Tuesday, April 30, 2013

California's Tribal Cleansing: Tacit Approval from BIA and Federal Government for Termination of Indians

California's Tribal Cleansing: Tacit Approval from BIA and Federal Government (we can't do anything, we are impotent, but keep giving us budget dollars)

In this reports from 2010, Brian Frank has the story of Tribal Cleansing and the Struggle to be hear by those whose civil rights have been violated.

As California Tribes Continue To Purge Members, Dissidents Struggle To Get An Audience
by Brian Frank |

TEMECULA, Calif. — John Gomez Jr. reads to his sons in a near-dead language. He wants them to grow up listening to the language of their ancestors and hearing the creation stories, which are tied forever to natural landmarks here about 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

Gomez identifies strongly as a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. He even named his sons after prominent figures in the history and lore of the Temecula Indians, who now call themselves Pechanga. To his youngest he gave the middle name Ano de Apis, after the merger of two clans through the marriage of his own ancestors Casilda Ano and Pablo Apis (pronounced “Oppish”), who was a prominent chief. The older boy he named Chexeemal, or Kingbird, who plays an important role in the creation stories.

The boys are supposed to learn about their cultural heritage at the Pechanga tribal school, which was set up for that very purpose, but instead they have been barred from attending. In 2004, the Pechanga Band expelled Gomez and much of his extended family—some 130 adults total, along with their children—stripping them of their tribal citizenship and all the rights that go with it.

What happened to Gomez has become so commonplace in California and across the nation that the term for it is gradually gaining recognition outside of Indian Country: it's called disenrollment. More than 20 tribes—a fifth of those federally recognized in California—have voted to disenroll members in the past two decades, more than in any other state. There is no official tally, but estimates collected from several activists, including Gomez, indicate that more than 2300 American Indians have lost their tribal citizenship here since disenrollments started occurring more frequently in the late '90s.

Meanwhile, some of these same tribes reap tremendous benefits from one of California’s newest and most powerful industries, Indian gaming, which for the past two years has outperformed the almighty Vegas Strip with its more than $7 billion in estimated annual revenues. Many tribes share this newfound wealth with their members on a per capita basis—that is, by cutting individual checks, which in the case of the Pechanga reportedly amounts to six figures a year per person. Under such a system, smaller membership translates into more money for everyone, creating a perverse incentive to pit one family against another.

What’s at stake here is not only the livelihood and identities of thousands of American Indians, but also who controls a gaming industry that has virtually overnight become both the richest of its kind in the nation and one of the most influential political lobbies in California.

“We need to do something to bring light to this issue, to help other people, to help each other, and to stop this thing,” says Gomez, who as president of the activist group American Indian Rights and Resources Organization has placed himself front and center in what some are calling a new civil rights movement.

A Powerful New Player
Tribal governments together make up the fifth largest special interest group in the state, funneling more cash into California political campaigns than the powerful teachers unions or pharmaceutical manufacturers, according to MAPLight.org California, which tracks contributions. And the heads of two California tribes, including Pechanga chairman Mark Macarro, made Capitol Weekly’s list of the 100 most powerful political players in the state.

Macarro became arguably the most recognizable American Indian in the state when during the 2008 election season he served as the face of an aggressive if soft-spoken ad campaign to expand the number of slot machines legally allowed at four of California’s richest Indian reservations. That referendum, which voters approved, resulted in an increase of thousands of slot machines at casinos owned by the Sycuan, Morongo, Agua Caliente and Pechanga tribes, further boosting their already handsome earning potential.

“We’re probably going to exceed Las Vegas in the next year as the No. 1 gambling destination,” says Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up For California, a watchdog organization for gambling in California.

Vegas-style gaming, including slot machines, is illegal in California. But Indian tribes have a complicated relationship with the state and federal governments. Each tribe has its own agreement with the United States that determines just how far its sovereignty extends, but in general a tribal government has the final say on many of the laws that affect routine affairs on its land.

Still, though many tribes began to operate bingo halls and experiment with gaming as early as 1980, gambling was still technically illegal. That changed in 2000, when voters approved Proposition 1A, an amendment to the California constitution making Vegas-style slot machines legal on Indian reservations, so long as the tribes signed special revenue-sharing compacts with the state. The subsequent boom has seen a rise in big, splashy resort-style casinos and made a handful of California’s more than 100 tribes very rich, even though many remain poor.

As a collective bargaining group, and with huge pools of money suddenly at their disposal, California tribes now represent one of the most powerful business interests in the state, so the question of who controls them has become as relevant to voters as it is to the people who live under tribal law.

Yet the stakes for tribal members are perhaps even higher. Elect the wrong leaders and they risk losing not only their monthly “per cap” checks, but also their very identity as tribal people, and all the benefits that go with that status.

A Case Study at Pechanga

When Gomez and his family lost their membership in the Pechanga band, they also forfeited their access to the tribal health clinic, a substantial income, access to the tribal school for their children, certain federal benefits reserved for American Indians, and even their right to call themselves Pechanga in the eyes of the federal government.

“We’ve heard that some people have committed suicide or attempted suicide,” says Gomez, referring to the emotional toll that can be exacted upon the disenrolled. “Some people just go into their own little world, you know. They just don’t want to be bothered anymore. People that had always been part of the community, not just with Pechanga or their own tribal community but with the larger Indian community, no longer participate in stuff that they used to do all the time.”

The Pechanga have become a frequent focus of media attention as a rash of disenrollments have cropped up across the state, in part because one of the major voices speaking out against tribes who take such actions is a former member—Gomez—but also because they have had two major expulsions of their own and an on-going ban on all new members.

Gomez’s family was the first to be disenrolled in 2004, but trouble began stirring long before that, long before there was even a casino.

In the early ’80s, while the tribe was just beginning to formalize a written constitution and enrollment criteria, a small band of Pechanga members led by Russell “Butch” Murphy and commonly referred to as the Splinter Group sought to break away and become federally recognized as the official Pechanga Band, according to copies of court documents provided by Gomez.

The Splinter Group’s primary complaint had been that the new enrollment criteria were unfair. In fact, it was apparent to the group’s members that they would not be able to enroll at all, so their response was not to participate in the application process.

As a compromise to help keep the peace, at a general meeting open to all members, a respected tribal Elder named Lawrence Madariaga seconded a motion to extend the enrollment process for another year, allowing more time to resolve the issue. The motion carried with a 35-2 vote, but the Splinter Group announced that it was breaking away to form its own tribe, anyway.

To do so, it had to convince the Bureau of Indian Affairs—which keeps the official record of federally recognized tribes—that they had the stronger case. They wrote to the BIA laying out their argument, and the bureau at first agreed to recognize the election of their own governing council.

James Riley & Ryan Robinson GUILTY of Bribery In Pechanga Corruption Case. Pechanga Officials STILL Not Held to Answer For Human Rights Violations

A former insurance broker and a onetime official of the Pechanga Resort & Casino near Temecula were each convicted Monday, April 29, of commercial bribery, authorities said.

This was the second trial for James William Riley, 49, of Murrieta, and Ryan Jay Robinson, 42, of Temecula, the casino’s former chief financial officer. The men had been accused of bilking Pechanga of $4 million in an insurance overcharging scam from 2006 to 2007 and were indicted by a grand jury in 2010. They were originally charged with grand theft and commercial bribery, with Riley additionally accused of money laundering. But after jurors in the first trial deadlocked last July, a judge dismissed the grand theft and money laundering counts.

A retrial on three counts each of commercial bribery began earlier this month. Jurors found the men guilty on all counts, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney’s office. Robinson and Riley face up to four years and four months in custody at their sentencing, scheduled for July 3, he said.
Prosecutors said in the original case that Robinson approved inflated insurance invoices from Riley in exchange for about $150,000 in kickbacks. Robinson used the bribe money to cover gambling debts, prosecutors said.

The alleged scheme began to unravel in late summer 2006 after an employee noticed irregularities with an invoice, triggering an investigation by casino executives.

