Friday, September 30, 2011

Vice President Joe Biden: You Were Here First.... to Hispanics

Yes, they told us if we voted for McCain we'd have a fool for Vice President...
Vice President Joe Biden compared Irish immigration the United States to Hispanic immigration -- but noted Hispanics were here first.
Biden on Thursday hosted the annual Hispanic Heritage Month reception at the Naval Observatory. Guests included about 100 Hispanic veterans, active duty service members, elected officials and others. The music was classical Mexican.

"You all were here before us," Biden said, according to a pool report.

No wonder the Obama Administration turns a blind eye to civil rights violations in Indian Country.

Federal Court Rules AGAINST Laytonville Rancheria Disenrollment: Sloan/Hacker Family WINS!

The BIA stood up for one family of disenrolled, (while leaving thousands undefended) but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. Congratulations to the Sloan/Hacker family for winning.

Gene Sloan speaking at "Indian Day" Civil Rights Rally

Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria (the “Tribe”) seeks an order under the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”) vacating and reversing the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (“BIA”) administrative decision that ordered the Tribe to re-enroll twenty-two members of the Sloan/Hecker family who were disenrolled by the Tribe in 1995. A hearing on the pending cross motions for summary judgment was held on May 23,
2011. For the reasons stated below,

Plaintiff’s motion for summary udgment is denied, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted,and the BIA’s decision is affirmed.

This has been a 16 year struggle.   DO NOT GIVE UP THE FIGHT for YOUR RIGHTS.   And Amy Deutschke, stand up for the rest of disenfranchised people in Indian Country.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sierra Star News: Chukchansi Issues Disenrollment Letters; Tribal Incompetence Shown, BIA Ineffective

Carmen George of the Sierra Star News has an excellent article up detail the latest round of disenrollments at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.

When 87-year-old Ruby "Roan" Cordero of Oakhurst received a letter a few weeks ago stating she would be disenrolled as a member of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, she couldn't understand the piece of paper.
Cordero only speaks a little English. Her Alzheimer's Disease has pulled her mind back to an earlier time, family members say, to childhood when she still spoke in her native language -- Chukchansi Indian    OP:  Yes, that's right, the tribe is going to eliminate one who spoke the language.  One who could use the help of her tribe.

The Roan descendants were given 15 minutes before the session began, as stated in their letters, to view evidence presented against them at their disenrollment hearings this week.

Opponents say certain families are being targeted, with disenrollments rooted in greed over casino profits, old grudges between individuals, and because many live in neighboring Mountain Area towns, like Mariposa, away from the rancheria   OP:  15 minutes!  To view the evidence against them AT THE HEARINGS!  Not weeks ahead of time to prepare their defense.   Lack of due process anyone?  Anyone?

Tribal Council Chairman Reggie Lewis, showing his incompetence couldn't even put a proper total on how many his tribe has stripped citizenship from:  While Lewis estimated total disenrollments for the tribe since its inception between 400 and 500, Laura Wass, Central California director for the American Indian Movement and a leading advocate for disenrolled Indians, said the real number is estimated at 800, the majority of disenrollments since the tribe opened Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in 2003.

OP:  The BIA shows it's unecessary: A disenrollment means tribal members lose monthly stipends, currently about $280 a month from the rancheria's multi-million dollar casino revenues, and benefits for housing, education, medical, and elder and child services.

"We're no longer a direct service provider," said Troy Burdick, superintendent of Central California Bureau of Indian Affairs with 55 tribes beneath him. "I can't think of anything my agency would provide as a direct benefit to them if they are not a member of a federally recognized tribe    OP:  THEN WHY DO WE NEED YOU, TROY??

Read the Rest of the story

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sycuan, Which Lied to People of California on Gaming Compacts NOW want more Land

Remember when Sycuan promised they'd help balance our state budget if ONLY we'd give them more slots, only to find out they hadn't even approved the move through their own tribe?  We wrote about it Sycuan Bails On Gaming Compact

Blaming a punishing economy, the Sycuan band of El Cajon on Thursday walked away from a multibillion-dollar gambling agreement that it had pursued for years and spent $6 million to defend.

The deal authorized an expansion from 2,000 slots the tribe now operates to as many as 5,000 machines plus an option for a second, off-reservation casino on newly acquired lands that include the former Singing Hills Country Club.
The agreement, or compact, was signed more than two years ago by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sycuan Chairman Daniel Tucker. But it was never ratified by the tribe's 78 adult members, as required by a little-noticed clause.

The decision ultimately could cost both the tribe and the state billions of dollars

NOW, Sycuan wants CA to give them more land.
The Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians wants to expand their reservation, but county supervisor Dianne Jacob says she is against the idea which would put more land into the tribe's federal trust.

Jacob is concerned the quality of the tribe's Environmental Assessment is poor. She says the report fails to look at the possible resort and casino related projects that could be built on the property after it becomes part of the tribe's trust.

“A project of this scope and undertaking justifies a more detailed evaluation of the environmental consequences and alternatives than is provided in the Environmental Assessment," Jacob said in a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The tribe says they are only trying to annex property they already own, property which they say was originally part of the reservation, said tribe spokesperson Adam Day.
The tribe wants to place an equestrian center, a RV park, and a facility for their annual Pow Wow on the new property. The annexed land would also include the Sycuan Resort, also known as the Singing Hills Country Club.

Read the Rest of the story

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Governor Brown Accepting Applications for Tribal Affairs Advocate

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed an executive order creating a position as Tribal Advisor Advocate which we wrote about here:   Governor gives Standing.....

The Governor's office is accepting nominations and applications for the position.  We need an advocate for ALL of Indian Country, not just the rich gaming tribes, many of which have violated the civil and basic human rights of their people.  In fact, those aggrieved Native Americans, if grouped together, would create the second largest tribe in California, with over 2,000 people harmed by their tribes.    In comparison, Picayune , once 1200 strong, now, because of disenrollment, only has 600 members, San Manuel, arguably the richest California tribe has less than 200 members.

The application can be found HERE     Perhaps a board member of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization should be the advocate for all Indian Country.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jeff Livingston, Former Chukchansi GM Sentenced to 2 years for Stealing $50,000. Tribal Council, gets nothing for taking MILLIONS from Disenrollees.

A former general manager of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison for embezzling more than $50,000 from the Madera County gambling operation.
Jeff Livingston, 51, also was ordered to pay $52,400 in restitution to the casino and serve three years of probation after his release.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill, who handed down the sentence, ordered Livingston to start serving his term by Oct. 31.
"I did wrong," Livingston said to O'Neill. "I'm here in court because a jury of my peers found I did wrong."
Still, Livingston – a former Fresno resident who now lives in Las Vegas – asked for probation instead of prison. His attorney, federal defender Marc Days, said his client's actions were an "aberration" and not part of his overall character.

"The question is, is prison necessary for Mr. Livingston?" Days asked.

O'Neill left no question that the answer was "yes." He noted that Livingston currently is employed, but has not paid any restitution to Chukchansi. He also said Livingston has yet to admit wrongdoing.

Livingston – a former deputy sheriff in Broward County, Fla., who was named the casino's general manager in 2005 – was convicted by a federal jury in June on six counts of mail fraud and three counts of theft by an officer or employee of a gaming establishment on Indian land.

During a five-day trial, prosecutors Ian Garriques and Kirk Sherriff contended that Livingston used a corporate credit card to embezzle at least $48,500 from the casino between October 2006 and January 2008.

Read more at FRESNO BEE:

Cherokee Nation in CONTEMPT of Court. FAIL to get ballots to Freedmen. Corruption or Incompetence?

TULSA, Okla. — A federal judge on Monday found the Cherokee Nation in contempt of court for missing a deadline to notify roughly 1,200 descendants of black slaves once owned by the Oklahoma tribe’s members that they could vote in a special election for their chief.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy already allowed attorneys for the tribe and the black descendants, known as freedmen, to hatch a deal in Washington D.C. last week to extend balloting for Saturday’s special election until Oct. 8 so that those qualified to vote can be notified and participate.

