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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tribal Membership: It's NOT the P.T.A or Kiwanis

Recently the North County Times ran an editorial about a role for the government in disenrollments. Here is a rebuttal to some points:

The process of determining who is a legitimate member of an Indian nation is inherently an emotional one, and never more so than when tribes are expelling members, as has been happening quite a bit of late locally.
At those tribes with successful casinos, quite a bit of money can be at stake (in addition to issues of self-identity and family ties) ---- and so it's no surprise that lawyers are getting involved. Or at least wanting to get involved.
Outside of tribal courts, each of which sets its own rules, those being expelled have no legal right to appeal ---- something a group of recently expelled members from Pala want Congress to change.
We believe this would be a mistake.
The Indian tribes are best suited themselves to determine their own eligibility standards and rules. Just as it would be highly inappropriate (not to mention unconstitutional) for the government to pass laws determining how religions admit (or expel) members, so should tribal membership be left alone.

OP: The issue isn’t about determining membership, tribes do determine their won eligibility standards, but what happens when tribes act outside their OWN constitutions? The federal government should be able to step in when a tribe does not follow its laws and keeps people from exercising their rights in the U.S. Constitution. In Pechanga’s case, the tribe instituted an unconstitutional moratorium to halt enrollment. The moratorium was voted in to keep a large family, who fit all criteria for membership out. When another family, who supported the rightful placement of the first family, was stripped of it’s tribal citizenship, the tribe again voted to STOP all disenrollments. The tribal council took it upon itself to inform the tribe that membership issues did not fall under the authority of the tribal membership. What that would seem to mean is: The tribe CAN vote to keep people OUT, but they can’t vote to keep people IN?


These tribes' traditions and history extend far back into history; they were determining their rules for membership long before the Europeans showed up, and must be allowed to continue without outside interference.

OP: And we were fine, throughout history, there were NO mass terminations of tribal membership, including at tribes like Pala and Pechanga. It wasn’t until the casino came did tribes disenroll for money. Next will they ENROLL for money, essentially selling memberships?

Despite what the attorney for some expelled Pala members contends, tribal membership is most assuredly not a "civil rights" issue.

OP: Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression. That means churches can violate civil rights just as can tribal governments. In Pechanga’s case, habeas corpus, freedom of speech, rights to have attorney present, right to fair trial, (one council member showed up late and ruled on his mother’s and his aunt’s “fairness”)

Nobody has a right to be a member of the Presbyterian Church USA or the Roman Catholic Church, so nobody has a right to membership in the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

OP: If nobody has a right to membership, then there should be NO Pala Band of Mission Indians. How could there be? They’d be a group just like the P.T.A. rather than a sovereign government. Should churches have the same rights and benefits as tribal governments?

At the same time, we would point out that just as any American has the right to declare themselves head of his or her own church, the expelled members surely have the right to self-identify as American Indian. If enough are expelled from any one tribe, and can prove their ancestry under federal law, they also have the right to collectively petition Congress for recognition as a native community.

OP: This is ridiculous on its face. We ARE from our tribes, in our case, proven by Pechanga people who were alive during the formation of the reservation, such as Delores Tortuga in sworn testimony taken in the Luiseno language and confirmed by the tribe’s own hired expert. Pechanga’s vaunted elder, Antonio Ashman also swore that he knew Paulina Hunter as Pechanga. Pechanga’s enrollment committee chose not to use that evidence, but rather took the hearsay word of an imprisoned child molester. Who would have a greater incentive to LIE, someone who had nothing to gain, or someone who would share in the theft of per capita which now totals over $300 million?  Why would Pechanga's enrollment committee choose NOT to believe Ashman, when he is quoted on their own website about the eviction of 1875.  He was not alive during the eviction, but he sure was alive when Paulina Hunter was.

We are from Pechanga, we don’t need to become another tribe, we have our allotment on the Temecula Indian Reservation and our family still lives there. Federal recognition comes only in a recognized tribe. Ask the Juanenos how easy it is, or the Tongva.

