Wednesday, November 20, 2013

North Fork Rancheria Compact To Be Decided By CA Voters

California voters will weigh in next year on whether an Indian tribe from the mountains near Yosemite should be allowed to operate a casino along a Central Valley freeway.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen today certified a referendum for the November 2014 ballot that would, if rejected by voters, overturn a gambling compact allowing the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians to open a casino outside of Madera. The location near Fresno has been a source of controversy because opponents claim it is "off reservation" for the tribal members who live in a mountainous community more than 35 miles away.

Opposition to the North Fork compact approved by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature has come largely from competing casinos and their financial backers, whose business could be harmed by a new casino. Supporters of the North Fork casino say it will bring jobs and economic development to a needy part of the state. The project is backed by Station Casinos, based in Nevada.

Read more here:

Carrie Madariaga, Disenrolled from The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Refines Her Craft in Cinema. Directing/Writing Acting in Short Films

Carrie Madariaga was one of three Native directors selected to participate in the 2013 LA Skins CBS studios directors initiative fellowship.

Part of the fellowship each director must write a short film, table read it with the LA Skins writers group, workshop it with a director mentor at CBS studios, then shoot and edit in a 48 hr film  
competition. The following week November 16th the three films premiered at the 7th annual LA Skins Fest in Los Angeles Ca, at Regal cinemas At LA Live.   

She placed second in the competition judged by network executives.

Her 9 minute short film, "Kinda Like A Love Story", is a love story  about two women. Goldie, an artist, is consumed by grief from the loss of her love a year earlier. But through her art she creates a place  for new love to enter her life and helps her to rejoin the world again.

The film was executive produced by the LA Skins Fest, as Carrie puts it , "a milestone in my career, to have a film festival finance my film and put their name behind it". 

LA Skins is planning on turning Kinda Like A Love Story into a webseries, along with the other two films that were made as part of the competition. Kinda Like A Love Story  also has an all Native cast, starring Shyla Marlin and Shannon Baker.

Some other highlights from the fest:

Opening night film Winter In The Blood, starring Chaske Spencer and  Saginaw Grant. Saginaw attended and was part of the panel along with the filmmakers. 

This year was also the inaugural awards show.

Carrie Madariaga
PHOTO BY: Maria Brunner Ventura

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Robert Foreman, A Remembrance of Redding Rancheria's First Chairman, Dishonored By Tribal Hatred.

Robert Edward Foreman, the first Chairman of the Redding Rancheria, passed away FIVE YEARS ago, no , on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008.  Here is a remembrance of a post we wrote then

Here's how the first Chairman was treated by the Redding Tribal Council:

On January 27, 2004, all 76 members of my family the “Foremans” were removed from the Redding Rancheria tribal rolls based on nothing more than a conjured up rumor alleging my mother Lorena Foreman-Butler was not the daughter of her mother Virginia Timmons, one of Redding Rancheria’s 17 Original Distributees.
Tribal Officials never produced a single piece of evidence to dispute my mother's maternal lineage and my family provided reams of legal and contemporary documents proving her mother was Virginia Timmons. Tribal Council still required my family to provide genomic DNA from my deceased mother and grandmother to retain our tribal citizenship

Despite my family providing Tribal Council with DNA test results from two separate labs of 99.987% and 99.890%, proving by the legal standards established by the American Bar Association and the American Medical Associations that Lorena Butler and Virginia Timmons were mother and daughter, Tribal Council still stripped my family of our tribal citizenship. 

Bob Foreman has been fighting to regain his family's civil rights and the rights of disenfranchised Native Americans since.

Here's a link to his story: BOB FOREMAN Rest in Peace Details on the celebration of his life to follow

From his Obituary:

Bob Foreman, Redding Rancheria's first tribal chairman and a pioneer in north state American Indian health clinics, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 72.
An Achumawi Pit River Indian, Foreman was remembered Thursday by friends and family as a tireless advocate for Indian rights, skilled communicator and loyal patriarch.
He was born June 12, 1936, in Lake County. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he worked in construction as did his father, said daughter Carla Maslin of Redding. In the late 1960s, he began his campaign to get Indians health care in the north state.
His efforts paid off in 1971, with the opening of the federally financed Shasta-Trinity-Siskiyou Rural Indian Health Center in Anderson.