But on Monday, Jon Velie, an attorney for the freedmen, explained to the judge that the tribe not only missed Thursday’s deadline to notify the 1,200 registered freedmen voters, it also missed a Saturday deadline to get absentee ballots to roughly 350 freedmen voters who had requested them. The election began Saturday and ends Oct. 8.

Susan Plumb, the chairwoman of the Cherokee Nation Election Commission, said a mechanical problem during printing delayed the mailing and that all of the letters were sent by Thursday.

Cherokee Voter Turnout is HIGHER Than Last Disputed Election

All Cherokee Freedmen need to exercise their voting rights.

Released late Saturday night, unofficial returns show 8,787 people cast ballots at the 38 precincts across the tribe's 14-county jurisdiction.

Of the 15,000 votes cast in the June 25 general election, about 8,000 votes were cast in person.

Along with the 8,787 votes cast at precincts, preliminary figures show more than 1,100 votes were cast during early walk-in voting, an increase of about 100 votes.

Two additional walk-in voting days are scheduled for Thursday and Oct. 6 for freedmen voters only.

The election commission did not announce how many of the almost 12,000 absentee ballots requested were returned.

Non-freedmen voters were required to turn in their ballots by yesterday, while freedmen absentee voters have until Oct. 8.

In accordance with a federal district court order, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission will not count any ballots in the race between former chief Chad Smith and Tribal Councilor Bill John Baker until Oct. 8.

The ballots, ballot boxes and voting machines are locked in the commission's vault in the interim. Results from the original election, held in June, were called into question by both campaigns, with each candidate named the winner at least once.

The tribe's Supreme Court ultimately invalidated the June election, ruling that the results could not be verified with mathematical certainty.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sierra Star News: Picayune Rancheria to Begin Disenrollment Process; Who Massacres More Indians Than Picayune?

Apparently, terminating 50% of their tribal citizens wasn't enough for the despicable Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.

The Sierra Star News says: In next week's edition:   Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians begin tribal disenrollment process.

Read about stripping Indians of their citizenship     It looks like Picayune may be the biggest defiler of Indians

Saginaw Chippewa's Told They Can't Terminate Citizenship of Anna Bell Atwell

A tribal hearing officer has ruled that the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe cannot revoke the membership of an 87-year-old elder, despite the fact that she is not directly descended from a person listed on one of the Tribe’s base rolls.  OP:  See articles by Susan Bradford on Saginaw Tribe HERE  and some drug running accusations here 

But the disenrollment case of Anna Bell Atwell may not be over, according to her attorney.

“Tribal government officials, both certifiers and enrollment department staff, had a policy that collateral tracing to a constitutional base roll was sufficient to satisfy the tracing requirement for membership eligibility for enrollment,” said a ruling from the Tribe’s Office of Administrative Hearings.

Atwell became a member of the Tribe in 1988 during the Tribe’s open enrollment period, a time when the Tribe reached out to Natives who might qualify to become members. She is a direct descendant of a man named Edmund Chatfield; his brother, the name of his brother Lyman Chatfield, appears on an 1885 list of Natives who received land allotments from the federal government and serves as a Tribal base roll.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with this decision if I had written it myself,” said Paula Fisher, Atwell’s attorney. “It is written in a way that will be helpful for other families that descend collaterally from constitutional base rolls.”

The Tribe’s constitution specifies that Tribal members must be at least one-quarter Indian and descended from someone listed either on a base roll compiled in 1982, or from one of several lists compiled during the 19th century.

The Tribe’s enrollment ordinance now specifies that members must be direct descendants, but at the time Atwell became a member, it said only “descended.” That was interpreted to mean that descent from siblings of people named on the base rolls also counted.

The decision noted that numerous people with “collateral descent” are members of the Tribe in good standing, and Atwell’s case is no different.   Read the full article here

Read about Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indian Disenrollment HERE     and more from Susan Bradford HERE

Friday, September 23, 2011

Schwarzenegger a Political Blackmailer Says Rincon's Bo Mazzetti

Rincon Tribal Chairman Bo Mazzetti has an article up in Indian Country Today:

States and governors just can’t seem to control themselves; they cannot keep their hands out of tribal pockets. The concept that tribal governments have rights and financial needs has eluded them for so long they have become accustomed to ignoring them.

But occasionally a governor gets a hand slap for reaching too far into tribal pockets and breaching our sovereignty. An example is the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians’ legal victory over former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for illegal taxation and bad faith in renegotiating Rincon’s gaming compact.

The case affirms that occasionally tribes have the power to tip the imbalance of power states enjoy.

Schwarzenegger was a political blackmailer from the outset of his career as a California politician. He used tribes and gaming income as a wedge issue in his run for governor. It may not have been “playing the race card,” but it was a none-too-subtle “us versus them” strategy.

In an expensive television campaign, he asserted that the former governor’s deal with the gaming tribes had been too favorable to California Indians. He vowed that he make tribes pay their “fair share.” The backdrop for the campaign was the state’s continuing budget deficits and the voters’ “no new taxes” mentality.

Schwarzenegger found a painless solution for California voters: Tax the rich gaming Indians. It didn’t matter that most California tribes are far from rich—they’re actually closer to destitute—and only a few tribes earn big bucks through gaming.  OP:  That's because they try to keep tribes from getting casino's and becoming competitive.

Schwarzenegger carried out his promise to make tribes pay more. He accomplished that by renegotiating compacts or approving new compacts with tribes only when they agreed to be taxed at 15 percent and up to 25 percent of net win. Since there was no consideration of overhead and deductions for operations, a net win for the Rincon Band, asking to renegotiate to add 900 new slot machines, would have actually been a 30 to 40 percent tax.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Cherokee Freedmen Issue: A History YOU Should Know

Our Friend Marilyn Van put together a history of the Cherokee Freedmen, whose ancestors were dragged as property on the infamous "Trail of Tears".  You've heard the story of the Cherokee forced to leave their homes...but have you heard the story of their slaves?     Here it is

Cherokee people with African blood have been members of the Cherokee nation on some basis since the first people with African blood came into the Cherokee areas of the SE United States. The majority of the people with African blood living in the Cherokee nation prior to the Civil war lived there as slaves of Cherokee citizens or as free black non citizens, usually the descendants of Cherokee men and women with African blood. (Children of Cherokee women tribal members were tribal citizens regardless of race of the father – This is clear in the Cherokee constitution of 1827 and 1839).

In 1863, the Cherokee government outlawed slavery through acts of the tribal council. In 1866 , a treaty was signed with the US government in which the Cherokee government agreed to give citizenship to those people with African blood living in the Cherokee nations who were not already citizens. (see 14 Stat. L. 799). The 1839 constitution was amended by the national council on November 28, 1866 so that its provisions would be in line with the 1866 treaty. Between 1866 until the end of the end of tribal government, about 1907, African Cherokee people participated as full citizens of that nation, holding office, voting, running businesses, etc. This time of tribal peace and harmony began to come to an end, however when the Dawes Commission, under Acts of Congress came to the Cherokee nation and registered almost all of the people with African blood as “Freedmen tribal members”; not recording “blood quantum’s” for African Cherokee people .
The tribal citizens could not decide how they were to be classified – such classification was the prerogative of the Dawes commission. (It must be emphasized that even the blood quantums of non freedmen citizens were mere guesses and were only meant to be used for land restrictions; ie whether or not a tribal member could sell his allotment without government approval. Rolls of citizens prepared by the tribes prior to the 1890s had no “blood quantums”). In 1907, “Jim Crow Laws” were passed by the white majority in the state of Oklahoma, which created legal distance between the Freedmen tribal members and the rest of the tribe. Between 1907 and 1975, the Cherokee Freedmen tribal members received the same per capita payments as other tribal members and intermittently accessed benefits as tribal members. Under Title 25 section 991, members of the Cherokee nation listed on the “final rolls” of the Dawes Commission. were entitled to receive a Judgement fund payment during the early 1960s. CHEROKEE FREEDMEN AS TRIBAL MEMBERS RECEIVED THIS PAYMENT. In 1907, Freedmen represented about 10 to 12% of the tribe, according to US government records.

