Saturday, September 28, 2013

Disenrollment is Bad Business Decision

Attorney Jared Miller has some thought on disenrollment. Sovereign status comes with sovereign responsibility If you are following efforts by the Nooksack tribal government to purge 306 members from its rolls, you probably hold one of two views on the matter.

You may believe tribal disenrollment is patently unjust and requires some kind of federal or international intervention on behalf of the “Nooksack 306.” Or you may feel that disenrollment is solely a matter for the Nooksack Tribe to sort out, and non-tribal authorities should stay out of it.

Allow me to propose a third possibility.

Disenrollment is a business matter. That’s because tribal governments abandoning members en masse will harm their own bottom line by engendering negative media and investor perceptions. More critically, they threaten the bottom line of Indian businesses everywhere. As such, Indian people and tribal governments across the country have an interest in seeing that ugly disenrollment fights like the one on the Nooksack Reservation in Washington State do not happen. They should act to protect that interest.

Nooksack tribal officials endeavor to end forever the affiliation of 306 members. Disenrollment by the tribe could mean loss of benefits like housing, healthcare and education. Even more painful, according to some Nooksack members facing disenrollment, termination of tribal membership means a heart-rending loss of formal contact with their community and their culture.

As expected, the Nooksack 306 are fighting hard in courts and elsewhere to maintain tribal connections, and to secure rights to all the tangibles and intangibles that emanate from their identities as tribal people. Lawsuits are pending in tribal court and tribal appellate court, as well as federal court. The battle is a public one. Local reporters have been on the story for some time. On August 25, the Seattle Times waded into the fray with a piece detailing the saga. Even more recently, Al-Jazeera introduced its growing audience to the story. Suddenly, what was essentially a family fight has become a very public airing of Nooksack dirty laundry.

Reporters have focused on a couple of angles. Some highlight accusations that greed, corruption, and racism aimed at tribal members with Filipino ancestry are driving disenrollment efforts. Others report that Nooksack officials may have ignored their own laws by failing to provide due process throughout the disenrollment process. All the coverage paints an unflattering picture. Similar stories are trending across Indian country. According to Stephen L. Pevar’s book, The Rights of Indians and Tribes, “thousands of tribal members have been disenrolled from their tribes, usually from those with profitable casinos whose remaining members would then receive a larger share of the profits.” Another noted Native American professor has called the disenrollment era a “sort of tribal civil war.” So what can be done? Predictions about the disenrollment trend are bleak. For example, University of Minnesota Professor David E. Wilkins, in a June 4, 2013 column for Indian Country Today Media Network, predicted that “native disenrollments will continue unabated” until either Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court intervene. His column suggests potential avenues of short-term redress for individuals facing disenrollment, but Professor Wilkins seems to assert that only federal authorities can provide comprehensive relief.

Let’s hope he’s wrong. For one thing, enrollment (or disenrollment) is a matter for tribes to decide. It is rarely advisable for outsiders to intervene in tribal infighting, and federal law is clear that non-Indian courts generally have no jurisdiction in matters of tribal membership (save for habeas corpus or a collateral federal question). Inviting Congress or the Roberts Court to intervene should send shivers up your spine.

Moreover, there is reason for optimism. Tribal governments have shown a stunning talent for pragmatism and savvy in matters of tribal business and finance. Walk into most any Indian-owned casino and you’ll experience a level of professionalism and service that scoffers never predicted, to cite just one example.

And let’s be clear: Disenrollment is a business issue. Ugly battles like the one at Nooksack have potential to deeply affect tribes’ bottom lines. That’s partly because non-Indians may view such controversies as indicators of greed and corruption. Investors may also conclude that partnering with a tribal government engaged in abandoning its own citizens is not worth the risk to investment. And non-Indians viewing disenrollment through the lens of old stereotypes may extrapolate those notions to tribes generally. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. There is a price attached to everything. Tribes mulling disenrollment need to focus on the cost to business. They must consider that disenrollment can spook investors, and the negative financial impacts can be long term, widespread and devastating. (Just Google “Nooksack disenrollment” to see what potential business partners will read when they research the Nooksack Tribe.) Native American leaders should pause to understand that a tribe going to war with itself drives down the stock price of all of Indian country.

In addition to financial interests, there is a real risk that Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court might one day make new law in the area of tribal citizenship. We just saw the Court diminish Indian child welfare law and tribal cultural identity in the “Baby Veronica” case. Now imagine how the Roberts Court might undermine tribal citizenship if given the chance. For these reasons, tribal governments and tribal officials should employ the forces of regional and national intertribal politics to pressure officials pursuing disenrollment. It is time to pick up the phone, or the pen, or write an email. Get creative. Too much is at stake to remain silent.

Pressure on the Nooksack government should begin now. Journalists and potential Indian-country investors are closely watching this fight, and they will take note as it unfolds. It would go a long way to shape media and investor perceptions of tribal governments if the Nooksack government could wake up to the big picture and resolve its problems without throwing hundreds of members off the rolls. But no matter where you stand on the Nooksack fight, putting an end to disenrollment is critical for the bottom line in Indian country. Read more at

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Contact Information for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee: Chairman Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member John Barrasso

Committee on Indian Affairs
United States Senate
838 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2251
Majority Fax: (202) 228.2589
Minority Fax: (202) 224-5429

People have been asking me how to contact the Senate Indian Affairs Committee so I've posted the information above.

