*Please see our update to this post below, where we clear up an inferrance to disenrollments at San Manuel.
Carmen George of the Sierra Star News continues her terrifc expose of the dishonor of the Chukchansi Tribal Council.
The first time Santa decided to only bring presents to some children at the annual Chukchansi Christmas with Santa Breakfast several years ago, parents were not warned.
Children received presents if they had descendants given government-awarded allotment lands , or if they belonged to one of two families that helped reestablish the tribe in the 80s.
The other children -- whose parents are also legal, enrolled members of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians by proving they are lineal descendants of a Chukchansi ancestor -- did not receive gifts.
Most children did not understand the separation. Some cried. OP: Some call this ... apartheid
This holiday season, the tribe cut off gifts to more than just their children. Chukchansi families whose only claim to membership is their blood, called "petitioners" by the tribe, received disenrollment letters two weeks ago from the tribe.
An estimated 200 disenrollment letters arrived in mailboxes, members said. These letters arrived shortly after 55 other tribal members were disenrolled earlier this month.
Many that received the newest batch of letters say they trace their lineage back to the last Chukchansi chief, Chief Hawa and his daughter Princess Malliot. According to Fresno Bee archives from the 1950s, the Chukchansi princess and her Swedish husband owned a large ranch where the rancheria is today.
Disenrollments center on greed over casino profits, old family feuds, and a lost connection with what it means to be native, many have said.
Many tribal members interviewed for this story spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions from tribal council.
OP: They request anonymity because free speech is not a right in Indian Country. Remember that when you go, your rights are not the same, remember the Richard Swan Beating Case by Pechanga Security?
Tribal council declined to comment for this story.
John Gomez, president of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization, said to stop disenrollments, Congress needs to give the Indian Civil Rights Act enforceability, or the Bureau of Indian Affairs needs to step in regarding enrollment disputes, what they have historically stayed out of.
For now, many members said they hope Tribal Council elections Dec. 3 will help set things right.
Rick Cuevas, author of the Original Pechanga blog, created after hundreds in his tribe were disenrolled, said all people can help stop what's happening to thousands of American Indian people across the country.
"Our government exercised it's moral outrage at South Africa by divesting from business there until they changed their apartheid policies. Our state and federal government should do the same thing," Cuevas said. "They should not attend functions at tribes that practice apartheid on their reservation or that have stripped their members citizenship ... These are big money, small population tribes: The entire membership of the Redding Rancheria will now fit into four school buses; you'd only need two for the San Manuel adults. Pechanga's membership wouldn't even fill the closest high school football stadium ... on the visitor's side. Yet their money is enough to run the local politicians."
UPDATE: The quote above references San Manuel, which could infer that they are involved in disenrolling members of their tribe. That is NOT the case. This point was made to emphasize how small the population of some tribes are and I apologize to San Manuel for making it appear that their tribe belongs in the category of tribes like Pechanga, Redding, Chukchansi, Enterprise that have abused their people's civil rights, that is not the case.
We have posted many times of the good things that San Manuel has done:
and in comparison to Pechanga:
and more on their charitable giving