Riley's defense attorney in the first trial said his client took due compensation for saving Pechanga millions of dollars in insurance premiums in a tight insurance market after the industry was recovering from huge claims following Hurricane Katrina.

Robinson's attorney said his client had no knowledge of the inner workings of Riley’s insurance operation.

Monday, April 29, 2013

OPEN LETTER TO: PALA GENERAL COUNCIL Details Lawsuit Against Pala's Executive Committee

An Open Letter to the Pala General Council

According to reports from those who attended, the matter of lawsuits filed against the tribe was on the agenda of the General Council meeting on April 10,2013. The disenrollees want you to know that none of the lawsuits name the tribe as a defendant. We know that the Pala Executive Committee is responsible for disenrolling us, and that is why we are suing them and not the tribe.

These lawsuits were filed in order to present evidence in federal court that the disenrollments were illegal, and that the Executive Committee exceeded their authority. The BIA and the Department of the Interior are the defendants in the Thor Emblem case (Aguayo vs. Salazar). The members of the Pala Executive Committee are the defendants in the Elizabeth Lin case (Allen vs. Robert Smith). The lawsuits are a matter of public record, and anyone who wants to see who the defendants are in these cases can look it up on the Internet at: http://dockets.justia.com. The case against the BIA can be searched under “Aguayo vs. Salazar”, and the case against the Pala Executive Committee can be searched under “Allen vs. Robert Smith.”

Since the tribe is not named in any of the legal actions, the tribe is not required to pay the legal expenses. The reason why the tribe is paying the legal fees of the Executive Committee members is because Robert Smith and the Executive Committee decided to use the tribe’s money instead of their own money. This decision was made without consulting the General Council. It is a routine practice for the Executive Committee to act without notifying the General Council when they use tribal funds for their personal business. If politicians do this in city, county, state, or federal governments, it is called misappropriation of funds and is considered illegal and unethical. In Pala it is business as usual.

Keep in mind that there would be no legal expenses and no lawsuits if we hadn’t been illegally disenrolled. Robert Smith wants to blame us for the problems he created, but he is trying to deceive the General Council. He lied about Margarita Brittain’s blood degree. He lied about the disenrollees failing to file their appeals on time. He lied about the evidence he supposedly has. Now he lies about the lawsuits. At least he is consistent.

Per-capita was supposed to go up because of disenrollment, but instead it’s used to pay for legal fees, personal bodyguards, hi-tech security, a hideout at the Pala Casino Hotel, a book of lies to pass out to tribal members, and all the other costs of keeping legitimate members out of the tribe. Your Chairman and his lackeys will never admit that it is their fault that they are involved in lawsuits. They won’t tell you that the price tag will keep going up, and that more and more tribal money will be spent to keep out people who can prove they belong. Instead they will cut per-capita or disenroll more members to raise money to cover the ever-growing costs. Just to be clear, the lawsuits could be settled simply and easily by reinstating the disenrollees. Then the legal expenses would no longer be a drain on the tribe, and there would be no more arguments about disenrollment.

There is a rumor that the Casino business has been poor the last three months and that per-capita may be reduced. This points to a serious problem at Pala with the management of Casino revenue. Robert Smith can blame the disenrollees all he wants, but he is the one who controls the finances. If there are money problems the General Council should be asking Robert Smith and Theresa Nieto hard questions about how much money there is and how it is being spent. Ignore the lies about the costs of disenrollment, and get the details about the finances. 

In the meantime we hope that you will see that we are honest and sincere. We don’t have to lie because we have done nothing wrong. We belong and we can prove it. Perhaps instead of listening to more lies from Robert Smith, the General Council will allow us to present our proof and see how the Pala Executive Committee has deceived them. Until then we will continue to fight it out in court. 

OP:  We are proud to stand with the Pala people, all of them, including those who have been harmed by the actions of Robert Smith and the Executive Committee.  Be sure to take a look at  http://palawatch.com

Susan Bradford: Osage Nation FIRES AKIN GUMP + IETAN CONSULTING Issues

Investigative reporter Susan Bradford has the story on Akin Gump and IETAN Consulting's latest misadventures.

IETAN CONSULTING, a tribal lobbying firm, has generated ill will among tribal members over a recurring pattern of alleged corruption in which its principals have reportedly organized tribal coup d’etats to install their own allies into positions of power on reservations, transferred control of oil and natural resources reserved for Indians to special interest-controlled tribal councils instead, and filled tribal membership rosters with fictitious Indians in order to help elect tribal leaders who serve private interests.

A whistle blower from yet another tribe has come forward to raise concerns about the practices of Ietan Consulting, and its strategic partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP – this time in connection to the Osage Nation of Oklahoma which has negotiating settlements for tribal shareholders due from oil companies that extracted oil from their reservation land without properly compensating the Natives. “Our Minerals Council fired Akin Gump about three weeks ago,” inside sources said. “In my opinion, the firing was way past due.”

The tribe reportedly fired Akin Gump on March 20, on grounds that the counsel he did not have sufficient oil and gas experience and that the tribe was dissatisfied with changes the firm had made to the Code of Federal regulations.

The settlement secured over $300 million for shareholders from U.S. Taxpayers for the federal government’s inability to sufficiently regulate the drilling of oil on reservation, which allowed oil companies to acquire oil at rock bottom prices, often far below what it was worth, while selling it at great profit margin to enrich themselves.
That the Bureau of Indian Affairs was negligent should not come as a surprise given that the oil companies had successfully lobbied to secure the appointment of federal officials who would advance their interests within the agency.
The Osage settlement traces its origins to the 1980s when Sen. John McCain, who is closely aligned with Akin Gump, held hearings in the Indian Affairs Committee on Koch Industry’s alleged miscalculation of oil it had extracted from the Osage Nation. While the Osage chief claimed that Koch had engaged the tribe honorably, and federal investigators determined that Koch’s practices reflected the industry standards, the Committee leadership alleged that the company was victimizing the Indians.

Read more : Susan Bradford’s site

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Despicable Chairman Robert Smith of Pala Worried North Fork Slapping CA VOTERS in the Face

The portly chairman, sorry, fat-headed Chairman Robert Smith, of Pala had an editorial last week in the Fresno Bee.  It only got ONE comment, so he didn't strike any chord with readers.    They must have seen his interview on KCBS last year:  See it HERE:  http://www.originalpechanga.com/2013/04/a-repost-of-kcbs-channel-2-reporter.html
Here is that EDITORIAL:  
In 2000, Californians approved Proposition 1A, legalizing casinos on Indian land. Along with that vote came an explicit understanding: Gambling would stay on reservations, away from urban areas.  OP:  Tribes ALSO said they would help all natives.  They said they would take their members off welfare.  Instead, they exterminated THOUSANDS from tribal rolls.
Thirteen years later, the Legislature must decide whether to honor that mandate or approve a casino proposal in Madera County, one of the biggest decisions in Indian Country in years.
Although Indian tribes in California do not see every political issue through the same lens, they share the same tragic history, a past creating bonds that have withstood many modern conflicts. OP:  THE tribes now are CREATING a tragic history for themselves.
Unfortunately, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has opted to threaten that sense of unity by pursuing a casino away from ancestral land on a more commercially viable site just outside Madera, along Highway 99.
The North Fork tribe characterizes any criticism of its project by other tribes as "tribal fighting." That posture not only misstates the controversy, but also ignores legitimate concerns raised by this project.