In 1971, the Federal government authorized the Cherokee nation (CNO) to once again establish its own government. Cherokee Freedmen voted in elections in 1971, 1975, and 1979. A constitution was voted on by the Cherokee people, including some freedmen in 1975 which indicated that Dawes enrollees and their descendants were entitled to membership in the Cherokee nation. The constitution made the tribe subject to all of the laws of the United States and required that the tribe receive the permission of the President or his designee before adopting new constitutions or constitutional amendments. However, the Cherokee Freedmen were blocked at the polls, beginning in 1983 under the orders of Chief Swimmer (now special trustee appointed by President George W. Bush who also served as BIA head during the 1980s under President Reagan) because they supported a rival candidate for Chief , Perry Wheeler who was Deputy Chief at that point.

Subsequently, the tribal council, under the direction of chief Wilma Mankiller, later passed an Act requiring that all tribal members be able to provide a Certificate of Indian blood Card (CDIB), based strictly on the Degree of blood listed on the Dawes Rolls for themselves or their ancestor. Since that roll did not list a degree of blood for Freedmen tribal members, this effectively removed all Freedmen and their descendants from tribal membership, even though a large number if not the majority could provide a degree of Indian blood from their Dawes testimony, Guion Miller payment roll testimony, Henderson payment Roll, death and heir ship documents of the US government , etc. This action of blocking the freedmen from tribal membership was not done under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), for BIA Muskogee officials Dennis Springwater and Joe Parker had met with tribal officials in 1983, and emphasized that the Cherokee constitution as well as the treaty of 1866 granted citizenship to the Cherokee Freedmen and their Descendants. The tribe was told the Freedmen should be allowed to vote. Affidavits of the longstanding BIA position are a part of the Nero case file. See also: BIA’s Solicitor’s Opinion, October 1, 1941, 1 Op. Sol. On Indian Affairs 1076 (U.S.D.I. 1979), where the BIA reaffirmed that the Cherokee Freedmen voting and membership rights were fixed by treaty and formal tribal actions .

The press took note of these matters, especially when a Reverend Nero and several other Freedmen filed a lawsuit against the Cherokee nation and the BIA in 1984. Then Chief Swimmer stated in the Oklahoma Eagle newspaper that it was “easier for the registration department to process tribal memberships of people with CDIB cards (at that time, the tribe did not have a contract with the BIA to process CDIB cards), which must raise the question of why Cherokee citizens must be deprived of their rights in order to make the job of registration easier for tribal employees on salary. The Baltimore son reported on July 29, 1984 that then Deputy Chief Wilma Mankiller told the Baltimore Sun that Cherokee Freedmen should not have tribal membership since such membership should be for “people with Cherokee blood”- words which must clearly be seen as an effort to prejudice the Cherokee people as well as the general American people that people with African blood cannot document Cherokee blood and are not Cherokee Indian people, and perpetrating those old “one drop of blood” standards that people with African blood have no other blood and must be kept as a people completely apart unlike any other people. Cherokee nation attorney Wilcoxen during the Nero case appears to have clearly attempted to prejudice the judge against the Cherokee freedmen plaintiffs by wrongly proclaiming that the “Freedmen did not have Cherokee blood”, and that the 1975 constitution only allowed “Cherokees, Delaware, and Shawnee” to be tribal members”; although the Constitution does not say that. (Bands of Delaware and Shawnee Indians were adopted into the Cherokee nation after 1866, whose individuals are not required to also have “Cherokee blood” to be Cherokee citizens). The Nero lawsuit was dismissed by the judge in 1989 over jurisdictional issues; that for example the case should have been tried in the court of claims due to the amount of dollars the plaintiffs were requesting.

In 1998, the Cherokee nation justices heard a citizenship case by a descendant of Cherokee Freedmen, Bernice Riggs . (Bernice Riggs Versus Lela Ummerteskee, Acting Registrar of the Cheorkee Nation (JAT 97-03-K) In 2001, The tribal justices ruled that the testimony and records provided that Mrs Riggs indeed had Cherokee blood. However, they held that this Cherokee ancestor, a man named Rogers was deceased at the time of the Dawes enrollment; - had he been alive at the time of the Dawes enrollment, she would have been able to become a Cherokee citizen based on his degree of Cherokee blood but that since his descendents were listed as Freedmen by the Dawes Commission, she did not have an ancestor with a Dawes Final Roll number from whom she could obtain a CDIB card. The tribal justices determined that the Cherokee nation is a sovereign nation and could grant membership to whomever they wished. (It must be noted that individuals with Caucasian mothers and dead Cherokee fathers were not excluded from being enrolled as “citizens by blood by the Dawes Commission” and that the descendants of such individuals are not barred from Cherokee membership today.).

In 1999, the Cherokee nation prepared a new constitution to submit for BIA approval. The BIA, under Kevin Gover, rejected the new constitution, partially under the grounds that the Cherokee nation would not allow Cherokee Freedmen to vote on it, and that the new constitution would not allow Cherokee freedmen to hold office. According to the official Cherokee Phoenix tribal newspaper (Spring 2001), the CNO attempted to take the new constitution directly to president Clinton, but he would not sign it either. According to the tribal newspaper, they determined to request instead that the BIA agree to remove requirements of federal government approval of constitutional amendments and new constitutions. A decision was made to wait for a “friendlier administration”, in the words of the Cherokee Phoenix tribal newspaper. The same tribal newspaper article also carried a statement from Attorney And Cherokee citizen Ralph Keen, that it is not the tribal constitution which bars freedmen and their descendants from voting on the constitution but a tribal statute.

In 2002, BIA head Neal McCaleb was approached with a request to allow a referendum by Cherokee voters on a constitutional amendment removing federal approval. Neal McCaleb wrote a letter in March 2002, stating that the Freedmen must be allowed to vote on the amendment and that no amendment of the Constitution could eliminate the Freedmen from tribal membership. In April 2002, another letter, with Neal McCalebs signature said he did not write the first letter; the second letter did not say anything about the Freedmen being required to vote on the constitutional amendment. Note that this second letter was completely opposite of all BIA policy since the 1940s. The Cherokee nation government, under Chief Smith, held various meetings around the Cherokee nation, encouraging people to approve the referendum and also the proposed constitution, which has no provision for federal approval of constitutional amendments and did not make the Cherokee nation government subject to US law.

In May 2003, a referendum was held regarding the constitutional amendment, and a vote was held in July 2003 on the proposed new constitution. Both were passed by those individuals who were allowed to vote. Descendants of Cherokee freedmen who tried to participate as voters were not given voting cards, or absentee ballots, and were given “challenged ballots” at the polls if they tried to vote in person.

In June, 2003; several descendants of Cherokee Freedmen, through the law firm Velie and Velie; contacted the Department of the Interior, challenging the 2003 elections, based on the rights of the freedmen in the 1866 treaty, the 1975 constitution, and the Seminole nation versus Norton cases of 2001 and 2002 where Judge Kolar Kotelly had upheld the treaties of 1866 for the Seminole freedmen and their voting and membership rights in the Seminole nation. Several prominent Cherokee nation individuals such as then Deputy Chief Hastings Shade also sent a letter to the BIA questioning the validity of an election when the Cherokee freedmen were not allowed to vote. Various letters went from Chief Smith to the BIA accusing the BIA officials of “having a bias against the self government rights of the Cherokee nation”.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Viejas Tribe Agrees to Garnishee Wages of Tribal Member from $13,000 Per Month Per Capita

California Watch has the story, a successful conclusion to a protracted struggle

After submitting a formal petition to the Viejas Tribal Council on Aug. 31, it ruled to garnishee Sonnie Brown’s monthly stipend from the tribe to pay child support.

Christina Brown has been in and out of Riverside County Superior Court since 2008 trying to get child support for her children, ages 7, 15 and 17.

“I fought so hard for them,” she said. “Now I can make it up to my kids, and it feels good.”

Brown said it’s a blessing that the Viejas Tribal Council is stepping up to help her children. She said she’s going to buy her kids new clothes for school and plans to treat them with a trip to Disneyland. She also said she’ll no longer need food stamps or welfare assistance.

