It has been discussed that tribal disenrollments in Indian Country is nothing short of genocide of families. It's nothing compared to the horrors in Rwanda or Armenia of last century, however, tribes are eliminating large percentages of their people. Just recently, The Pala Band of Mission Indians in N. San Diego County eliminated 154 people, taking a cue from their relatives and neighbors at Pechanga.
The Picayune Rancheria, near Fresno, eliminated almost 70% of their tribe, and STILL Fresno State University accepted money from the tribe for their linguistics program! Pechanga at about 25%. The Redding Rancheria even terminated the family of their FIRST Tribal Chairman, Robert Foreman. Tribes are small, so when you phrase it as 400 people, it doesn't sound so bad, if you equate that to say, 8 MILLION Californians or 78 MILLION Americans, you'd get a truer picture. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has done the same with their Freedmen population, and I'm sure many readers would be surprised to know the Cherokee took their SLAVES on the Trail of Tears, dragging them as property..
We've taken an article from Genocide Watch that details the stages of genocide and used them to illustrate what went on at the Pechanga Reservation in Temecula California, the tribe is led by Mark Macarro. There is an urgent need for the enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act.
Please check out the links as the provide additional information.
From GenocideWatch.org: Genocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable (unalterable). At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The process is not linear. Logically, later stages must be preceded by earlier stages. But all stages continue to operate throughout the process.
1.Classification: The Pechanga Enrollment committee claimed that Hunter Family was from a different set of Temecula Indians, not Pechanga. Pechanga claimed the Manuela Miranda (Manuelas) descendents had broken ties to the reservation, even though they served on tribal government committees. They are not us, they are "them" or "those people". They similary marked people in the moratorium. saying they "didn't belong" or there were too many of them.
2. Symbolization: Rather than calling Hunters and Manuela’s Pechanga, they claimed Hunter’s were “San Luis Rey” because one relation put that on a census form, disregarding the fact that so many other families did the same thing. San Luis Rey and Luiseno meant the same thing. The separatists claimed that Manuela Miranda wasn’t Pechanga anymore, as she cut her ties to the tribe as a FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD. Her mother died and she had to move in with an older relative who just happened to be Candarlaria Nesecat Flores, whose descendants are still in the tribe. Flores was NEVER listed on ANY Census in the 1800’s, as Paulina Hunter was. This disenrollment was targeted because of the numbers of voters, and because their family stood up for what was right, namely the enrollment of rightful members.
3. Dehumanization: The separatist group Concerned Pechanga People (CPP) issued flyers saying Manuelas and Hunters were trying to “take over the tribe”. Which means they didn’t like the way we voted or rather, couldn’t control the votes. Hunters and Manuelas were no longer “We”, but “THEM”. “THEY” don’t belong. Hunters had been living on the reservation DECADES before chairman Macarro was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA.
4. Organization: The CPP, includes adopted member Butch Murphy and gadfly Ed Burbee, pushed for disenrollments. Murphy had previously tried to splinter the tribe. Burbee was concerned about increasing his income from the stolen per capita. Mark Macarro, stacked the enrollment committee with those pro-disenrollment families, even allowing families to be brought up out of turn, so that more enrollment committee members could vote for disenrollment. Families who were cleared from disenrollment out of the order the cases were taken were cleared by only three members of the enrollment committee, less than a legal quorum of the committee so they were never lawfully cleared. Mark Macarro also overruled the will of the people, claiming a lawful petition was invalid. The BIA should suspend recognition of the tribe for violations of federally approved Tribal Constitution.
5. Polarization: The CPP pushed for disenrollment with numerous flyers, saying Hunters were trying to "take over" the tribe and with vocal shouts at meeting of “you don’t belong here” even though Hunters had an allotment from 1890’s when the reservation was created and vaunted elder Antonio Ashman’s sworn deposition stated he knew Paulina Hunter as a tribal member. The tribe believed Ashman about the eviction of 1875, but did NOT believe him about Paulina Hunter, whom he KNEW personally. The Macarro-led tribal council did nothing to stop the tactics, not using the “bully pulpit” to bring the tribe together. They preferred the separatist view, because it meant more money for them.