"Bobby was a real devoted guy to his tribe," said Everett Freeman, tribal chairman of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians near Corning. "He almost single-handedly got Indian health to where it is today."

Larry McClanahan, a Navajo Indian who moved to Cottonwood from Arizona in 1972, said Foreman was one of the first people he met in the north state. He and his family were glad to receive clinic services.
"He took me as I was," McClanahan recalled. "He was a man that was concerned for people."
Rod Lindsay, a Shasta Lake city councilman who works with the Office of Indian Education for the Anderson Union High School District, also met Foreman through the clinic. Lindsay said Foreman was a mentor for many, sharing his knowledge of culture and history with the young.

Foreman also was instrumental in organizing the Redding Rancheria Indian Health Clinic on Churn Creek Road and served as director, later retiring as self-governance coordinator for the rancheria, Maslin said.

In 1985, when the rancheria regained its tribal status, Foreman was elected as its first chairman and subsequently served on the tribal council.
But in 2004, he and all his family members were disenrolled after a bitter dispute over his mother's maternal lineage. The struggle took a toll on his health, Maslin said.
Foreman suffered from heart and kidney problems, she said.
Leah Harper, a family friend of more than 20 years who does native medicine work in Redding, said she wanted to stand out in front of the Churn Creek clinic with a "thank you" banner in Foreman's honor
"I believe that Bob had the heart of the native people and he wanted to make a difference for them," she said. "Bob was loving and the children are loving and they work very hard."
In addition to Maslin, Foreman is survived by three daughters and three sons, as well as 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.
For her part, Maslin is grateful her father last year was able to do something he'd always wanted - to see the Grand Canyon.

"He actually got emotional just looking at it," she said. "He was in awe of its beauty and couldn't believe the world had such a beautiful place."

Congratulations to the Redding Rancheria for their dispicable acts of DISHONOR in what they did to this man and his family.

Mass Disenrollment of 1,000 Native Americans at Grand Ronde Community.

Just when you think that the creeps at Pechanga, Pala, Redding and Chukchansi were bad, word comes the the SHAME is growing.

 .Mass Disenrollment Hits the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
Grand Ronde, OR – Up to 1,000 members (nearly 20% of the membership) of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon will be receiving letters of potential disenrollment, resulting in what could be the largest termination of American Indian citizenship in United States history.
15 members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde have already been disenrolled, and 79 cases are pending the outcome of hearings scheduled for December. These are the result of the second wave of disenrollment letters that were sent out in September. Tribal Council refuses to discuss the matter, with Tribal Councilman Toby McClary publicly stating that he did not want to disclose the details and incite panic within the membership.
The Grand Ronde Tribal Council’s mass disenrollment efforts contribute to a national Indian disenrollment epidemic, with disenrollment “expanding throughout Native America, with Native nations in at least seventeen states engaging in this practice,” according to leading tribal political scientist, David Wilkins (Indian Country Today).
Mass tribal disenrollments have broken out in Washington State and California and now Oregon (Seattle Times; New York Times).
The disenrollment proceedings stemmed from an illegal audit of the Tribe’s membership rolls by an outside auditing firm based in New Mexico and include nine sets of parameters, including dual enrollment, lineal descent, blood quantum, adoption and paternity.
One of the families facing disenrollment are the descendants of Chief Tumulth, who was a signatory of the seminal 1855 Kalapuya Treaty (also known as the Treaty of the Willamette Valley and the Dayton Treaty). Tumulth was the first chief of the Watlala Band of Chinook Indians, or “Cascade Indians,” whose ceded lands extended from Cascade Locks west to Ft. Vancouver on both sides of the Columbia River, following the Sandy River into Portland including Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuge in the Columbia Gorge.
“We are appalled that our own tribe, our own relatives, are claiming that we are some how no longer Grand Ronde. We descend directly from a tribal Chief, a man who signed the Treaty that would later establish the Grand Ronde Reservation,” stated family spokesperson, Mia Prickett.
This all comes after Grand Ronde aggressively exploited Chief Tumulth’s indigenous ties to the Columbia Gorge in efforts to fend off other Oregon tribes from engaging in traditional and commercial activities in the area.
“What my entire family is now facing is nothing short of cultural genocide,” continued Prickett. “Grand Ronde was terminated by the federal government in the early 1950s. And now our own people are seeking to eliminate our tribal existence.”
After President Ronald Reagan restored the Grand Ronde Reservation in 1983, Chief Tumulth’s direct descendants applied for membership and were unanimously approved for Grand Ronde citizenship. By 1994, the 7th generation of Tumulth’s family was enrolled as Grand Ronde members.
Now thirty years later, upon the eve of the 30th Restoration Celebration, the Grand Ronde Tribal Council seeks to disenroll the entire family. The Tribe has commissioned videos that run on a loop at Spirit Mountain Casino, in both the lobby and hotel rooms, which reference the family and Chief Tumulth. The family is also highlighted in several tribal publications that span from the Tribal Newsletter, Smoke Signals, to slicks on ceded lands and tribal history and even on informational brochures at Multnomah Falls.
Most recently, Grand Ronde received a prestigious award for conservation efforts in the Gorge, related to the Tribe’s stewardship of Chief Tumulth’s ceded lands. Present at this private gala was Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.
Chief Tumulth’s direct descendants are involved with the tribe on several levels, including being members of the Canoe Family, teaching the tribal language Chinuk Wawa, and participating in ceremonies as drummers. Other family members include World War II Veteran, Lt. Colonel Carroll Grenia; Chuck Williams, published photographer and author of “Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire”; Gorge conservationist Valerie Alexander; and Medical Doctor Lise Alexander.
“This isn’t just about me and my family. This is about the other 900 tribal members who will find a letter of potential disenrollment in their mailbox. This is about all of us,” concluded Prickett.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pechanga Descendent Stands His Ground In Human Rights Case. Justice Department Looking into Hate Crime Allegations

