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??
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