6. Preparation: The enrollment committee forced all Hunter paperwork to be certified, yet accepted handwritten notes, not notarized as evidence against the family. They refused to answer when questioned if there was anything missing or were there any other evidence against us. They paid the highly respected anthropologist John Johnson to trace Paulina Hunter’s ancestry and he proved Paulina Hunter was Pechanga. They did not use his report. There was a quid pro quo with enrollment committee member Bobbi LeMere, enrolling members of her family, despite a moratorium on enrollment. They built a case to fit a pre-determined outcome.
7. Extermination: Macarro’s goal was to wipe the opposition votes out, to control his chairmanship. Extermination of families was no big deal to this man, who was a member of the Democratic Party’s platform committee. While the genocide against the Manuela’s and Hunters is "paper genocide" the reality is there. His goal was to make sure the Manuela’s and Hunters no longer exist as Pechanga. We lost all voting rights, right to attend and speak at meetings, health benefits, educational assistance, per capita distribution, elder assistance. Tribal members, who get a huge per capita check per month (As high as $30,500 at one point)that went up each time families were disenrolled still get benefits from the federal government that they don’t even need, but we who need those benefits cannot get them because we were disenrolled.
8. Denial: Macarro had stated that there would be “no more disenrollments” after the Manuela Mirandas were terminated. He also said “what goes on in the tribe is no business of the white man”. He claimed it was “not about the money” yet the total lost to terminated members is over $250 Million. Lost to terminated members, means “found” by those remaining. He claimed that all parties had due process, when if fact, we were herded into groups, denied writing implements, denied attorneys, denied copies of charges and denied the right to question our accusers. We were given 30 minutes to appeal and again were forced into groups. While not the ovens of Nazi Germany, the implications were clear, we were exterminated.
Disenrollment is PAPER GENOCIDE.
Adapted from a 2009 post...
I'm surprised no one has commented on this yet. Great article! I like how you break down and analyze each stage in the process - like analyzing the elements of a tort!
A lot of people still don't realize what it means to be disenrolled. It's not just a loss of tangible or pecuniary benefits. It's a loss of political and racial identity. The fact that Congress has turned a blind eye to Indian Country for so long is reprehensible.
You mention Ed Burbe in #4. He constantly said he would not be happy till he get's more money even if he has to get another family disenrolled. So his CPP Club funded a trip for him to D.C National Archives to dig up dirt on the Hunter family to have them removed from the Tribe and get their share of Casino per capita! But all he was able to find was Certified Documents verifying that Paulina Hunter was a Full Blooded Temecula/Pechanga Alloted Indian!
So Ed Burbe, Laura Miranda and Little John put together the reasons to disenroll the Hunter Family. The 3 old lady blind mice on the enrollment committee can't even read let alone write. Thanks Bobby Lemere for turning the Hunter docs over to the the legal dept. Well they could have thought of a better reason to disenroll the Hunters..."an 18 yr old grandson of Paulina Hunter said: San Luis Rey"...Come on...well, well, just look at Burbe's and Miranda and Macarro's and etc...1/2 the Pechanga Tribe's 1928 apps say San Luis Rey. Good job guys you just set yourselves up to be disenrolled in the future when phony adopted members want more $$$$$$$$.
There are numerous issues that evolve with disenrollment or not being enrolled in a tribe. Individuals who are not enrolled in his/her tribe or have been disenrolled deal with many setbacks in the development of Native American rights. Some of the current issues are:
1. Lack of Rights
The individual who is not recognized by his/her tribe face little to no representation under their tribal law or federal government (i.e. Indian Child Welfare Act) so they do not have fair representation under the law. This can range from social, economic, and political issues.