Federal and state laws permit federally recognized Indian tribes to pursue their economic independence. But in this case, out-of-state developers and investors are using the North Fork tribe to open a loophole in the law that would otherwise prohibit this casino.
These outside investors and developers, their eyes aglow with dollar signs, hope that tribe-on-tribe squabbling will conceal their true aim -- exploiting the North Fork people in order to evade the law and build a casino in a more profitable location.  OP:  Robert Smith's eyes glow with dollar signs too.  That's why he and his cronies eliminated over 160 PALA TRIBAL MEMBERS.   To steal their per capita checks.
Just as the North Fork tribe has stated, "tribal fighting" does not help anyone; it only hurts the genuine pursuit of positive government-to-government relationships that all tribes seek. It is time for an honest assessment of what is happening here, and it's clear that attacking tribes for pointing out the fundamental unfairness of this proposal is the only "tribal fighting" under way.
Additionally, tribal governments explicitly promised during the Prop. 1A campaign that casinos would never be developed off Indian reservations. Opponents of Prop. 1A alleged that tribes were conspiring with Las Vegas casinos and out-of-state developers to build casinos near urban areas and off the remote locations where they were intended.
Back then tribes guaranteed to voters that the claim was false. Now, if the North Fork casino is approved, the opponents will be proven right.
The reality is the North Fork Rancheria has land eligible for Indian gaming. The North Fork Rancheria's ancestral land is in the Sierra, not on the valley floor where the Chowchilla Tribe of Yokuts traditionally lived. The location outside Madera purchased by investors for the North Fork tribe is much more lucrative, though, than land high up in mountains.
Tribes that worked to pass Prop. 1A kept their promises and located casinos on reservations in less than ideal locations. Although Gov. Jerry Brown and federal officials have approved the site, they did so in violation of California's law. The current policy in California does not allow tribes to build off their reservations and the North Fork casino represents the first time a tribe in California would be allowed to do so.

REMEMBER when Pechanga tried to keep us from VOTING???

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/18/3264444/robert-smith-madera-casino-is.html#storylink=cpy

CA Rep. Tom McClintock REFUSES to Get Involved in Chukchansi Dispute. Won't Stand up For Disenrolled Native American.

CA Rep. Tom McClintock.

The struggle by feuding factions for control of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians -- and its Highway 41 casino assets -- took a new twist last week when one faction announced the results of a referendum to determine who is in charge and also called on the federal government to take a more active role in settling the ongoing dispute.

The group led by Reggie Lewis now claims to have regained control of the tribal council, based on the tribal referendum and a council vote last Thursday.

But the opposing faction, led by council member Nancy Ayala, questions whether the referendum that returned Lewis and others to the council was legal.

Confusion over who are the rightfully elected tribal council members led Rabobank to freeze the tribe's bank account, preventing it from making a complete payment this month on bonds for Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino.

Gaming experts estimate that the Chukchansi casino, which opened in 2003 off Highway 41 near Coarsegold, hauls in about $9 million a month from slot machines and table games. A portion of those proceeds go to tribal members as monthly benefits and also to pay off bond indebtedness.

Even though the multi-year dispute has exploded in several violent skirmishes, including a riot in February 2012 and recent reports of shots fired on a process server, federal officials say they are keeping their hands off.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, whose 4th Congressional District includes the Coarsegold area, met briefly Friday with Chukchansi members and told them he doesn't take sides on tribal disputes, said his press secretary, Bill George.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is precluded from stepping into the fray pending an appeal by a third faction led by Morris Reid to the U.S. Department of Interior's Board of Indian Appeals over proposed casino operation amendments, BIA spokesman Harley Long said.


Native American Gambling Constortium AGAINST SOVEREIGNTY....for American STATES. Likes TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY, When They can Use it like a CLUB to beat the Weak

A Gaming Tribe consortium led by the DESPICABLE ROBERT SMITH, is against a state exercising their sovereignty in the internet gaming area. Meanwhile, the rotund leader of the Pala Band of Indians in CA, wields sovereignty like a club to beat the weak of his tribe.
Almost immediately after New Jersey legalized Internet gambling, an alliance of American Indian tribes operating thousands of miles away issued a statement decrying the move, accusing the state of weakening gambling license requirements.

The California Tribal Business Alliance’s reaction was a testament to the far-reaching effect of New Jersey’s decision in February, affecting a debate American Indian tribe casinos have grappled with for years even though no tribes operate in New Jersey, observers said.

Only three states in the country, including Nevada and Delaware, have legalized Internet gambling. Several tribe-run operations have ventured to offer play-for-free Internet gambling, but none offers real-money games in this country. A debate continues on whether tribes should pursue real-money Internet gambling.
“There is a huge divide in Indian country,” said Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, who has written about Internet gambling issues facing commercial and American Indian casinos.

For some, New Jersey’s law has become a legal affirmation that tribes could offer Internet gambling to patrons as long as server machines taking the bets were in Indian territory, Gros said. But others, who are concerned that Internet gambling will lead to a drop in visitors to casino properties, greet New Jersey’s new law with more skepticism, he said.

The Sacramento-based California Tribal Business Alliance, which represents three tribes in the state, was one of the most vocal critics of New Jersey’s law.

“Online gaming is a slippery slope, and putting at risk a multimillion-dollar industry, the associated jobs and the revenue interests to impacted states, without safeguards, is a gamble no one should be willing to take,” Robert Smith, chairman of the alliance, said in a statement prior to the enactment of the New Jersey law.
Leslie Lohse, vice chairwoman of the alliance, said the primary concern was that New Jersey’s law allows regulators to decide whether companies, such as PokerStars, will be allowed to operate Internet gambling sites on behalf of Atlantic City casinos. The parent company of PokerStars, Rational Group, is looking to take over the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, through which it would offer Internet gambling.

“We don’t believe their bad-actor language is strong enough,” Lohse said of New Jersey’s gambling laws. “That would definitely be an issue for us.”   OP:  WHAT A JOKE.  CTBA has a "BAD ACTOR" at their helm!

Unlike New Jersey, some other states, such as Nevada, have inserted so-called bad-actor clauses that prohibit certain companies from receiving licenses.
PokerStars last year settled with the U.S. Department of Justice a case that involved charges of money laundering, bank fraud and illegal gambling.
Another provision of New Jersey’s law allows it to negotiate agreements with other states, such as California, that would allow residents in both jurisdictions to gamble on websites run by entities in other states. That would place Atlantic City casinos in direct competition with tribal casinos in California.
“What we are concerned about is the standard of regulation is somewhat weakened,” Lohse said of New Jersey. “If there is reciprocity with the state down the road, which standard will prevail?”
California is a much more populous state than New Jersey, she said, so the potential for many more people to play poker and other casino games online is huge.
“The crown jewel is not New Jersey,” Lohse said.



Pala Disenrolls families

Pala disenrollments led to hardship


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chukchansi Tribe STILL STRUGGLING. Time for Customer's to STAY AWAY

Award winning journalist Carmen George, keeps her readers up to date on the mess that is the Chukchansi tribe.

In face of a looming default on a $12 million payment due to bondholders of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, several new developments have occurred at Chukchansi -- including another lawsuit, investigations, and a tribal referendum affirming the Chukchansi tribal council led by Reggie Lewis.

While a casino default still remains possible, the threat was somewhat softened April 12 when Chukchansi leaders paid $10 million. The other $2 million is still needed as a 30-day grace period nears its end. If it's not paid by April 30, the tribe could lose $1 million a month for tribal government and member services.
Paying back the casino's $250 million in debt -- with semiannual payments required through 2020 -- has become more difficult with a new leadership split that began Feb. 21.

One group, led by Nancy Ayala, remains in control of casino management and cash, and the other, led by Lewis, remain the only authorized signers on the tribe's official bank accounts.
The tribe was not able to pay the other $2 million because there is not sufficient funds in that account because Ayala's group has not been depositing casino revenues into it, required by agreements in place, said Richard Verri, a lawyer representing the council led by Lewis.

Read the rest of Carmen George’s report at Sierra Star News

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:

Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment

disenrollment is paper Genocide

CA Tribal Cleansing

Tribal terrorism

Second San Diego Country Tribal Casino PAUMA votes to UNIONIZE.

Recently about 100 service and maintenance workers of Casino Pauma gathered on non-tribal land at the Pauma Community Center and voted to attempt to unionize with Unite Here Local 30, a union that currently represents workers at Pala Casino, just a few miles down the road. The meeting was held in Spanish.