The Criminal Section of the U.S Dept of Justice ( Civil rights Division ) is reviewing their first " Hate Crime Case " regarding the Pechanga Tribal Council according to a letter received.  The plaintiff or Victim  in this matter "Joe Liska " filed a law suit and complaint two years ago .

The Victim seen here protesting in Downtown Tucson " In front on the FBI office" got mad because he was Banished by ( Adopted tribal Council members) and he was told he could not pray at his fathers Gravesite on the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Temecula California.

The Adopted members hired " Snell and Wilmer Law Firm " to Destroy him in Court " Joe Liska ( Was defending himself "pro se " ).  

So Mr. Liska got his signs and went outside " Snell and Wilmers Law Firm " to let them no how he felt about them destroying his children's Heritage. Joe Liska sat outside their Office on his days off from his job " For 4 months ".

Mr. Liska was Finally forced  off the street corner but will not comment ( Because of a pending law suit ) .

The Criminal Section Reviews :
Hate Crimes .
Force or threats intended to interfere with religious activities because of their religious nature.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Robert Smith's Pala Tribe Accused of Destroying Private Property and Claiming TRUST LAND as their own.

KUSI's TURKO files have a story on the Pala Band of Indians claiming trust land as their own.    Turko says the fence isn't the only problem and that the Indians are accused of trying to take over public land.

The Pala Tribe says they'll pay to repair any damage they caused to the neighbors land. But they also claim they own the trust land outright as sovereign territory. Even though county officials and land use experts say that's just not so.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

San Manuel Band of Indians Donates $500,000 to Red Cross for Philippines Relief

The San Manuel Band has donated $500,000 dollars to Philippines Relief via the American Red Cross and were seen on ABC 7 here in Los Angeles.

Excellent Effort San Manuel.  Way to lead Indian Country.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Appeal Filed in the Pala Disenrollment of 154 Tribal Members. WAS IT LEGAL? Was it RIGHT

Should tribe's be forced to follow their own constitutions?  One of the questions asked:

Does tribal sovereign immunity extend to Defendants who were incapable of acting in their official capacity because certain of them had criminal convictions and were barred by the tribal constitution from serving as tribal officials?

