Ousted members of the Pala Band of Mission Indians in North County say they want the federal government to give them greater protections from being removed from tribal membership rolls.
Hundreds of people have been expelled from local tribes in recent years. Many more have been removed from tribes throughout California and the country. Some of them believe that the removals are motivated by greed and politics inside some of the country's most successful gambling tribes.
Dennis Chappabitty, a Sacramento attorney who represents several members of the Pala tribe, said that disenrollment has become a widespread civil rights problem in Indian country, and that it's time for the federal government to step in.
"The shameful mass-disenrollment debacle at Pala calls for attention by the U.S. Congress to amend the Indian Civil Rights Act to give disenrolled tribal citizens a chance to have federal courts review the tribal record and determine if the process was just and fair," Chappabitty said.
Read more about Mass Disenrollments at:
Snoqualmie Tribe of Washington and Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and
The attorney is trying find a lawmaker interested in carrying a bill that would amend the Indian Civil Rights Act. The bill would allow federal courts to review diserollments to make sure that tribal governments, such as Pala, followed their own laws.
Chappabitty said he and representatives for the ousted Pala members are scheduled to meet with staff members for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista. Issa's district covers all eight of North County's reservations, including Pala.
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It is well past time for CONGRESS TO STEP IN.....