Senator Maria Cantwell  is Chairman
Senator John Barrasso  is Ranking Member

Send EACH of them a fax or letter with your position on:

Disenrollment, ICRA, Pechanga Water Rights Act, Pala Corruption, Chukchansi Abuses, Nooksack 306 protection. 

One Portion of Corrupt Chukchansi Tribal Govt. Pays Bills Early.

They may be jerks who let 70% of their tribe suffer through disenrollment and loss of heritage, but they pay their bills... Reggie Lewis faction are jerks too...which is better?  A full complete tribe with all people brought home!

The Chukchansi Tribal Council, headed by Tribal Chairwoman Nancy Ayala, today announced a pre-payment of $5.9 million to its casino bondholders, an amount that represents half of the Tribe’s biannual bond payment of about $12 million, due in full on September 30, 2013. The pre-payment made by the on-rancheria Ayala Quorum Council is meant to reassure bondholders, vendors, business partners and the Tribe’s more than 900 members that the Tribe is moving forward and operating efficiently despite a series of legal challenges and complaints made by former Council members, said Chairwoman Ayala.
The payment is also meant to ensure that services to Tribal families, elders and children continue uninterrupted and to protect the more than 1,200 jobs created by the Chukchansi casino.
“We continue to work hard seven days a week to keep the Chukchansi Gold casino operating efficiently and driving our Tribe’s economy,” said Ayala. “Our Chukchansi Economic Development Authority (CEDA), working closely with top casino management, approved this $5.9 million payment to make a statement. We have our eyes on the ball, and we’re determined to protect our Tribe’s largest and most critical asset.”

Read more here:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

NOOKSACK 306 March Against Their Disenrollment in Seattle. Send to Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chair Maria Cantwell

Our friends from the Nooksack Tribe who have been given notice of disenrollment marched on Friday in Seattle Washintong. They are fighting the largest disenrollment in Washington State history. Here is a YOUTUBE video, PLEASE WATCH, PLEASE SHARE:

AL Jazeera Does Video On Nooksack Disenrollment that Mainstream Media Ignores

We have a link to a 30 minute video done on the disenrollment of 306 Nooksack tribal members: Al Jazeera Video   They are stripped of their citizenship and heritage and they will lose their rightful benefits, their homes and healthcare.

This is something that should be shared with ALL your news contacts, so they will know that SOMEBODY is telling the story, that they won't.

Help get the word out by tweeting this story to:  @IndianCommittee  and @USIndianAffairs

Friday, September 20, 2013

Commentary: IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG at BIA? Chumash Gets 11,500 acres with NO consultation

Bob Fields has a commentary on The Chumash getting 11,500 acres with approval from BIA, with no consultation to residents. Santa Barbara County officials and Santa Ynez Valley residents were stunned to learn of the Chumash Tribal Consolidation Area (TCA) approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

Now set up for fast-tracked annexation and removal from the tax rolls, this 11,500-acre area of the Santa Ynez Valley is twice the size of Carpinteria and Goleta combined.

Somehow, neither the BIA nor the tribe felt any obligation to inform the county or any of the affected property owners of this action. For all we know, an expansion of this TCA, including Solvang, has already been approved.

This unprecedented, and probably illegal action has begged the question - how could something like this happen?

It is easy to blame the Chumash tribal government, but its only offense is to seek unlimited personal gain with a callous disregard for the people they are affecting. In their defense, that is not particularly unusual behavior in America these days.

The core problem here, the source of all that is wrong with this picture, is the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It appears to be an out-of-control and corrupt federal government agency. Consider the following:

Since 2000, the BIA has allowed the salaries of its employees to be paid by a group of tribes calling itself the California Fee to Trust Consortium, this according to Capitol Weekly, a publication of Open California, a California Public Benefit Corporation. Not surprisingly, a 2006 Inspector General’s investigation found that tribes that put in the most money got the fastest fee-to-trust results. The Chumash are a major player in this Consortium, and by 2008 had already contributed $450,000. Only two tribes have given more, according to Capitol Weekly.

Draft minutes of the April 2013 meeting of the California Fee to Trust Consortium say, “tribes that pay into the Consortium get priority on their applications,” and member tribes were advised how to keep documents secret - even if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

The BIA official who processed and approved the Chumash TCA has an interesting history. She has worked for BIA for 38 years and was instrumental in the development of the California Fee to Trust Consortium, according to a U.S. Department of Interior press release.

She was the BIA’s acting western regional director when she authorized the Ione Band of Miwok Indians 2002 leadership election, against the traditional tribal leaders’ wishes. The BIA opened the tribe’s membership rolls, and hundreds of people were added, including several BIA employees and dozens of their relatives. The tribe’s official membership grew from 70 to 535, and none of the new members were related to the original 70.

As a result, this BIA official and 68 of her relatives became enrolled members of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians. Five new tribal leaders were elected, four of whom are related to this BIA official, according to an Associated Press story in February 2004.