Viejas Tribal Chairman Anthony R. Pico said the tribal council is acting in the interest of its children.

He said the Viejas tribe has 270 members. So far, he said, the council, under a resolution passed in June, has honored the three petitions it’s received to enforce child support orders for its members.

Casino Crimewatch: Thief Attacks Woman, Uses Proceeds at Pechanga Casino

Peter Surowski at TEMECULA PATCH has the story: A Winchester man was accused of snatching a purse from a woman in a Temecula park then heading to Pechanga casino, according to an official.

Christopher Lee Brown, 46, was arrested on suspicion of robbery and petty theft around 5 p.m. Monday and held in lieu of $25,000 bail, according to jail records.

Brown struck up a conversation with the female victim around 2:30 p.m. Monday as she sat reading a book in Patricia Birdsall Park, according to sheriff's Sgt. Keith Knotek.

The man then grabbed the woman's handbag, and they briefly fought over it. The woman then fell to the ground, and the man ran off with the purse, the sergeant said.

He hopped into a silver Nissan Versa and sped north on Pechanga Parkway. Police found the man and his car at Pechanga Casino about two hours later, where he was arrested with no further struggle, Knotek said.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Agreement Reached to Allow Freedmen's Votes To Count in Special Election

Just as a federal judge was about to get involved, the Cherokee Nation reached an agreement Tuesday to allow descendants of slaves once owned by the Oklahoma tribe's members to vote for its principal chief.

Attorneys for the slave descendants, called freedmen, said the agreement calls for extending balloting for this Saturday's special election until Oct. 8 so that those qualified to vote can be notified and participate.

The agreement came during a hearing in federal court in Washington, where U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy was poised to deliver his ruling on whether Saturday's election could continue without the freedman participation. Freedmen attorney Jon Velie asked the judge for a 15-minute recess to negotiate over a proposal made by the tribe. After more than an hour huddling in the hallway with his clients and discussing the proposal with other attorneys, Velie returned to court to announce the deal.

Kennedy gave the parties until 10 a.m. Wednesday to submit a written agreement.

The agreement is a temporary reprieve in the long-running debate over whether the freedmen should be given full membership rights in the one of the country's largest tribes. But the lawsuit brought by the slave descendants — to keep their right to vote and other tribal benefits after tribe members voted to cut them off — will continue in federal court

California Governor Jerry Brown Gives Standing to ALL California Indians! Establishes Tribal Advisor Position

THANK YOU Governor Brown, for recognizing the struggles of Indians that have been harmed by corrupt tribes throughout the state.  In his Executive order below, Governor Brown has given standing to all California Indians.   From the Governor's press release: 

For purposes of this Order, the terms “Tribe,” “California Indian Tribe”, and “tribal” include all Federally Recognized Tribes and other California Native Americans.

There are THOUSANDS of disenfranchised Native Americans in California.  Those who have had their citizenship stripped from them, and many who are not allowed their rightful place in tribes due to moratoriums on citizenship.   The American Indian Rights and Resources Organization  represents this group which, if a recognized tribe, would be the second-largest in California, tripling the size of Pechanga, which practices apartheid on their reservation, ten times the size of Redding Rancheria and six times the size of the Picayune Rancheria.

What are the chances gaming tribes will be lobbying Gov. Brown to now strip California Natives not represented by tribes who contribute to our state politicians, of rights he just granted in his executive order?


SACRAMENTO – In order to strengthen communication and collaboration between California state government and Native American Tribes, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an Executive Order establishing the position of Governor’s Tribal Advisor in the Office of the Governor. This position will serve as a direct link between the Governor’s Office and tribal governments on matters including legislation, policy and regulation. Governor Brown signed the Executive Order today while attending the TASIN All California Tribes Meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Sacramento, CA.

The text of the Executive Order is below:


WHEREAS California is home to many Native American Tribes with whom the State of California has an important relationship, as set forth and affirmed in state and federal law; and

WHEREAS the State of California recognizes and reaffirms the inherent right of these Tribes to exercise sovereign authority over their members and territory; and

WHEREAS the State and the Tribes are better able to adopt and implement mutually-beneficial policies when they cooperate and engage in meaningful consultation; and

WHEREAS the State is committed to strengthening and sustaining effective government-to-government relationships between the State and the Tribes by identifying areas of mutual concern and working to develop partnerships and consensus; and

WHEREAS tribal people, as both citizens of California and their respective sovereign nations, have a shared interest in creating increased opportunities for all California citizens.

 NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue the following orders to become effective immediately:

IT IS ORDERED that the position of Governor’s Tribal Advisor shall exist within the Office of the Governor;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Governor’s Tribal Advisor shall oversee and implement effective government-to-government consultation between my Administration and Tribes on policies that affect California tribal communities, and shall:

 • Serve as a direct link between the Tribes and the Governor of the State of California.

 • Facilitate communication and consultations between the Tribes, the Office of the Governor, state agencies, and agency tribal liaisons.

 • Review state legislation and regulations affecting Tribes and make recommendations on these proposals.

IT IS FUTHER ORDERED that the Office of the Governor shall meet regularly with the elected officials of California Indian Tribes to discuss state policies that may affect tribal communities.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that it is the policy of this Administration that every state agency and department subject to my executive control shall encourage communication and consultation with California Indian Tribes. Agencies and departments shall permit elected officials and other representatives of tribal governments to provide meaningful input into the development of legislation, regulations, rules, and policies on matters that may affect tribal communities.

For purposes of this Order, the terms “Tribe,” “California Indian Tribe”, and “tribal” include all Federally Recognized Tribes and other California Native Americans.

This Executive Order is not intended to create, and does not create, any rights or benefits, whether substantive or procedural, or enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California or its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.

 I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State and that it be given widespread publicity and notice.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my

 hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 19th day of September 2011.



 Governor of California



Secretary of State

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mashpee Chairman Cromwell Under Fire; Possible Recall

Problems are arising for Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell. Blogger Reel Wamps has the story

The meeting was a nightmare for Cromwell who was having trouble fielding questions from the hostile members. The Charter also triggered a recall petition of the Cromwell administration officers who have ruled under a cloud because of the missing voter sign in sheets. The voter sign in sheets have never been produced raising questions about their two and a half year reign and the legitimacy of the 2009 election.

Cromwell was accused by Tribal Elders of padding the voter list with pending voters who are illegal, in order to win election. Videos, photographs, the failure to require tribal ID’s and genealogists or tribal Elders to identify legitimate voters on the list made the process suspect.

Cromwell never produced the tribal voter sign in sheets and will not produce the audio tapes of the council actions since taking office in February 2009. This is a constitutional violation.

Council Member Laura Tobey Miranda, a cousin of Cromwell’s and Aaron Tobey’s discovered huge charge card debts for limo services and luncheons paid for by the tribe. The airport limo service was $1500 and the luncheon was $2500.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Former Picayune Chukchansi Tribal Council Member Charged With DUI and Injuring Others

California Highway Patrol filed a criminal complaint this week against Joe Alberta, tribal community representative for the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, for driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury to another.
The official complaint was made following an investigation by CHP of the two vehicle traffic collision Alberta was involved in about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 28 on Picayune Road (417) east of Big Sandy Drive.

As of Tuesday, 37-year-old Alberta of Coarsegold, a candidate for District 5 county supervisor last year, remained in a coma in critical but stable condition at Fresno's Community Regional Medical Center.

CHP's criminal complaints came after a search warrant was served Sept. 8 by CHP officers Scott Gentry and
Doug Corbett to obtain any and all medical records from the hospital relating to Alberta.

"Based on the investigation of the traffic collision, there was sufficient evidence to believe Alberta was driving under the influence of alcohol," said CHP sergeant Edward Greene. "As a result of the clinical blood alcohol level from the hospital, the California Highway Patrol is filing a criminal complaint of driving under the influence of alcohol, causing
injury to another , and a second charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, causing injury to another, with a blood alcohol content level greater than .08% Per Se."

"There have been numerous rumors relating to this traffic collision," Greene said. "The fundamental fact is the Highway Patrol has spent numerous hours investigating this collision."
CHP officer Brent Reed investigated the accident and a more detailed report of the collision was released earlier this week by Greene, along with a statement that criminal complaints will be filed.

