Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tribal Disenrollments: Dry Creek POMO Indians Fight for Control

 The struggle for control of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians played out Monday in Santa Rosa as two candidates for tribal office challenged their pending disenrollment.
The candidates, daughters of previous tribal leaders who themselves were disenrolled four years ago, appealed to the five-member Dry Creek board of directors to reverse the decision to kick them out of the tribe.
“It’s a political thing. There’s no reason I should not be qualified to run,” said Laila Elgin DeRouen, who was informed in October she no longer qualified for tribal membership after declaring her candidacy for secretary-treasurer of the board.
“What I presented was the truth,” she said after emerging from her appeal hearing at the Dry Creek administrative offices off Airport Boulevard. “They should never have questioned my membership to begin with.”
Disputes over membership in tribes have increased since Las Vegas-style gambling was legalized on Indian lands in California a dozen years ago.
They have flared up periodically among the about 1,100 members of Dry Creek Rancheria, who opened their River Rock Casino near Geyserville in 2002.
At stake is an about $650-a-month payment each adult tribal member receives, along with eligibility for medical, educational and housing benefits.
For those who have been booted out despite tracing their lineage back for generations, they say they also face a painful loss of their cultural identity and heritage.
Read the Rest of the story here


Native Granny said...

My brother lived on my Dad's ranch ON DRY CREEK. He was the one everyone else called names, and pretended they did not know as they lived all over the valley and other places and pretended to be white. My Dad was the only one living there for a lot of time. We used to visit him after our parents divorced.

My brother never gave up going there. He built his own home, and it was bulldozed and he was kicked out because he felt we should wait for Advent to get through the paperwork to get us a four casino resort annexed to our 73 acres of hilly, rugged rocky rez.

HE has been since reinstated. He told us to forgive, and he went up to the person who did that to him and hugged her. We all forgave her

When the BIA did a requested search, that cost us $90.000 a lot of people were found to have violated the Articles and gotten benefits from two or more reserves. They were taken off the rolls as it is the law that no one gets to go back and forth when the cheese comes in, as we said when we put those Articles in place. That was it back then. Government cheese and other commodities. Some people went from rez to rez, claiming Dad here, Mom there, Grandmother someone somewhere else. A small number was taking all the benefits. Some even sold them to stores for retail or used them in restaurants while their proclaimed beloved family starved without them.

It is not OK to publish material that is not factual. We have contacted the Press Democrat about their biased reporting, to no avail. They actually just think we all are a bunch of losers. Thanks to those who started and continue this public ruining of Dry Creek, rather than agree ten years ago to have benefit members and those who had both benefits and voting rights. That is what the Elders suggested, and were not allowed to have the council vote on by the lawyers for the non-member person who was disenrolled by the BIA, not Dry Creek. She herself had passed out letters to her Mom's rez demanding and rudely telling them to disenroll her and her children. She passed out those letters to say she was not their member. I do not see them rushing to take her, or her children back. Her daughter was not questioned until she ran for office. SHE HAD to have known, since they announce it every election that you will be vetted thoroughly by the election committee and the BIA. This is a case of someone who chose the wrong lottery ticket and now wants to bitch and complain forever. I am sad for her. She has to answer to our ancestors for what they surely must be very pleased about in her antics of the past ten plus years.

The reason her daughter is out, is because someone told her to run, the strategy was to get a new board, appoint the outed woman Tribal Administrator, she cannot have that job, the council agreed that if she and others just left, no charges, but if she attempts this, she must know that all that bad business with the first casino company and lawyers is still waiting for her to answer to, NOW that we have a tribal court. Sometimes it is best to move along. Dry Creek is really tired of these antics. And the continually gossiping that causes so much damage to family members.

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