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Sunday, June 5, 2011

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

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Larry Echo Hawk and Flecther are the same. Mr Echo Hawk took away the San Pasqual CIB cards of the people he helped disenroll. Yet he refuses to look into the Levya line that has forged there documantation of being Native Americans. So you govermant agencies that look at this site ask mr Echo Hawk why is it alright to remove one family from Native status and with documatation shown on this site it not his busines to look in to another of the same issue. could it be he only looks in to matters that benifits his pocket.

smokeybear said...

I WAS ONE OF THE 5 THAT ATTEMTED TO SEE ECHOHAWK. WHEN WE MET WITH THE REPRESENTITIVES OF THE B.I.A, THEY LISTENED AND THEN BASICALLY OKE-DOKEED US. THERE WAS NO CONCERN FOR ANYTHING WE WERE TRYING TO TELL THEM. OH, THEY TOOK NOTES AND SAID THEY WOULD PASS IT ON TO ECHOHAWK. THE LARGE SECURITY GUARD SAID THEY HAD TO GO AND PREPARE FOR THE CONFERENCE. THEY PROMPTLY GOT UP AND BRUSHED US OFF NICELY. I'M NOT GOING TO HOLD MY BREATH ON ECHOHAWK EVEN KNOWING WE WERE THERE TO MEET WITH HIM. WHAT A SORRY SET OF AFFAIRS THAT THEY DON'T EVEN CARE ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN INDIAN COUNTRY. I GUESS WE KNOW WERE ECHOHAWKS "BREAD IS BUTTERED."

'aamokat said...

Yes, I was there too and we went to find out why Mr. Echohawk never even gave us an answer as to if he would meet with us or not after we had followed his department's procedures and we had submitted our application within the required deadline. So some of us showed up to meet with him because he had not said no to a meeting. Amazing how they ID'd all of us and how they were suspicious of us enough to require federal agents standing over us while we waited for a reply and while we met with his subordinates

Smokeybear is right, we kind of did get the polite brushoff as Echohawks staff feigned concern but it was well worth the effort.

I wonder what kind of list we are now on for exercising our rights to meet with our federal leaders?

Phil Cuevas said...

Maybe you will find out what list you made when you try to fly somewhere...

smokeybear said...

I, MYSELF, HOPE I DID MAKE IT ON A LIST SOMEWHERE. IT SHOWS THEY ARE WATCHING US AND WHAT WE ARE DOING. IT'S STARTING TO GET A LITTLE CRAZY, BUT I MEAN THAT IN A GOOD WAY FOR THEY ARE STARTING TO TAKE NOTICE. THERE IS NO LETTING UP NOW. WE ARE BRINGING PRESSURE TO BEAR AND WE'RE GETTING RESULTS. WITH "ANOTHERVIEW" ATTEMPTING "DAMAGE CONTROL" WHICH WAS LAME AT BEST. THERE IS NO WAY, WITH OVERWELMING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, THAT WE ARE NOT TRUE MEMBERS OF OUR TRIBE. THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES AND THEY KNOW IT. "THE FOX IN THE HENHOUSE" MENTALITY IS STARTING TO LOSE THAT IRON GRIP THE "MACARRO CARTEL" HAS HELD ON THE MEMBERSHIP. THE TRIBAL COUCIL IS BEGINNING TO SEE THAT THE CORRUPTION AND GREED THAT IS SO INHERENT AT PECHANGA IS FINALLY GOING TO COME AND BITE THEM IN THE A... I DON'T THINK THEY REALLY KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT, BUT THEY'RE STARTING TO REALIZE SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE. IT'S REALLY RATHER SIMPLE. JUST REVERSE ALL THE DISENROLLMENTS, BANISHMENTS, AND THE ILLEGAL MORITORIUM AND START FOLLOWING THE CONSTITUTION AND BY LAWS THAT IS ALREADY IN PLACE AND BRING US ALL BACK INTO THE FOLD. THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP HAS THE POWER TO RECTIFY THESE ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL ACTIONS AGAINST US FOR THE GOOD OF THE TRIBE. STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT. DON'T LET THE CORRUPTION AND GREED OVERTAKE YOU BEFORE IT IS TO LATE. THE CLOCK IS TICKING.

Anonymous said...

Pechanga Leadership turns a blind eye to everything that is right, Fair, honest. Soon the Munoa's and Garbani's will figure it out...CPP will have their way..using Mark to their bidding for them once again..