2. College seat opportunities
Affirmative Action does not apply to those Native American individuals who are not enrolled in his/her tribe. So, when a Native American applicant is applying for his/her degree program, they are most likely competing in a much larger pool of applicants than as the minority applicant.
3. College Scholarship
For a minority scholarship, a Native American applicant must either be enrolled in his/her tribe or have a certain blood quantum. If his/her tribe does not recognize the Native American individual, then the Native American applicant will not be eligible for the scholarship. If there is a certain blood quantum requirement, then they must meet those guidelines.
A Native American applicant who is not enrolled in his/her tribe does not fall under the “Indian Preference Act” for the job position. Statistically, Native Americans have a higher unemployment rate among the national average.
5. Tribal Recognition & Loss of Ancestry
Disenrollment or no enrollment in a tribe is a huge set back for the tribe and the Native American. This dwindles the tribe’s unity as well as future of sustainability of that tribe.
If there are any more current issues, then it would beneficial to hear the other points, and debates in order to get a fuller perspective on the issue.
"So Ed Burbe, Laura Miranda and Little John put together the reasons to disenroll the Hunter Family. The 3 old lady blind mice on the enrollment committee can't even read let alone write. Thanks Bobby Lemere for turning the Hunter docs over to the the legal dept. Well they could have thought of a better reason to disenroll the Hunters..."an 18 yr old grandson of Paulina Hunter said: San Luis Rey"...Come on...well, well, just look at Burbe's and Miranda and Macarro's and etc...1/2 the Pechanga Tribe's 1928 apps say San Luis Rey. Good job guys you just set yourselves up to be disenrolled in the future when phony adopted members want more $$$$$$$$."
And another thing, because of the John Johnson report on the ancestry of Paulina Hunter, commissioned by the enrollment committee, we found out from a section in the report about the Hunters connection to other Pechanga families that Mark Macarro's ancestor Juan Macarro was not Pechanga but was from Pauma, another local Luiseno tribe.
Macarros connection to the Pechanga tribe is actually through Juan's second wife who he married while living at Pechanga in the 1890s. That second wife, Isabel Tapia, just so happens to be a member of the same clan as Paulina Hunter so Macarro is actually a member of our, the Hunters, clan so if we don't belong, then neither does he!
I do believe that Macarro is legitimately Pechanga so of course it follows that we are also legitimately Pechanga.
Could it be that the people who wanted us out know that Macarro has connections to the Hunters and that he does their bidding because he has been told that he and his family could be next?
I think this was the similar point made about Chairman Robert Smith's lineage, or even that of Vice Chairman Leroy Miranda over at Pala. They do in fact hold ties to the tribes moved to Pala, but do they meet the 1/16th requirement that they as a tribe set out in the tribal constitution and by-laws? Do their children? I do not know.
The BIA has plenty of paperwork and on any family member of any reservation in California but some records were poorly kept. The trick is to look at the documentation objectively.
Now the corrupt use past corruptions to disenroll. They see an opportunity and take it, all in an effort to profit themselves.
When I see the t.v. interview all I think is that is is obvious that the tribal government is not interested in protecting the integrity of the tribe, it's dishonorable to disenroll tribal members, more so without due process of law.
I believe that if Robert Smith at Pala signed the documentation agreeing that the Margarita Brittain descendents were accepted as directed by the Acting Assistant Secretary of the interior in 1989, that he should not renege on his own approval or agreement with that ruling.
Wow... clearly put...
Disenrolled Elders are no longer eligible for their Elders lunches. Do they care if that was their only meal? Obviously not, I hope those greedy ones get what is coming to them soon.
I totally agree, DISENROLLING elders is not not, for they are the TRIBE! They taught the laugauge, songs, gathering of foods, they are the BACK BONE OF THE TRIBE. Chukchansi's are WRONG for all they stand for!! Look at Reggie Lewis, for all the WRONG he is doing. He CAN'T EVEN STAND UP OR WALK!!! It's coming back to HIM!! and who's next!!!!
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