The department investigated itself and found everything OK. Amador County is now suing the BIA, claiming it granted an illegal exception to this tribe to open a casino, according to

So, that’s how it happens. The critical question is, how do we stop it from happening?

County supervisors finally started fighting this corrupt federal behavior and declared themselves, with thanks to Supervisor Doreen Farr. On a 4-1 vote, they have appealed this BIA action.

State officials must aggressively intervene to stop this federal giveaway of state lands to quasi-sovereign governments who freely consume local public resources but do not pay state and local taxes, and do not play by state and local rules.

Federal officials need to take responsibility for this situation and clean house at the BIA. For them, there is no one else to blame.

Tom Rodgers, Abramoff Accusing Lobbyist Says He's NOT a Shill For Democratic Party. He's Gung Ho for Indians. Susan Bradford Article

Susan Bradford has a post on this.

Abramoff (false) accuser and Carlyle Consulting lobbyist Tom Rodgers would like everyone to know that he is not a shill for the Democratic Party. He is simply gung-ho for Indians as reflected in his latest quest to embark on a lawsuit against Montana’s Secretary of State and County Administrators to improve access to voter registration sites for tribal members.

On the surface, Rodgers’ latest calling is a very noble pursuit. A democracy should not disenfranchise any of its citizens, least of all the Indians. However, tribes can determine their own members. Native blood quantum is often of least consideration. In fact, the legal definition of Indian, as determined by federal legislation, is a tribal member, regardless of whether that person has actually descended from a Native American.

Sadly, achieving tribal membership status often amounts to convincing tribal governments to accept the application.
In turn, thanks to activist liberal groups, many illegal immigrants have made their way onto tribal membership rolls so that they can take advantage of federally recognized benefits reserved specifically for tribal members.

Organizations, like the Native American Rights Funds, have endeavored to fill membership rosters to expand lucrative captive markets corporations among these sovereign nations for federally subsidized products and services, worth billions of dollars.

Should his suit be successful, Rodgers will succeed at helping more illegal immigrants acquire the vote in national and state elections. Would tribal members have to prove their citizenship or merely produce a tribal membership card to vote? If they were to vote on the reservation, these individuals would be less likely to face challenges to their right to vote.

Rodgers would also help secure a solid voting block for the Democratic Party.

As usual, Rodgers is misguided, though he is convinced he means well, or at least he tries to keep his more cynical, self serving motives hidden within his subconscious. By increasing Democrats power in Congress, he can more effectively wield his influence as a lobbyist and Democratic operative, in turn, enhancing his professional advantage.

He would also have greater wherewithal to mobilize tribal members to back legislation and influence their votes in state, local, and national elections – in turn, taking a page right out of Abramoff’s playbook but with a special Rodgers twist.

But Rodgers insists his motives are pure. “You know I care about the Indians,” he said. “I am looking out for my people and am taking on my own (Democratic) party by doing this. There is nothing in this for me at all.”
Reflecting a rather paternalistic attitude toward the poor “Indians,” Rodgers believes that Indians should not receive absentee ballots. Some would argue it would be easier to simply mail the ballots to the tribal members in distant locations, but such individuals might simply neglect to vote unless they were conveniently driven to a local ballot box.

Instead, Rodgers argues that Indians, who are rightfully distrustful of the federal government, which railroaded Abramoff into prison and broke numerous treaties with the tribes, are too frightened to open letters from the government.

Instead of seeking treatment for fear-based tribal member trauma of federal correspondence, Rodgers has launched a law suit with the blessing and support of the Department of Justice, which private interests have transformed into a weapon and tool on behalf of the nation’s leading corporations.
When asked if he would play the race card, mirroring his gleeful delight in taking down Abramoff, whom he characterized as a “white guy,” the Blackfeet tribal member conceded that “I am Irish.”
At least he was honest with himself on that point. Score one for Rodgers!

Susan Bradford is the author of Lynched! The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power.

Mark Macarro of Pechanga in Washington DC to Steal Water From Temecula Indians

There is an Indian Affairs Senate committee meeting today to discuss and approve the Pechanga Water Rights bill, which will change the way that Allottees are determined.

Please send this follow up letter:

fax for majority (202) 228-2589 
minority (202) 2245429

To the Indian Affairs Committee. Maria Cantwell, Tim Tester, Jon Tester, Tom Udall, Al Franken,    Mark Begich, Brian Schatz, Heidi Heitkamp, John Barrasso, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, John Hoeven, Michael Crapo, Deb Fischer. 
I’m writing you on the Pechanga water bill S1219 and HR2508. This bill give all benefits to Pechanga and not one allottee that has been disenrolled or band from Pechanga will see any benefits that this bill say it will bring. The senate and congress seem to be concerned with Syria a true sovereign country and protecting its people from a corrupt government. But lack the willingness to uphold civil rights and protect Native Americans from criminal acts from corrupt tribal governments that do not follow their own tribal constitutions and bylaws and commit fraud and civil right violations right here in the United States of America. There are federal laws right now that need to be enforced like the Indian civil rights act of 1968. For Tribes that disenroll against their tribal laws and constitution there is Commission of Authority Regarding Tribal Enactments Section 18 Paragraph 3) States Tribal enactments disenrolling persons found not to meet the established enrollment criteria. The commissioner’s approval of such action shall be subject to appeal to the Secretary of the Interior.
 Paragraph 4) The commissioner shall forward to the secretary, with a recommendation, ordinance, resolution, or contracts which, in the opinion of the commissioner are: inconsistent with an act of congress or with a treaty or with tribal constitution or charter under which the ordinance, resolution or contract was adopted, enacted, or negotiated; or should be disapproved or rescinded for any other reason.
 Paragraph 5) Notwithstanding the provision of section 25 of this order, the Commissioner shall not redelegate the authority granted in this paragraph to any officer or employee who pursuant to a tribal constitution or charter passes upon ordinance, resolution, or contracts.
 If this bill is not killed then the amendment needs to be added
Tribal enactments disenrolling allottees not found to meet the established enrollment criteria. The commissioner’s approval of such action shall be subject to appeal to the Secretary of the Interior. The commissioner shall forward to the secretary with a recommendation, ordinance, resolution or contract with a treaty or with Tribal Constitution and membership criteria set by the tribe or charter, under which the ordinance, resolution or contract was adopted, enacted or negotiated or should be disapproved or rescinded for any other reason. Notwithstanding the commissioner shall not redelegate the authority granted in this paragraph to any officer or employee who pursuant to a tribe constitution or charter passes upon ordinance, resolution or contracts
Recently I saw Senator John McCain on the news concerning the Syria crises. He was playing poker and his nonchalant reaction was too laugh and says he lost thousands of dollars. This allottee water rights and the disenrollment is a grave matter to us. The disenrollment has left members of these familys destitute and homeless. If it weren’t for the allotment they would be homeless with no place to go. I hope Senator John McCain shows some concern for their plight concerning this bill and if not I hope it does not reflect the attitude of the Indian Affairs Committee on this matter.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Should California Legalize Casino Gaming? Regulated Gaming to Benefit ALL Californians

It's time for California to legalize gambling, regulate it, tax it and reap the benefits of casinos in our higher populated cities.  

California faces a budget crisis that is reaching critical mass.    Four years ago, tribes promised us with exaggerated claims,  that we'd reduce our budget deficits if we passed Props. 94-97.    Then Governor Schwarzenegger said it was good for California, knowing at the time that one of the tribes hadn't even taken it before their people.  Some tribes even tried to keep Californians from voting on the propositions

Where are we FOUR years later? Not only didn't expanded gaming fulfill it's promise to California,  tribes haven't even benefited.   All the slots we were told would bring MORE dollars to California haven't even been placed into casinos.  Tribal gaming is suffering from economies.

Self-Reliance has become a joke, replaced by civil rights violations, tribal citizenships are being destroyed so that remaining tribal members could steal per capita from rightful citizens, that we've documented here many times.  Many tribes have not benefited from gaming, that was promised by Pechanga's Chairman Mark Macarro when we passed Props. 1A and 5 a decade ago.   Tribes have gained political clout, from the monopoly established by allowing gaming on reservation land, which, while good for tribes, has not been as good for CA citizens, other than our politicians. 

We need revenue and the trickle that CA gets from tribal gaming needs to be a flood.    More jobs, more spending here in our state, less money spent to get to distant casinos or Las Vegas.   We need gaming legalized and regulated so that we can see where the money goes.    You do realize that we have NO RIGHT to audit tribal books?   They are self regulating.   I'm not saying we can't trust the tribes, but, hey, they've cheated their own people, why wouldn't they cheat Californians too?   Or as some tribal people put it... "normal people".

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Casino Tribes In California Working to Keep OTHER Tribes From Getting Casino. Pechanga Included..

Tribes like the corruption riddled Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians REALLY don't want to lose market share.   They got theirs, so they want to keep it, not expand gaming.  We don't support off reservation casinos, but with the choice being helping Chukchansi, it's hard to choose the right thing.
Opponents, including the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians near Temecula and Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning, argue that the pact will lead to “casino-shopping” by tribes and investors trying to open casinos in places such as Barstow.  Funny how Pechanga didn't care about the law when they added Class II machines to their limit of 2,000 machines against state law...
Supporters of a controversial casino agreement between the state and a Madera County tribe have opened a fundraising committee. The action comes two weeks before the deadline for the deal’s opponents to turn in voter signatures seeking to put the issue on the ballot.
If it qualifies for the June 2014 ballot, the referendum on this year’s legislation ratifying the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians’ compact would be the first since voters considered casino-expansion deals for a trio of Riverside County tribes in February 2008.
A committee called “Voters for Central Valley Jobs and the Environment, a coalition of tribes, labor organizations, business and environmental groups, North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and Station Casino LLC” this week filed paperwork with the secretary of state’s office. Las Vegas-based Station Casino is the developer of the North Fork project.
The committee has not reported any contributions.
Ratified by the Legislature in June, the agreement between the North Fork tribe and the Brown administration allows the tribe to open a casino with 2,000 slot machines along Highway 99 in Madera, about 38 miles west of the its rural reservation near Yosemite National Park.
Supporters, including the Brown administration and the California Labor Federation, say the 20-year pact would help the economy in the high-unemployment Central Valley.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Reggie Lewis's Chukchansi Meeting Attempt to Sow Confusion and ILLEGAL says Nancy Ayala

PAYING Tribal members to come vote for you?  Well THIS TIME, it's not right, thinks Ayala, who got paid LAST TIME.  These are the type of people that gamblers should trust to not cheat them?

