Monday, March 19, 2012

Terminated Pala Members Sue Federal Government. Pala Acted OUTSIDE their Constitution. BIA Wrong to Accept New Constitution without Election

Edward Sifuentes from the North County Times has the details of what happens when a tribe strips the citizenship from their people

A woman with a blood disease lost her health insurance, a young woman starting college could lose her scholarship, a man could lose his job and a woman with a newborn baby could lose her home.

All these and many other hardships were the results of the Pala Band of Mission Indians' decision to remove more than 160 people from its tribe, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this month.

The lawsuit is asking the Bureau of Indian Affairs to step in and restore the former Pala members' benefits, including the estimated $150,000 a year in casino revenues that go to each member; health insurance coverage; and their ability to participate in tribal government.

Escondido attorneys Thor Emblem and Tracy Emblem filed the lawsuit March 5 on behalf of about 60 former members of the Pala tribe.

The attorneys declined to comment on the case.

The families "will suffer immediate and irreparable harm and request immediate action to restore their ... tribal benefits while their appeal of the (tribe's) actions are pending review by the Bureau of Indian Affairs," the lawsuit states.

Last year, the Pala tribe, which owns a large casino and resort near Fallbrook, removed from its membership rolls eight people who were descendants of a woman named Margarita Brittain, saying they did not have sufficient Pala heritage to belong in the tribe.

Earlier this year, the tribe expelled an additional 154 people who were also Brittain descendants.

After an appeal, the Bureau of Indian Affairs recommended that the first eight people be allowed back into the tribe. Pala has not said whether it plans to honor the BIA's recommendation.

In court documents, the 60 people say they were illegally kicked out. They argue that the tribe illegally changed its constitution in 1997 without holding an election allowing all tribal members an opportunity to vote on the new constitution.

One of the changes in the constitution was that the tribe's executive council, a five-member panel, could remove individuals from the tribe. People expelled from the tribe can appeal to the BIA, but the federal agency can only recommend whether to allow people back in.

Under the previous rules, the BIA was the final arbiter on membership disputes, according to court documents.

The attorneys argue in their lawsuit that the BIA was wrong to accept the new constitution without an election.

BIA officials could not be reached for comment. OP: Does BIA want fewer Indians?


Anonymous said...

Thats a screw up by the pala tribe because even if it allows the BIA to recommend , this would (allow the court to bring in IGRA) and in force it.....If the BIA is stating they should be back in ,,,,SLAM them with IGRA .

PUT the per capita in escrow while dealing with this case.

speaker of truth said...

Good luck to all those who have been put into this unfortunate position by robert smith,leroy miranda,dion perez,teresa nieto.These people have put the future of the Tribe in jeopardy and for what reason,hatred,envy,spite,greed?

smokeybear said...

Of course they want fewer Indians. The government has always wanted fewer Indians from the "Get Go," and even if they don't want to admit it...."It's the Government." From the "Days of Old" till the present, they have no use for the "Native American Indian." They have put a bounty on Indians in the early days, stolen their land, and rounded up all the others and put on reservations of worthless land. Oh, they will "Tolerate the Casino Indians" for there's $$$ to be made. And that is what it's all about...."$$$$!" And, as usual, the "Opressed Native American Indian" has no chance of "Justice" because there is no $$$$ to be made.

Anonymous said...

They think that their money can buy them influence and power with U.S. Government, but there is one small problem, the Government do not view native people as one of there own and the stupid Indians who think like them and act like them will feel the heavy hand of burden when they are finished using them, they have done this in the past and they will continue to do this. these idiots are so blind with greed and Greedy people always fail in the end. Give it time, just look at Mark, he looks like he is ill, maybe it is his conscious eating him alive.

Anonymous said...

Robert Smith and his crew of cowardly haters feel they are above the law and no one can touch them when they destroy the lives of innocent Elders and children for no reason. With that kind of attitude, what are they doing with the Tribe's gaming revenues? We know they hand the "blood money" over to politicians. These politicians need to be told what kind of low people they are getting the money from. Where was Elmets when Smith talked to the LA Times reporter? Is Elmets losing control over what Smith is saying?

Anonymous said...

Mark is in deeper than he ever thought he would have to go. The lies and misinformation he and his wife’s consulting firm continue to spread will be his downfall. Lying to cover up your desperate attempt to change history will backfire on you Mark like nothing you ever expected. Your brother John, has used the tribes sovereignty to shield you and corruption as you falsify the tribes history and allow corruption to flow through and you paint your lies in a corner. The Pechanga legal department assisted the corruption with written documents that will continue to be presented to lawmakers as proof that Pechanga does not follow custom and tradition, and legally has used government positions to try and erase family lines who do not agree with the corrupt factions of the Pechanga Indian reservation. One of the biggest mistakes you have made is allowing the use of the Legal department to send out a memo saying that the tribes General membership cannot determine membership issues, when you know how your friend sitting next to you on the council had to go to the General membership and ask to be adopted according to custom and tradition. Allowing corrupt information to be used to follow through on illegal actions of elected officials is serious and you yourself know that written documents will erase any thing you say to the contrary. Jennie will be facing embezzlement charges, will you be next?

Anonymous said...

Are they all kicking members out to try to catch up to the San Manuel per capita $?

Anonymous said...

If all of the tribes cut way back on their cumulative massive per capita expenditures and invested heavily in non-gaming ventures, they could easily rule the world. No joke! So sad that some tribes are kicking out their own family so they can have a few extra dollars in their pocket.

justiceforpaladisenrolled said...

The members of Pala who were not disenrolled got raises this month on their per capita checks. They got a $1000.00 raise. In January the tribe gave all members a cut of $500.00 a month. So really $1000.00 is actually only $500.00 more than they were getting in December so they got a $500.00 raise in reality.