Plaintiffs are Native American Indians of different ancestral lineage within Pala who posed a threat to Defendants because they constituted a large voting block of Cupeños within Pala and sought accountability and transparency from 
Defendants with respect to the Tribe’s financial dealings and other matters. The friction between Plaintiffs and Defendants escalated after one of Plaintiffs’ family members, King Freeman, circulated a petition for a special meeting to discuss the removal of one of the Defendants from office for engaging in criminal misconduct and violating his parole. Thereafter, in retaliation, Defendants disenrolled Freeman’s three children and five of his other relatives, on the grounds that they 
did not have sufficient Pala Indian blood to be members of the Tribe because their 
ancestor, Margarita Britten, was not a full-blooded Pala Indian. 
disenrolling them, however, Defendants cleverly ensured that these disenrollees would not be able to seek recourse from tribal courts by withdrawing Pala from the Intertribal Court of Southern California. Six of the Plaintiffs are among these eight disenrollees. 

Read these links for more on Pala:

Pala dispute
Pala disenrolled 162 members
Pala Disenrolls families
Pala disenrollments led to hardship
READ THE REST of Pals’s Big Gamble

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Honor MY FATHER on Veteran's Day: Felipe Cuevas, A Pechanga Veteran, Posthumously Stripped of his Tribal Citizenship By Mark Macarro

We at Original Pechanga's Blog would like to thank all our veterans for their sacrifices. Though Pechanga is offering free meals to veterans today, what they really want is for them to spend their retirement pay on their slot machines. Vets would do better by taking a baggie of shrimp home from the buffet.

Here is an appreciation of a father, by his son, ME that we wrote for last year's Veteran's Day.

On this Veteran’s Day, I want to remember my father, Felipe Cuevas, born July 13, 1928. He was the son of Phillip and Olive Cuevas. Olive was the daughter of Mary Ann Miller, who, in turn, was the daughter of Paulina Hunter of Pechanga. Paulina was the matriarch of the Hunter Clan who was given her 20 acres of land on the Pechanga Reservation as the head of the Family by President McKinley. Her Pechanga Ancestry was proved by a researcher Dr. John Johnson, who was hired by the Pechanga Enrollment Committee.

My father grew up in Los Angeles, attending Malabar Elementary, and a graduate of Roosevelt High School and the oldest of five children, all of whom served in our military, including his sister Mary Ann Poole and his eldest sister, Matilda Smith, who is the eldest now of the Hunter Family. He entered the U.S. Army in 1948 and served in many capacities, primarily as a drill instructor. He was stationed in Germany, where his wife Alice bore a son,serving as well in South Korea, Ft. Ord, CA (three times), Ft. Lewis, WA where I was born, and Ft. Benning, GA. At all of these posts he trained young men to serve our country. He served two tours in Vietnam, once an advisor with a South Vietnamese Army Battalion, both tours were near the end of his 23 year career.

He always taught us about our family roots at Pechanga, having helped to build the cabin on Hunter Lane in 1957 with his cousins and uncles. My first time on the reservation was when he served his first tour in Vietnam in 1966. My Aunt Tillie and Uncle Bars took my brother and me to spend time at the cabin. That was when you could still hunt on the rez, for rabbit and dove. He was proud to be Pechanga and he was happy that family members were able to bring us to the reservation while he was in Southeast Asia.  At that time, there were few homes on the reservation. It wasn't until after the casino came and many found out that they could avoid state income taxes did they move there ... or build there.

As it is Veteran’s Day, I’m proud to write about one of his achievements. This Pechanga warrior was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device (valor).  His first tour was as an advisor to a South Vietnamese Unit, serving with two other Americans.  Since my scanner is down, I’ll re-type the citation here, but will have a copy linked as soon as I can, so there can be no "Rathergate" claims. Here's what the citation says:

Date action: 3 July 1967
Theater: Republic of Vietnam

For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force: Sergeant First Class Cuevas distinguished himself by heroic action on 3 July 1967 while serving as Light Weapons Infantry Advisor to the 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, Army of the Republic of Vietnam.

On that date, the Viet Cong opened fire on the battalion headquarters compound with machinegun, small arms and 82mm mortar fire. Eight Vietnamese soldiers and dependents were seriously wounded during the initial phase of the attack and an aerial evacuation was requested. Sergeant Cuevas voluntarily proceeded to the helicopter landing area.