Marc Benjamin of the Fresno Bee has the details.

A rift between two factions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians appears on the mend after a weekend gathering in Fresno. But the meeting did little to resolve a larger question: Who controls the tribe?
Members of a council led by Reggie Lewis invited members of the tribe, including those from two other rival factions, to a voting meeting Saturday at the Fresno Convention Center.
About 300 tribal members voted to lift suspensions of a faction led by Morris Reid and including Dora Jones, Dixie Jackson and Harold Hammond.
All four were suspended last year by a council that was at the time led by Lewis. The four had won a 2011 election that was later nullified. Reid faction members then holed themselves up in the tribe's Coarsegold offices in protest last year.
The suspensions of about 60 of Reid's supporters also were lifted, said Richard Verri, lawyer for the Lewis group. They were stripped of voting rights last year.
Those who attended — representing about one-third of the tribe — also declared their allegiance to Lewis and members of his tribal council, Verri said.
But tribal council Chairwoman Nancy Ayala called Saturday's meeting illegal and another attempt to "sabotage our tribe and sow confusion among our people."
Those attending the meeting were given a $1,000 stipend — which the Ayala faction called a "bribe."
Verri said the $1,000 stipend is not unusual among tribes and was given last year when the Lewis faction, which then included Ayala, held a council meeting at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, which rakes in an estimated $100 million annually for the tribe.
"Nancy Ayala participated in that and never objected to it," Verri said.
The factions led by Ayala and Lewis have been at odds since February, when Ayala backed a referendum that removed Lewis and his supporters from the tribal council.
David Leibowitz, a spokesman for the Ayala group, said only Ayala can call a meeting of the tribe because she is the chairwoman.
"Anything that happened at the meeting is not binding," he said.
Adding to the ongoing strife: Reid on Monday said he does not recognize the authority of either the Lewis or Ayala factions.
"They had no authority to run a meeting," Reid said.
Hammond and Jones attended Saturday's meeting. Reid was at the convention center, but on Monday said that neither he nor Jackson attended the meeting.
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs in May recognized a tribal council that was elected in December 2012 that included Ayala as tribal chairwoman and Lewis as vice chairman.
But this summer, two federal agencies — the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency — froze payments to the tribe, saying it was unclear who is in charge.
Reid has asked the Department of Interior's Board of Indian Appeals to reverse the nullification of his 2011 election victory. Reid's appeal is still under consideration.
No date has been set for a resolution.
Reid said his group would give up its appeal if an open vote was held for all seven council seats and if disenrollments since the 2011 election are overturned.
Reid also was concerned about the $1,000 stipend. He said many tribe members need money and otherwise would not have attended.
"They knew they could never get a voting quorum without the enticement of money," Reid said

Read more here:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cherokee Freedmen and CNO Seek Resolution To Dispute of Citizenship for Descendents of Their SLAVES.

The Cherokee Nation and descendants of black slaves once owned by its members are asking a federal court to sort out their longstanding dispute over tribal citizenship rights.

The rare, seven-page request by both parties filed Friday in a Washington federal court follows more than a decade of nasty legal battles between the descendants, known as freedmen, and the Cherokees over whether the freedmen should have citizenship rights in Oklahoma's largest tribe.

Freedmen have long argued that the Treaty of 1866, signed between the U.S. government and the Tahlequah-based Cherokees, gave them and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees." There are around 3,000 freedmen descendants today.

"The parties to this action, in the interest of reaching a final resolution of this longstanding dispute, have agreed to jointly petition this court to resolve by summary judgment the core issue in dispute in this action — whether the freedmen possess a right to equal citizenship in the Cherokee Nation under the Treaty of 1866," the filing explains.

Attorneys also included a proposed schedule on when the court might begin accepting documents in the case, suggesting opening motions due by Nov. 29 and oral argument in April 2014.

"This is very important to us; this is our identity, who we are," said Marilyn Vann, president of the Oklahoma City-based Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes. "These are our ancestors that came on the Trail of Tears, and to now have people say you're not a part of us, get out, we feel outraged.

"We are looking forward to our day in court," Vann said in an interview Monday.
Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said Monday that after "years of litigation and legal expenses, it appears that we will finally be able to ask a judge to decide the main issue of this case which is, 'What, if anything, did the Treaty of 1866 grant the freedmen and their descendants?'"

While many white Americans owned black slaves until after the Civil War, so did some Cherokee tribesmen — but the practice generally ended with the 1866 treaty that afforded freed slaves the same rights as native Cherokees.

Leaders of the Cherokee Nation, one of the largest and most influential American tribes, have been trying to change that policy by declaring that the descendants should not be considered Cherokee citizens unless they can show proof of Indian blood.

In 2007, more than three-quarters of Cherokee citizens voted to kick out descendants of freedmen and other non-Indians. The dispute has been in and out of the courts ever since.

