Friday, March 28, 2014

SNOQUALMIE TRIBE donates $275,000 to Washington Landslide Relief Efforts

The Snoqualmie Tribe said it would donate $275,000 to the relief effort for Saturday’s devastating landslide.
During a press briefing Friday, tribe officials handed $50,000 checks to the Darrington, Arlington and Oso fire departments.
The tribe also will be giving $50,000 to the Red Cross, $50,000 Cascade Valley Relief Foundation, and $25,000 to K-9 efforts, said Councilwoman Sharon Frelinger.
Officials decided to donate the money after tribe members working in the debris field detailed the bleak state facing those searching through the mile-wide field of mud and rubble, said Bob DeLosAngeles, vice chair for Snoqualmie Tribe.
Tribe officials said they feel a close kinship to those who live in the rural mountain community and wanted to do everything they could to help.
Officials throughout the week have said the best way for people to assist in the relief effort was through monetary donations.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Leland Yee (D) Friend to Tribal Casinos in CA, INDICTED on CORRUPTION CHARGES

State Senator Leland Yee, and recent speaker at the IGAMING symposium, has been indicted for public corruption as part of a major FBI operation this morning in the Bay Area, according to ABC7 news.  

If the allegations prove true, Yee would be the state's third Democratic legislator tied to corruption allegations this year. In February, State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, surrendered to authorities after being indicted on bribery charges. In January, Assemblyman Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, also an internet gaming supporter, was convicted of voter fraud and perjury stemming from a 2010 indictment.

In 2011 questions surfaced whether Yee had broken laws:

State Sen. Leland Yee has been a friend to the casino industry during his time in Sacramento, and that friendliness may have paid off during a June fundraiser for his bid for San Francisco mayor at a Colma casino.
Campaign donors paid $125 per plate for meals at Lucky Chances Casino in Colma -- but the campaign was charged less than market value for the food served up to contributors, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
For example, the campaign was charged only $20 per person for 75 surf-and-turf dinners, whereas the dinner buffet -- which does not include lobster served to campaign contributors -- normally costs $30.88, according to the newspaper.
Yee also received money from tribes that violated civil rights of their people in 2010:

New BIA Chosen Chukchansi "Leadership" Team: Disenrolled from 2011-2013 are OFFICIAL MEMBERS Again.

We received this short message from Chukchansi people, which is good news for some.  What the "leaders" should now do is re-instate ALL disenrolled people.  Bring EVERYONE home.  SO WHAT if it reduces per cap?  The resulting good press, and good karma will bring more business to Chukchansi. 

It will all the tribe to point at other tribes and SHOW how it can be done.  Chukchansi can be the real LEADER in Indian Country and stop all this foolishness.   Congratulations to those who have been restored....NOW fight for your sisters and brothers.

Yesterday at the Chukchansi monthly tribal meeting (held by BIA chosen council) an announcement was made that the dis enrolled from 2011 to 2013 are now official tribal members again BEGINNING NOW. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NCAI Hates TEAM Name-Calling, Disenrollment is OKAY?

I always get a kick about how the National Congress of American Indians reacts to the name Redskins ( I think it's offensive, but in a poll here last year, readers, mostly identifying as NATIVE....did not).   
Yet the NCAI  are alarmingly silent on the scourge of disenrollment that has ripped the hearts from Native People, much more than the moniker of a football team.    REALLY, NCAI?  Is this what is important to you?  Have you called tribes who have disenrolled and spoke to them about the THOUSANDS of Native Americans who have had their heritage wiped away?  
How about standing up for those of us who have been harmed by YOUR MEMBERS?   Pala, Pechanga, San Pasqual, to name JUST A FEW.
The National Congress of American Indians was quick to react to NFL Washington Redskins owner Snyder’s announcement of his new foundation. The country’s oldest American Indian organization issued the following statement late Tuesday morning, March 25, 2014:
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is encouraged to see that after decades of insisting their team name supposedly honors Indian Country, the Washington, DC football team’s owner is dedicating time and resources to the challenges facing tribal nations.
 However, this Foundation will only contribute to the problems in Indian Country if it does not also address the very real issue of how Native people are consistently stereotyped, caricaturized, and denigrated by mascot imagery and the use of the R-word slur. For Mr. Snyder and the Foundation to truly support and partner with Indian Country, they must first change the name of the DC team and prove that the creation of this organization isn’t just a publicity stunt.” 
A real issue, NCAI?   A NAME?  How about Native veterans eliminated posthumously from tribes?   Elders abused, children yanked from tribal schools.   Think about THAT the next time to rub shoulders with Mark Macarro of Pechanga,  or Robert Smith of Pala.

Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Schedule Disenrollment Hearings for Founder's Family.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has moved another step closer to the possible disenrollment of an entire family that traces its lineage back to one of the founders of the modern tribe. 
In a letter sent to family members last week, the tribe’s enrollment committee essentially reversed a decision made unanimously by previous committee members nearly 30 years ago. 
Mia Prickett is one of 78 descendants of Chief Tumulth now facing disenrollment. 
In 1855, Tumulth played an important role in the confederation’s founding as one of the signers of a key treaty with the U.S. government. 
Prickett says in 1986 the enrollment committee determined her family met the eligibility requirements of the tribe’s constitution.  She says it’s not clear why the committee is now reversing course.
“I can only think that they’re trying to skim down the numbers, that they’re trying to kick us quote unquote urban Indians out who, who don’t live on the reservation and this is the only way that they can do it,” said Prickett.
A tribal spokesman declined to comment on the cases.
Tribal council is expected to act on the committee’s recommendation on April 30. 

Should Disenrolling Tribes Be EXCLUDED as BAD ACTORS in Any Online Poker Laws? Pechanga, Pala Should be BANNED

The 3 member California Tribal Business Alliance includes the civil and human rights violating tribe, the Pala Band of Luiseno Indians which has disenrolled 15% of their tribe.  Should they REALLY be speaking out against BAD ACTORS?   Should any tribe that terminated Native Americans be given any more gaming rights?   Pechanga, Redding Rancheria, Mooretown, Enterprise, Chukchansi, San Pasqual should ALL be excluded.  At least Pokerstars paid their debt.

A statement from Leslie Lohse, the Treasurer of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and Chairperson of the California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA), includes strong opposition to any California gaming law that would allow PokerStars to receive a license to operate.
She issued the statement in response to press reports that PokerStars was working with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and multiple California card clubs to offer online poker in California.
Citing PokerStars' continued presence in the US market following the introduction of UIGEA, Lohse said of the CTBA, “we will strongly oppose any legislation which allows PokerStars to participate.”
After Black Friday, PokerStars paid a $731 million out of court settlement to the US DOJ, but admitted no wrongdoing. The terms of the settlement expressly permitted PokerStars to apply for a federal gaming license should the law change.
Leslie Lohse was one of the most reluctant to endorse Californian liberalization of online poker at the recent Symposium on the subject. 

Dry Creek Rancheria To Disenroll After River Rock Casino Loses Money. $150 Million Debt

More than 75 members of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians have been notified they face expulsion in another round of disenrollments that have roiled the tribe in recent years.
Tribal Chairman Harvey Hopkins sent out letters this month to adults and some children identifying them for potential removal from the approximate 1,200-member tribe. The letters contend they don't meet criteria for lineal descent because they, their parents or their grandparents were members of other tribes.
Coming at a time when the tribe's River Rock Casino is suffering the bruising effects of competition from the newly opened Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park, some suspect it's another way to trim expenses by reducing the number of Dry Creek tribal members who get a monthly “per capita” distribution of casino profits.

“The rest of per capita won't be affected if you remove people,” said Liz DeRouen, a former chairman of the tribe who was disenrolled four years ago after she lost an election to Hopkins in 2004.
She and Hopkins blame each other for the $150 million debt the tribe owes to bondholders who financed construction of the casino and for the fact it hasn't been paid off.
Last year, DeRouen's eldest daughter, Layla Elgin DeRouen, 30, was kicked out of the tribe after she declared her candidacy for secretary-treasurer of the five-member board of directors.
Now her two younger daughters, LaVon DeRouen, 28, and Hailey Ferroni, 23, have been notified they face expulsion.
There have been a number of contentious enrollment reductions involving tribes that own casinos. The implications go beyond the monthly distribution payments, housing and educational benefits that disenrolled members lose.
Some say they also face a loss of their cultural identity.
“It's the most hurtful thing native people can do to their own people,” said Nancy Cordova of Windsor, whose husband, Stan, and their daughter were booted out of the Dry Creek tribe where they belonged for decades.
OP: Each friend and family that SHARES this post, helps shine a SPOTLIGHT on corrupt tribal councils.  NOT only that, we shine a light of the weak, ineffective BIA.