The report states that Alberta was driving alone headed westbound in a silver 2004 Honda Accord four-door sedan at high rate of speed rounding a large sweeping curve on Picayune Road (417) when he lost control of his car, crossed the center double lines and struck a two-door, green Ford Mustang that was heading eastbound, driven by Brandon Jeroue, 23,
of Fresno, and his passenger Michele Jackson, 21, of Coarsegold.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cherokee to give Freedmen PROVISIONAL Ballots: Allows Them to Vote & Allows Cherokee to NOT COUNT THEM

During an emergency meeting Thursday morning, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission voted to expedite mailing absentee ballots to about 300 Freedmen descendants for the Sept. 24 principal chief special election.

Recipients are Freedmen who voted in the tribe’s general election June 25 and the runoff election for deputy chief July 23. Freedmen who requested absentee ballots but did not vote in the earlier elections will be allowed to cast ballots at either their precinct polling places or in-person at the Cherokee Nation Election Commission.

According to CNEC Chairwoman Susan Plumb, all Freedmen votes will be treated as challenge ballots, as the group members currently do have citizenship in the tribe.

We do not have the ability to determine citizenship, only the ability to determine eligibility to vote,” said Plumb. “There are two pending motions, one in federal court and one in tribal court, that could change [citizenship status for the Freedmen]. We’re trying to plan for both eventualities.”

Citizenship for approximately 2,800 Freedmen descendants was stripped following a CN Supreme Court ruling on Aug. 22. Since the ruling, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has denied the tribe $33 million in housing funding, and the Interior Department notified Acting Principal Chief Joe Crittenden the agency would not recognize any action taken by the tribe. Both cite the Freedmen ruling as the reason for action. Freedmen have filed suit in federal court, asking that citizenship be restored. That hearing is set for Sept. 20.

Ralph Keen, a tribal attorney appointed to represent the Freedmen, filed a motion with the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, asking that a stay be re-instituted to allow Freedmen citizenship until a proper hearing can be conducted. CN Attorney General Diane Hammons filed a response to Keen’s motion, supporting the Freedmen request.
Allowing Freedmen to vote challenge ballots in the election would prevent a potential third election scenario, should either court rule after Sept. 24.
Freedmen member Melissa Chaplin asked commissioners why they were holding the election if litigation is pending.

Clifford Wright, associate counsel to CNEC, said while the election commission is an autonomous body, it must follow certain directives.
“The Election Commission is carrying out the election ordered by the chief, and will do so on Sept. 24, even if the Freedmen issue is unresolved,” said Wright. “That’s why the CNEC is allowing Freedmen provisional ballots. We’ve been ordered to have an election, and we’re doing the best we can to carry out that order.”

The Tahlequah Daily Press Has MORE

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Per Capita Theft by Tribal Nations in CA Reaches $500 MILLION

That's half a BILLION DOLLARS, stolen by corrupt tribal councils and their leaders.   They claim disenrollments weren't about the money, but the figures don't lie.  That's something the Bureau of Indian Affair buries their heads in the sand to avoid.   We first wrote about this story in January:  Follow the Money....

From the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians in Temecula CA:
The Hunter Family has lost $1,455,000 per person, in per capita payments alone. We arrived at that figure by taking the last full year of per capita $268,000/12 months and multiplying that loss times 58 months of disenrollment. 95 adults at the time of disenrollment equals: $139,200,000
The Apis Family was disenrolled the year prior in 2005. The per capita was slightly less about $17,000 per month times 62 months of termination: $1,186,000 times 135 adults equals: $217,200,000
Moratorium people NEVER shared in what was rightfully theirs. The per capita went up to $360,000 per year for those remaining after elimination of tribal citizens.
From the Picayune Rancheria in Coarsegold, CA:

In the case of Chukchansi Gold, the casino has been averaging $4 million per month in payments to the Tribe over the past 18 months (as reported to me by a former Tribal Council member).
The tribe disenrolled 625 members who were making $3,200 per month. This equates to $96,000,000 stolen. The word from that reservation is that they wanted to further reduce their population.

Lets add what we have so far:
Pechanga: $359.4 MILION Includes additional $22 Million in Health Insurance. Corrected Insurance due to coverages, some double covered as family. Per capita losses are $200,000 PER DAY.

Picayune: $ 104.0 MILLION Money is from share of dollars casino sends to tribe per person.

Redding: $ 32.3 MILLION Per capita only. Totals being tabulating but includes tribal JOBS lost.

Mooretown: $ 11.4 MILLION

Enterprise: $ 2.4 MILLION No Per Capita. Tribe gets revenue allocation. Losses include housing help.

And the tribal councils will say, it's NOT about the MONEY! But the Truth IS it IS because so many have lost homes, health insurance because their rightful per capita was taken away.

Elizabeth Larson Reporting: Robinson Rancheria's Tracey Avila Faces Three Years If Convicted

UPDATE:   SacBee finally gets the news.... a little late

Elizabeth Larson of Lake County News gets deeper into the Tracey Avila embezzlement case.  Interesting to note that investigators interviewed Avila at a meeting at the Pechanga Resort & Casino

An investigation initiated more than two years ago and carried out by federal officials has led to the arrest of Robinson Rancheria's tribal chair on a charge of felony grand theft for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from another Lake County tribe.
Tracey Isabelle Avila, 50, of Nice was arrested on a felony bench warrant on Friday, Sept. 9, according to jail records. She posted bail, set at $20,000, and was released later that same day.

Avila is alleged to have taken more $60,000 from Elem Indian Colony of Clearlake Oaks between February 2006 and September 2008, during which time she worked as the tribe's fiscal officer and also was Robinson's tribal chair, according to Deputy District Attorney Rachel Abelson, who is prosecuting the case.
Abelson said Avila is due to appear in for arraignment in Lake County Superior Court's Clearlake division before Judge Stephen Hedstrom on Oct. 31.
According to the case file, the Berkeley firm Karshmer & Associates, Elem Colony's general legal counsel, sent a letter dated June 1, 2009, to Laura Yoshii, acting regional director for the US Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest Region 9, requesting an investigation into the alleged embezzlement.
The letter, written by attorney Sarah Dutschke, said that after Avila's termination as bookkeeper the tribe uncovered evidence which they alleged showed that during her 30 months of employment Avila had taken funds from the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act grant as well as from grants the tribe had received from the US EPA and US House and Urban Development.

Elem's own investigation led to the conclusion that Avila had allegedly taken the funds through three principal methods – increasing her hourly pay rate without authorization, giving herself unapproved pay advances and signing several of her family members up for health care coverage but not having the required premiums deducted from her paycheck, Dutschke's letter stated.

On June 15, 2009, the US EPA's Grants Management Office opened the investigation, which later was taken over by special agents with the EPA Office of the Inspector General and HUD's Office of the Inspector General, the documents state.
A review of Avila's pay records conducted as part of the investigation revealed that Avila is alleged to have given herself just over $44,000 in unauthorized pay raises, as well as more than $16,000 in additional paychecks and annual leave.

During the same time a check for more than $14,000 was stolen from the tribe and cashed by a Hispanic male suspect in the Chico area, where Avila is reported to have family, according to case file.

According to the investigation, Elem alleged that Avila hired auditors from Robinson Rancheria to conduct an audit of Elem's financial records. The audit reportedly came back clean.  OP:  Uh, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck..

Avila's work records showed she was frequently late or ill, and rarely worked entire weeks, yet still drew full wages, the report said.  OP:  And certainly worth giving a raise to?

The special agents interviewed Avila on June 9, 2010, at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula.   OP  BIRDS OF A FEATHER?

During the interview Avila said that Elem's system for receiving the grant funds was a “mess,” and that others were writing checks on tribal accounts without her knowledge. She said that she eventually quit her job after becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation.
Avila also told the agents that she paid back the pay advances, insisted that the tribal council had authorized her pay raises and accused another tribal leader of taking the missing funds.
Elem tribal members the agents interviewed stated that Avila had threatened to implicate others if she got in trouble, and that over time her work hours dropped from eight hours a day to four. She also allegedly got a better car and started wearing more expensive clothes.