Although San Diego County has nine casinos, so far only two of them have unionized. This group hopes to be the third. According to the workers, they have not gotten a raise in four years and are seeing their health care costs rise. They also want to negotiate some workplace policies with management.

The Unite Here union organizer told the group that at Pala more than 700 workers get annual raises of up to 45 cents an hour and have fixed healthcare expenses.

The casino's general manager Harry Taylor issued a statement saying that it recognizes the rights of workers to take part in union activities, and urges that any unioniziation vote be by secret ballot. He said that as the nation emerges from the recession that the casino expects to look at compensation and benefit for its employees.

Because the casino is on sovereign tribal land, the right to organize a union is different than it would be in the rest of California. Each tribe has different collective bargaining rules.

The organizers of the event said they counted 149 signatures, or more than half of the pool of workers in the bargaining unit.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chukchansi Leadership Dispute PART TWO: Joyce Burel IDRS Mediator, Relation to Reggie Lewis, Sides with...REGGIE LEWIS

That's a reminder to those of us from Pechanga when a tribal council member, who was late to our disenrollment appeal, sided with his MOTHER and his AUNT.   His mother, who SLEPT through our presentation.

Just WHO is on staff at Indian Dispute Resolution Services, who "mediated" this dispute at Picayune?  What could go wrong?

JOYCE BUREL-DIRECT RELATION to REGGIE LEWIS, and on the picayune tribal council as chairman and then secretary when picayune FIRST INSTIGATED and then COMPLETED the arbitrary and capricious disenrollment of over 600 people (children and elders included) from picayune rancheria in 2006--her signature on over SIX HUNDRED disenrollment documents...

from the "indian dispute resolution services" staff webpage:

Ms. Joyce Burel (Picayne/Chukchansi) LMFT has served IDRS as a Senior Trainer, Facilitator and Mediator since 1997. She serves as a lead trainer in IDRS Workshops on Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiation Skills and Processes, and in IDRS Workshops on Introductory and Advanced Mediation/Peacemaking. She brings an unusual combination of experience to IDRS.

On one hand, she is an astute practitioner and trainer schooled in a range of conflict resolution disciplines. At the same time, she has accumulated a wealth of practical experience as a tried and tested Indian leader.

Ms. Burel has served as the elected Chairperson and later as Tribal Council Secretary of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians in Coarsegold, CA. Prior to these positions, she served on the Tribe’s Housing Board of Commissioners for four years. Working in these roles, she has the opportunity to be integrally involved in the entire range of her Tribe’s internal matters. In addition, she has shepherded her Tribe through extensive external negotiations with federal, state and county government agencies, local political jurisdictions, and private interests in the non-Indian community regarding economic development and land use and acquisition issues.

 Ms. Burel earned her BA Degree in Anthropology with a special focus on Native American Studies, and her MA Degree in Counseling from Sonoma State University (Rohnnert Park, CA). She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She received training and was certified as a mediator by IDRS and was placed on the IDRS Panel of Professional Mediators in 1996.

Chukchansi Claims Leadership Dispute is Settled. Questions over Voting Arise.

Can the Chukchansi Tribe survive the turmoil.  What does this mean for those who were disenrolled a decade ago?  Has Reggie Lewis seen the light?

Here’s the story from the Central Valley Business Times

Officials of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians say that their members have affirmed members to a tribal council and suspended three people who had claimed the leadership.

It’s the apparent resolution of a lengthy dispute over tribal leadership and with it control of a large business enterprise including the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino near Coarsegold east of Fresno.
With 1,800 slot machines, a 56,000 square-foot gaming floor, six restaurants and a 400-room hotel, the Chukchansi operation is the sixth largest Indian casino in Northern California.
The referendum asked members to affirm that the legitimate Tribal Council consists of Reggie Lewis (chairman); Chance Alberta (secretary/treasurer); Carl “Buzz” Bushman (member-at-large); and Irene Waltz (member-at-large).

Tribal members additionally affirmed in the referendum the suspensions of Karen Wynn, Tracey Brechbuehl, and Nancy Ayala as active members of the Tribal Council, tribe officials say.

The referendum was conducted with the assistance of Indian Dispute Resolution Services, which assisted in the acquisition and processing of the required member signatures. The tribe needed 225 signatures to pass a referendum and according to IDRS, which collected the signatures, the tribe received 337, exceeding the requirement.  OP:  Remember when there were well over a THOUSAND in the tribe?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Indian Country Online: The 2013 Congress Will Be Held In Apartheid Country: PECHANGA RESERVATION in TEMECULA, CA

Now, our US Congress can look at attendees to this upcoming congress and LAUGH with derision.  The conference will be had on the reservation of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians which practices APARTHEID on their reservation.  

They have a them, "No Tribe Left Behind" when in fact, many tribes in CA have LEFT THOUSANDS behind.

We ask the BIA to NOT attend this conference, as it would be akin to visiting SUN CITY in South Africa, during that apartheid period.  Show your MORAL OUTRAGE and not support a tribe that has harmed so many Native Americans.


Indian Country Online: The 2013 Congress, which will be held at the magnificent Pechanga Resort and Casino on June 3-4, 2013, in Temecula, California, has just announced its complete agenda. The conference, themed, “No Tribe Left Behind,” will take a comprehensive look at the next wave of business opportunities that technology, e-commerce, and iGaming will create for the tribes and entrepreneurs of Indian Country.

Kicking off the conference on Monday afternoon will be a thorough primer, entitled, “How to Get Up and Running in 90 Days: An Introductory Session.”This session, which will include a plain-language discussion designed to allay concerns tribes might be experiencing about their own business, will set the stage for the following day. Monday evening will be the Welcome Reception in the Eagles Nest at Pechanga, providing an opportunity for attendees to relax and network with their colleagues and peers.

Day Two of the conference discusses all things online-related. Sessions include:

iGaming – Experts discuss the US tribal iGaming landscape and explore how it differs from the offshore. The session will be moderated by Michael Pollock, Managing Director, Spectrum Gaming Group.
iPlatform – An exploration of what technology and products to use and how to deploy them. The session will be moderated by Melissa Blau, Director, iGaming Capital.
iMarketing – Learn about mastering the arts of Internet marketing and online player acquisition and retention. The session will be moderated by Gene Johnson, Senior Vice President Market Research, Spectrum Gaming Group.
iOperations – How do you provide high quality, speed, and reliability for all iGaming site components while ensuring that each of these functions work seamlessly together? Hear how it is done from people who are actually doing it today. This session will be moderated by Gideon Bierer, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Partis Solutions.
iFinance – Hear about potential financing options and how to tailor them to specific tribal gaming situations. This session will be moderated by Joe Weinert, Senior Vice President, Spectrum Gaming Group.
iOpportunity – An executive roundtable of eminent Native American leaders will examine leveraging these potential benefits in the conference’s culminating discussion. This session will be moderated by Victor Rocha, Founder, Pechanga.net.
Additionally, the Luncheon Keynote Address will be delivered by James Maida, President & CEO, Gaming Laboratories International, Inc.

The Congress is jointly organized and produced by Victor Rocha , the owner of Pechanga.net, a leading news aggregator for the gaming industry for over 14 years, and Spectrum Gaming Group, the world’s leading gaming research and professional services firm.

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment

Monday, April 22, 2013

LEGALIZE GAMING IN CALIFORNIA! Tribes have HAD their chance, let the people of CA thrive.

It is PASSED time for California to get into gaming for the STATE.  Many tribal casinos have cheated their own people, which we talk about at Original Pechanga's Blog  .  

Tribes promised that they would help their people and what happened?

Chukchansi has ELIMINATED 75% of their tribe, defaulted on their bonds, expelled their original language speaker.
Pechanga, in two mass disenrollments, has eliminated 25% of their tribe, currently have an apartheid system on their reservation and their former tribal chair stole Class II gaming machines.  