READ THE REST of the STORY .. Dry Creek Rancheria Disenrolling MORE

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chilling Account of Cedarville Rancheria Shooting by Widower of Victim

The widower of an Alturas tribal shooting victim is speaking out about the motive behind February’s gun and knife attack that left four dead and two others seriously injured.
“I want people to know that my wife’s heart was in the right place. It wasn’t about exposing fraud and evicting people. That just happened,” Philip Russo said.
He and his wife, Shelia Russo, moved to Alturas from Bakersfield eight months ago.
“We would travel far and wide for her work. Shelia loved it,” Russo said.
Shelia was the Tribal Administrator for Cedarville Rancheria, a 35 member tribe of Northern Paiute Indians in Northern California. Russo works at the Modoc County jail.
“We were still newlyweds,” Russo said.
Philip called FOX40 News a week after our coverage of the shooting in February. He invited us into his home in Alturas, to learn more about his late wife.
“She gave me this card for Valentine’s Day. As I look at it, it talks about, I don’t know what I would ever do without you. I know it’s a stupid cheesy card, but that’s what we always said to each other,” Russo said, fighting back tears.
Less than a week later, Phil Russo’s wife was shot to death during an eviction appeal hearing for longtime Tribal Chairwoman, 44-year-old Cherie Lash Rhoades, and her son, Jack Stockton. Rhoades is the only suspect in the mass shooting.
“Cherie Rhoades had always tried to intimidate tribal employees with violence, tribal members with violence,” Russo said.
Russo said Cherie Rhoades, her son Jack Stockton, and his wife, Erin Stockton were hoarding tribal grants.
“My wife told me everything about her job. Every detail, every move, we talked about it,” Russo said.
Shelia told her husband that Rhoades would not let her use the federal grants for their intended purposes. Shelia eventually fired Erin Stockton, the tribes Chief Financial Officer, because the accounting was so poorly done.
“She went into Erin’s office and started to go through the records, just started to peel back the onion. And she started noticing Cherie’s name on some of these purchases,” Russo said.
Cherie Rhoades faces charges after killing 4 and injuring 2 on February 20.
Courtesy: Modoc County Sheriff’s Office
Russo said his wife discovered that Rhoades had been using the grant money on personal purchases, hotel stays, extravagant gifts and $30,000 cash payouts for her friends. Shelia Russo believed drug tests had been doctored in order to make some of the tribal members fail upon retesting so that the remaining tribal members would get a larger chunk of federal grant money.
Russo said his wife even thought the sale of the tribal building for $300,000 was done unethically.
FOX40 investigated and found internal documents substantiating some of Shelia Russo’s concerns and allegations.
Shelia Russo turned her findings over to federal authorities, and they started an embezzlement investigation into Cedarville Rancheria.
“They throw a $50,000 figure out there, but thats probably half of what is out there. And that’s only for 2012. Cherie was the Tribal Chairwoman for probably the last 10 years,” Russo said.
Shelia told her husband she believed hundreds of thousands of dollars could have been embezzled over that time.
“My wife had the savvy to take Cherie’s firing power of out her hands,” Russo said.
Months ago, Shelia approached the tribe’s Executive Committee about Rhoades. Shelia told Philip whenever anyone questioned tribal finances in the past, Rhoades promptly fired them. Shelia thought Rhoades would fire her if she got the chance.
The Executive Committee voted to make the entire tribe vote on firing Shelia, if anything happened in the future.
“As my wife was in Erin’s office, continuing to go through the books, Cherie and Jack showed up. They said, ‘You’re fired, you’re out of here,’ and my wife was like, ‘Wait a minute, you don’t have the right to fire me.’ So Cherie said, ‘Fine, you’re on administrative leave,’ and Shelia said, ‘You don’t have the right to do that either,’” Russo said.
This was the first time anyone in the tribe challenged Rhoades, and succeeded.
“Cherie Rhoades actually tried to shove my wife back into the building,” said Russo.
Russo said Shelia went to local authorities for help, but they said Shelia’s allegations about Rhoades were federal offenses.
“They were forced to take matters into their own hands,” Russo said.
That’s when the tribal members signed a petition to recall Rhoades. Months later, they evicted her along with her son.
The day after the eviction hearing, Rhoades showed up at her appeal hearing at the Cedarville Rancheria tribal office, where she is accused of killing four people and attempting to kill two others. Four of the six victims were  close relatives of Rhoades, including her own brother.
Relative Describes ‘Horrible’ Alturas Shooting
Crime scene investigators inside a tribal office in Alturas after a deadly shooting.
February 2014
“We only have one suspect. We have five or six live witnesses who were present in the room,” Modoc County District Attorney Jordan Funk said.
One of those witnesses was a victim herself: Rhoades’ niece, Monica Davis.
“Monica said, ‘Yes, I’m shot,’ and Cherie said, ‘I would have killed you too if i didn’t run out of bullets,’” said Russo.
The only thing Funk would say about the crime scene, was how people were positioned inside the tribal office. Funk said right before the shooting, Rhoades was kneeling on a chair with her hand in her pocket. Funk says Rurik Davis, Angel Penn, Glenn Calonico, Shelia Russo, Melissa Davis and Monica Davis were seated at a long table in front of Rhoades. He says multiple other people were in the room.
Funk said this is most likely not a case where they need to identify a suspect. He said  it is a case where they will need to determine whether or not they should seek the death penalty.
“Capital cases frequently drag out. We want to avoid that here. We want justice for the victims,” Funk said.
The Modoc County Undersheriff  told FOX40 News he was the first on scene at the tribal office, minutes after the shooting. He said when he arrived, Rhoades was in the parking lot, stabbing one of the victims in the chest with a butcher knife.
He said Cherie fumbled and dropped her knife, and that’s when he tackled her. The Undersheriff said the crime was caught on camera from surveillance mounted outside the tribal office, inside the tribal office, and on his body camera.
Russo watched in court, weeks later, as Rhoades pleaded not guilty.
“I go for Shelia. We had each others’ back. So I go and I stare. I look at her. She won’t look at me. It’s pretty apparent to me that she won’t look at me,” Russo said.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nooksack Court of Appeals Rules in FAVOR of Nooksack 306 Against Chairman Kelly UPDATE

