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."


Anonymous said...

Hopefully now the Chukchansi tribe can finally move forward, start over and try to gain back respect and integrity. So happy for the Chukchansi tribe. Do the right thing Reggie!!!

OPechanga said...

Reggie Lewis has a unique chance to show that he is a real leader in Indian Country.

He can show that his tribe is big enough to correct the egregious errors made and begin to heal Indian Country.


Anonymous said...

I agree O Pechanga. It's time for the Chukchansi tribe to heal. I hope Reggie will bring back the wrongfully disenrolled. I believe that if you do good, good things will come to you but a house that is divided cannot stand.

Anonymous said...

This still won't resolve anything. Nancy has control of the casino. Until the Lewis/Alberta faction gains control of the tribal grounds & casino , NOTHING will be resolved. Get moving & take control instead of waiting for BIA to help out. If there were enough members regardless of money, the tribal members have NOTHING

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post. Only thing is that the Madera sheriff was paid off by Tracy & Nancy. Now the guy is retiring next year. Reggie & Chance can't just take over the tribal grounds even with there 300plus supporters. The sheriff will arrest them even if there a tribal member. It's going to be ugly.
The only people getting hurt by this is the membership. Both factions don't care as long as there pockets are filling up with $money$.........Money that should go to the membership not to either sides attorneys or to benefits themselves. I back Nancy up last year & I get on a list that does not allow me to enter the casino. This year I'm waiting to see if I'm still a Chukchansi member.

Is it 46 members as Nancy states or is it 900 strong????
I'm part of the 900 members that belong to the rancheria not 46! Also I belong to an allotment land by the casino.

"900+ STRONG members"
"NOT 46"

Yes on 900+
No on 46

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Chukchansi but I vote Yes on 900+strong members!!! Negative Nancy and Trifling Tracy need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Evan if the sheriff was paid off and he is retiring he can still be brought up on charges for take a bribe. I agree on all these reservations that have these corrupt tribal government it the members that get the short end.

Anonymous said...

Time for Pala to clean house! Robert smith's power has been faltering in recent months. He is the next Ayala example of corrupt tribal leaders going down. Then it will be Pechanga's turn. All dictators fall in time. Look at these powerful crooked mafia leaders. Certain tribal leaders are the same and they all fall in time whether it be by their own people or the government.

Anonymous said...

Remember 1500 strong?