Sergeant Cuevas remained in the exposed area assisting in sorting the wounded and determining priority for evacuation. Only when all wounded personnel were safely aboard an aircraft and airborne did Sergeant Cuevas return to a safe position. As result of Sergeant Cuevas’s prompt and courageous efforts, the rapid and efficient evacuation of all wounded was accomplished. Sergeant First Class Cuevas’ heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

Colonel, USA
Adjutant General

In a letter home to my mother, my father described what went on and his final reference to the above action which, by the way was his FIRST DAY there was;  " This made points with the troops, So I'm not in bad shape with the ARVN's."

My father was also awarded the Bronze Star. You don’t “win” these by the way. But he was proud of his service, proud that he was able to make young men ready to defend themselves and our country.

After surviving two tours, in Vietnam and countless hours in the field training our military men, he died of a sudden heart attack in April 1979.

Sadly, he was never able to enjoy the largesse that came with the successful opening of the Pechanga Resort and Casino, which brought much needed funds to the reservation and our people. Conversely, he also was never able to feel the sting of seeing his birthright ripped from his family, which now includes five grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren by a "disenrollment" committee that included: Ruth Masiel, Ihrene Scearce, Frances Miranda and Bobbie LeMere.

Pechanga proudly displayed his name as a Pechanga Veteran on their website, along with his brother and sisters, yet now, they also say, HE IS NOT PECHANGA. Pechanga has disrespected all their veterans by removing their veteran's page, because most of the veteran's were Hunters.

On July 13, 2006, on what would have been his 78th birthday, the Pechanga Tribal Council heard our family’s appeal of our unconstitutional disenrollment and later did not allow our appeal. Much of that story is written here on this blog.

My father always encouraged my brother and me to do our best, to do what is right and THAT is why we continue to fight for our rights and against the evil that has been done to our family. We may not be triumphant, but we will be successful in shining a light on the corruption in the tribe and forcing them to defend their disgraceful actions.

Dad, thank you for all that you gave to your family and to your country. I am proud to be your son. It is shameful that Pechanga doesn't reward your memory by following the rule of law and the will of the people. Even more scurrilous, the Pechanga Tribal Council has seen fit to remove it's page honoring tribal veterans.

Feel free to discuss YOUR family veterans in our comments.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stop The Casino 101 Files Appeal to SHUT DOWN new Graton Rancheria Casino in Rohnert Park

On opening day of the Graton Casino in Rohnert Park, Stop Graton Casino has signaled it’s intent to shut the Graton casino down by filing its Notice of Appeal with the Superior Court of the State of California on October 31, 2013.
The Notice of Appeal in the matter of Stop the Casino 101 Coalition, et al v. Edmund G. Brown, Governor. is the first step in having the decision of Judge Elliot Daum reviewed by the higher court.
“Our goal is to shut down the Graton casino with laws that already exist,” said Pastor Chip Worthington, one of the Plaintiffs in the case. “We found it very disturbing that Judge Daum’s decision did not even include his responses to our arguments. That’s a little unorthodox, and that’s why the Appeal.”
Across the country, tribal casinos have been shut down by the courts on such issues as jurisdiction over the land. It is not unreasonable to foresee that the Graton Casino may also be shut down through successful litigation.
In Stop the Casino v. Brown, the Plaintiffs demonstrated to the court that the widely-spread assumption that once the Graton Rancheria had title to the casino site, they automatically obtained jurisdiction, was incorrect under federal and state law. In order for a tribe to conduct gambling on its land, it must have legal jurisdiction over a casino site.
Since the State did not cede sovereignty over the Graton casino site, under all applicable law, the land is still state land, and casino-style gambling is illegal on state land.
Stop Graton Casino showed that one of the requisites for Indian casinos is who has jurisdiction over the site, a requirement that is recited seven times in the statute. But the judge failed to list the requisites or even to indicate if he agreed or disagreed whether jurisdiction over the site is a requisite.
“We’re only asking the court to enforce the laws that govern Indian casinos, “ said Pastor Worthington. “We think this an issue of utmost importance to California, and we hope the higher courts agree.”
Since August 2003, a grassroots coalition of community leaders has been fighting to Stop Graton Casino. The 420,000 square-foot Graton Casino development will destroy Sonoma County’s unique way of life.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