The Redding Rancheria terminated their FIRST TRIBAL chairman, you know..the man who brought INDIAN HEALTH to N. California, but NOT before forcing him to dig up his grandmother for DNA testing that came back 99.6% positive.  They disenrolled 25% of the tribe...his whole family.    THIS is what gaming has wrought.

Remember the expanded gaming propositions?  The ones that were supposed to help balance our budget?  The one that let tribes COOK errr, manage their own books?   How's that helping us?

Reservation shopping is NOT the answer.

It's TIME for CA to legalize gaming, well regulated and take it's FULL SHARE of gaming money in CA.   Tribes have had their head start, and it will take TWO more years to ramp up....Let's GET GOING.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


The FRESNO BEE, which has done a great job focusing on the corruption at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians  has an editorial up on off reservation gaming, coming out against.  Not going far enough, we believe that tribes like Enterprise, which has violated the civil and human rights of their people, should NOT get a casino at ALL.  They should NOT be rewarded for civil rights violations.  In fact, since Indian Tribes have had a head start, it's time for CA to get into the gambling game and get ALL the money we can get from gamblers.

One of the biggest issues that the state Legislature will decide this year involves the future of Indian gaming.

Two tribes -- the North Fork Rancheria in the foothills north of Fresno and the Enterprise Rancheria> near Marysville -- won approval from President Barack Obama's interior secretary last year to acquire land more than 30 miles from their original reservations.

Gov. Jerry Brown then unwisely concurred in that decision and negotiated gambling compacts with the tribes.

The problem is, Indian gambling has exploded well beyond the "modest increase" voters were promised when they approved casino gambling 13 years ago.

While most casinos are still in remote locations, a new push by tribes to purchase additional land at lucrative freeway locations threatens to kick off a whole new casino boom.

The Legislature should reduce that threat by rejecting the ill-conceived North Fork and Enterprise gambling compacts approved by the governor. An informational hearing on the compacts by the Assembly's Governmental Organization Committee is scheduled for next Thursday.

The North Fork tribe wants to build its casino on Highway 99 near Madera. The Enterprise Indians are looking to construct their new gambling hall just off Highway 65 in Yuba County.

Powerful opponents and proponents are lined up on both sides. Deep-pocketed investors from Nevada and Chicago are bankrolling the Enterprise and North Fork efforts. Meanwhile, existing gambling tribes oppose them, angered that their own gambling enterprises will be placed at a competitive disadvantage.

The Enterprise and North Fork tribes are engaged in reservation shopping at its most blatant. It breaks faith with voters who were told that gambling would be confined to existing Indian lands -- remote areas of the state for the most part, not plopped down near cities.

There is only so much disposable income for gambling in California, and the state is already saturated with casinos. Each one that is added takes from another. It's a zero-sum game.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Boston Marathon Massacre Story is Coming to An End.

Thank you to all the law enforcement personnel who are working so hard to keep our citizens safe.  

One suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is DEAD and his brother Dzhokhar is the subject of a massive manhunt.     Boston and Watertown are on LOCKDOWN as police go on a house to house search

Pray that this comes to a conclusion soon.

Jamul Indian Village: Five Years AFTER Beatings and Evictions, Now closer to Getting Casino

Here is how those beatings went down:

The scene at the Jamul Indian Village on March 10 mixed irony with pathos in a combination that demonstrated the intense emotions that surround the proposal to construct a casino in Jamul (“Despite promise, homes demolished for casino,” Our Region, March 13). Walter Rosales and Karen Toggery sought two things – to preserve their homes, and to show respect for the remains of their ancestors buried on the land. 

According to construction plans, their land, which they have lived on since childhood, and their homes will be bulldozed. Their ancestors' remains will be desecrated by a phantasmagoria of cement and neon that will be erected over their graves. They were evicted from their homes and jeered by the evictors. Dozens gathered to protest the eviction, facing pepper spray and beatings with metal batons to do so

As we stood with Walter and Karen on that Saturday morning, a backhoe loomed in the foreground, obscuring the view of a hillside dotted with crosses from the Indian cemetery. Native American activists have persuaded politicians at the state and local levels to pass laws prohibiting desecration of the remains of their ancestors. Yet, apparently, such laws can be flouted with impunity by those who urged their passage.


The Jamul Indians are one step closer to building a new casino in East County.

The tribe has entered into an agreement with Penn National Gaming, a developer of casinos and racing establishments, to build a Hollywood-themed casino in Jamul. The proposed $360 million casino is significantly scaled back from previous versions, which at one point included a 30-story hotel. The latest plans are for a three-story, 200,000 square-foot casino with bars, restaurants, at least 1,700 slots and 50 game tables. A parking structure would fit more than 1,900 cars.

The plan still needs approval from Caltrans for road access. The community hasn't signed off, either.

The casino has faced staunch opposition from residents of Jamul, which is about 20 miles east of San Diego. They're concerned about the projected traffic increase and potential problems with clientele, impacts on services and the threat to their way of life.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

James Riley & Ryan Robinson Pechanga Bribery ReTrial Underway. No Trial Yet for ACTUAL Pechanga Thieves

A second trial got underway Wednesday, April 17 for former insurance broker and a onetime official of the Pechanga Resort & Casino, who now face commercial bribery charges in a case that was reduced after jurors deadlocked when it was first heard as a $4 million overcharge scam in July.

Prosecutors said in the original case that then-insurance broker James William Riley of Murrieta, and onetime casino chief financial officer Ryan Jay Robinson of Temecula, worked hand-in-hand in 2006-2007 as Robinson turned a blind eye and approved inflated insurance invoices from Riley, in exchange for about $150,000 in kickbacks.

Riley’s defense attorney in the first trial said his client took due compensation for saving Pechanga millions of dollars in insurance premiums in a tight insurance market after the industry was recovering from huge claims following Hurricane Katrina. Robinson’s attorney said his client had no knowledge of the inner workings of Ryan’s insurance operation.

When jurors could not reach verdicts on July 26, a judge declared a mistrial and a few days later dismissed grand theft and money laundering charges, leaving Riley and Robinson each facing three charges of commercial bribery, which focus on the alleged kickbacks.

More to the story:

Ryan Robinson James Riley Case History

No Trial for ACTUAL Pechanga Thieves

Chukchansi makes PARTIAL PAYMENT to Avert Another Default to Bondholders

Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino has averted a financial crisis by making at least part of an overdue payment to bondholders, according to members of the American Indian tribe that runs the resort.

The Chukchansi tribe was at risk of defaulting on $300 million in bonds when Rabobank, which holds the proceeds of the casino, froze the tribe's account in the wake of infighting among tribal leaders.

Tribal members said Wednesday that they negotiated with the bank to release about $10 million toward their $12 million monthly bill for March.

Why the entire payment wasn't released was unclear Wednesday night.

But tribal members said they had informed creditors of the reduced amount and that bondholders weren't likely to seek immediate amends.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/17/3262742/chukchansi-crisis-averted-for.html#storylink=cpy

Casino Pauma Employees Want to UNIONIZE, After NO RAISES in FOUR YEAR. Rising Health Care Costs Cited


About four miles east of Casino Pauma, on nontribal land, nearly 100 of the casino’s workers and their backers gathered Wednesday at a community center to rally for union rights.

The workers — largely in service and maintenance positions — hope to become the third group of casino employees to unionize in San Diego County, which has nine casinos. They would also become the second group to be represented by Unite Here Local 30, which represents a similar set of employees at nearby Pala Casino.

The Pauma workers said they haven’t gotten a raise in at least four years, are pinched by rising health-care costs and want to negotiate some workplace policies. At Pala, the roughly 720 union members get annual raises of 20 to 45 cents per hour and have fixed health-care expenses, said Unite Here lead organizer Regina Longo.

In a statement, Casino Pauma general manager Harry Taylor said the casino recognizes the rights of its employees to engage in union activities and prefers the secret ballot method for any planned unionization vote — per a recent federal court decision.

