Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Chukchansi Tribal Member: GET LOST...and your family too

The New York Times will have a complete story out tomorrow, here's a preview:

The bottom line of the six-page, single-spaced letter that Nancy Dondero and about 50 of her relatives received last month was brutally simple: “It is the decision by a majority of the Tribal Council, that you are hereby disenrolled.”

And with that, Dondero’s official membership in the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, the cultural identity card she had carried all her life, summarily ended.

”That’s it,” Dondero, 58, said. “We’re tribeless.”

For centuries, American Indian tribes have banished people as punishment for serious offenses. But only in recent years, experts say, have they begun routinely disenrolling Indians deemed inauthentic members of a group. And California, with dozens of tiny tribes that were decimated, scattered and then reformed, often out of ethnically mixed Indians, is the national hotbed of the trend.

Clan rivalries and political squabbles are often triggers for disenrollment, but critics say one factor above all has driven the trend: casino gambling. The state has more than 60 Indian casinos that took in nearly $7 billion last year, the most of any state, according to the Indian Gaming Commission.

For Indians who lose membership in a tribe, the financial impact can be huge. Some small tribes with casinos pay members monthly checks of $15,000 or more out of gambling profits. Many provide housing allowances and college scholarships. Children who are disenrolled can lose access to tribal schools.

The money and the immense power it has conferred on tribes that had endured grinding poverty for decades has enticed many tribal governments to consolidate control over their gambling enterprises by trimming membership rolls, critics and independent analysts say.


smokeybear said...

When is this going to...."STOP?" This is happening "OVER AND OVER AND OVER...AGAIN!" And there is no "End In Sight!

Erick Rhoan, you have been very good at showing us what has been going on here in "Indian Country," and, initially, who is to blame for the majority of the "Injustices" that are happening to the "Native American Indian," and to your credit, "Why!" Your clarity and insight into the problems that face us all, who have been wronged is "Commendable."

Now how about taking another approach, or "Putting the Shoe on the Other Foot," so to speak, and try to give us a little "Insight" into what we can "Do About it?" You seem to be in the "Know" when it comes to "Indian Law," and the workings of the "Government(Indian Affairs), Congress, and the Like." For you have got to know that we are in "Serious" trouble here in "Indian Country" and it's only going to get worse. These "Corrupt and Criminal Tribal Leaders" are routinely "Disenrolling and Banishing Legitimate Members of their Memberships," and "Sovereingty" being their "Tool Of Choice!" I guess what I'm asking is: "Are you up to the task?" Or will the "Heat" you will have to "Endure" helping the "Oppressed Native American".."Unsustainable?" Go "Anonymous" if you have too, but we need "Help" here.

Anonymous said...

Look, let them be sorry for later on and think will wins over us no we still fight no matter what they all say just keep positive and will come back soon and never ever fed up ! So they will pay us biggest price$$$$$$$$ thank god for who we are truth tribal member and how sad one day who they are non member of tribes of all natural tribes will be fine when is over ! It no matter how long it take ! It just bez they like to be part of devil way's how sadly they fogot about god's common rule !

smokeybear said...

Thanks, Erick. I wasn't questioning your ethics, and your insight is "Commendable." Your truly appreciated, and all I was asking was if you knew what "We Can Do About It?" I hope I haven't "Offended You?" So, please stay with us in our "Fight Against Injustice." I apologize if I "Came on to Strong?" It wasn't my intention, for the "Plight of the Native American Indian" is my "Passion!"