Monday, December 31, 2012

May There be JUSTICE for Disenrolled Native Americans in 2013

THEY HAVE THE ROLEXES, we have the time. We will keep fighting.   Thanks to KCBS reporter Cristy Fajardo for bringing this story out. Also look at to learn more about Pala's actions PLEASE watch and share

Friday, December 28, 2012

Minister's Join Fight Against OFF Reservation Casino at North Fork

It's all about money.  And the greedy, corrupt leaders of nearby Chukchansi certainly don't like it.

A new legal challenge has been filed against the North Fork Mono Indians' proposed casino and resort project near Madera -- and more legal challenges may be on the way.

In a federal lawsuit filed last week in Washington, D.C., three Madera residents -- two of them ministers -- joined the Madera Ministerial Association and Stand Up For California, an opponent of off-reservation casinos, to challenge the federal government's approval of the project.

The lawsuit contends the U.S. Department of the Interior and its Bureau of Indian Affairs overstepped their authority earlier this month when federal officials put 305 acres along Highway 99 north of Madera in trust for the North Fork tribe to build a massive $200 million casino and hotel project. The lawsuit contends federal officials failed to consider the effects the casino could have on the environment or nearby residents.
It was the second lawsuit filed to stop the Madera casino in the past month.

Federal officials agreed earlier this month to put the land in trust for the tribe -- a key step necessary for the project to move forward. The decision came three months after Gov. Jerry Brown said the project could proceed, and he approved a compact with the tribe. The state Legislature still must sign off on the compact.
The new lawsuit -- and a similar suit challenging a casino proposal near Oroville -- is testing a U.S. Supreme Court decision from six months ago that rejected a federal trust decision involving a Michigan tribe. A Michigan man argued that the federal government did not properly consider the casino's effect on neighbors.
The suit also claims that the federal government can only put land into trust for tribes recognized before 1934. The suit contends the government did not provide proof that the North Fork Mono Indians were federally recognized before then.

"Citizens have put forth some objective evidence that will affect the (secretary of the interior's) decision about putting a casino in this location," said Cheryl Schmit with Stand Up For California.
Critics like Schmit say approval of the off-reservation casino will lead to a rush in applications for more.
But it has taken the North Fork Mono Indians nine years to get this far in the process, and they still haven't broken ground on their casino, North Fork officials said.

The 1,900-member tribe has 61 acres in North Fork, an area tribal members say is too remote for successful gaming. That's why they applied to the federal government for casino land 36 miles away.
Elaine Bethel Fink, the tribal chairwoman, said she expected legal challenges.
"We are disappointed because every day of delay costs the tribe and local community not only thousands of jobs but roughly $300,000 in lost economic activity," she said. "We are working through the process, and we hope to have this settled and bring these jobs as soon as possible."

Nedra Darling, a Department of Interior spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., said she couldn't comment.
The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians filed its own challenge Nov. 30. The tribe contends that a state environmental review is needed in addition to the federal review because land for the project was owned by Station Casinos when the federal study was done.

David Quintana, a Sacramento-based spokesman for Chukchansi, said more lawsuits are coming, including one from Chukchansi's bondholders.

The Chukchansi tribe has struggled to pay down debt from its hotel and casino project. The tribe refinanced more than $250 million of debt earlier this year.

Read more:

Susan Bradford on BLM Obstruction of Oil on Indian Land

We like to help our friends with their blogs, here's an article from investigative reporter Susan Bradford on the fracking issue. There's a new movie out that's anti-fracking with Matt Damon. FINANCED BY Middle East Oil Interests. Susan's website is Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has earned a place in the hall of infamy for backing three ridiculous Alex Gibney documentaries which purport to educate and entertain the public while generating heaps of profits for the investors, including Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, and Casino Jack, a film about Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff. All three films amount to blatant propaganda designed to advance false, media-generated narratives surrounding targets of scandals manufactured by special interests for private gain, two of which emanated from Indian Country, the bastion of socialism and liberal entitlement. Enron, a leading fundraiser for the Republican Party and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, imploded in scandal after the energy giant attempted to tap into the lucrative energy markets in Indian Country. Abramoff, the nation’s leading tribal lobbyist, was railroaded into prison for routine lobbying behavior after he successfully enlisted wealthy tribes to become powerful champions of conservative political interests and economic causes. Now Cuban is back in the game, this time directing his network, AXS-TV, which he co-owns with Ryan Seacrest, CAA, and AEG, to pick the rights for FrackNation, so that they can “make the case that dangers associated with fracking, a technology for extracting energy from rock formations (that was previously unreachable), are way overblown,” the Hollywood Reporter opined. While Cuban reportedly eschews discussing politics nowadays, he certainly doesn’t mind allowing his films to speak for him. “Of course the timing is relevant,” he told the Reporter. “We want people talking and using AXS-TV when they watch and discuss it.” Of course. “We don’t take a position one way or another,” he continued. “If there was an anti-fracking OpEdocumentary, we would show it as well.” Luckily for Cuban, the film just happens to benefit his allies in Indian Country who brought him the Enron and Abramoff scandals from which he profited through films. Just a few months ago, back in April, the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs held hearings on the “Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule’s Impact on Indian Tribal Energy Development.” Citing the pervasive poverty and unemployment on Indian reservations, the Committee documented that tribal lands hold significant amounts of oil and natural gas that would enable tribes to create jobs, spur economic development and improve their heath, education, and infrastructure. Much to the dismay of oil-rich tribes, the BLM established rules that could obstruct the ability of tribes to tap into those resources, which stand to generate profits for them that far exceed those generated by casinos. As a result, “while non-Indian landowners will prosper, the tribes will lose,” remarked Committee Chairman Don Young. “This would be nothing less than another breach of the United States’ trust responsibility to Indians.” Among the groups promoting oil development in Indian Country is the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, whose address, until recently, was the Colorado office of Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s former employer, which held a reception for CERT and the Western Energy Alliance around the time of the hearings. The WEA has taken to publicizing Cuban’s latest film on its website. As the Alliance alleged, the new federal fracking rules could cost oil companies in the United States over $ 1 billion. Cuban’s associates have taken an interest in tapping unrecovered oil, including, for example, Mike Muckerloy, a whistleblower who appeared in the Smartest Guys in the Room after being fired from Enron.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: BIA Doesn't Operate in the Best Interest of the Native Americans

From the recently posted article on the Snoqualmie Tribe: But that’s exactly what the Bureau of Indian Affairs wants you to think, says Stephen Gomes. “The reality of the BIA—and I hate to say this—is that it doesn’t operate in the interest of the Native Americans. It never has,” he says. “The whole goal of the BIA was to encourage assimilation as fast as possible. And it’s a complete surprise to them that the Indians didn’t assimilate. Now they look at it as a burden, as a huge withdrawal of resources from the United States. The BIA has been completely uncooperative with the true, traditional Snoqualmie people.” In other words, a group of people that was victimized and marginalized for centuries is being victimized and marginalized again—not just from the outside, but from within as well.

