Friday, June 24, 2011

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.

The United States’ failure to address the inherent problems in the ICRA and the additional problems created by Martinez has created an environment whereby tribal officials are allowed to violate the rights of their citizens by ignoring Federal, State and Tribal laws.

The United States can change the environment by providing an efficient enforcement mechanism for the redress of alleged violations of the ICRA and other tribal and/or federal laws enacted to protect and preserve the rights of the individual Indian.

Enforcement could include de novo review of tribal court actions by federal courts of issues involving alleged rights violations. And, in instances where there is no tribal court, individual(s) alleging violations of their human and civil rights could be allowed to file an action in federal court and the federal court shall have jurisdiction to hear the dispute.

Additionally and equally important, tribal and federal officials should not be allowed to invoke immunity from prosecution for alleged rights violations nor shall a tribe’s sovereignty shield its officers, employees, or agents.

The United States must be proactive in addressing the growing number of abuses committed against American Indians. The United States needs to address the policies, programs, and laws governing the rights of its indigenous people. The United States must also take action to change the current environment, an environment it created, which allows for and fosters the wholesale denial and abolishment of basic rights.


Unknown said...

A case for adopting ICRA 2018. Sarrisland & the Ides of March: Motion to the Court of Public Opinion

My fate is in the hands of the General Council on April 14, 2018. I have been extremely provoked for fifteen (15) years of Sarris's unconscionable vendetta and abuses. Tribal members fear they or their family member will be targeted as evidenced by my daughter was threatened which is why I chose to take my case to the Court of Public Opinion in the first place. Without (ICRA) Indian Civil Rights Act protections tribal members are not safe; not safe from a fork-tongued self-decepted narcissists; not safe from abusers who target women, children, the elderly and the vulnerable; not safe from the willful deliberate corrupt. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is not a judiciary and are not equipped to handle these matters.

I ask you to pray for Lorelle Ross and Gene Buvelot to give them the support, insight and strength of character to stand - propose the motion, second the motion: Lezlie Grigone not be kicked out again.

2012 From the first letter to the Court of Public Opinion

When will I stop being cheated. When questioned by the 9th Circuit Court, the Chairman said he made a mistake. Now, I was there and in my opinion the Chairman is highly educated, knew what he was doing, acted with malice and forethought but he said he made a mistake so let's go with that. Everybody makes a mistake, that's a fact; it's what you do after a mistake that counts. As far as mistakes go this was a dozy, it caught the attention of the 9th Circuit Court. The Chairman received no disciplinary, no censure and he never apologized to me; as a matter of fact subsequent to being ousted from my duly elected Office of Tribal Secretary I complained and received a 3 to 5 year disciplinary sanction. I have already served more than eight (8), more than eight (8) years on this sentence. I have phoned, written, filled out forms, sent certified mail and have received a non response. The Chairman is the leader of a sovereign people, a small group of 1250 persons, many elderly and children. This is no giant bureaucracy. The Chairman can choose to do right or to cheat you whenever he wants, he answers not to our Constitution, he answers to no authority, he answers to no moral code of conduct.
When will I stop being cheated?

2013 Formal Gross Malfeasance charges filed, received and acknowledged by both the Tribal Administrator and the Tribal Council Secretary. No hearings scheduled.

This is a 'he said/ she said' complaint. I said he did it on purpose, he said it was a mistake; either way he did it! This is Graton Rancheria not the SarrisSaidSo tribe. Chairman Sarris does not get to cheat and hurt tribal members, not even by mistake. At a minimum he is guilty of gross malfeasance for his failure to take responsibility for his mistake long before now. I have been severely harmed and cheated of irreclaimable years, cheated of my vote, my voice, my contribution, health benefits, newsletters and etc. my mother, father and sister all gone to their graves. I was exiled, kicked out, what we pride ourselves on not doing Chairman Sarris did to me. Repugnant. Chairman Sarris's actions have been vile towards me. I know not why. I know other tribal members fear it could happen to them. I know his offenses are abhorrent to other sovereign people. I know, unchecked Chairman Sarris is a threat to our communities.

Unknown said...

2014 PUBLIC NOTICE - conduct unbecoming a public employee

Culprits such as Greg Sarris are few among California's sovereign nations tribal leadership. Thousands of California Indians have been violated by those few, there has been violence.

