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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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?




In accordance with the tribe’s Constitution, which was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1988, the referendum process enables the members of tribe’s General Council to determine the tribe’s leadership.
The referendum was necessary after a group of tribal members submitted a petition with 14 unverified signatures removing several members of the Council and installing themselves, members of their family, and suspended tribal members as the tribe’s governing body.

“Throughout this entire process the Tribal Council has acted with the best interests of all tribal members in mind,” says Reggie Lewis, chairman of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians. “Ultimately, it is up to the General Council consisting of all tribal members to determine the governing body of the tribe and that is exactly what happened. We look forward to focusing on taking care of tribal members and restoring the services that were reduced due to the conduct of the illegal group that attempted to install itself as Tribal Council and its supporters, who refused to deposit money into the bank account to support the Tribe’s most vulnerable citizens.”

“The will of the people cannot be clearer regarding the governing body of the tribe. Now we need assistance from the Department of Interior, the NIGC [National Indian Gaming Commission] and other federal agencies with jurisdiction to make it known to everyone else outside the tribe,” says Mr. Lewis. “A hands-off approach is not working and the longer the federal government waits to act, the more harm that will be done to Tribal members and our business partners.”

5 comments:

Erick Rhoan said...

I knew those banks would get that tribe to do something quicker than the BIA ever could.

for ALL nations...for ALL chukchansi people said...

and just WHO is on staff at indian dispute resolution services, who "mediated" this dispute at picayune?

JOYCE BUREL-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.

Erick Rhoan said...

Ha ha, leave it to you to always give us an inside scoop. I love it.

Anonymous said...

what people need to know is that reggie held peoples per caps to get his referendum sighned thats how he got the qurum.no signature no moneys,it happened to my cousin.she wouldnt sighn so she did not get her percapita this month.tell the truth reggie, you extorted the tribe to get your way.

for ALL nations...for ALL chukchansi people said...

HA HA INDEED, ERICK!!!

after reading "ms burel's" bio, it seems that she seriously needs to consider another line of work...

judge for yourself...


"an astute practitioner and trainer schooled in a range of conflict resolution disciplines,"(?)"integrally involved in the entire range of her Tribe’s internal matters"(?) and finally, "shepherding 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(?)"

WELL "shepherding her tribe" into OBLIVION, and/or FEDERAL PRISON more likely...

WAY TO GO JOYCE!!! (SOMEONE'S in denial...)