BAD BLOOD at Snoqualmie. Snoqualmie Leadership Flouts Laws

 Marvin Kempf lives on a massive piece of land in Rockport, Washington, that can only be described as picturesque. To the north, the Cascades begin their sharp ascent on the way to piercing the clouds. The Skagit River runs just to the south, and at times the quiet on his property is so absolute that, if you listen closely, you can almost make out the sound of the water slapping the rocks as it flows down from the mountains. Spend a couple hours up here, in the shadow of the tepee that stands outside Kempf’s home, and you almost forget where you are or what century you’re living in. In fact you get lulled into a sense of peace so overpowering that it’s hard to believe this has become base camp in a bitter war for the soul of the Snoqualmie Indian tribe.

Kempf is, he says, three-quarters Snoqualmie. And as the descendant of Chief Sanawa, who led a portion of the tribe in the 1800s, he’s the Snoqualmie’s rightful hereditary chief. “I’ve got the papers to prove it,” Kempf said as he sat at a picnic table smoking cigarettes near that tepee on a sunny day in September. “I’m big-time Snoqualmie.” Normally, Kempf says, he wouldn’t draw attention to what he calls his “inherent birthright,” because that’s just not the way a chief should carry himself; respect is earned in Indian country, not demanded. And besides, vanity isn’t in his nature. “We wasn’t brought up that way,” he says. “We weren’t supposed to brag or boast.”

But the last two years have been anything but normal. First Kempf lost his tribal membership in March 2010. Since then he’s watched the Snoqualmie leadership routinely flout its own laws, refuse to hold tribal elections while clinging to their positions of power, and boot anyone who challenged them. And then came the bizarre announcement in December 2011 that the Snoqualmie had partnered with an overseas developer to build a new casino in, of all places, Fiji, making it the first tribe to expand its gaming enterprise outside of the United States. But that’s not what’s prompted him to speak out. What really galls him is his belief that many of the people who have been making these decisions have been lying about their tribal ancestry for years.

Conflict is nothing new for the Snoqualmie. The tribe of roughly 650 members earned federal recognition in 1999, but only after the Tulalip tribe—which isn’t a traditional tribe so much as an amalgam of several Northwest Indian peoples—filed a lawsuit to prevent it. (The Tulalip tribe argued unsuccessfully that many of their members were descended from the Snoqualmie people, thereby negating the need for the government to recognize another group.) Five years later, the Snoqualmie were feuding with the Snoqualmoo—a smaller, as-yet unrecognized tribe that shared some history with them—over a proposed expansion of the Salish Lodge.

But it’s rancor from within that has defined the Snoqualmie tribe for decades, and virtually all of it stems from members’ claims to Native American bloodlines. In the early ’90s, a tribal council chairman had his membership revoked after challenging another member’s ancestry. A few years later another council person was removed for the same reason. Then, in 2008, eight more members, many of them in leadership positions, were removed, although they successfully sued to be readmitted. (They had to take the case to the federal level, though, in part because the tribe shut down its own court system.) The tribe’s constitution states that “membership is a privilege that may be revoked…for cause as determined by the acts and resolutions of the tribe,” but what constitutes just cause isn’t stated. And in practice the process has been equally vague and at times arbitrary. In some cases, a select group of the membership will vote to remove someone. In others, it’s the nine-member tribal council that votes. But in virtually all cases, those who lose their membership have no opportunity to face their accusers or plead their case.

The current imbroglio, the one that’s got Marvin Kempf so fired up, is much grander in scope and even more contentious. For the first time since the tribe was recognized, the blood of every single Snoqualmie has been placed under the microscope. Blood, it bears noting, is almost exclusively a figurative term in Indian country. The literal definition—which in the context of Native American history conjures images of war and violent genocide—is, ironically, an afterthought now. These days the word refers to something less tangible but much more complex and valuable. An Indian’s blood quantum, or degree of Native American ancestry, not only represents a link to family, but it’s also proof of membership in the tribe. And with membership comes voting rights and access to health care and subsidized housing.

The terms of enrollment in the Snoqualmie tribe are simple. According to a 2002 amendment to its constitution, members must be able to demonstrate they are at least one-eighth Snoqualmie and descended from someone on Roblin’s Rolls, a 1919 Indian census. And yet despite having been federally recognized for more than a decade, no one really knows for sure who in the Snoqualmie tribe is actually Snoqualmie. Plenty of people claim to know, but with few exceptions they can’t prove anything—and virtually all of the blame for the confusion rests at the feet of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA, which acts as the federal liaison to the more than 550 tribes across the country, recognized the Snoqualmie without obtaining an enrollment list and the blood quantum of everyone on it. Chaos has reigned ever since.

“This is Indian country on steroids,” says Jay Miller. He knows from experience. An anthropologist and former University of Washington professor, Miller began trying to untangle the tribe’s family tree last summer. “There are disputes like this in many tribes, but nothing like what’s going on among the Snoqualmie. It’s…” He pauses for a moment, as if trying to wrap his mind around the magnitude of the problem. “It’s over the top. Incredibly over the top.”

How the situation in the Snoqualmie tribe got so out of hand is complicated. But the why is fairly straightforward: money. Whoever controls the tribe controls its casino, which opened in Snoqualmie in 2008 and, according to some within the tribe, now brings in north of $200 million a year. And, in the future, members will be eligible for a cut of the profits—as much as $2,000 per person per month, according to talk that circulated earlier this winter. That explanation makes the power struggle a little easier to understand, but it doesn’t make it any easier to believe for outsiders who have witnessed it. “You almost feel like you’re going crazy,” says one genealogist who has worked with the tribe. Another puts the conflict in even starker, more ominous terms: “There isn’t anyone you can trust. The problem is that every one of these people that you’re going to talk to has an agenda. Every. Last. One of them.”

Read the REST of the story HERE

Native Tribes Dislike Cantor's Version of VAWA BECAUSE.....

It provides for action against tribes that violate civil rights.    We wouldn't want that would we?  Especially since we know first hand about having our civil rights violated.

The question should be to Anderson Law:  Why don't you support action against tribes that violate the civil rights of its members, or any other citizen for that matter?

Here is the text from Cantor's version:

22 RIGHTS.—Every person who, under color of any statute,
23 ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any partici-
24 pating tribe, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any de-
25 fendant in a criminal prosecution under the special domes
1 tic violence criminal jurisdiction of the participating tribe
2 to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
3 secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to
4 the party injured in an action at law,

Here's what Anderson Law has said:

Prepared by Anderson Indian Law
We strongly urge tribes to reject the Cantor draft VAWA bill because it is a diminishment of tribal sovereignty.

9. It provides a private right of action against tribal governments for violating civil rights and subjects tribes to suit (p. 12, line 21) DEAL BREAKER
  1. Private right to suit against tribes
  2. Qualified immunity. How long will it take to dismiss cases against tribal judges and officials if defendants file against them
  3. Overrules Santa Clara v. Martinez case

It is past time for there to be some recourse by tribal members over the thugocracy that runs many tribes now.    No right of action, No bill.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians Close To Memorandum of Understanding With Riverside County

Riverside County supervisors Tuesday approved an agreement with the Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians securing guarantees about what steps the tribe will take to counteract the impact of future gambling operations.

The Ramona band, whose tribal territory is centered east of Hemet, is negotiating with the state on a compact to permit Class III gaming activities defined by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Class III operations include slots, card games and other casino-style gambling.