Abelson said Avila could face a maximum of three years in state prison if convicted. Due to the state's realignment, Avila's time could be served in the county jail, which is where prisoners convicted of certain felonies will be housed.

PLEASE read the Elizabeth's full story at Lake County News

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D) Salinas Honors Two Tribal Leaders from Tribes That Violated Their People's Civil Rights.

Mr. Alejo, HAVE YOU NO SHAME?  You have submitted for honor two people from tribes that have violated the civil and basic human rights of a huge percentage of their people.   Picayune has terminated 50% of their people and Pechanga 25%.  Also, Pechanga is not allowing an entire family into the tribe as required by their own Constitution.    Do you not have a STAFF to look into these matters? Or just campaign collectors..?

The California State Assembly has recognized four tribal leaders for their contributions to promote and preserve Native American Indian history and culture in California.

Honored in a resolution that declared November as Native American Heritage Month were Morongo Band of Mission Indians Vice Chairwoman Mary Ann Andreas; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman James Ramos; Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians Chairman Mark Macarro; and Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Vice Chairwoman Nancy Ayala.

 The resolution, which passed in the Legislature last week, was introduced by Assemblyman Luis A. Alejo, D-Salinas.  Alejo has receive quite a bit of money from Tribal Interests, over $17,000  (not that it had anything to do with it)  Chuckchansi Economic Development Authority, $3,900; Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, $2,000.

Read more at: Macarro Lies to Congress    and Pechanga Practices Apartheid

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Diane Hammons files Motion to STAY the Freedmen Expulsion

In what looks like quick action in response to the threat of the Cherokee Nation losing federal dollars, the Cherokee Nation asks its court to reconsider:

On Tuesday, council for the Freedmen filed in the CN Supreme Court a motion to reconsider the court's August order which essentially stripped the Freedmen of their citizenship. Today, CN AG Diane Hammons filed a response to that motion recommending the court re-institute the stay – which would allow Freedmen to retain citizenship - and for the court to set the matter for oral argument, which would be in the best interest of the Cherokee Nation, she said.

ALL FREEDMEN should exercise their right to vote.  This is an example of the BIA exercising it's moral outrage, one they have failed to do quite often in California.

Cherokee Acting Chief Joe Crittenden Answers Back on BIA Decision; Promises Transparency That Chad Smith Didn't Provide

Joe Crittenden stands up as a leader and the lack of transparency from the Chad Smith administration comes back to bite the Cherokee.    A perfect example of why a change in leadership is needed.   Add your comments.

Below is a message from Acting Principal Chief Joe Crittenden in response to a letter from the BIA regarding our upcoming special election for Principal Chief and the citizenship status of freedmen in the Cherokee Nation.

Acting Principal Chief Joe Crittenden

"Yesterday, I received a letter from the United States Department of Interior which asserts that the United States will not recognize the results of the September 24, 2011 election for Principal Chief if the freedmen are denied the right to vote. I am disheartened by the Department of the Interior’s actions. I received no prior notification of the letter, and the federal government did not consult with me before sending their letter. In the future, I will insist on an open and transparent dialogue with the federal government.

The Department of Interior’s letter asserts that several amendments to the prior Cherokee Nation constitution were implemented in violation of tribal and federal law. This assertion, if not handled properly, could lead to additional losses of federal funding and severe hardship for the most vulnerable Cherokees.

The Cherokee people were not fully apprised of the methods or consequences of moving forward with proposed constitutional amendments, nor where they told of potential legal complications in having the amendments recognized externally. Such things will not occur during my administration.

When I was sworn into office, I pledged to maintain the status quo leading up the September 24, 2011 election. However, I have inherited issues that can’t wait until a new Principal Chief is elected, and recent events have put me in a position where I must act to protect the Cherokee Nation’s interests. Through this process, I will keep the Cherokee People informed and I intend to take actions in an open and transparent fashion. I will demand that the Department of Interior deals with the Cherokee Nation in an open and bi-lateral fashion. I will insist there will be no more behind the scenes letters from congressmen, and no more secret dealings behind the Cherokee People’s backs. I will demand of the federal government that we conduct the Nation’s business openly, and only after consultation.

The Cherokee Nation is a party to a lawsuit in Washington, DC regarding the legality of various constitutional amendments. I have caused briefs to be filed strongly defending the Cherokee Nation. I will continue to faithfully follow my oath of office and legally defend the Cherokee Nation. I am also pursuing political remedies that are in the best interest of the Cherokee Nation. I will do my best to quickly resolve this issue and I have mobilized all resources to quickly resolve this matter so that services to our people and the operation of the tribal government are protected. I will also do my best to ensure that services will not be interrupted and the election will occur timely. The Cherokee Nation will emerge stronger because we will act quickly.

I hereby re-pledge to the Cherokee People that I will be transparent and truthful. I re-pledge that my administration will not be negligent in performing its duties. I re-pledge I will take every necessary step to ensure that proper policies are followed and completed. The Cherokee Nation will not be governed by the BIA. We will hold our election and continue our long legacy of responsible self-governance

OP: The Cherokee can choose their own path.   As a sovereign nation, they have rights.  So to, does the United States.  They should be able to withhold Federal money, when a nation acts outside of treaties and their own constitution.   Their SHOULD be sanctions, just as we imposed them with South Africa or in weak cases, with China and North Korea.   ALL tribal nations should be subject to the moral outrage of the US Federal government.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tracey Avila, Tribal Chair of Robinson Rancheria, ARRESTED for GRAND THEFT

It was just a matter of time.   Tracey Avila, an inaugaral inductee into Original Pechanga's Blog  Native American Hall of Shame,  charged with EMBEZZLEMENT

The tribal chair for the Robinson Rancheria Pomo Indians turned herself into the Lake County Jail Friday after an arrest warrant had been issued earlier in the week.
Tracey Isabelle Avila, 50, had a $20,000 bench warrant issued for her arrest, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) website.
Avila faces one count of felony grand theft for allegedly embezzling thousands of dollars from the Elem Indian Colony between February and September 2006 while serving as that tribe's fiscal officer, according to chief deputy district attorney Richard Hinchcliff.
LCSO Lt. Chris Macedo said Avila turned herself in Friday afternoon and was later released on bail. Avila's next court date for this case is Oct. 31, according to the LCSO website.

We've posted on Tracey Avila numerous times   ANATOMY OF Robinson Rancheria Corruption.....   And Robinson Rancheria Disenrollment story....    and in April 2010, the BIA did not stand up for the aggrieved disenrollees...

BIA's Larry Echohawk: We Disagree with Action Against Cherokee Slave Descendent's Citizenship

In another example of inconsistency, The Bureau of Indian Affairs has come out against the expulsion of the Cherokee Freedmen.   They were silent on Pechanga disenrollments, stood up for a Cheyenne woman in her disenrollment action and again, were silent on Picayune disenrollments , SUPPORTED Robinson Rancheria terminations and rewarded the Enterprise Rancheria with a casino, a tribe which violated the civil and human rights of its people.  Let's hope this correct move can make a difference.

I urge you to consider carefully the Nation's next steps in proceeding with an election that does not comply with federal law," Assistant Interior Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk stated in a letter to S. Joe Crittenden, the tribe's acting principal chief.

"The Department's position is, and has been that the 1866 Treaty between the United States and the Cherokee Nation vested Cherokee Freedmen with rights of citizenship in the Nation, including the right of suffrage."

Echo Hawk also stated the agency disagrees with a recent tribal court's decision against freedmen citizenship.

He said the tribal court's decision appears to be based on a misunderstanding that changes made in the tribal constitution in 2003 and 2007 that would make freedmen ineligible for citizenship are valid.

"The Department has never approved these amendments to the Cherokee Constitution as required by the Cherokee Constitution itself," Echo Hawk stated.

Although the requirement for such approval by the department was removed in 2007, he said, that decision is not retroactive.

Last month, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court reversed and vacated a district court decision in the freedmen case, terminating the tribal citizenship of about 2,800 non-Indians.