CASINO CRIMEWATCH: Soboba Tribal Member Sentenced to 18 years for Death of Homeless Advocate

 A Soboba tribal member was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for leading police on a high speed chase and killing a Hemet man who was leaving Soboba Casino.
Family members of Mike Morgan, 57, told a judge in a Riverside courtroom Friday, Nov. 8, about how Thomas Charles Durnin, 24, cut Morgan’s life short and robbed them of time with a husband, father and grandfather.
Rosemary Morgan said her husband used to keep coats and food in his car to give away to the homeless.  

Beaumont police attempted to stop Durnin on a minor traffic violation before he led them on a high speed chase. He was heading toward his home on the Soboba Indian Reservation when police lost sight of the pickup and terminated their pursuit less than a mile from the casino.
Durnin, in an attempt to surpass slower traffic, crossed his pickup into the opposite lane and crashed head-on with Morgan’s Cadillac Deville shortly past the casino entrance on Soboba Road.

Thomas Charles Durnin

Friday, November 8, 2013


The NOOKSACK 306 are having a fundraiser for their fight against their wrongful disenrollment.  If you are in the area, please attend or donate.  If you have FRIENDS in the area, ask them to help out.  One of the raffle gifts will be tickets to the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS game! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Disenrollment Disaster: David WIlkins on Disenrollment Affecting Sovereignty

Professor David E. Wilkins holds the McKnight Presidential Professorship in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.  He writes about the Nooksack Tribe's disenrollment here, but many tribes who have done harm to their people will be responsible for the erosion of sovereignty.  Because tribes have the RIGHT to do something, doesn't make it RIGHT.