A half-dozen tribes in Riverside County operate casinos.

Supervisor Jeff Stone, in whose district the Ramona tribe's operation is proposed, introduced a memorandum of understanding endorsing the band's gaming plan and conceptually identifying what it would need to do to help the county mitigate any negative impacts to the "off-reservation environment."

The memorandum states there are "economic, environmental, social, technological (and) other considerations."

According to the document, the county would expect the tribe to "compensate for law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical services and other public services ... provided by the county to the tribe as a consequence of the gaming activities."

A framework would have to be established defining how reimbursement would be made, according to the memorandum.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cherokee Freedmen Prevail in Court Hurdle: Tribal Officers CAN BE SUED in Federal Court

Tribal officers can be sued in federal court regarding black Cherokee's rights to continuing tribal membership under 1866 treaty. In 2008, the DC appellate court had stated that the tribe had treated away its right to discriminate against the freedmen.

From the judges decision in the Cherokee Freedmen case:  

As a practical matter, therefore, the Cherokee Nation and the Principal Chief in his official capacity are one and the same in an Ex parte Young suit for declaratory and injunctive
relief. As a result, the Principal Chief can adequately represent the Cherokee Nation in this suit, meaning that the Cherokee Nation itself is not a required party for purposes of
Rule 19.
By contrast, if we accepted the Cherokee Nation’s position, official-action suits against government officials
would have to be routinely dismissed, at least absent some statutory exception to Rule 19, because the government entity in question would be a required party yet would be immune from suit and so could not be joined. But that is not how the Ex parte Young doctrine and Rule 19 case law has developed.

In light of our disposition, we need not reach the Freedmen’s argument that the Cherokee Nation waived its
sovereign immunity by filing a related suit in Oklahoma. We reverse the judgment of the District Court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Trial Order Bribery at Pechanga; No Action of Pechanga's OWN THIEVES Who Stole Hundreds of Millions.

Justice is being sought in what is now a BRIBERY case at Pechanga.  But unfortunately, NO JUSTICE is being sought by the THIEVES of Pechanga, who have stolen over 300 MILLION dollars from ousted tribal members.

A March 5 retrial date was confirmed today for two men accused of bilking the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians out of $4 million by skimming funds intended for the Temecula-based tribe's casino insurance.

In July, a Riverside jury deadlocked on whether to convict James William Riley, 49, of Corona and Ryan Jay Robinson, 42, of Temecula on all of the felony charges against them, resulting in a mistrial.

The men's attorneys, along with Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Jeanne Roy, appeared today before Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez for a conference to set a date for a new trial, settling on the first week of March.

Hernandez ordered that both sides be ready to proceed then.  Riley and Robinson were indicted in February 2010 on multiple felony charges stemming from a scam that the District Attorney's Office alleges the pair perpetrated in 2005 and 2006.

Riley, a former insurance broker and partner at Riley, Garrison & Associates, faces several years in prison and six-figure fines if he's convicted of three counts of commercial bribery.

Robinson, the Pechanga tribe's former chief financial officer, faces the same penalties if convicted of the same crimes.

The jury in July voted 8-4 for acquittal on charges of grand theft and money laundering. Those counts have since been dropped, leaving only the bribery charges. On those, the jury hung 10-2 for guilty.

"The facts just aren't there regarding an intent to steal," Chris Jensen, Robinson's attorney, told City News Service at the time. "The prosecution seems bothered by the profits that (Mr. Riley) made, and they're trying to equate profits to theft ... The tribe might have been overcharged (on insurance premiums), but is that stealing?"

Roy alleged Riley and Robinson began their illicit activity shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck in September 2005. Commercial insurance rates skyrocketed following the disaster, enabling the defendants to justify exorbitant insurance costs from which they gained, according to the prosecutor.

She said Riley allegedly artificially inflated the tribe's property and risk insurance premiums to pocket large sums disguised as fees, with Robinson's complicity.

The prosecution contended that Robinson received $190,000 under the table for his participation. Jensen characterized the payments as "loans" that his client needed to pay down divorce-related debts.

According to Riley's attorney, Souley Diallo, his client never committed a crime, and the prosecution's case boils down to a misunderstanding of complex financial arrangements.

Both defendants are free on $25,000 bail.

Chukchansi Disenrolls More, Has Manipulated Election

A tribal council election Dec. 1 at the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in Coarsegold voted in
two new members -- Charles "Charlie" Sargosa and Carl "Buzz" Bushman -- and re-elected Nancy Ayala,
who's been serving as the tribe's chairperson since this fall.

The new election comes about a month after more disenrollments at the rancheria -- 43 tribal members
ousted from a Chukchansi allotment near Hensley Lake. The disenrollments were made even though the
tribe's constitution protects the enrollment of individuals from the Chukchansi allotments -- awarded by the
government in the late 1800s through the early 1900s.

A phrase in the constitution about needing a "special relationship" to remain in the tribe is being
manipulated, putting all Chukchansi people in jeopardy of disenrollment, many tribal members have said.
A new election ordinance was also created in September by tribal council.

The ordinance prohibited at least two candidates from running in the Dec. 1 election, and goes against
Chukchansi's constitution that outlines criteria needed to be a candidate, said Dora Jones, who was elected
last year as the tribe's new vice chair but was never allowed to be seated -- along with the three other
winners of that election -- who are all opposed to recent Chukchansi disenrollments.

The new Chukchansi election ordinance increased the minimum candidate age to 25 -- what is 18 in their
constitution -- and requires all candidates to have attended eight tribal council meetings throughout the
previous election year. The Chukchansi constitution only requires eight meetings for those running for a
tribal council office, not for those running for a "member at large" position.

Other new election ordinance requirements are more vague, including phrases like needing to be in "good
standing" with the tribe to run for office, and demonstrating "active involvement in the affairs of the tribe."
The new Chukchansi tribal council will include the newly-elected Sargosa and Bushman, re-elected Ayala;
Reggie Lewis, who was not up for re-election this year; Karen Wynn and Tracey Brechbuehl, who were
appointed in May to fill the council seats of Jones and Morris Reid, who were suspended from council
shortly after winning last year's election; and Chance Alberta, who lost last year's election and the
subsequent March election for the seat of Harold Hammond's seat (who was also not allowed to be seated
after winning last year's election). Alberta now fills the seventh seat, won by Dixie Jackson last year, who
was also not allowed to be seated on council by others in power.

No charges for February violence -- casino trespassing in March now prosecuted
Many Chukchansi people have expressed frustration that while no arrests have been made regarding a
stabbing and other acts of violence that occurred outside the tribal offices in February, a casino
trespassing charge is now being prosecuted by the district attorney's office.

Read more:
Sierra Star News story on Chukchansi Disenrollment

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LAUGHER: Honoring the Civil Rights of Native Americans

Dear Justice, you forgot to mention how you stand idly by while civil and human rights are abused by tribes such as PALA, Chukchansi, Redding and Pechanga.   We are pointing at you and LAUGHING...through our tears.