The 4-1 ruling states that because a 2007 referendum that amended the Cherokee constitution to exclude freedmen descendants from tribal citizenship was conducted in compliance with the tribe's laws, the court does not have the authority to overturn its results.

Claiming a lack of jurisdiction for either court, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court also terminated all temporary injunctions in the case and instructed the district court to dismiss the lawsuit.

Cherokee Nation District Judge John Cripps had ruled in January in favor of the freedmen descendants, citing an 1866 treaty between the United States and the tribe that granted equal rights to the freedmen - former slaves who had been owned by Cherokees.

The tribe's supreme court maintained that citizenship was extended to the freedmen by an 1866 Cherokee constitutional amendment - not the treaty

Read more from this Tulsa World article

Picayune Rancheria Reportedly Holding Disenrollment Hearings for 50 Tribal Members.

It looks like decimating half their tribe wasn't enough for some Picayune Rancheria Council members.

Reportedly, hearings began today to disenroll another 50 people from Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. These are relations of a former tribal chair, and members of his family including several "honored" elders.

Read our post  FOLLOW THE MONEY..... to find out why. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Interlude: W.A.V.E. Women Against Violence Evolution

Every once in a while, you are able to help your friends. Today, I'm donating some blog space to help share the story on violence against women. Please take the time to read the story below.


Our car wash brought in 46 dollars and we need 400. We received a donation of 100.00 the attorney has said we have until 9/15/11 to pay Deanna has court pre- trial 9/16/2011 I have some good connection for concerts and co sponsorship with Morongo Indian reservation we are now forming a group for fundraising for victims of domestic abuse which is going to take more time than we have I don’t like asking but am forced under these circumstances Here is Deanna’s real life tragedy

Attorney for Deanna

Any donation will be greatly appreciated- the Bank account for the law firm is-Bank of America—account number--2163210086

Law office of Debra L Rice  STATE BAR NUMBER 163437

Practicing state and federal criminal law
3800 Orange Street ,STE.220,Riverside ca 92501

Nancy Rios


Have you Known A WOMAN in your life that was almost Beaten to death by her partner or boyfriend if you have PLEASE READ THIS LETTER!!










Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11: Attack on America 10 Years Later

What were you doing when you first heard about the attacks on America 10 years ago?

We were woken up by our high schoolers, "Dad, a plane crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon's on fire."   That set our day into motion.   We had planned that day to move our daughter into her apartment, as this was her 18th birthday.

Getting the boys to school, listening to news reports, I heard about Tower 2 collapsing.   Rushing to get home, calling my headquarters in NYC to find out if some friends were safe.  Thankfully, our company lost nobody, nor relatives in the attacks, though at the time, we didn't know for sure.   Our management watched the events unfold from their office windows uptown.

We did make the move for our daughter, the first thing we did was plug in a television so we could keep up to date.   

How did the day's events affect you?   What were you doing that day?

Thank you to ALL the first responders and our military.  We have been kept safe, after going to war with Al-Qaeda.  Keeping them off balance and killing their leaders.  We were not cowed by terrorists and have taken the fight to them.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Indian vs. Indian: The Despicable Picayune Rancheria OPPOSES New Casino for their Neighboring Tribe. Says EchoHawk Lies.

Lest our readers falsely believe that all Native American Tribes want their brother and sister tribes to succeed, we have this news:

The owners of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino plan to fight a recent federal approval of a proposed Indian casino off of Highway 99 north of Madera.

Picayune is a tribe that decimated their membership, in a genocide-like move eliminating 50% of their tribe.  In a statement, Reggie Lewis, tribal chairman of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, said the decision by the Interior Department last week opens the doors to "unrestricted off-reservation gaming across the United States."  TRANSLATION:  Wah!  That would mean the casino is closer to Fresno, and would take customers away from us!!

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has been working since 2005 to build the casino on 305 acres located about 40 miles from its foothill home near North Fork. It would include a 200-room hotel and up to 2,500 slot machines.

The North Fork Rancheria maintains the land between Avenues 17 and 18 is part of the tribe's "historical area." Assistant Interior Secretary Larry Echo Hawk announced the decision Friday.

“For years, this project has been vehemently opposed by local, state and federal officials and Mr. Echo Hawk has received dozens of letters from elected officials to that effect," Lewis said in his statement. "For Mr. Echo Hawk to now claim that North Fork has ‘historical connections’ to the proposed gaming site is just not true — and he knows that.”

The state must now sign off on the casino plans.

“We strongly urge Governor Brown to reject this ill-conceived project,” Lewis said, adding that the Picayune Rancheria will continue fighting the project "through all means available to our tribe

Original Pechanga's Blog strongly urges the people of California to AVOID the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino.

UPDATED Pechanga Tribe, Which Does Not Follow It's Own Constitution, Working on Tribal Court Ordinance

This is rich, the Pechanga Band has a meeting on Sept. 18th, the first in months (outside tradition) to discuss and possibly vote on a tribal court ordinance.   Who would they select to run that?   JOHN MACARRO?  Has he ever passed the California Bar?

Here's from their meeting notification that went out to tribal members, you know, the one that threatens members:



UPDATE:   The meeting to consider the Pechanga Judicial Ordiance and other business has BEEN CANCELLED.  It will now be a single, emergency issue to vote on a new PDC member.   This means that Pechanga has only had 3 General Meetings this year.   What is the council doing? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feds FREEZE Funding to Cherokee Nation after Freedmen Citizenship Termination

EXCELLENT NEWS!  The HUD has stood up for justice, now will the BIA?

Federal housing officials have frozen funding to the Cherokee Nation in apparent response to a tribal court decision terminating citizenship for about 2,800 descendants of former slaves.  The ruling would keep approximately 2,800 freedmen from voting in the Sept. 24 election for principal chief

“HUD has suspended disbursements to the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma while we seek additional guidance on an unclear statute involving the Freedmen,” Deputy Assistant HUD Secretary Jereon Brown said in an email to the Tulsa World. “The funding can be restored once this issue is resolved.”

On Aug. 31, Cherokee officials attempted to draw $33 million from the tribe’s account with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but HUD rejected the draw, according to a Sept. 2 letter from tribal Attorney General Diane Hammons to HUD administrator Wayne Simms.   OP:  Oh SNAP!  

A Tuesday press release from HUD announced $52.6 million in awards to tribes around the nation, including 13 tribes in Oklahoma. No funding for the Cherokees was included in the announcement.

The tribe’s Supreme Court ruled Aug. 22 that descendants of former slaves who cannot show Cherokee heritage are not tribal citizens.

Freedmen were given equal rights within the tribe after the Civil War, but a subsequent 2007 tribal vote took away the citizenship of anyone who couldn’t show some Cherokee heritage.

The effects of that vote were temporarily suspended by a tribal court injunction while the issue was considered, but the recent tribal Supreme Court decision ended that injunction.

In 2007, during consideration of HUD’s federal authorization, members of the Congressional Black Caucus sought to restrict Cherokee access to HUD funding because of the freedman issue. Hammons’ letter argues that the tribe lived up to the letter of the federal law.

The HUD authorization says no money can go to the tribe unless the dispute is settled or the tribal court injunction stayed in effect throughout litigation.

Hammons’ letter maintains that the injunction was maintained throughout litigation, which ended with the tribal court’s decision.

“If Congress wanted to deny funding to the Cherokee Nation, it would have done so,” Hammons’ letter says. “Instead, Congress chose to merely require that the injunctions remain effective until the case was concluded in tribal court.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dept. of Interior's Larry Echohawk Rewards Enterprise Rancheria for Civil Rights Violations, with a Casino

In a move that proves the BIA and Department of Interior does not care about violations of civil rights in Indian Country, Larry Echohawk approves a casino for Enterprise Rancheria.   We wrote about Enterprise Rancheria Expelling Members after a lawful recall vote   and Diane Feinsteins opposition to reservation shopping

Two major tribal casinos in California have been approved by the U.S. Department of Interior using a rarely-granted exception to the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Under the law, Native American tribes can build casinos on reservations that existed before Oct. 17, 1988, but not on lands taken into trust after that date.