But the notion of non-Indian courts deciding who is and who is not a member of any particular tribe? OP: Indian courts are right now lobbying to have jurisdiction over non-members. Is that proper? Would the NCTIMES be editorializing about the lack of due process and rights to an attorney if their reporter was arrested?
That would represent a troubling intrusion into the tribes' traditional rights, as well as a serious violation of the American right of people to self-organize.

OP: Traditional rights include rights to belong. Pechanga’s committees, run by a few in power have made a mockery of self organization. Other tribes have done the same, such as Redding Rancheria in N. California, who eliminated a family of their FIRST tribal chairman.

Citizenship is a birthright, membership in a church is a voluntary act. Tribal laws must be followed or their should be some ramifications. Our politicians must but enforcement into the Indian Civil rights Act.  And they certainly should not award tribes that practice apartheid on their reservation with lands into trust.  They should use their bully pulpits to speak out on the injustices by tribes such as Snoqualmie, Pechanga, Enterprise, Redding, Pala, San Pascual and the worst tribe of all, the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

New laws need to be in place for tribes who give percapita checks. The enrollment (disenrollment) should not be determined by people who benefit monetarily if there are fewer tribal members. Revoke federal recognition of Pechanga!!

Anonymous said...

The recognition was to the Temecula band not Pechanga band.

Anonymous said...

Thats correct ,and the editor is getting tired of people (disenrolled )thinking congress should determine membership.Or this THUG like behavior from disenrolled people who don't know anything about Indian law.

Carole Goldberg

Anonymous said...

Thug like behavior? Carole you obviously do not live on a Reservation where disenrolled allottees have been stripped of health care that the US government has set up for "Indians" that have always been federally recognized tribal members, where shildren have been escorted out of tribal schools by security guards. Where TRUE NATIVES can no longer bury their dead with their relatives in tribal grave yards, where you have no rights driving down your own street and non native security guards threaten you with banishment for any reason they see fit. Thanks for playing Carole but you obviously have no idea what your talking about or your on payroll for gaming tribes to justify tribal genocide. These gaming tribes are only thinking of the immediate cash, they are disrespecting long standing tribal elders, and cutting off future generations of children who need to know their tribes.

Anonymous said...

goldberg@law.ucla.edu

I encourage all to respond to Carole Goldberg so she knows what THUGlike behavior is.

Anonymous said...

Carole Goldberg would not respond on this website.

Shoot, not enough disenrollees even know about it...

Anonymous said...

Because individuals want to stand up for themselves and protect what little rights they have they are thugs? Talking to media is a thug? We still do have freedom of speech, or has that been denied when you are a disenrolled tribal member? This sounds more like an Islamic government where victims are punished for speaking out against criminals. This is tribal terrorism.

Anonymous said...

I have read Paulina's History and the fact's state she was on the reservation before the Temecula Indian's were placed there.

She may INFACT be Temecula Indian,but the fact is she was never on the original rolls or list. (We are dealing with facts people).

I am sorry but in Federal Court emotion's or Tribal history could not be used as a (weapon of choice)for a good oral argument.

This Topic is a Moot point.


Carole Goldberg

smokeybear said...

Dealing with facts, Goldberg? You better look a little deeper into the "Facts!" The Hunter Clan has been on the Reservation since before the turn of 19th Century. Allottments were given out by Pres. Mckinley and still stand today. Pechanga's own hired expert "Proved" that we Hunters "Are True Pechanga Indians!" We have an "Extensive" Amount of proof to our "Lineage." You state that "Temecula Indian isn't Pechanga. Where does that come from? Do your "Homework" before you spread this inaccurate "Dribble!" You want something to sink your teeth into, take a look at the Non- Indians that are in power at "Pechanga." Russell(Butch) Murphy for one: "Adopted." Or what about the "Convicted Child Molesters" that are allowed to have a say in who gets "Illegally Disenrolled?" Or maybe take a look at Pechanga's Constitution that voted in no "Disenrollments and a year later "Disenrolled" legitimate families for nothing more then "Greed and Self interest?" You make a statement that is wrong, and you can't "Prove!" So before you "Open Mouth and Insert Foot,"...."Get Your Facts Staight" and stop listening to the "Corrupt and Criminal" likes of Mark Macarro and his feable attempts to "Justify" all his "Treasonous Acts" against "Legitimate Native Americans" in his charge, with "Sovereignty" being his tool of choice. The evidence is there: "Now Use It!"