Last week the Department of Justice formally recognized Native American Heritage Month with a program based on this year’s theme “Serving Our People, Serving Our Nation: Native Visions for Future Generations.”  As this month of special recognition of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples comes to a close, it is important to remember that the best way we can honor the contributions of tribal communities is through ongoing collaboration and effective enforcement of the civil rights of Native Americans throughout the country.  The department’s work in this area is a year-round effort, with the active engagement of the Civil Rights Division’s Indian Working Group.

For too long, Native Americans have experienced discrimination and injustice, and the federal government can and must stop such discrimination.  The Indian Working Group, with representatives from every section of the division, is a critical tool in that work.  This collaborative effort elevates enforcement, outreach, and educational opportunities concerning Native American issues within the division, within the department, and throughout the country.

The Indian Working Group is just one tool within the Civil Rights Division when it comes to reducing crime and advancing public safety in Native American communities and the Division continues to increase the number of cases affecting Native Americans.

The department confronts daily challenges to the civil rights of Native Americans, including vicious assaults born of hatred, and threats used to drive Native Americans out of their homes. In parts of Indian country, rates of violent crime are two times, four times, even ten times what they are in other communities.  One in three Indian women reports having been raped.  This is profoundly disturbing, and completely unacceptable.

A core part of safe communities is an effective, accountable police department that reduces crime, ensures respect for the Constitution, and earns the trust of the public it is charged with protecting.  This summer, the department  reached a comprehensive agreement with the City of Seattle regarding the Seattle Police Department’s use of excessive force and concerns about discriminatory policing. Seattle must create a Community Police Commission and invite Native American community input on the Seattle Police Department’s training requirements and policies.

The Civil Rights Division’s first case under the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was in New Mexico, where the department successfully prosecuted a group of men who assaulted a 22-year-old Navajo man with a developmental disability and defaced his body with white supremacist and anti-Native American symbols.

The division enforces laws that protect the freedom to practice one’s religion, free from discrimination or persecution while incarcerated. In September, the District Court in South Dakota agreed with us that Native American inmates must be permitted to use tobacco in religious ceremonies in prison, without second-guessing whether tobacco is traditional to Native American religious practices.

In 2010, when minorities were hit particularly hard by the housing crisis, we created a Fair Lending Unit to address credit discrimination.  Particularly in communities where unemployment rates were already high, as with many Native American communities, it is critical that we remain vigilant in enforcing fair housing and fair lending laws to ensure they do not suffer even further.

Using our authority under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we work to ensure state courts and other federally funded programs are free of discrimination and accessible to everyone, regardless of language – including Native Americans.

Finally, the division continues to enforce and defend the laws that enable access to the paramount expression of our democracy – the equal right to vote. The division enforces federal voting laws that protect Native Americans from discrimination based on race or membership in a language minority group.  We have been active in enforcing and defending voting laws in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Alaska.

We do this work, not only because it is our legal responsibility as a government, but because it is our moral responsibility as members of a broader community.  We have the rule of  law and the will of the federal government behind us and we will continue to protect the civil rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Friday, November 30, 2012

UPDATE: Will Pechanga Require Allottees To Wear A Yellow Star To Designate Their Status

UPDATE:    We posted the story below in February and now word is coming from the Pechanga Reservation in Temecula that an effort is being forwarded to keep any disenrolled tribal member from using the reservation facilities.    The story is developing but it sounds like the Masiel Basquez crime family is at it again.    Currently a number of Hunters, descendants of Original Pechanga allottee, Paulina Hunter, live on the reservation, some all their lives.    

The Temecula Band of Luiseno Indians, led by Democratic Party operatives  Mark Macarro and Andrew Masiel are well known civil and human rights abusers.  

Oh, if only the question was too far-fetched to believe, since they have already stripped voting rights and elder care from 25% of their tribe.  The Nazis forced Jews to wear these stars on their clothing in an overt act of persecution. As we wrote about recently, the allottees on the reservation, who have had their land in the family since the beginning of the Temecula Indian Reservation, have now been threatened with trespassing charges. A yellow star would make it easy for tribal members like the Masiel-Basquez crime family to recognize them on sight.

Add caption

Top: Yellow Star Jews in Nazi Germany were forced to wea

 Bottom: Will Pechanga force Allottees to wear emblem so Rangers can see them?  

The drinking fountains at the park will be one area where the tribe could have a sign saying: Tribal Members Only, No Temecula Indians Allowed.

They say that allottee may be excluded from their land if they are on the land of a tribal member, yet, Chairman Macarro's jackbooted Tribal Rangers trespassed on allottee's land to deliver the message. Yep, right to the front doors. And since a sexual predator is in charge of dispatching Rangers and is a member of the tribal motorcycle "club", wouldn't you be worried?

Remember, some Moratorium People have already been excluded...

Since the casino is on tribal property, any visitor could be charged with trespassing ..for any reason.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tracey Avila, Alleged THIEF of Robinson Rancheria and Civil Rights Violator has Trial Date Set

The Robinson Rancheria Pomo Indians tribal chair is set to stand trial in three months for allegedly stealing while she worked for another county tribe.
Tracey I. Avila was held to answer for a felony count of grand theft following an October preliminary hearing.
The Lake County District Attorney's Office alleges the Nice resident stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Elem Indian Colony and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency while serving as the tribe's fiscal officer between February 2006 and September 2008.
Avila, 51, was arraigned at the Lake County Courthouse Tuesday morning. Her attorney, R. Justin Petersen, entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf.
Judge Richard C. Martin scheduled the trial to start Feb. 27. Avila will next appear in court Feb. 4 at 1:30 p.m. for pretrial matters.

Barstow Wants FEDS to Approve OFF reservation Casino

 Three city government officials and members of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians met in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to discuss the status of the Barstow Casino.

In talks that have gone on for 10 years, the latest meeting at the Department of the Interior covered the status of both the tribe’s fee-to-trust, which would convert private land to federal title for gaming, and the two-part determination request, which would ensure the project is in the best interest of the tribe and surrounding community.

“The meeting was productive and we hope the Department of Interior makes a determination on the Los Coyotes’ application as soon as possible,” City Manager Curt Mitchell said in an email.

Mitchell, Mayor Pro Tem Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre and Councilman Tim Silva along with representatives from the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians met with Kevin Washburn, the new Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior, and other department representatives on Nov. 15.

“The tone of the meeting was positive, and both the Los Coyotes and city summarized the history of the tribe’s application, and the strong benefits of the casino project for both parties,” Mitchell said.

The proposed casino would be located on Lenwood Drive next to the Tanger Outlets and is projected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs in the area.

The tribe emphasized they have been waiting for a federal decision on the project for a long time and both parties also asked the Department of Interior to approve the request as soon as possible, according to Mitchell.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs will render a decision when it sees fit, Mitchell said, and there is no official timeline established.

“We’re wading through the process,” Hackbarth-McIntyre said. “It’s all finished for the final environment documents to come out of the Interior

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

City of Temecula Honors Human Rights Abusing Tribe: Pechanga

The weak minded and weaker willed city council of Temecula will HONOR, yes HONOR a tribe that has violated the civil and human rights of 25% of their population.  A tribe that practices Apartheid on the reservation   Temecula Patch reports:

The City of Temecula is planning to celebrate Dec. 11, and the public is invited to join and enjoy free hot dogs and holiday cookies.