Let me ask you this...154 members were disenrolled in February. Take their per capita each month and the aproximate cost of their insurance (i figured very low at $250 a month) is a monthly savings(not including what they paid in taxes) for the tribe is of about 1.3 million dollars a month. They gave the remaining 700 some (we will use 800 for this purpose) a 500.00 raise each month for a total of $400,000. Even if we use the $1000.00 it is still only $800,000. What is the tribe doing with the remaining money? Is it going into Mr. Smiths pocket?? or maybe being used to replace missing funds??

Just something for you all to think about

Anonymous said...



Justiceforpaladisenrolled said...

Anonymous... who called me a liar...maybe you should reread my comment above.. I NEVER said 10000.00 I said 1000.00 so before you call someone a liar please make sure you have your facts straight (not strait) thank you and have a great day!!!

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Robert Smith did not disenroll all descendants, but he did not release a list. only one name of the 28 saved would help the case against the idea of it being about blood quantum. There is talk that they have another list of disenrollees, they are waiting for that family's elder to die. Little by little the members will get smaller, but so will the amount of people going to the casino and the entertainment is already showing a downgrade in performers. The disenrollments will destroy the reservations while Howard Dickstein and others make millions and steal the heritage from the people. It is a sad thing, but it will happen. The FBI is starting investigations, follow the money and the corrupt will be caught.

justiceforpaladisenrolled said...

I hope Robert Smith is investigated and charges brought against him and his corrupt Exectutive Committee. You say there is a rumor 28 people who are same blood as the 162 who were disenrolled? Must be Smith and Miranda's family is my guess!!! BIA needs to stop saying they can't get involved and fix this problem.

Anonymous said...

I agree, and yes they originally sent out 190 letters of blood degree in question, but they disenrolled 162, who are the ones saved?, Robert's wife is a descendant, so it is probably on her side of family. That proves that it has nothing to do with the blood. It is really Leroy Miranda who started the whole thing, maybe because he saw Pechanga do it. There is so much involved, drugs, money, sex. It is really sad to see them take this turn of evil. Supposedly Pala is a dumping ground for nitrous oxide cartridges and computer dust cans, cause you can't throw it in the trash there, so the people throw it out their windows of their cars. Someone should put a hunting camera on a tree nearby to catch them at it. I heard the main culprit is Robert's daughter, but I do not know. All I know is that to be that evil something else has to be going on that they are trying to hide.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to share this information about Robert Smith's lineage. I bold/italic the parts I found interesting. (Starting with the Pala website info about the council, where Chairman Smith's profile states he is the grandson of Annie Moro...)

"Dominguez Moro is chief of police and farm instructor at the Indian reservation at Pala in San Diego County. He is of native stock, of Indian and Spanish lineage, and represents the old aristocratic and land holding element of the old as well as the new California.

He was born at Warner's Springs, in 1870. His grandfather, Jose Maria Moro was chief of the Indian tribes at Warner's Hot Springs. The father of Dominguez Moro, was a Sonoma Indian, was born near San Francisco about 1830, and was brought captive by Ramon Carillo, a Spaniard, to Los Angeles when a boy. He died when his son was a young boy and in the home of his grandfather Dominguez Moro grew up, acquiring a good education. He has been a naturalized citizen of the United States since 1902. For many years he farmed his own land and in 1920 sold his ranch of 1381/k acres at Warner's Hot Springs for ten thousand dollars. This was largely a fruit ranch. He has been chief of police since 1903 and part of the time has been deputized as a United States marshal and deputy constable.

In 1893 he married Nicholasa Lubo. They have two children: Annie, wife of Henry Smith, and Katharine. Mr. Moro comes of a family that has been well off financially for generations, and has always had property to manage. He is a man of strong character, industrious, ambitious, and has a highly respected place in the citizenship in San Diego County."~Published 1922

Now, it says that Mr. Dominguez Moro was of Indian and SPANISH stock. I don't know about you, but to me SPANISH implies SPAIN which is in Europe, and NOT AMERICAN INDIAN. So whatever he is claiming his own blood quantum, go back up his family tree and cut it in half for Dominguez Moro's father, who was according to this article only part Indian. (Dominguez Moro's father's parents are unknown to me, so he may be less than half)Dominguez Moro's mother was the daughter of Jose Maria Moro, of Warner's Ranch (Agua Caliente/Kupa) and she was Native American and Cupeno.

I believe that all California Indian descendents should have their blood counted, and that there should be collective support for your rights. However, this information keeps making me think about "what the pot called the kettle." when talking about disenrollments. Not only does this article state the SPANISH lineage, but also states that Mr. Moro's father was not from Kupa. As I said before, that information does not matter to me, because he was from California Indian descent (in part) but it may matter to the members and should-be members of Pala because(as I understand it)the Pala governing documents state that the blood counted has to be "of the Band".

Furthermore, Annie Moro Smith's 1928 Application #1341(thanks to the Freedom of Information Act you can request this from Riverside, San Bruno National Archives or Washington D.C. National Archives..they have to give you a copy if you request it under FOIA)she states that her father's mother Silvestria Moro was Agua Caliente, but her mother's father Patricio Lubo was Cahuilla, and her mother's mother Beninia Canero was Cahuilla.(Sorry about the spellings, my photocopy is dark and hard to read.) I notice that her father's father is not named, nor is his tribal affiliation noted on her 1928 Application.

She also states on this 1928 Application that her husband Henry Smith is one-quater Indian blood from Agua Caliente.

Now I ask you, those who are enrolled as well as those dis-enrolled, what you think of this information? Did you know this? Is this common knowledge at Pala? I lost track of where this puts Mr. Smith's "blood degree of the Pala Band" at exactly. Perhaps someone else would like to figure it out for me.

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