Cathy Cory has been fighting to have her rights restored in the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. The most recent plague of tribal disenrollment at that reservation has led to some interesting developments over who as "for disenrollment, before he was against it" The Sierra Star News has been generous in their reporting, and granting space for opinion on disenrollment. Here's part of that editorial:
I do find interesting the statements of newly elected tribal council member Harrold Hammond who I am related to as our great-great grandmothers were sisters down the Hawa lineage of the tribe. He has referred to recent disenrollments as "treason against your own people." This is a great contrast to his words in 2008 when he was on the council as quoted by journalist Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle.
"We didn't disenroll anybody. We just corrected our paperwork," he said referring to the 600 people who are no longer members.
Quite a leap in philosophy, wouldn't you say?
I respect Harrold Hammond as an elder and a spiritual leader of our Chukchansi people. I love him as my blood, as my relation and as a survivor of what has been propagated against our people since the arrival of the Europeans on Turtle Island so long ago.
However, he as well as current tribal council members Morris Reid and Dora Jones, and additional in-coming tribal council member Dixie Jackson, must take responsibility for what has happened and is continuing to happen within our tribe in regard to disenrollment.
All were seated at council in 2006 when more than 500 of our people were dismembered.All have their signatures affixed to documents disenrolling these individuals.
If the 2006 council, including the individuals now crying "foul" had stood for all of the Chukchansi people at that time, what is occurring today would never have come to be. They are responsible ... just as responsible as Reggie Lewis, Jennifer Stanley, Chance Alberta and Nancy Ayala are today. It began with the councils of 2005-2006, of which they were a part.
I also see parallels in what is occurring in regards to documents possibly being taken from the Picayune tribal offices by Reggie Lewis, Chase Alberta and Jennifer Stanley. Indeed, documents were taken by the Wyatt Ramirez families in the early 1990s and this did result in missing documentation which the 2006 council utilized to remove the 500 members of the tribe without regard to the fact it was impossible to recreate the files.
As Harrold said back then to the Chronicle, they "corrected their paperwork"... knowing full well that many stolen and missing records of legitimate tribal people could never be restored.
Read the full opinion at: Sierra Star News