“As for team member concerns about the quality of raises and benefits, Casino Pauma, like the rest of the nation, is slowly emerging from the 2008 recession,” Taylor said. “Casino Pauma has already implemented wage increases on an annual basis for qualifying team members, and as we continue to return to pre-2008 revenue levels, we expect to revisit our overall compensation and benefit strategies.”

Wednesday’s rally, held in Spanish, culminated with signature counting for a pro-union petition that has been circulating since efforts to certify a Casino Pauma union began last May. Attendees counted 149 signatures, more than half of the total pool of 226 Pauma workers in the bargaining unit, and delivered a letter indicating those results to the casino’s officials.

“The workers have expressed they want a union, but the tribe is not respecting it,” Longo said.

Because of the sovereignty issue, collective-bargaining rules at Indian casinos differ from those for businesses on nontribal property. Each tribe’s policy is outlined in compacts reached with the state.

Last month, Pauma won a federal lawsuit against the state that allowed it to resume using its 2000 agreement because the 2004 compact contained a state error. That ruling indirectly changed Pauma’s collective-bargaining policies: The tribe is no longer required to remain neutral on the issue, and any unionization vote must now take place by secret ballot instead of on so-called authorization cards.

Pauma workers have health benefits, time off and a retirement account with an employer match. But Alicia Andaluz, 45, a cook in the casino's pizza restaurant, said through a translator that she pays $260 a month for health insurance for her family. She said that’s a struggle based on her $16 hourly salary, which is up from $8.18 when she started 11 years ago.

Maintenance worker Martin Loya, 43, started at the casino eight years ago earning $12 per hour. He has been promoted and received two cost-of-living increases through 2008, with a current hourly rate of $20.70.

“It’s been interesting to see the different changes that we’ve gone through,” Loya said. “Like anything else, the place — because of the economy — it’s had its ups and it’s had its downs.”

Monday, April 15, 2013

CA Lawmakers Will Decide fate of New Casinos/Reservation Shopping

The Obama administration has said they can do it.

Gov. Jerry Brown has given his blessing. OP: Of course, he knows he will get money from tribes.

Now it's up to the California Legislature to decide whether two Indian tribes in remote parts of the state can build casinos next to freeways many miles from their existing land.

A fresh wave of lobbying is hitting the state Capitol as the Enterprise Rancheria> near Marysville and the North Fork Rancheria near Fresno seek the Legislature's ratification of compacts they signed with Brown last year. Competing tribes that already own casinos are urging lawmakers to vote them down.

Both sides are seizing on the fact that almost half the Assembly consists of freshmen who may have little familiarity with the long-simmering fight.

"Now the challenge at hand is to make this thing understandable and real to 120 legislators," said Charles Banks-Altekruse, a spokesman for the two tribes seeking casinos.

"A good number of them are new and may be hearing conflicting information."

The casino proposals are more controversial than most because they involve out-of-state developers building on land the tribes are acquiring through a rarely used bureaucratic process known as a "two-part determination." Just a handful of tribes nationwide have been able to establish casinos that way.

North Fork, a band of Mono Indians, and Enterprise, part of the Maidu tribe, have each proposed building dozens of miles from the land they long occupied in the mountains east of the Central Valley.

Read more on the Casino shopping story here

How’s Expanded gaming worked out for CA?

Sunday, April 14, 2013


With two perfect strokes with his long putter, once considered the dullest tool in his bag, Adam Scott expunged one bitter memory that was 266 days old and another that had lingered in a country’s consciousness for 17 years. Scott on Sunday became the first Australian to win the Masters when he drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to beat Ángel Cabrera of Argentina.

A great finish to the final round played in terrible conditions....unless your putter works in the rain.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ruby Roan Cordero, Chukchansi ELDER, Walks On. Chukchansi SHAMEFULLY disenrolled their Language speaker.

Ruby M. Roan Cordero died April 8, 2013, at the age of 90.
Mrs. Cordero was a lifelong resident of Coarsegold and Oakhurst.
She was born Jan. 13, 1923, in Coarsegold to Jack Roan and Emma Banjo.
Mrs. Cordero was a homemaker and an elder of the Chukchansi and Miwok nations.

She was one of the last fluent Chukchansi language speakers, and was skilled in basket weaving and beadwork.

Mrs. Cordero also enjoyed spending time with, and helping, her family and friends; teaching younger people about the traditional Indian ways, gathering, cooking, and card games at her home.

She was preceded in death by husband David Cordero.

Mrs. Cordero is survived by children Gilbert, Irene and Rita Cordero; 11 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

We posted about Ruby :
When 87-year-old Ruby "Roan" Cordero of Oakhurst received a letter a few weeks ago stating she would be disenrolled as a member of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, she couldn't understand the piece of paper.
Cordero only speaks a little English. Her Alzheimer's Disease has pulled her mind back to an earlier time, family members say, to childhood when she still spoke in her native language -- Chukchansi Indian    OP:  Yes, that's right, the tribe is going to eliminate one who spoke the language.  One who could use the help of her tribe.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ethnic Cleansing In Indian Country - In Democrat Controlled States - Remember When They were for Civil and Human Rights

Indian Country Today has a piece up on ETHNIC CLEANSING.  We've been telling that story here for over half a decade.
Ethnic cleansing – the forced removal of a population from a designated piece of territory – is nothing new in America. The earliest example was the forced transfer of upward of 46,000 Indigenous Peoples from their homelands in the south during the seven years following the passage of Andrew Jackson’s 1830 Indian Removal Acts. The forced removal of tens of thousands of people an odious act by the dominant white settler society that was eager to grab indigenous lands. (Related story: The Battle for Hickory Ground)

But during the past decade or so, a growing number of American Indian tribes have implemented a new kind of ethnic cleansing – tribal disenrollment. Most often tribes try to eject members in order to maximize per capita payments from casino profits for the remaining members. But the Nooksack Indian Tribe’s council members have been accused of “cultural genocide” in a lawsuit challenging their attempt to disenroll hundreds of Nooksack citizens.

On March 15 attorneys from the Seattle firm of Galanda Broadman filed a complaint for equitable relief in the Nooksack Tribal Court against Chairman Robert Kelly, five other council members and other tribal officials for “act[ing] beyond the scope of their authority as tribal officers in their official capacities” in their attempt to remove 306 Nooksack enrolled tribal members. According to the tribe’s Constitution, members must be of Nooksack ancestry and have one-quarter Indian blood, the lawsuit says. “This is an action to prevent cultural genocide on 306 enrolled members of the Nooksack Indian Tribe, each of whom is of Nooksack ancestry and each of whom possesses at least one-fourth degree Indian blood,” the court document says. The attorneys also filed a request for an emergency injunction to stop the tribal council from implementing the disenrollment. The court will hold a hearing on the request on May 1.

Read the Rest of the ICT article here

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:

Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment

Senate Approves Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior

The Senate approved REI Chief Executive Sally Jewell Wednesday as the new secretary of the Interior by a vote of 87 to 11.

Jewell, 58, had faced tough questioning by some Senate Republicans during her confirmation hearing in early March. But in comparison to some Obama Cabinet nominees, she sailed through the committee and full Senate votes.

A Washington outsider, Jewell began her career as a petroleum engineer before moving into banking and, finally, taking the helm of REI, the outdoor equipment retail chain based in Washington state.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chukchansi Corruption IV: Beneath The GLITTER at Chukchansi Anatomy of Civil and Human Rights Abuses

The Fresno Bee has been on top of the corruption at Chukchansi for over a DECADE.  The corruption is staggering.  The civil and human rights violations that the BIA, the State of California, and the local county governments are ignoring are STAGGERING.   PLEASE read and share on twitter and Facebook.  There are buttons to share on the bottom of the post.   Google +1 too.