Pechanga Casino Crimewatch: Gunshot Victim Dropped Off At Pechanga Resort & Casino

 A man was shot at a Temecula condominium complex early Sunday, Sept. 15, then taken for medical aid to the Pechanga Resort & Casino by a friend, sheriff’s officials said.

The gunshot victim, a 24-year-old whose name was not released, and his friend had been at the casino to watch a sporting event Saturday night, Riverside County sheriff’s officials said in a news release. They left about 1 a.m. and went to a bar, then arrived at a condo complex at Sunflower Way and Poppy Ridge Drive about 4:20 a.m., according to the release.

In the parking lot, they were confronted by a man who fired two or three gunshots from the truck, one of which hit the victim, sheriff’s officials said. The motive was not known, Deputy Michael Vasquez said. The Pechanga Reservation was recently in the news for an unrelated shooting just last month. A Pechanga tribal member was arrested in a carjacking attempt in 2008. In 2010, there was a death in the hotel staircase. In a well publicized incident, that is linked here: Pechanga security guards BEAT an elderly patron.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Picayune Rancheria AFFIRMS REGGIE LEWIS as Chairman. NANCY AYALA REMOVED from Council.

A quorum of all voting members of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians came together Saturday to affirm Reggie Lewis as Chairman of the Tribe. This was only the second time since the Tribe adopted its Constitution in 1988 that a general council meeting reached quorum and was able to conduct business on behalf of the Tribe. The outpouring of support is a stark contrast to the 25 friends and family that Nancy Ayala was able to attract to an illegitimate general council meeting she attempted to convene one week earlier.
"When you exceed the quorum of all tribal membership at a general council meeting for only the second time in 25 years, it shows how serious tribal members are about properly establishing the leadership of the Tribe," said Reggie Lewis, Chairman of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians. "Tribal members spoke loud and clear on Saturday. They are ready to move on and indisputably recognized that there is only one Chukchansi Tribal Council. The Tribal Council looks forward to continuing its work of providing essential Tribal member services such as child care, elder care, tuition assistance, healthcare, and per capita payments."
All eligible voting members of the Tribe were invited to attend the meeting, where hundreds of Tribal members passed several important resolutions on behalf of the Tribe. The Tribal members affirmed that the Tribal Council is made up of Reggie Lewis – Chairman, Carl Bushman – Vice Chairman, Irene Waltz – Secretary, Chance Alberta – Treasurer, David Castillo – Member at Large, Lynn Chenot – Member at Large, and Melvin Espe – Member at Large. The Tribal membership also voted to remove any membership restrictions from individuals who had previously supported Morris Reid and affirmed the removal of Ayala from her seat on Council. In addition, the Tribal members also directed management of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino as well as all financial institutions to terminate their relationships with Nancy Ayala.
Several tribal members in attendance stated other Tribal members wanted to attend, but feared management at the Chukchansi Casino, which was hired by Ayala after she attempted to take over the Tribe in February, would fire them for not supporting Ayala.  "Ayala, fearing that the Tribe's membership would speak loud and clear denouncing her illegal actions, had sent the membership a notice last week threatening them should they attend the Tribe's Quarterly Meeting," Chairman Lewis stated.
Indian Dispute Resolution Services based in Sacramento, which was recommended by theBIA as a neutral third-party and has assisted tribes all over settle similar disputes, tabulated and certified the votes.
The unified showing of support Saturday was just the latest of several recent successes for Chairman Lewis in his effort to restore order and protect the best interests of the Tribe. Under Chairman Lewis' leadership the Tribe was recently awarded a special Historic Preservation Grant by the National Park Service to assist the Chukchansi Tribe with its cultural preservation efforts.
On Thursday, a federal judge in Fresno granted Chairman Lewis' motion to intervene to protect the best interests of the Chukchansi Tribe in a lawsuit Ayala had filed against Chairman Lewis, Yosemite Bank, and United Security Bank and then the court dismissed the litigation. The frivolous lawsuit was one of several filed by Ayala against Chairman Lewis, the Tribe's legitimate Tribal Council, and local banks in an effort to compel the banks to stop recognizing Chairman Lewis and the duly elected and installed Tribal Council as the governing authority of the Tribe.
Ayala's actions demonstrate that she is only looking out for her own interests and not the interests of the Chukchansi Tribe. Over the past two weeks, two federal agencies also withdrew funding for the Chukchansi Tribe after Nancy Ayala misrepresented to them that she was Tribal Chair by cropping portions of a letter from the BIA.
Chairman Lewis added, "The recent court decisions, actions by federal agencies, and actions taken by members of the Tribe point to only one conclusion. Ayala represents a small minority of the Tribe and is willing to lie to anyone to keep her lie going. There is only one Chukchansi Tribal Council affirmed on Saturday that represents the over 800 Tribal members of the Chukchansi Tribe."


The Nooksack 306, who are fighting for their rights as members of the NOOKSACK TRIBE will have a peaceful march.  Nooksack Chairman BOB KELLY is in charge of eliminations of Native Americans from their tribal unit.

IF YOU ARE IN THE NORTHWEST, please try to attend to lend your support.