First, Washington said council is expected during the Dec. 11 meeting to consider a proclamation honoring the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians for its purchase of 365 acres of land owned by Watsonville, Calif.-based Granite Construction. The land was the former site of the much-contested Liberty Quarry project.

Remember, we wrote here about how Pechanga chairman Mark Macarro lied to congress over 300plus acres of "culturally sensitive" property.  He said it wasn't going to be developed, and it's now the golf course.  Mark's shorter brother John said it was a zoning change:

Read more about Pechanga's Apartheid:

Word is that Pechanga Tribal Council has not brought the spending of $20 million before the people.

Friday, November 23, 2012

In Memorium: Robert Edward Foreman Redding Rancheria's First Chairman Died Before Seeing Justice Served

I've been on a light posting schedule due to remeodeling issues at our home. Last week, was the anniversary of the death of Redding Rancheria's first chairman, Bob Foreman. Here is a video tribute put together by his family. As we remember the acts of genocide in our country's history, LET'S NOT FORGET than today's tribes are practicing genocide on their own people.

Tribal Casino Crimewatch: Man Stabbed to Death at Red Haw Casino

A 19-year-old man was stabbed to death at Red Hawk Casino on Wednesday night.


El Dorado County sheriff's deputies responded to the Shingle Springs casino at 10:30 p.m. to a report of a stabbing.

The victim -- later identified as Gene Mcarn -- was taken to Marshall Hospital where he died from his wounds, sheriff's officials said.

Estaphen Juarez is sought in connection with the stabbing, according to deputies.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving To All

This day is a day of thanks, no matter what happened in history.   A day to be thankful for your family, for those things in life that have made us better.

I wish all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.  May you be able to spend time with family, and remember those who made it possible for us to enjoy this day.   Our veterans and those service members who are away from family on this day so that we may be free.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nicoleno Cave Made Famous in Island of the Blue Dolphins believed found. Lone Woman of San Nicolas

The yellowing government survey map of San Nicolas Island dated from 1879, but it was quite clear: There was a big black dot on the southwest coast and, next to it, the words "Indian Cave."

For more than 20 years, Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz searched for that cave. It was believed to be home to the island's most famous inhabitant, a Native American woman who survived on the island for 18 years, abandoned and alone, and became the inspiration for "Island of the Blue Dolphins," one of the 20th century's most popular novels for young readers.

The problem for Schwartz was that San Nicolas, a wind-raked, 22-square-mile chunk of sandstone and scrub, has few caves, all of them dank, wet hollows where the tides surge in and nobody could live for long.

Year after year, he scoured the beaches and cliffs, drilled exploratory holes, checked the old map, pored over contemporary accounts and conferred with other experts, all in vain. If he could find the cave, he could find artifacts — clues that would flesh out the real-life story that inspired Scott O'Dell to pen the 1960 novel that won the Newbery Medal and became required reading in many California schools. More than 6.5 million copies are in print and teachers frequently assign it between the fourth and seventh grades.

If he found the cave, he might solve mysteries about the "Lone Woman of San Nicolas" and her Nicoleño tribe, which was left devastated by a massacre in 1814 by sea otter hunters from Alaska.

  Read the LA Times story here

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

San Pasqual Protest Scheduled for January 13. Demanding Chairman Allen Lawson Step Down.

From the Facebook page: REZTALK  The protest will be held on January 13 ,2013 on the second Sunday of the month

The protest is about the stepping down of chairman Lawson. For possessing no BLOOD OF THE BAND. Because he does not possess blood the band .. So there for he is in violation and he must step down . 

We must remain calm and out spoken.. Non violent... When you see any of the Trask family members be vocal, but be respectful. If we are peaceful and remain calm we will be successfu
l.. We want to protest more.. And have a right to speak up and stand for what is right!

CHAIRMAN LAWSON YOU DO NOT POSSESS BLOOD OF THE BAND!! So therefoer STEP DOWN!!! You have no legal right to have any grounds of standing here in San Pasqual Reservation ever since your 1995 enrollment, you have been in violation!! 

Your father was white from Valley Center and your mother was Indian from Miwok country and pit river that clearly points out no Blood of The Band... 

And for your cousins Trask Toler family they are white from frank Trask the mastermind manipulator and conspirator..and his wife Lenora an Indian from Mesa Grande .... So their daughters Helen and florance are white and Mesa Grande... 

That makes the Toler family White and Mesa Grande.. This is clearly points out NO BLOOD OF THE BAND. So with that being said, their tribal membership is a Fraud by their own admissions. 

We are protesting so the bia can hear our protest so that they can take the action to investigate the wrong malice act and intentions of doing by the Trask family at large.

Monday, November 19, 2012

More California Indian SHAME: Dry Creek Rancheria Disenfranchising Members

Disputes over tribal membership have flared up again within the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, prompting an indefinite postponement of the election for its board of directors, which runs River Rock Casino near Geyserville.
The November election was called off after the legitimacy of two candidates for office, both lifelong members of the tribe, was questioned.
At stake is control of Sonoma County's only operating Indian casino, along with payments and benefits that are lost by members disenrolled from the tribe.
For those who have been kicked out despite tracing their tribal lineage back for generations, it's a painful experience that also threatens their cultural identity and heritage.
"It's devastating when your citizenship is removed and you're challenged --- who and what you are. It takes a toll on your well-being," said Liz Elgin DeRouen, 48, a former Dry Creek tribal chairwoman who was disenrolled three years ago. "You're disenfranchised to the deepest level."
Tribal Chairman Harvey Hopkins defended the tribe's need to ensure that its approximate 1,100 members are legitimate.
In essence, they must be descended from someone who was living on the Rancheria when it was established in 1915 and cannot have been a member of another tribe.
"We've been down this road before. When election time comes, we have to review every member who wants to run, to make sure they are members of Dry Creek," Hopkins said.

Read More on Shameful Disenrollments at Dry Creek Rancheria

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pechanga Buys Liberty Quarry from Granite Construction; Will THEY operate the Quarry? Deal worth $20 MILLION

Pechanga Tribal leaders have agreed to purchase the Liberty Quarry site south of Temecula from Granite Construction, it was announced Thursday.
A news conference has been called for 2:30 p.m. at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, effectively ending the project, according to a joint news release from the two entities.
Granite Construction has agreed to sell 354 acres of land designated for the quarry to the Pechanga Tribe for $3 million.
"The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and Granite Construction Co. have forged a historic accord that will amicably resolve a long-standing land use dispute involving the proposed Liberty Quarry project in Riverside County and end the proposed quarry," the two entities wrote.
Pechanga will also pay Granite $17.35 million to settle the dispute under a separate inter-dependent and comprehensive settlement and release agreement, according to the news release.
Granite has in turn agreed that it will not own or operate a quarry within a six mile radius to the north of the property along the Riverside-San Diego county border and three miles to the south through 2035.
For its part, Pechanga has committed to providing Granite input regarding potential impacts to tribal historic and cultural resources at other potential aggregate sites outside of the restricted area that Granite may consider over the same 23-year period, according to the news release.
“This area holds profound historic, cultural, and spiritual importance to the Pechanga and Luiseño Peoples,” said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. “Today, a small yet essential piece of our historic territory is once again united with its original stewards to preserve for future generations.”  Translation: We can use this acreage to offset environmental issues in case we want to operate our own quarry.