The Nooksack Court of Appeals has just thrown out the Kelly Faction's "1-800 number" disenrollment procedures. The judges ruled IN FAVOR OF THE NOOKSACK 306 in Roberts v. Kelly. 

This battle is far, far from over! 

Three days after suffering a setback in tribal elections, the 306 people facing loss of membership in the Nooksack Indian Tribe won a legal victory that promises to slow down the tribal council's effort to remove them.
But the appeals court's action may not stop that removal.
In a ruling delivered to the tribal court office on Tuesday, March 18, a three-judge Nooksack Tribal Appeals Court panel ruled that the procedures for removing the 306 from tribal membership rolls must be approved by the U.S. Department of Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribal council, headed by Chairman Bob Kelly, had approved a resolution in August 2013 declaring that each individual facing loss of tribal membership would get a telephone hearing before the tribal council of no more than 10 minutes.
Attorneys representing the council had argued that the resolution did not need federal approval. Seattle attorney Gabe Galanda and his firm, representing the 306, convinced the court that the resolution was, in fact, an ordinance, and the tribal constitution requires Interior Department approval of ordinances.
Otherwise, the appeals court ruled that the short telephonic hearing was adequate protection of the affected tribal members' legal right to due process before they are deprived of tribal membership, which members say has emotional as well as financial benefits. The judges' ruling states that a more lengthy, in-person hearing would serve no purpose, because a member's right to tribal status would hinge on documentary evidence of ancestry, not personal pleas.
The court ruled that the affected tribal members must have 21 days' notice before their hearing, and they have a right to be represented by someone of their choice.
In an email, Galanda said it was significant that the appeals court ruling forces the Department of Interior to get involved. Until now, the threatened Nooksacks have been rebuffed in efforts to get the agency to weigh in on the membership controversy.
Galanda said he wasn't sure whether the approval process would be handled in regional BIA offices, or whether it might be referred to Washington, D.C. He declined to guess how long the approval process might take, and whether there was any chance that the federal agency would deny the approval that the tribal council needs to get the membership ouster started.

Read more here:

Monday, March 17, 2014

BROADMAN: A Practical Argument Against Disenrollment

Anthony Broadman, of the law firm Galanda Broadman discusses how disenrollment can lead to the erosion of sovereignty, something we've been preaching since this blog started.  Galanda Broadman is the firm who has been fighting the disenrollment of the NOOKSACK 306.  

For an Indian law attorney, few insults cut as deeply as a comparison to former Senator Slade Gorton. For decades the Washington State Republican lawmaker attacked Tribal sovereignty, at one point introducing legislation that would authorize civil actions against tribes in Federal and state courts.  

