*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
It is high time for the Dept.of Justice as well as Congress to investigate these corrpt tribal leaders and their highly paid attorneys who, in term ,are paying millions of dollars to even MORE corrupt California politicians.
Disenfranchised native americans are also part of the 99% in this country who want to see justice done.
They want their civil and human rights like every american citizen.
APARTHEID is happening NOW HERE in this country.
IT NEEDS TO STOP.
you are correct, stand your ground...and we MUST stand together as indian people to fight this genocide of so many of our elders and future generations!
we do have some supporter among the general public--please read the following:
Thursday, Dec. 01, 2011 | 12:01 AM Modified Wed, Nov 30, 2011 02:47 PM
This is in response to the Nov. 24 article (Fresno Bee), "Is casino driving deep cuts in Chukchansi tribal rolls?"
The article is an outrage to all humans. This is not just a disgrace to the Native Americans, but to every group and tribe that has existed. How can disenrollment occur to someone who has been or claims to be part of a tribe?
The most outraging part is that those who have been members of the Chukchansi tribe are now being dropped from Indian rolls for no reason. They were initially welcome to the tribe, but even when they don't change, the tribe changed.
Those dropped never chose to be in that group but were born into the group with the same bloodline. They cannot change their background and even with such evidence, they cannot join the rest of their family members.
How can the Chukchansi tribe push them away as if they didn't exist or weren't part of their giant family just because they would be saving money? Would you drop a child just because they would be costly? Why is the tribe allowed to take away funding and Indian identities just because it wants to give others more benefits?
The story is about the same, only the names and locations are different. We Apis know that the casino sits on our great (5x) grandfathers land. We know that congress needs to address the issue of civil-rights violations in Indian country, yet the lobbying that we disenrolled or moratorium Indians attempt cannot compare to the money that the gaming tribes pay annually. It is unfortunate that we have to fight for what is rightfully ours by birth. I am not an advocate of violence, yet I do believe that we need to be more visible in our efforts. That can be achieved through demonstration, and public address through any and all media outlets, or letter to editors.
Some will say that we are wasting our time and that nothing will work with so few supporting the fight, but that talk is just hot air. I have read just recently on this site that there is a lot of name calling and belligerent talk; well I am guilty of that. I am also guilty of spending my time writing to our legislator, newspapers, and television stations with the hope of getting the attention of someone who will listen. I do not comment on all of the articles on this site because I would be repeating what has already been said. Then there is my temper, or lack of patients for those who want us to just give up. There is nothing more irritating that a cowered who hides behind anonymity/sovereignty. If you read some of the comment sections in some of the on-line newspapers that carry stories about the happenings in Indian country you might see that there is a comment that speaks to the atrocities that disenrollment causes and the reasons why disenrollment’s are now so common.
I have also been taking classes on Native American culture and politics so that my knowledge about our brothers and sisters will not leave me ignorant of our past as a group of people who were invaded. The theory that Indians were allowed bingo and gaming as a means of population control is looking more credible with every new banishment and disenrollment. With the decrease of numbers of tribal members tribes that are left will become so small that there will be no gene pool left to sustain the community. This gradual illumination of community and people is one of the principles of Culturside that is now being practiced by our very own blood. The lesson comes from Sioux nation and how they have resisted such efforts.
So was this tribe lying when they approved the tribal membership of the people they are kicking out when they didn't have their casino, to get more federal dollars for having a bigger tribe, or are they lying now by saying the people in question never really belonged?
Either way they are lying and if they lied to get more federal money, then they should have to give that money back.
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