Erick Rhoan on INDIAN GAMING: Time for some changes?

Our friend Erick Rhoan has a new post up on his blog Notes on Indian Law. Take a look, I'll link at the bottom.

It’s been a long while since I last wrote something.  Life has a way of getting in the way of your plans.  I thought about this blog yesterday and thought it would be a good idea to formulate my philosophy on Indian gaming.
I’ve written a lot about secondary effects of gaming since this blog’s inception.  You’ve heard me rail on and on about tribal disenrollments, the Indian Civil Rights Act, and greedy tribal councils.  Yet at the same time I don’t think I’ve done enough to elucidate a clear stance on Indian gaming.  I’ve written a sentence about it here and there, but it never received its own post.  So, here it is.
Indian gaming is beneficial to tribes.  It is a unique and lucrative economic tool that tribes may use to earn money for their people.  Many tribes were shockingly poor and living in almost third-world conditions prior to the advent of Indian gaming.  The money was desperately needed.  Since its inception, Indian gaming has led to running water, indoor plumbing, standardized housing, clinics, schools, scholarships, jobs (for Indian and non-Indians), roads, buildings, and vast infrastructure improvements.  Tribes have donated money to charity and invested some of their money in surrounding communities.  In a perfect world, Indian gaming benefits everyone.
Unfortunately, Indian gaming has been used to oppress others.  On this subject I’ve written plenty and need not repeat most of it here.  To put it simply, avarice has begotten numerous civil rights violations and blackened many tribes’ images.  Gaming tribes are seen as duplicitous, greedy, corrupt, and oppressive.  Their use of tribal sovereignty as a means to use their money as they see fit and then hide behind sovereign immunity whenever they want is not an endearing quality.  Many have called for an end to Indian gaming.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UPDATE: SAD NEWS..Happy 100th Birthday to Stella Guzman, Eldest Gabrieleno Tongva

Update:  Sad to report that ELDER Stella Guzman has moved on, passing away away, Tuesday November 13th, after a LONG life.  May she find peace.

Oldest Gabrieleno Tongva turned 100 years old last week. Gabrieleno Tongva elder Stella Guzman celebrated her 100th birthday. Congratulations on a long life. Mrs. Guzman is grandmother to our cousin Mark Lucero and she survives her first husband, Pechanga Elder and war hero Johnny Miller, who the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, led by Mark Macarro, completely disrespected by striking him posthumously from the Pechanga Membership Rolls. It seems the Gabrieleno Tongva have a better way of treating their elders.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Former San Manuel Tribal Chairman JAMES RAMOS Wins County Supervisor Seat

Congratulations to James Ramos, of the San Manuel Tribe, in winning his election to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry has conceded to James Ramos, former San Manuel tribal chairman, for the Board of Supervisors' third district seat.
As of 8:15 p.m., Ramos was leading Derry, according to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office.

Derry, who was elected in 2008, said as of 9 p.m. it was clear he wouldn't be serving another four years behind the dais.

"It's hard to make up 7,000 votes. I wish James the best," Derry said. "He can do better than Obama. Anybody can."

Mary Bono Mack Headed Towards Defeat. Fauxcahontas ELECTED in MA.

36th Congressional District
Raul Ruiz (D) 57,202 votes 50.4%
Mary Bono Mack (R) 56,371 votes 49.6%  

Her comments about Native Americans hurt her chances here.   Meanwhile  MA voters shrugged of the Democratic candidates using her "fake" Indian status to get ahead and elected her over incumbent Scott Brown.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Democratic Party Operatives Harm Native Americans

A repost from an earlier post. Showing what leaders of the Native American Caucus Democratic Party, Andrew Masiel and Mark Macarro, husband of former Democratic Party operative Holly Cook Macarro have done to their people KCBS Channel 2 reporter CRISTY FAJARDO reports on disenrollment for greed and power tonight.

Pay special attention as to how WEAK the responses are from the two tribal chairmen, Mark Macarro and Robert Smith!

Here is the video:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fake Indian Elizabeth Warren Holds a Rally and NOBODY SHOWS

Epic FAIL on the part of Elizabeth Warren supporters. Let's hope voters fail to show up on election day.

Friday, November 2, 2012

San Pasqual Desendents Seek Recognition.

Shonta Chaloux, 38, grew up on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation. He has served in tribal administrative positions and is a descendant of San Pasqual people — but he is not a formal member of the tribe. Chaloux is one of about 150 people, often called “lineals,” who were born to tribal members but don’t have sufficient “blood of the band” to belong in the tribe. San Pasqual laws say that only people with one-eighth San Pasqual Indian blood can be enrolled.

 The 200-member San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians owns the Valley View Casino and Hotel in Valley Center. Membership in the tribe means people are eligible to vote in tribal elections, run for tribal office and receive tribal benefits, including casino stipends of about $8,000 a month.

 Chaloux, who prefers to be called a “direct descendant” rather than lineal (a term he considers derogatory), said what matters to him is having a voice in his tribe’s affairs. “Imagine being a part of a city and a community for so many years and walking into a city hall meeting because something is going to affect your neighborhood and they tell you, ‘you can’t come in,’” Chaloux said. “Your vote, your voice don’t matter. You’re an illegal. That’s essentially what they are telling us.” With the help and financial assistance of some enrolled tribal members, Chaloux and others like him have hired a lawyer to help them gather documents and enroll in the tribe. They say that errors in the records have caused their blood status to be calculated incorrectly.

 If those errors are corrected, many of the group will be eligible to be admitted into the tribe, Chaloux said. Disputes about who belongs in American Indian tribes have gained much attention recently, but many of the disputes have been going on for years, even decades. They often trace their roots to incomplete and inconsistent records kept by tribes and the federal government. In San Pasqual, the group that wants into the tribe says that records have been manipulated to enroll some individuals and exclude others.

 Huumaay Quiquis, an enrolled San Pasqual tribal member, is helping the group in their efforts. He and others say that the tribe’s chairman, Allen Lawson, does not belong in San Pasqual but has helped other families enroll. Last year, Quisquis filed an enrollment challenge with the tribe’s enrollment committee, saying the chairman and his family are the descendants of people who were not from San Pasqual and should be removed from the tribe.

 The enrollment challenge, signed by Quisquis and nine other tribal members, alleges that Lawson is the descendant of Frank Trask, a white man who was hired to be caretaker of the San Pasqual reservation in 1910, and his wife, Leonora LaChappa, an Indian woman from the Mesa Grande tribe. Lawson declined a request for an interview. “That’s their opinion, and they have a right to speak,” Lawson said regarding the enrollment challenge. “I have nothing to say about it.” Quisquis said the enrollment committee told him it could do nothing about the challenge because the tribe has a moratorium on all enrollment and disenrollment matters.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

HOOPA TRIBE Banishes Convicted Drug Dealer Pechanga Welcomes Felons

Pechanga, Pala and Redding kick out lifetime members and allows druggies and child molesters, Hoopa banishes one who harmed the tribe.  