Kevin Washburn, BIA, Has Open Letter from NOOKSACK 306

Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn was sent a letter from the Nooksack 306, the latest embarrassment to Indian Country with pending disenrollment from the Nooksack Tribe of Washinton State.
It is TIME for the BIA and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, headed by Senator Cantwell to take a look at the violations of civil and human rights in Indian Country.


Good Afternoon,

I am writing in regards to a couple of actions that the Nooksack Tribeis taking against enrolled Tribal members.

On August 28th, 2013 a letter was sent to a couple of tribal members informing them that they are no longer being considered eligible for housing because enrollment status is not certain. The certainty of
this these tribal members as of today is that are recognized by the federal government as an enrolled tribal member.

Also, at the end of August enrolled tribal members, recognized by the federal government were denied the return to school funds. It is unclear if these funds were taken from the JOM funds, but members were asked to complete that form.

In my opinion I believe these actions are clearly in violation of the rights, if not other violations of the members needing housing and the children that were excluded from receiving funds.

In your positions of being advocates for all tribal members I respectfully ask that you investigate the legitimacy of these actions.

Michelle Roberts
Nooksack Tribal member #880

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tragio-COmedy of Chukchansi Shenanigans Delays Community Grants. Time To Disinvest from Picayune

With the Tragio-Comedy of Corruption and Mismanagement of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians still being played out, those looking for a handout, are getting nervous they won't be approved.  What they should be doing is refusing to take money from a tribe that violates human and civil rights of their people.  They SHOULD be pushing hard to keep people from going to the casino.  Disinvestment is the proper choice.

The anxious county-wide schools, organizations and government agencies who have applied for a portion of the $1 million in Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Community Grants will have to wait a bit longer to know if they are on the approved list.

Last year the grants were announced on May 1 at a Madera County Board of Supervisors meeting. This year, due to tribal leadership conflicts, meetings with county supervisors and staff were delayed or postponed several times by tribal representatives.

Tribal leaders and county officials are expected to discuss the selections in October.

Last year, nine of 24 grants awarded were for the Mountain Area totaling $408,000.

Nearly 100 grants requests from throughout the county, totaling more than $7 million, were submitted for consideration prior to the March 1 deadline.

Originally, the awards dinner at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was scheduled for May 23. A new date for the awards dinner has not been announced.

Nancy Ayala, a leader of one faction of the tribe, said the delay is due to complex litigation the tribe is currently going through.

"We will continue to be good neighbors and to help the community in every way possible," Ayala said in a prepared statement. "We've had a pair of meetings with the county supervisors on the grant program and we continue to move forward processing more than $7 million in grant applications. But before grants can be awarded this year, we need to ensure that we have our house in order and that we can give the grant program the attention and resources it requires. That's what's behind this temporary delay."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

May We Always Remember The Massacre of Our People At The Hands Of Terrorists.

Please take the time to remember what happened to our country at the hands of Muslim extremists. They killed so many of us, and remember the vision of so many first responders walking TOWARDS the Trade Centers to help get people amazing sight.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

AUDIO LINK ADDED: Native America Calling with Tara Gatewood: Is Disenrollment Cultural Genocide? YES, IT IS

I will be on Native America Calling discussing tribal disenrolment tomorrow with Tara Gatewood.  The latest embarrassment to tribal history is coming from the Nooksack Tribe.

The Nooksack Tribe of Washington is currently involved in a bitter battle over the disenrollment of 306 tribal members. The lawyers for the potential disenrollees claim it is an act of “cultural genocide.” 

Disenrollment from a tribe is not just about identity. It can mean the loss of healthcare, jobs, and family land. But determining tribal membership is the sovereign right of each tribe. Is disenrollment a question of cultural genocide or correcting mistakes of past enrollment?

Here is the website for that show which is on at 1 EASTERN 10 Pacific airing locally on:

Please listen and tell your friends

Monday, September 9, 2013

Interlude: A BIG Piece of our Lives in S. Calif Has Passed: Cal Worthington Dead at 92

Sad news today:

Famed businessman Cal Worthington's car dealership ads were powerful earworms for generations with their repeated urgings for you to "Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal." Worthington died this weekend at the age of 92 at his ranch in Orland, California.
Worthington died Sunday, at his Big W Ranch of natural causes, according to the Daily Breeze. Or, as TMZ puts it, Worthington "went on to that great used car lot in the sky."
Worthington, known for featuring "his dog Spot"(never a dog) in his beloved ads, "has sold over a million cars and trucks and has probably sold more cars and trucks than anyone in the world," his website proudly declares. Four dealerships bear the Worthington name, in San Diego and Long Beach in California, and in Phoenix, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ramona Band is Closer to Getting Casino That is ECO Friendly.

An Assembly committee today had nothing but positive things to say about a casino agreement between the state and the Ramona Band of Cahuilla near Anza.

The compact, announced last month after 18 months of negotiations between the Riverside County tribe and the Brown administration, would allow the band to build a casino with up to 750 slot machines on its remote, off-the-grid reservation.

The deal also includes incentives designed to encourage the use of environmentally friendly practices. The tribe already gets all of its energy from solar and other renewable power systems.