As the $150 million Chukchansi resort readies for its casino opening June 25, 200 tribe members kicked out four years ago fight to become members again.
By Lisa Aleman-Padilla and George Hostetter
The Fresno Bee

The biggest, most expensive and most controversial American Indian casino/entertainment complex in central San Joaquin Valley history is expected to make its debut in eastern Madera County in 10 days.

With it comes a long-simmering and increasingly bitter tribal civil war over who will pocket the profits of a business that eventually could rake in $200 million or more a year.

Carved out of a once-forlorn swath of rocks and brush in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Coarsegold, the gamblers' half of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is all but finished.

That's the casino, home to 1,800 slot machines and more than 40 card tables. June 25 is the planned opening date, according to the owners, the Chukchansi Indians of Picayune Rancheria.

The 192-room hotel is expected to open next door in August. The total project's estimated cost: $150 million.

Indian gaming has been a fixture in the six-county central San Joaquin Valley for two decades. Gamblers, though, have seen nothing locally like the Chukchansi digs -- nearly 300,000 square feet of casino, hotel and entertainment venues.

Chukchansi Corruption III: A Disenrolled Members Response to Deposed Reggie Lewis

Here is a response from Facebook by a citizen of Chukchansi terminated by the corrupt leadership

 I am writing in response to the "Letter to the Editor" of April 7th, submitted by one of three self-proclaimed "chairmen" of Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, Reggie Lewis. Truth? Putting the best interest of the tribe first? 

 You won't get that from "chairman" Reggie Lewis, or from "Chairman" Nancy Ayala or Morris Reid, for that matter. Why? Because the real truth is ugly--over a thousand Chukchansi People arbitrarily and capriciously dismembered from PRCI since 1999, their tribal, civil, and human rights horrifically violated, and with more to come. 

 The reason? Greed...plain and simple. As our ancestors look down and weep at the shame and destruction that our "leaders" of today have brought our People, about the ONLY thing these three "factions" of our tribe can agree upon is fighting our neighbors--the North Fork Mono--tooth and nail to prevent development of their casino. 

This is NOT the way Indian People behave 

 Cathy Cory

CHUKCHANSI CORRUPTION II: Civil Rights Abuser REGGIE LEWIS Responds to Fresno Bee Editorial

Chutzpah on display from Hall of Shame Member Reggie Lewis responds to

I am writing in response to your April 3 editorial, "Greed could bring the demise of Chukchansi."

According to Buddha, "three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." The reality is that the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians has existed as a cohesive unit for generations; the truth will eventually come out and this dispute will be properly resolved.

The Fresno Bee is right to say greed can drive people to do appalling things, but fails its readership when it does not distinguish between the parties to the dispute. Like the rightful mother in the story of King Solomon, one party is doing everything it can to gather the other and submit to the Bureau of Indian Affairs' binding dispute resolution process. We are hopeful the other group will agree to this process rather than see the reputation of our tribe continue to be tarnished and risk further division.

As The Fresno Bee rightly points out, all parties need to put the best interests of the tribe first. Only then will this dispute be rightly resolved.

Reggie Lewis

Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians
Reggie fails to mention the harm he has helped cause to HUNDREDS of Chukchansi citizens. This is a corrupt enterprise through and through. Lewis has been hoisted on his OWN PETARD. Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/07/3245184/chukchansi-responds.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

Sunday, April 7, 2013

CHUKCHANSI CORRUPTION: Fresno Bee Editorial: GREED Could Bring Demise Of Chukchansi

OP: The FRESNO BEE has an editorial on the greed at Chukchansi that has seen the demise of 70% of their tribe.   There will be two follow up posts.

 According to Buddha, "There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed."

A torrent of greed is ripping apart the Chukchansi tribe, which owns a Las Vegas-style casino and resort below Yosemite National Park.

OP:THIS IS NOT NEW, THIS has been a decade in the making. 

 Three factions have claimed to be the rightful tribal council in little more than a year. There has been a riot that required law-enforcement intervention. There have been continuing disenrollments. And, in fact, the situation is so messy that bankers stepped in and froze a $12 million account.

Profits from Indian gaming are supposed to lift up tribal members, many of who are impoverished. The money flowing from table games, slots, hotels and concerts should go for education, health care and investments in other businesses.

But the focus among some Chukchansi has been on getting as rich as possible and as quickly as possible -- even if it means casting others aside. And profits meant to help tribe members are being diverted to lawyers for legal battles.

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs bears responsibility in these contentious events. Its hands-off policy allowed a feud to snowball into dysfunction. OP: AND VIOLENCE

Finally, last month, Troy Burdick, the Central California superintendent for the bureau, offered mediation. Tribal leaders should take up his offer because it is abundantly clear that they are incapable of working out things on their own.  OP: Burdick is ineffective and unwilling to make a hard decision: THE CASINO MUST BE SHUT DOWN.  Does the BIA WANT the destruction of Indians.

Most of the tourists and Valley residents who flock to the casino don't concern themselves with tribal matters. They just want to know that their chips will be cashed, the food will be good and there will be clean sheets on the beds.

But with the federal government and Gov. Jerry Brown approving the North Fork Mono Indians' proposed casino along Highway 99 in Madera County, the Chukchansi better soon get their house in order.
It's possible, perhaps even probable, that the specter of a rival casino is driving one or more of the Chukchansi factions. They see the handwriting on the wall, and want to split the spoils with as few as possible.
This is, more than anything else, a classic case of greed. Question is, can it be cured?

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/02/3240794/editorial-greed-could-bring-the.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

Read MORE about the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians

Friday, April 5, 2013


Our friend, attorney Erick Rhoan of NOTES on INDIAN LAW blog pointed us to this story concerning a just decision that came out from Graton. It's a slap in the face to those tribes like Pechanga, Pala, Chukchansi among others that have cause so much injustice and hardship on their own people. There is a link to the rest of the story below.

As bitter membership disputes roil many California tribes with casinos, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria has moved to avoid such problems by revising its constitution in advance of the opening of its casino in Rohnert Park.

The changes to the tribe's 11-year-old governing document cover various legal areas. But the most significant revision, in light of an impending influx of gambling profits, curtails tribal leaders' ability to disenroll citizens.

With that move, the Graton Rancheria is swimming against what experts describe as a rising tide of tribes kicking out members in battles often believed to be over the distribution of casino income.

"California leads the charge in the number of tribal communities that are disenrolling great swaths of their bona fide members, and they're using the most specious of reasons," said David Wilkins, a professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Law School.

"Here we have a tribe that is bucking that trend . . . having done what I think is unique in Indian country in limiting the power of government officials," said Wilkins, who writes extensively about American Indian politics and maintains a collection of tribal constitutions.

The tribe's action comes at a key moment in its history. It is set to open what will be the Bay Area's biggest casino late this year on the outskirts of Rohnert Park. Projections are that it could bring in $418 million annually by its seventh year.

By making it far harder for the tribal government to revoke a member's citizenship, the Graton Rancheria has sought to avoid the strife that has riven some tribes.

"We saw the money coming," said Greg Sarris, the tribe's chairman for 21 years. "We saw the changes coming. We saw the challenges and we said, 'Let's do something that could prohibit disenrollments in our tribe.' "

The revisions do not completely outlaw disenrollments. But they set out provisions strictly limiting that possibility, rules that experts say don't exist elsewhere.

Members can lose their citizenship if their enrollment resulted from fraud or mistake -- but there is a three-year statute of limitations.

Members enrolled in another tribe are considered "to have relinquished (their) citizenship," the constitution says.

Descendants of people who lose citizenship remain eligible for membership.

The Tribal Council can suspend members -- usually for behavioral transgressions such as violence -- but their children remain eligible for membership.

Also, in a measure taken to preserve the new protections against political power shifts, the tribe's laws governing citizenship can be amended only by a two-thirds vote of the General Council. That body is made up of all adult members of the tribe, just under 800 people.

"It is unique; I've never seen anything like it," said Cheryl Williams, whose Sacramento and San Diego American Indian law firm, Williams & Cochrane, specializes in tribal litigation.