“This is the center of the world for Hupa people,” says Jones, whom everybody call Arty. “This is where the creator put us. We’re as much a part of here as that tree over there, or that river over there.”
With his dark eyes still fixated on the sweep of land, the 58-year-old Hupa tribal member vows to never leave. It’s his home forever, he says.
But he doesn’t have a choice.
Jones was convicted of felony drug charges late last year in Humboldt County Superior Court. Last week, the Hoopa Valley Tribe banished Jones through Title 5, its controversial exclusion ordinance. He’s been ordered to leave the reservation and to never come back. If he won’t go voluntarily, tribal police will swing by, slap cold handcuffs on his wrists and escort him over the boundary. Where to? It doesn’t matter. Just not here.    
Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman Leonard Masten Jr. promised to clean up the valley’s drug problem — particularly methamphetamine, a drug that plagues reservations across the country — when he successfully campaigned for the position in 2009. He’s already kicked out one non-tribal resident since being elected, and has enforced strict pre-employment drug testing for all tribal employees. Forcing people to pee in a cup and exiling drug dealers has made him both a loved and loathed figure in Hoopa.
Jones has some unusual supporters for a notorious and self-acknowledged drug dealer. Even Masten’s predecessor, Lyle Marshall, is staunchly against the banishment. Jones contends that Masten and the tribe illegally alt

Friday, October 26, 2012

Online Poker Group Breaks UP Amid Infighting

The battle for online poker regulation in California has taken a step back as the organization that was helping to drive legislation has disbanded amid infighting among its members.
The California Online Poker Association, a venture between the different card rooms, horse tracks and Indian casinos in the Golden State, seems to have closed its doors according to reports over Twitter by Victor Rocha, the editor of  (Victor Rocha is the cousin of the despicable despot, Mark Macarro, who led the disenrollment of 25% of his tribe, in order to steal their per capita checks)
 Last night, the website for COPA,, was officially shut down by the group (visiting the site today leads to an announcement that the “domain name expired on October 22” and apparently wasn’t renewed), leading Rocha to Tweet to his followers, “COPA is toast, as if you couldn’t tell that already.”
According to Rocha, (whose sight rarely mentions any negative aspects of the Pechanga Tribe, such as the violations of civil and human rights)  COPA began to unravel due to the myriad of groups that comprised it. While legislation in California regarding regulation of the industry has moved slowly, a recent rewrite of a proposed bill, State Senator Rod Wright‘s SB 1463, seemed to be moving forward with giving exclusive rights to Indian tribes, thereby closing out such card rooms as the Commerce Casino and the Bicycle Casino and horse racing facilities such as Hollywood Park out of the business. The push by the Indian tribes for this exclusivity seems to have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” inside the walls of COPA.
Rocha broke the news initially that the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians would be withdrawing from COPA, which sent things spiraling even further. Following the departure of the San Manuel tribe, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, one of the strongest members of the coalition, announced that they would also be abandoning COPA. “I’ve known about San Manuel since G2E (the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas), Morongo’s departure was predictable,” Rocha noted over Twitter.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paul Ryan's Budget Won't Cut BIA and IHS Says Rep. Tom Cole

In an interview with Indian Country Today U.S. Rep Tom Cole clears up misconceptions.

What do you make of the August report by the Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee that said Representative Paul Ryan’s budget would cut $375 million from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and $637 million from the Indian Health Service (IHS)?

 They’re trying to make something partisan that’s not partisan. Their numbers are totally fallacious.

These guys don’t have to make up numbers; they can look at real numbers. If they want to know what the Ryan budget means in Indian country, they ought to just look at what the House has done under the Ryan budget in 2011 and 2012, and what it would propose doing in 2013. If they looked at both IHS and BIA, they’d find that in each of those years House Republicans actually appropriated more for both than the Obama administration even requested. This idea that a Ryan budget means cuts in Indian programs is simply not true. We have evidence that while it lowers overall government spending, it also allows us to reprioritize where the money goes.

And on the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior and Environment, where I sit, there’s a bipartisan commitment to increasing funding in Indian country well beyond what the White House has asked for. We have a lot of people on both sides of the aisle who recognize the Indian country has been historically underfunded.

Read more at the link above

Monday, October 22, 2012

Russell Means, Activist for Native American, Moves On at 72

It's a shame that many in the Native American community have harmed so many of their own, and it's equally shameful that Native Americans have not stood up for themselves as Russell did.

Russell Means spent a lifetime as a modern American Indian warrior. He railed against broken treaties, fought for the return of stolen land and even took up arms against the federal government.
A onetime leader of the American Indian Movement, he called national attention to the plight of impoverished tribes and often lamented the waning of Indian culture. After leaving the movement in the 1980s, the handsome, braided activist was still a cultural presence, appearing in several movies.
Means, who died Monday from throat cancer at age 72, helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee—a bloody confrontation that raised America's awareness about the struggles of Indians and gave rise to a wider protest movement that lasted for the rest of the decade.
Before AIM, there were few national advocates for American Indians. Means was one of the first to emerge. He sought to restore Indians' pride in their culture and to challenge a government that had paid little attention to tribes in generations. He was also one of the first to urge sports teams to do away with Indian names and mascots.
"No one except Hollywood stars and very rich Texans wore Indian jewelry," Means said, recalling the early days of the movement. And there were dozens, if not hundreds, of athletic teams "that in essence were insulting us, from grade schools to college. That's all changed.

Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Means grew up in the San Francisco area and battled drugs and alcohol as a young man before becoming an early leader of AIM.
With his rugged good looks and long, dark braids, he also was known for a handful of Hollywood roles, most notably in the 1992 movie "The Last of the Mohicans," in which he portrayed Chingachgook alongside Daniel Day-Lewis' Hawkeye.
He also appeared in the 1994 film "Natural Born Killers," voiced Chief Powhatan in the 1995 animated film "Pocahontas" and guest starred in 2004 on the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Agua Caliente Tribe Criticizes Mary Bono Mack for Offensive Comments

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. —The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians today issued the
following statement from Tribal Council Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe in response to recent media
reports surrounding the campaign for the 36th congressional district in California:

“The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has maintained a respectful relationship with all of
our local legislators, including Rep. Mary Bono Mack. The Coachella Valley is home to several
Tribes and a great number of Native Americans, including members of the Agua Caliente.

“For these reasons, we were offended that Rep. Bono Mack described past protests by her
opponent on behalf of Native Americans as ‘radical’ and ‘anti-American.’ This is an outrageous
and unacceptable insult to all Native Americans, including those who live in the district she
represents here in the Coachella Valley.

“We are not endorsing either candidate at this time. However, we call on Rep. Bono Mack to
unequivocally repudiate this attempt to portray standing up for Native Americans as somehow

NOW, if we could get a comment like this from ACBCI on the actions of tribes like PALA and Pechanga that have seriously harmed their own communities, rather than just offending them.