Chairman Sarris established a 'two strikes rule', notified every tribal member in writing of the rule. If a tribal member telephones the tribe and is angry 2 times, they can be kicked out and denied services. My daughter had been denied services, instead she was ridiculed and threatened "Greg Sarris kicked her mother out and he can kick her out also."

Spring 2015. Sarris ethics woes: Motion to the Court of Public Opinion

Taxpayer supported academias are watching you; they have a right and a need to know. The chairman is also Professor Greg Sarris of Sonoma State University and holds a position of great honor, prestige and must be of upstanding character. To date, he has been unable to man up, unable to apologize/make amends. He has a moral clause and can not be the case study for circumventing responsibility, for surreptitiously avoiding accountability, for cheating.

California State Legislators are watching you; they have a right and a need to know. They are at a loss on how to deal with tyrants like Sarris. When the California voter said "yes" to casinos it was with the premise we would do right by ourselves. Turns out, we missed a beat; we are a people, people have disputes, there is no place or way to resolve disputes; no place to do right by ourselves. Over the years thousands of violations, thousands, there has been violence.

Tribes across California, 500 Nations are watching you; they have a right and a need to know, many a Constitution bound entity. Our Constitutions are not secret documents. We are accountable to each other. Clear a path, set the precedent, tyrants like Sarris hurt us all.

Tribal members are watching you; they have a right a need to know. Who is safe, who will he cheat and who among you will protect us? Look in your mirror, you chose to be a leader. Do not falter now, all are watching you.

Fall 2015. Motion to the Court of Public Opinion, threat from Sarris….

Threat received via FedEx – if I approach, confront or question Sarris in public or any way embarrass him he will charge me with harassment and kick me out of again.

One in the spring and one in the fall, 2 letters a year is not harassment. 15 years ago after being ousted I sent 3 tart email, Sarris threatened to sic the LA County Sheriff on me; 3 tart emails were not ‘harassment’ then and do not substantiate ‘a pattern of harassment’ today. Phone contact prohibited by Sarris’s edict. In our final phone call before being ousted, Sarris informed me he would not speak to me on the phone again. I was relieved as I found him to be a massively annoying long-talker. He harassed me telephonically. He would call my answering service repeatedly again and again leaving long long messages. I believe I had his entire lecture series – twice; it was his regime you were required to listen to his voice for hours and hours. There are no legal advisors to assist one in the Sarrisland court. No hearing is ever scheduled on charges lodged against Sarris. Sarris is a master talker, mesmerizing to some, he could not outtalk the 9th circuit court and testified under oath my ousting was a mistake. In my public writings I have described his as repugnant vile stupid contemptible abhorrent and by definition - corrupt. By ousting me he invalidated everybody’s vote, he corrupted the government and with this corrupt act established ominous control – ‘Do what he wants and don’t talk back’.

Unknown said...

July 2016. Threat received noting one letter a year is harassment. In Sarrisland Sarris cannot be questioned and cannot be held accountable.

Dear Tribal Council and Tribal Members,

I am aware a tribal member may go to the office to review top secret classified contracts and financials. I am not interested in classified information.I only want to know how much did we give to Napa?

Ask yourself:

How does a man who doesn't live or work in Napa become 'Napa man of the year’?, an honor he proudly told us of in two separate issues of our monthly newsletter.
How much did a full stage production of his flop cost us?
How much of our monies did he 'give' to have his 30 yr old made for tv movie shown at the Napa film festival? He is a master talker but not that good, that was our money.

I ask the Council and the Members to suspend Sarris from all leadership roles, especially from the Graton Economic Development Authority, pending an investigation in the misappropriation of tribal monies for personal gain.

Fall 2017. My fate in the hands of General Council April 14 , 2018

Hold the highly educated, accomplished and self proclaimed 'Best Indian Ever' - Chairman Greg Sarris accountable for maliciously abusing his power/office to engage in a fifteen (15) year unconscionable personal vendetta, for surreptitiously avoiding accountability and placing blame on others, For Gross Malfeasance. Sarris in essence raped/violated me and used the threat of being so raped/violated as leverage to keep others in line. We are not the SarrisSaidSo tribe, no El Jefe, no Grand Puba, no Sarrisland. We are Graton Rancheria and we are still here.

Thank-you for your prayers for Lorelle Ross and Gene Buvelot to give them the support, insight and strength of character to stand make and second a motion I not be kicked out again.

Lezlie Grigone,
Tribal Elder
Tyrannicide Rights Advocate