Anonymous said...

Smokey the "quotemaster".

Anonymous said...

Paulina hunter was INFACT on the original roles, so either you haven't seen the evidence? Or, you are an imposter cpp (corrupt pechanga person) tarnishing Carole gold bergs name. If tribal enrollment was a tribal matter why would Carole Goldberg be familiar with this case?

Luiseno said...

Paulina Hunter was on EVERY Pechanga census role from the very creation of the reservation until her death. I don't know where you got your information from, but it is definitely flawed.

smokeybear said...

Anonymous said...
Smokey the "quotemaster".

You got to know that I try to tell it "Like It Is!" For I get as real as I can and I have no "Tolerence" for the ones that are stuck on "Stupid!" Some of you are "Intolerent" to are "Cause," as our resident "Dribble Master: Anotherview," who doesn't "Play Well With Others." And then there are the ones that are "Simi-Sympathetic" to our cause and don't really understand the concept of our losing our "Birthright and Heritage" for nothing more then "Greed," and all you think is that we are after the "Money?" Oh you of "Little Faith!" The "Casinos' be "Damned!" Close them up and go back to the way of the "Indian" and allow our "Constitutions and Bylaws to be followed as a matter of "Tribal Law." "Sovereignty" was supposed to be a good thing for all "Native Americans" to bask in "Self Determination" and to inhance our "Native Culture." But with the advent of the "Casino" these "Corrupt and Criminal Tribal Leaders" use "Sovereignty" as a tool of choice to "Destroy" all that is sacred to a Native American Indian.

Jackie and Remy said...

Good Rebuttal OP. Keep up the good work in exposing Tribal Council Corruption across the country. Someday you will get results!

Anonymous said...

It's not OP that should get the results, it should be all who have been harmed working together with those who want to see injustices overturned.

We need to turn the few, into the many.

Anonymous said...

"quotemaster" is a living GOD jajajaja!

Anonymous said...

yes good rebuttal.

Funny how an article about Pala wanting congress to intervene became attack on Paulina Hunter.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Idiot Carole Goldberg, who made this absurd comment?
“Paulina Hunter was NOT on EVERY Pechanga census role “ She might be looking at the Leyva line.
And of course Paulina Hunter will be attacked, because they are trying to distort the real fact to divert the real objective. Pechanga most likely gave her something for this attack. They are scrapping the bottom now.
Is this all you got Pechanga?

for ALL nations...for ALL chukchansi people said...

THE carole goldberg? must be a joke...i'm certain she's much too bust conferring with various corrupt tribal governments on how o boost their gaming enterprises to comment here...

as for the courts of congress getting involved in enrollment issues...this MUST occur...

too many tribes are utilizing their "sovereignty" to destroy their own people--the people their governments were created to protect...

the congress must use their plenary power to prevent the further abuse of thousands of indian people and restore the rights of those who have already suffered the theft of their identities at the hands of these corrupt tribal governments...

AND these corrupt individuals should receive appropriate consequences for their actions such as being prevented from holding positions of power within the tribe for a finite time period, etc.

dismemberment of our people needs to stop now, and the indian way of taking care of our people needs to be restored...

Anonymous said...

ja means yes in German,Austrian, Swiss, etc.

jaja means kiss my ass.

As for jajajaja...well..the speaker is stuttering! The speaker is having brain farts.

Anonymous said...

Regarding quotemaster...

Thank you for your quotes. You, unlike Victor Rocha who steals others words do no present others ideas as your own, Rocha is a plagarist. For example, he presents ('Pigs get fat and hogs are slaughtered')paraphrased; as his own with no benefit of quotes. you are a gentleman who acknowledges others words with quotes.

Anonymous said...

do not present

smokeybear said...

If you don't "Present," then there is no "Understading" of the task at hand...Smokeybear.

smokeybear said...

The word above is "Understanding."

Anonymous said...

ucla or ucr they get money from these tribes so called ---that should tell you where these professors are coming from.

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