For more information about the Tribe online, please visit  And ASK them to stand up for Native Americans that have suffered actual harm.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cherokee Freedmen Case Heads Back to District Court

This week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will be the latest venue to hear arguments in the Cherokee Freedmen citizenship dispute—the ongoing legal battle over whether descendants of liberated Cherokee-owned slaves should be entitled to tribal citizenship rights in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
The debate has lingered in and out of the courts for decades. Thursday, October 18th will be the latest legal round for Vann, et al v. Salazar, a nine-year-old federal suit filed by a Cherokee Freedwoman against the Secretary of the Department of Interior.
At issue is whether the Cherokee Freedmen—a term used by today’s descendants— are guaranteed “all the rights of Native Cherokees,” including tribal citizenship. Those words were included in the last treaty signed between the tribe and the U.S. government when the Cherokee freed their slaves and made them citizens of the tribe at the end of the Civil War.
The Cherokee Nation has long-contested that the Treaty of 1866, as its known, no longer applies to the Cherokee Freedmen of today. Meanwhile, as a sovereign Indian nation, tribal leaders assert that only it has the right to determine its own citizenry. But the Department of the Interior—the federal agency that oversees tribal matters—contends the tens of thousands of African-American progeny of former Cherokee-owned slaves are owed their treaty rights just as their American Indian counterparts have reclaimed over time.

Vann v. Salazar will return to the D.C. Circuit court where it was argued in 2008. From that hearing, a three-judge panel unanimously remanded the case back to the D.C. District Court. Last October, U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. dismissed the suit altogether based on the issue of sovereign immunity—the legal doctrine protecting federally recognized tribes, such as the Cherokee Nation, from being sued in U.S. Court. Attorney’s for the Cherokee Freedmen appealed the case in November. 

Cherokee Freedwoman Marilyn Vann filed the lawsuit nearly a decade ago after she was denied the right to vote in the 2003 tribal election. Today, she is one of roughly 2,800 former slave descendants temporarily enrolled in the tribe. Figures predict there are anywhere from 20,000 to 120,000 mostly African-American individuals who would be eligible for tribal citizenship should Vann win her case.
Critics of the Cherokee Freedmen have implied the group are merely ethnic opportunists seeking to gain access to a host of entitlement programs linked to low-to-no cost healthcare, college scholarships, housing assistance and Cherokee-preference employment.
In 2009, the Cherokee Nation filed its own lawsuit against five Cherokee Freedmen in Cherokee Nation v. Nash. That case is pending in the Northern District Court of Oklahoma in Tulsa.


Pala Tribe: Okay to DUMP Members, But Not Trash

After dumping many of their members like so much trash,the Pala Band of Mission Indians plans to hold a rally Saturday opposing the construction of the Gregory Canyon landfill near its reservation.

Tribal leaders oppose the dump because it would be located in an area they consider sacred. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 833, which would have prohibited the construction. The construction permit process is underway.

Shasta Gaughen, the tribe’s environmental department director, said the tribe wants to use the rally as a way to educate the public. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pala Youth Camp, 10779 Pala Road.

“The main message of the rally is that the fight to stop the Gregory Canyon landfill is not over and there are many opportunities coming up for the public to declare their opposition,” Gaughen said.

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Army Corps of Engineers are expected to release information regarding the permits for public comment over the coming months, Gaughen said. Proponents said the landfill project is well regulated and will create high-paying jobs.

The project is proposed on 308 acres south of Highway 76 and about 3 1/2 miles east of Interstate 15 near Pala. The dump would be 208 acres and is part of 1,700 acres owned by Gregory Canyon Ltd.

SB 833 would have prohibited the construction of a landfill within 1,000 feet of a site considered sacred to a tribe or within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River or an aquifer connected to it.

In explaining his veto, Brown said he was conflicted with the project, but that he did not believe the Legislature should intervene and overturn this local land-use decision.

See for more on Pala's disenrollments.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Website: Susan Bradford's Conservative Scoops

One of the best things about running your own blog, is you can help friends out.  Investigative reporter Susan Bradford, who has helped promote tribal issues including disenrollment and the author of the book on Jack Abramoff LYNCHED, has launched a new website.

Conservative Scoops is that site. PLEASE take a quick look.

If you are conservative, you may like it, if you aren't, you may not. Either way, let her know.

Another Crack in The Tribal Sovereignty Dam: IRS Allowed to See Miccosukee Tribe's Financials

The Internal Revenue Service is allowed to look at a Florida Indian tribe's financial records as part of an investigation into gambling profits, a federal appeals panel ruled Monday.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS can subpoena banks for the records, despite the Miccosukee tribe's claims that it is protected by sovereign immunity.

The tribe is based in the Everglades west of Miami. The IRS is investigating whether federal tax withholding and reporting requirements were met for gambling profits distributed to 600 members of the tribe from 2006 to 2009.

The tribe itself does not have to pay taxes under federal law, but it does have to deduct and withhold income taxes from gambling revenues that are paid to tribal members.

The tribe failed to comply with its tax obligations from 2000 to 2005, according to the judges' ruling, which led the IRS to also investigate finances from 2006 to 2009. The tax agency subpoenaed the documents from four different banks because the tribe had refused to hand over the records, the judges said.

Tribal officials also had argued that the records would reveal confidential financial information and force them to change their banking practices to keep money on the reservation. The judges rejected that argument, noting that the Miccosukees gave the information to the banks. That made the records property of the banks, not the tribe, the judges said.

The decision upholds a lower court ruling.

The tribe has previously acknowledged that at least 100 Miccosukee members owe the IRS more than $25 million in back taxes, penalties and interest. The broader investigation likely involves much more money.

The Miccosukees sued their former chairman, Billy Cypress, arguing he stole $26 million in gambling profits for his lavish lifestyle. That lawsuit argues that two former U.S. attorneys conspired with Cypress to hide the theft. All three men deny the allegations.

REMEMBER IRS:  Pechanga in Temecula has more mailboxes than people living on the Rez..

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ailing Lehman Brightman, Founder of United Native Americans, Seeks Help After Stroke

Perhaps Tribes that have benefitted from Dr. Brightman's activism can help.

Native American activist Lehman Brightman, founder of the United Native Americans (UNA) 

and his son, Quanah Parker Brightman, are facing foreclo
sure on their family home and seeking financial help. Lehman is currently in the care of rehabilitation center in California after suffering a serious stroke.

“He is not able to walk,” said Quanah.

According to Quanah, his father will not be allowed to leave the rehabilitation center until the financial debt on their home is settled.

“He should be allowed to live his final days among his family at his home,” Quanah said.

A website has been set up to accept donations to help the family save their home which is scheduled to be auctioned off Nov. 9 if the family is unable to make their payments.

“We’ve still got a long way to go,” Quanah said.

The UNA was founded by Lehman in the ’60s and was based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

“We have always been about peace. We believe in activism through pro-indigenous education,” Quanah said.

Lehman, who is both Muscogee (Creek) and Sioux, grew up in Eufaula and had many athletic accomplishments while attending Oklahoma State University before becoming politically active.

“My father is a very strong willed man; he has been very humble about his accomplishments,” Quanah said.

Quanah says he is working hard to care for Lehman while running the UNA and seeking help for the family’s home.

“The love I have for my father is carried out through actions, not just words. As indigenous people we are taught at a very early age to respect our elders and that’s what I’ve chosen to do,” Quanah said.

Quanah and his father received positive news when their bank gave them an extension to settle their back mortgage payments.

However, according to Quanah, his family is still far from their goal to keep their home from auction next month.

“We still have a long way to go,” he said.

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