However, the law allows the Secretary of the Interior to make an exception in cases where the off-reservation acquisition is in the tribe’s best interest and does not hurt the surrounding community.
But, Kathryn Rand, co-director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at the University of North Dakota, told the Associated Press that there have been only a handful of such exceptions granted since the law was passed.

In this case, federal officials have approved a 1,700-machine casino with a 170-room hotel near the Northern California city of Marysville, a project planned by the Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians.   We wrote about Glenda Nelson, their tribal chair here

The second approval was for a 2,500-machine casino and a 200-room hotel in the Central Valley city of Madera, about 40 miles north of Sacramento. This is a project for the North Fork Rancheria tribe.

Both casinos are dozens of miles away from their current reservations and put them closer to urban centers.

Speaking for the Interior Department, Larry Echo Hawk, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, said, "Both tribes have historical connections to the proposed gaming sites, and both proposals have strong support from the local community."

Rand noted that the decision by the Obama administration reflected a change in the federal government’s approach to off-reservation gaming from the Bush administration.

"The Bush administration was leaning in the direction that distance mattered more than anything else," Rand said.
Charles Banks-Altekruse, a spokesman for the tribes, said the casinos will generate jobs and he was confident that Gov. Jerry Brown, who has one year to decide whether to approve them, will support the projects

Cherokee Freedmen Ask Federal Court to Ensure VOTING RIGHTS Under Treaty of 1866

September 2, 2011


Cherokee Freedmen Plaintiffs in Vann v. Salazar and Defendants in Cherokee Nation v. Nash, two cases addressing the issues of the Cherokee Freedmen citizenship rights in the Cherokee Nation pending in Washington DC since 2003, have filed a Preliminary Injunction today asking the Federal Court for relief against the Secretary of Interior of the United States, the Interim Cherokee Chief, the former Cherokee Chief Chad Smith and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. The case is set for hearing on September 20th in front of Judge Kennedy.

The Motion requests that the Court enjoin the Cherokee Defendants from denying Plaintiffs and the other Freedmen their full citizenship rights and from holding any election as to which Plaintiffs and other Freedmen are denied the right to vote based solely upon their status as Cherokee Freedmen; and that requests that the Federal Defendants are hereby enjoined from taking the following actions until the Cherokee Nation restores full citizenship rights to the Freedmen Plaintiffs and the other Freedmen and complies with the Principal Chiefs Act of 1970, which requires that the Federal Defendants review the Cherokee Nation’s election procedures and ensure that they comply with all legal requirements, including the Cherokee Freedmen’s right to vote: (1) distributing funds to the Cherokee Nation; (2) recognizing any Cherokee Nation election; and (3) recognizing the government-to-government relationship with the Cherokee Nation.

The request for relief follows a recent Cherokee Supreme Court decision that terminated the Freedmen’s citizenship. The timing of the decision has raised questions because it falls just prior to a controversial re-do of the election for Principal Chief. In the previous election Chad Smith lost to Bill John Baker. The same Cherokee Supreme Court invalidated the election and now has removed a segment of the voters. The removed voters were the target of Chad Smith for expulsion since 2006, when the Chief disbanded the Judicial Appeals Tribunal, the Cherokee’s highest Court after it ruled the Cherokee Freedmen were entitled to citizenship.

Freedmen lead attorney Jon Velie of Norman, Oklahoma states: “The Cherokee Nation’s decision to oust its Freedmen citizens on the eve of the election for its Principal Chief was a bad decision made for political gain at the expense of all of Indian Country.”
Federal Courts have held consistently from 1895 through 2010 in the Vann decision in the DC Court of Appeals that the Freedmen were granted citizenship under the Treaty of 1866.”

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court stated the Treaty of 1866 did not confer citizenship for the Freedmen and that the Tribe could expel the Freedmen. It sited no legal precedent for its conclusion. The decision flies in the face of the 2010 DC Court of Appeals language, “the Thirteenth Amendment and the 1866 Treaty whittled away the tribe’s sovereignty with regard to slavery and left it powerless to discriminate against the Freedmen on their basis as former slaves. The tribe does not just lack a “special sovereign interest” in discriminatory elections – it lacks any sovereign interest in such behavior.”

The Cherokee Nation filed a lawsuit against five Freedmen in Cherokee Nation v. Nash, In Nash, the Cherokee Nation claims the Treaty of 1866 was abrogated by turn of the century laws that do not specifically state abrogation of the Treaty. The Cherokee Nation contends this allows it the right to no longer be bound by the Treaty and terminate its citizens who derived their citizenship from their ancestors status as slaves.

“The concept of implicit abrogation of a treaty is very dangerous, says Jon Velie. “If the Cherokee Nation wins on this argument it will lose its and all Tribe’s strongest affirmation of sovereignty. All treaties will be indefensible. Tribes will have no more ability to exert their treaty rights in Federal Court as all will be able to be found invalid if any law that may have been passed addresses a similar claim to the Tribes rights. Treaties are the supreme law of the land, if devalued in this manner become worthless.”

The impact of terminating the Freedmen will not only be felt by those that desire to vote in the Chief’s election on September 24th. The Freedmen’s Motion contained a number of affidavits from Freedmen that will lose medical treatment, such as Charlene White, a Plaintiff, who receives treatment for glaucoma and cataracts, Melissa Chaplin, whose kids receive school supplies and Courtney Gaston who is on an academic scholarship. If the Freedmen are not successful the Freedmen will lose these and all other rights in their Nation.

Lead Plaintiff Marilyn Vann says, “The right to vote for your elected leaders is the most fundamental right you have in any democracy. Ours was stolen, our identities were stolen and we will not sit back and allow someone to say we are not a Cherokees. I am Cherokee and I am proud of it. It is ludicrous to think our birth rights as Cherokee citizens can be voted out by in violation of a Treaty between the US and our Nation. I am standing up for my treaty rights and the treaty rights for all Indians.”

What Constitutes a PALA Indian?

In a post promoted from the comment section, Hunter Cousin A'amokat asks the question.   Is this greed over casino profits, or payback for a supposed earlier slight?

What constitutes a Pala Indian? Because Pala were originally Luiseno but in 1903 a group of local Indians known as Cupeno were kicked off of their land by Warner Springs, Ca and moved by the powers that be to Pala. For over 100 years the two groups, Luiseno and Cupeno, have lived as one tribe.

So are the Luiseno now saying that people with a blood quantium below a certain point of Pala Luiseno blood don't qualify for tribal membership or are the Cupeno saying that the blood quantium has to be Cupeno blood?

It would be ironic if the later was true because the Cupeno aren't even originally from Pala, it says so in a glass case at the main entrance to the Pala Casino, that the Cupeno lost their land at Warner Springs and were moved to Pala.

Ironic that none of these questions would have even been an issue if Pala didn't have a lucrative casino, sound familiar?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Demonstration AT Bureau of Indian Affairs In Support of Freedmen After Removal of Cherokee Slave Descendents

This protest is open to all supporters.    The injustice that the Cherokee Nation has perpetrated on the descendents of THEIR slaves should be stayed.   The time itself stinks of corruption and collusion. If you support Bill John Baker in the election over Chad Smith, show your support by adding your voice to this demonstration.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Building
3100 W Peak
Muskogee, Oklahoma

Demonstrating of Freedmen and supporters asking BIA to block Cherokee nation from removing Cherokee Freedmen from tribal membership rolls and voters list just prior to election. Persons of all races, creeds and colors welcome. Bring your sign supporting 1866 treaty rights.     For more info contact Mrs Brown 918-683-2753.


The Cherokee Nation officially emancipated all slaves in 1863. The 1866 treaty that subsequently enfranchised these former slaves resulted in an amendment to the Cherokee Constitution that same year. That amendment reads:

“All native born Cherokees, all Indians, and whites legally members of the Nation by adoption, and all freedmen who have been liberated by voluntary act of their former owners or by law, as well as free colored persons who were in the country at the commencement of the rebellion, and are now residents therein, or who may return within six months from the 19th day of July, 1866, and their descendants, who reside within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, shall be taken and deemed to be, citizens of the Cherokee Nation.”