 I have followed with keen interest the divisive issue of disenrollment of tribal members across Indian country. It is a complicated and depressing subject but, regardless of individual circumstances, the protection of sovereignty is rightly a priority for all those involved. I was therefore shocked and disheartened to read the devastating language used by the Chief Judge of the Nooksack Tribal Court in a case involving the potential formal disenrollment of 306 Nooksack tribal citizens.
In an attempt to explain the court’s decision, the Chief Judge used a rationale that may return to haunt not only the Nooksack but all Native nations. Even as she affirmed the power of a sovereign nation to set its own membership criteria, the Chief Judge managed to devalue the very essence of Native nationhood by negatively comparing Native loss of citizenship to that of non-natives loss of United States citizenship.
To her credit, it appears that the Chief Judge was attempting to console the disenrollees and explain a decision that gravely disappointed them. Unfortunately, she also utilized words that profoundly diminished indigenous sovereignty:
“While the Court recognizes the important entitlements at stake for the proposed disenrollees, this is a fundamentally different proceeding than a loss of United States’ citizenship…. In the case of tribal disenrollees, the disenrollee loses critical and important rights, butthey are not equal to the loss of U.S. citizenship. A person who is disenrolled from her tribe loses access to the privileges of tribal membership, but she is not stateless. While she loses the right, for example, to apply for and obtain tribal housing through the Tribe, her ability to obtain housing in general is unaffected. Though she loses the right to vote in tribal elections, she does not lose the right to vote in federal, state, and local elections.While the impact on the disenrollee is serious and detrimental, it is not akin to becoming stateless.” (Emphasis mine.)
Whatever one’s views on the way each Native nation chooses to exercise their sovereignty with regard to defining membership, the judge’s view of Native nationhood is chilling. By ruling that the termination of a Native person’s citizenship is “not equal to the loss of U.S. citizenship” and the loss of tribal membership is “not akin to becoming stateless,” she places Native citizenship in a position squarely inferior to U.S. citizenship. The implications are profound. It is not realistic to expect to maintain true government to government relations with states and the federal government if we begin by diminishing our own status as citizens of sovereign nations.
Why a Native judge would consider tribal nationhood inferior to US statehood is a frightening perception to fathom. It is difficult for me to believe she intended to weaken the idea of sovereignty even as her ruling assuredly affirmed it. Rather, the judge’s attitude reminds me of the statement that Stephen Biko, the South African anti-apartheid leader once made: “The greatest weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” We expect our leaders to be the most diligent guardians of sovereignty and yet many of them, to some extent, internalize the paternalistic attitudes of the larger U.S. political culture. It is this unconscious paradigm shift within our own communities that promises to do the most profound harm to indigenous peoples
A more realistic assessment of the value of tribal citizenship also derives from a judge who sat on the federal Court of Appeals for the second circuit. In the important case,Poodry v.Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians(1996), Judge José A. Cabranes (a Puerto Rican) provided a profound defense of indigenous citizenship and, in contrast to the tribal judge (a Pueblo), he absolutely equated the deprivation of a Native’s citizenship to that of a US citizens denaturalization.
In discussing both, Judge Cabranes, relying on prior Supreme Court precedent, reminded us that “a deprivation of citizenship is an extraordinarily severe penalty with consequences that may be more grave than consequences that flow from conviction for crimes.” He also said that the loss of citizenship-- be it indigenous or US-- entailed the “total destruction of the individuals’ status in organized society … It is a form of punishment more primitive than torture, for it destroys for the individual the political existence that was centuries in the development.”
Finally, Cabranes directly addressed how damaging tribal loss of Native citizenship was. Such a deprivation “does more than merely restrict one’s freedom to go or to remain where others have the right to be: it often works a destruction of one’s social, cultural, and political existence. To measure whether summary banishment from a tribe constitutes a severe deprivation solely by reference to the liberties of other Americans is tantamount to suggesting that the petitioners [the five banished Senecas] cannot live among members of their nation simply because other Americans cannot do so; and that the coerced loss of an individual’s social, cultural, and political affiliations is unimportant because other Americans do not share them. Such an approach renders the concept of liberty hollow indeed.”
Judge Cabranes’ analysis of the deep and lasting deprivation that banished Native individuals experience is arguably even more fitting for Natives facing legal disenrollment. And nowhere in his account does he suggest, or even hint, that the loss of Native citizenship is somehow less onerous than the loss of US citizenship.
Whether or not the leaders of the Nooksack Nation ultimately proceed with plans to disenroll these members, I hope the Nooksack Tribal Court of Appeals will overturn this ruling and jettison the appalling language by the judge that denigrates the very essence of indigenous nationhood-- which hinges on the full right and recognition of the sovereignty of each and every bona fide Native citizen.
If not, I fear that the subordinate language she chose to describe Native sovereignty may be appropriated by Native enemies who are always looking for legal, linguistic and other weapons to further erode our remaining powers. It is a shame that we, ourselves, sometimes provide them with those tools.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shasta County Group Honors Woman Who Violated Civil Rights With Civil Rights Award. SCCAR FLUBS it BIG TIME

This is akin to the UN putting Iran of it's Human Rights commission.  The  Shasta County Citizen's Advocating Respect honored the civil and human rights abusing Barbara Hayward Murphy with it's Civil Rights and Justice Award.    I got this from Carla Foreman Maslin, daughter of Redding Rancheria's FIRST Tribal Chairman.

Hayward Murphy was part of a group that forced the Foreman family to exhume their ancestor to prove DNA, it did, overwhelmingly....they still disenrolled them.

So the a local organization honored some people at their Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday at Redding Rancheria's Hilton Garden Inn. 
This organization known as SCCAR "Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect" formerly known as "Shasta County Against Racism" honored Redding Rancheria's Tribal Leader, Barbara Hayward-Murphy was a recipient for the Civil Rights & Justice Award. 

I am shaking as I write this as I am appalled & in shock as Shasta County Citizens would even consider giving this evil minded person who afflicted so much injustice & violations of my family's human, civil & tribal rights. 

The mission of this organization: "To publicly & privately work toward the elimination of racism, prejudice & social injustice in our area." I have to say that I know some of the people on the board & makes me wonder about why they would choose someone with the same mind as "Hitler" himself. 

My family is very much apart of this community & it was my Father, God rest his soul, that was the person who should be the recipient of that award. What a "scar" this has left on this community, the world for, justice but my family. I am saddened.