Susan Bradford on Dale Kildee's Return to the "scene of the crime"

Investigative reporter Susan Bradford has an essay on AKIN GUMP and IETAN Consulting lobbyist Dale Kildee

You can visit Susan's site at:  http://susanbradfordpress.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/kildee-returns-to-scene-of-the-crime/

Saginaw Chippewa Indians report that retired Congressman Dale Kildee, who recently joined powerful lobbying firms, Akin Gump and IETAN Consulting, as a tribal consultant has returned to their tribe seeking work.
“Kildee’s nephew, Dan, ran for an uncontested seat,” tribal sources said. “No one else wanted to represent Flint. None of the Indians want Kildee back on our reservation. We thought after the pedophile scandal, that Congressman Kildee wouldn’t darken our reservation again. We don’t want to be tainted by his sordid reputation. His presence here embarrasses us. He has always come to our tribe with his hand out for our money.”

Saginaw Chippewa whistleblowers also complained that Rosenthal blocked their efforts to initate an investigation into the takeover of their tribe in 1986 by fictitious Indians through an illegal constitutional rewrite driven by Kildee and other members of the Michigan delegation.

Tribal Council resolutions document that the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council voted in 2010 to submit a letter to Doc Hastings, a Republican Chairman of the House Resources Committee, to investigate the fraudulent takeover.  Shortly after the letter was submitted to Congress, tribal members overheard Rosenthal tell a tribal leader, Milton “Beaver” Pelcher, that he would block the investigation.

Recently Saginaw Chippewa Chief Vinnie Kequom informed tribal members that Hastings responded to the letter, which was then forwarded to Rosenthal, the tribe’s Washington, DC lobbyist who has apparently squashed the appeal for an investigation.

“We love the Chief, but he is so gullible and naive, just too easy for Rosenthal to manipulate,” tribal sources said. “While he expected that Rosenthal would know what to do with Hastings’ letter, he never expected that Rosenthal would derail our efforts. Rosenthal is just protecting Kildee and his allies here.”
In 1999, when the Indians attempted to remove the fictitious Indians from their tribe, Rosenthal and Kildee staged a coup d’etat to stymie their efforts and shore up power for the non-Native infiltrators, who acquired their membership through fraud, according to tribal documents.
Tribal members leaked tribal documents which exposed some of the shenangians undertaken by Rosenthal, Kildee, and their allies during the takeover of their tribe with the hope that federal investigators might take notice and investigate them:  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NARF SUPPORTS Legislation Banning "Redskins" Name, SILENT ON HUMAN Rights Abuses by Corrupt Tribal Leaders Like MARK MACARRO

It's good to know NARF has priorities. Names = Bad Abuses by tribes = Board membership. We wrote about how the have the tribal chair of Pechanga, Mark Macarro, on their board: http://www.originalpechanga.com/2013/03/native-american-rights-fund-has-civil.html

On March 21, H.R. 1278, was introduced in the House by Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) and nine co-sponsors in hopes to ban the trademarking of the term “redskins” and other racist language against Native Americans, a move the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) fully supports.

The Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013, if passed, would strip the Washington football team of its trademarked name and put a stop to its exclusive profiteering from using the racist slur in its logo on sweatshirts, tee shirts, caps, coffee mugs, and dozens of other products flooding the market, Indian Country Today Media Network reported on March 21.

“NARF commends Rep. Faleomavaega and all the original sponsors of this important bill, which sends a clear signal that some members of Congress do not take anti-Native stereotyping and discrimination lightly. These Representatives now join Native American nations, organizations and people who have lost patience with the intransigence of the Washington pro football franchise in holding on to the indefensible – a racial epithet masquerading as a team name,” a statement from the nonprofit law firm said.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/03/26/native-american-rights-fund-applauds-sponsors-proposed-offensive-redskins-trademark

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How Pechanga's Enrollment Committee Members Frances Miranda, Ihrene Scearce and Ruth Masiel Irreparably Harmed HUNDREDS of Pechanga Citizens.

Hunter Cousin A'amokat raises some good points in our comment section that I though deserved a promotion to a full post.  It has to do with getting a fair and impartial hearing from the Pechanga Enrollment Committee.   Disenrollment of hundreds of Pechanga people by three despicable people.  (AKA the 3rd Pechanga Massacre) Do you think that black South Africans got fair hearing from their white rulers under apartheid? Would Americans expect a fair and impartial hearing from Iran?

A'amokat: Article V of the Temecula Band's constitution and bylaws, sometimes referred to as the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians,says:


Irehne Scearce and Ruth Masiel are the sisters of Raymond Basquez Sr, who submitted a statement against our tribal membership, and they were closely related to at least ten other people who submitted and/or signed another letter that was against our tribal membership.

Francis Miranda was also closely related to a person who signed the letter against our membership and these three women were party to a challenge of our membership that was submitted against us before any evidence was even presented that would have warrented opening up an investigation against us.
I know I have posted this information about a million times and I have asked the following question just as many times.
How was allowing those three women to sit in judgement of us and to rule on our fate in our disenrollment case not malice or predjudice against us and how does it not violate the equal protection clause of the Band's constitution and bylaws under Article V?
We can document what I have stated by at least six letters that were sent to the enrollment committee and/or the tribal council asking for the recusal of those three women from participating in our disenrollment case but our request was ignored by both the committee and the council. How fair is that?

OP:    Here is some pertinent information from a previous A'amokat post:

1. Applications that had the required number of signatures for approval (6) but were never processed. When confronted with this a committee member who was responsible for processing new applicants, a descendant of Candarlaria Nesecat Flores, replied, “I don’t care if it has 24 signatures on it, if I don’t think there is a bloodline, I’m not processing it.” OP: Frances Miranda was a descendent of Flores, and was on the enrollment committee.

2. Some 40 applications of children of enrolled tribal members were banded and set aside so they would not be processed because the committee members from the CPP faction of the tribe, who to that point had controlled the committee by having a majority, had no intention of enrolling these children. OP: Keeping children from their rightful place in the tribe. Their lineal descent was proven. This created a virtual moratorium on membership.
3. The new committee members found that there were families where one sibling was enrolled and another was not, even though both submitted identical applications at the same time.
4. Applications that were placed in the moratorium, even though the applications were submitted prior to the deadline, and the individuals had repeatedly contacted the committee to follow up on their status.

5. Refusal to sign enrollment applications or birth certificates for individuals who are members of families they don’t like
We keep working to get the story out front, the unethical tribal council of Pechanga hides behind the cloak of sovereignty.  Would people stand up for Wal-Mart is they cut wages and cut all health coverage?   NO, they'd exercise their moral outrage and quit shopping at Wal-Mart.   Shouldn't the same be done at Pechanga, which has cut of rightful per capita payments, health care, educational assistance, the right to be buried with family at Pechanga cemetary... A REPOST from Decemboer 2010

Gabrieleno Tribal People Making a Comeback After Eradication Efforts Fail

The ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLYhas a nice story of the fight for recognition by Gabrielenos in the OC

Remaining descendants of the Gabrieleños in Orange County and beyond are gamely trying to retain and revive their heritage via actions sweeping and subtle: by mapping out old village sites, by reconstructing languages and customs through a combination of archive searches and word-of-mouth stories, by protesting loudly whenever another development unearths a part of their past and treats it as just another shovel of dirt or opportunists come to divide and conquer.

Fear burned into the subconscious of elders from past slaughters of California Indians kept generations of Gabrieleños living in the shadows. But this new wave is proud and ready to save what is left of its culture—and with only about 650 documented Gabrieleños left, many middle-aged to elderly, time is running short.

"You can't separate them in the Indian mind," Teutimez says of nature and spirituality, of his people's Bolsa Chica and Southern California. "Our ancestors never thought they could do it better than God. They accepted what God gave them, and God gave them plenty. Now what we've said is 'We can do it better.'"

More on the Gabrielenos here