on to be a founding member of AIRRO.

Foreman died Nov. 19, and Gomez and other AIRRO members are traveling to Redding for his funeral this weekend, at which time they're expected to discuss possible action in response to Robinson's disenrollment move.

He said disenrollments often evolve around election disputes, as in Robinson's case. Similarly, Gomez said the Mooretown Rancheria of Oroville reclassified 30 percent of its membership and denied them voting rights so they couldn't participate in an election planned four days later. “The tribe still counts them as members but they're members without rights.”

Many tribal members will attempt to justify disenrollment actions saying that there is a question about ancestry, but he points out that such questions didn't arise when the tribes were counting members for federal government assistance.

As tribal rolls dwindle, federal funding also can go away, he said. However, the larger gaming tribes can afford to fund their own programs.

Quitiquit and some other tribal members facing disenrollment, many of whom asked that their names not be used at this time due to fear of retribution, said they felt Robinson Rancheria's casino and gaming had given rise to many of their current problems.

Rather than helping Indians get a leg up, they say that gaming is leading to expulsion of tribal members – among them veterans and elders – who may face a life on welfare without the support of their tribal communities.

Some Indian activists have even gone so far as to call disenrollment the “new Indian genocide.”

The problem is such a concern in Indian Country that last year, American Indian Movement activist Dennis Banks said that the Bureau of Indian Affairs needed to intervene to stop the California disenrollments.

A Government Accountability Office report issued last month, titled “Confirmation of Political Appointees: Eliciting Nominees' Views on Management Challenges within Agencies and Across Government,” also recognizes the problem.

The report urged political leaders to ask the following question of nominees for the Secretary of the Interior, which includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs: “Tribal membership disputes and tribal leadership disputes seem to be occurring more and more frequently. What experience do you have in working with tribal leadership and trying to resolve these types of disputes or in trying to prevent them?”

Far-reaching implications for loss of tribal membership

Gomez said AIRRO is seeing the same thing happening around the state – Indians stripped of lawful citizenship and all of the associated rights – from housing to education to health care to jobs.

When membership in a federally recognized tribe is lost, federal help goes away, he said. “It cuts across everything that has to do with their lives.”
The affects aren't just social or economic, but emotional and psychological as well, said Gomez. Being put out of a tribe has serious implications about identity for people who are being told they are no longer Indian.

If Robinson Rancheria goes through with its proposed membership reduction, Quitiquit said the implications could be devastating.
Among the first acts she expects is for disenrolled members to be banished from the rancheria. That would mean leaving their homes; Quitiquit's own family stands to lose two of an estimated 10 homes at stake.

Being cut off from the land also would mean they could be prevented from visiting the graves of their family members at the rancheria's cemetery, said Quitiquit. Gomez said that's happened in other areas.

There would also be a loss of education opportunities and funding, as well as Indian health services,which are critical due to the high number of tribal members suffering from diabetes and chronic diseases, particularly elders.

Those who hold jobs with the tribe also could be fired. She said some of the members in question already have been put on administrative leave from their jobs. A “no gossip” memo also was reportedly issued by Avila to staff, warning that discussion about the disenrollments would result in termination.

Quitiquit, who recently left her job as a cook for a program that provides meals to 24 homebound elders, said 20 of those elders are facing disenrollment. The four who would be left would not be enough to justify continuing the federally funded meals program.

Elders would lose their monthly retirement payments of $400, said Quitiquit. “All the elders are suffering right now because we don't have it.”
All members currently on the disenrollment list have had their payments suspended, including the $300 per capital payment plus a $2,000 Christmas bonus, funded through federal grants and revenues from the tribe's casino on Highway 20.

One elderly woman who is a caretaker for her grandchildren told Quitiquit she won't be able to make ends meet outside of the tribe.

Quitiquit said the tribal council, in its attempt to maintain power, can take these actions under the guise of sovereignty. “Forget about our civil rights.”
In the last election, many people voted for Avila because she said she was not for disenrollment, said Quitiquit. “We were completely fooled.”

She added, “If this is what happens to us, then down the road it's going to happen to the other tribal members they don't like.”