“The Ramona Band of Cahuilla is especially pleased with the outcome of the compact negotiations, as the compact…provides the band with the means to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient,” tribal chairman Joseph Hamilton told the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee.

Jacob Appelsmith, a senior advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, told the panel that the proposed casino is “truly a unique facility.”

Wednesday’s committee hearing was informational. The bill containing the compact, AB 1245, now goes to the Assembly floor for a ratification vote.

La Jolla Tribe's RON ANDRADE, Who Paid for Votes AGAINST Indian Civil Rights, Is Concerned about OBAMACARE

In November 2007 we wrote about Ron Andrade, who sent out an email on his government email asking for support in defeating civil rights for American Indians. AND paying for membership in the party

We are asking for you to attend the Native American Caucus of the Democratic party on Friday at 8pm at the Sheraton Park Hotel, Anaheim. We will pay for your membership and we will provide dinner.

So, is each membership coming out of Andrade's pocket? Or out of COUNTY funds? As the joke goes... Tonto says, "what do you mean WE, Kemo Sabe?"

How did Ron know that all the people he was buying memberships for were Democrats? Does Art Torres know about this?  

Now, the anti-civil rights supporter Andrade is concerned about Obamacare harming Indians who live off the reservation.   Imagine that, standing with Pechanga to harm HUNDREDS of Indians and by supporting the opposition to civil rights, THOUSANDS of CA Indians...NOW, he's concerned?

The passage of the Affordable Care Act has been hailed as a major advance for health care for tribal communities. There have been continuous articles from the White House and American Indian interpreters/apologists explaining the "historic" benefit to tribal communities. These may be some great advances – though there is little information or explanations as to the specific benefits which we can only hope will be coming soon.

I am concerned that nothing has been spoken of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the off-reservation American Indian communities.
The United States government has spent years trying to get the American Indians to leave their reservations and to some extent they have been successful according to the US Census Bureau which claims that nearly 80 percent of American Indians live off the reservation.

Read the Rest of the article HERE


Behind Scenes Fight Preceded Democrat Neutrality
Ron Andrade Help Native American Caucus Violate their own Bylaws

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tribal Sovereignty in A NUTSHELL to Corrupt Pala Tribal Chairman ROBERT SMITH

When asked WHY he wouldn't produce the evidence against the Brittain family on their disenrollment:


Syrian & South African Sovereignty and Tribal Sovereignty, Birds of a Feather?

 Our President, Barack Obama is preparing to attack a sovereign country, Syria for attacks on their own people.  The Congress of the United States imposed sanctions on the sovereign nation of South Africa for the oppression of their majority population.

Why then, does our congress refuse to act against sovereign tribal nations, such as The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, which is currently running as apartheid system on their reservation?  Why does the Democratic Party, supposedly the party of civil rights, stand by when civil rights are obviously violated, in Pechanga’s case by members of their own Native American Caucus?

Currently, the Pechanga Tribal Council, led by Mark Macarro, has eliminated 25% of his tribe.  He has threatened landowners with expulsion from the reservation for the egregious acts of:  Using playground equipment and being in the park area unaccompanied by a tribal member.  He had his Tribal Rangers, trespass on private property to threaten allottee against trespassing on tribal land.

Yes, he has stripped the equivalent of 8 MILLION CA voters of their right to vote in tribal elections, thereby ensuring he maintains his power base and can spend tribal money with no oversight, and cover for his brother’s spending of tribal money on personal family trips.  All the while keeping politicians in check with campaign contributions and keeping local politicians in line with a few thousand dollars to local schools, this after he segregated the tribal school, forcibly removing children with the power of his Tribal Rangers.

It is past time for our politicians to do the right thing for the people who have been abused by tribes that wield sovereignty like a club against the weak.   

This is not an issue that affects only Pechanga, it includes tribes like the Pala Band of Luiseno Indians, and others in the north, including the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, the Redding Rancheria and one tribe angling Gov. Jerry Brown for a casino, the Enterprise Rancheria.    

The news media is strangely quiet. You won’t read much of this in the Press Enterprise, who blithely looks the other way and some local police incident reports look like press releases.   At one protest, the sheriff’s department lined up to protect the TRIBE against a concerned group of elderly women, men and young children.   Hiding behind the walls of the Pechanga Casino, they missed the threats from tribal members to protesters.

Readers, it’s time to stand up against tribal abuses.  HOW?   Do not patronize their businesses and let them KNOW why you aren’t coming back. In Temecula, there are plenty of places to spend your entertainment dollar. If you want to gamble, there is the San Manuel Casino in San Bernardino, Casino Pauma is nearby.  AVOID Pala!  If YOU respond economically, the tribe will react.   Don’t attend functions there and ask your local politicians to no longer use their casino for meetings and dinners.  All the while informing these corrupt tribes WHY you are no longer coming.   It worked in South Africa, it can work here.   Reform is needed and you can help.

Before we look to our President to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles at a sovereign nation, We should look to he and Congress to stand up to sovereign tribal nations that abuse American citizens.  Sovereign status comes with sovereign responsibility to their people and Pechanga has shamed their ancestors with their abuses.