UPDATE: The comment section is proving to be on of the biggest since the Snoqualmie issue. Take a look at the comments
Eight people have been ousted from the Pala Band of Mission Indians in North County, including a former leader of the tribe, because officials say they have determined the individuals did not have strong enough family ties to the tribe.
The eight individuals are members of the Freeman family, including King Freeman, former chairman of the tribe and owner of the Pala Store on Highway 76, and his son, Tony Freeman. A spokesman for the tribe said Tuesday that the dispute over the Freemans' membership in the tribe had been ongoing since 1989 and that it was an internal tribal matter.
"The courts have consistently held that membership issues are determined by the tribes," said Doug Elmets, a spokesman for Pala. OP: They all speak from the same script
The tribe ruled June 1 that the eight individuals did not have the minimum 1/16 Pala blood required to be members, Elmets said. They were given 30 days to appeal the decision, but they missed the deadline, Elmets said.
The 900-member tribe owns Pala Casino Resort and Spa, a large gambling resort complex, on Highway 76 about 15 miles north of Escondido.
Many tribes have "blood quantum laws" to determine membership. Those laws, introduced by the federal government in the 1930s, describe the degree of ancestry that is required to belong to a particular tribe.
King Freeman and his son, Tony, could not be reached for comment.
The ouster of the eight individuals from Pala is the latest in a string of disenrollments from local tribes. The Pechanga Band of Mission Indians, which owns a large hotel and casino complex near Temecula, has expelled about 240 members since 2004.
About 60 members of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians in Valley Center, which owns the Valley View Casino and Hotel, were expelled from the tribe earlier this year.
The disenrollments in Pechanga and San Pasqual were over questions of heritage, tribal leaders said. However, members of the ousted families allege they were kicked out for other reasons, including politics and greed. OP: Pechanga's disenrollments eliminated opposition voices, which allowed Council Members Mark Macarro, Andrew Masiel and Butch Murphy (who was adopted) to control power. Imagine eliminated 25% of Democratic votes. The GOP would gain and hold power.
One of the benefits of belonging to wealthy casino tribes is that members get a share of the gambling profits, which can total thousands of dollars a month. Fewer members can mean more money for individuals. OP: Pechanga's disenrollments accounts to THEFT of the per capita of the terminated members. That dollar amount has reached $1.4 MILLION from each terminated member.
King Freeman, a lifelong resident of the Pala reservation, served a total of 19 years as chairman of the tribal council and six years as vice chairman. His last term ended in 2001 OP: So, does anyone REALLY think that it's an issue of blood quantum?
Read more: of Ed Sifuentes