So when such a comparison was recently made — i.e. that anti-disenrollment litigation essentially picks up where Gorton left off — I was impressed by its naiveté. The opposite is true. By proceeding recklessly with mass disenrollments and standing behind sovereign immunity even as to their own citizens, a handful of tribal governments are threatening the very existence of tribal sovereignty.
It is Tribes engaged in mass disenrollment efforts that threaten to complete Gorton’s work. What Gorton failed to achieve in Congress, membership-eliminating Tribes will achieve on the ground in Indian Country. Tribes will not be able to halve and quarter their memberships and maintain their position in the federalist structure. Tribes will not be able to violate their members’ human rights while Congress, in particular, sits idly by. They will create too many enemies. Critical race theorists posit that 19th Century federal policies of termination dovetail with the Tribal self-termination of the 21st Century. The argument might go that blood quantum in particular and membership ordinances in general will inherently destroy tribes — that the federal government will achieve through inter-marriage and tribal self-governance in enrollment practices what it couldn’t accomplish through Termination and the Dawes Act. Those arguments are as accurate as anything else in the sordid context of political disenrollment — TV shows included.
But practically, if we believe that disenrollment will be the camel’s nose under the tent for tribal sovereignty, the prudent approach is to make a kind of Pascal’s wager, and take the safe road. Through court battles, anti-disenrollment and human-rights activists will attack sovereign immunity. Tribal people will not lie down and let their governments tell them they are not Indian.
And while battles wage in court, enemies of tribes in federal and state office will use the chaos to attack tribal interests. Consider that often tribes use membership numbers to justify jurisdictional power or federal entitlements. If those numbers were fraudulent, don’t expect cash-strapped non-tribal governments to turn their cheeks. The incremental cost of not terminating members is insignificant compared with the abrogation of sovereign immunity or sovereignty that disenrollment will cause. So not only is there a theoretical basis for fighting disenrollment, but rationality requires us to wager that Tribes are stronger when they are either inclusive or static. A tribal government bets its very existence by disenrolling those who belong, or at least belonged under a previous administration. And because there are so many easy ways to avoid disenrollment — constitutional super-majority requirements as at Graton; statutes of limitation on disenrollment actions; moratoriums on enrollment; adoptions — it’s not a bet any government should make.

Greg Sarris, Chairman of Graton Rancheria DENOUNCES Tribal Disenrollment at Indian Education Conference.

In a response to Cathy Cory, a disenrolled Indian from the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, a despicable tribe that has harmed a THOUSAND Native Americans, Graton Rancheria Chairman Greg Sarris denounced tribal disenrollment.

At the California Indian Education Conference in Santa Rosa, he encouraged tribes to stop continuing colonization practices of destruction and to stop all disenrollments.  He stated tribes should be "welcoming their people home" .

This is NOT a popular position as you can imagine, especially since so many more tribes are doing this.  He did receive enthusiastic applause.

Thank you Chairman Sarris, for standing up.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nooksack Tribal Election Results: Hate Filled Bob Kelly Re-Elected

Nooksack Tribal Elections results are in.  Looks like Bob Kelly has been re-elected even while pushing a hateful agenda.

Here are the election results.

George Adams 337 
Bob Kelly 380

Roy Bailey 349
Nadene Rapada 373

Position A
Emoi Johnny 356
Bob Solomon 363

Position B
Carmen 363
Lona 356

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Nooksack Tribal Elections Were Today, Results Coming: UPDATE

Lots of smiles today as family members of the Nooksack 306 showed up in force to vote in the Nooksack tribal elections held today.   Results will be known by midnight as polls closed at 8 p.m.

Nooksack 306 Members attend the critical election today

UPDATE:  Report in that 722 votes were cast in today's election.  Still waiting for results.

AG ERIC HOLDER, INVESTIGATE Civil and Human Rights Violations in Indian Country.

The Honorable Eric Holder
United States Attorney General
Department of Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington , DC 20530
FAX: (202) 616-9898

Dear Attorney General Holder:

I respectfully submit this letter urging the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to commence a full-scale investigation into the gross civil and human rights violations which have infected Indian Country.

Throughout Indian Country, tribal officials have taken actions which have denied and/or stripped thousands of individual Indians of their rights and privileges as tribal members and denied them access to federal benefits and programs in the areas of housing, education, health, voting and public works assistance.  Pechanga, Pala, Redding, Snoqualmie, Nooksack, Chukchansi, Enterprise, San Pascual are just a few who have terminated the rights of their people.

In some instances, the illegal actions occurred decades ago, however, there has been a marked increase since Indian Gaming has evolved into a multi-billion dollar business. Tribal leaders justify their right to systematically deny and/or strip basic rights and privileges from their citizens under the guise of tribal sovereignty.   The time is right for your department to use it's full force on the corruption that has spread throughout Indian Country.

Tribal leaders have routinely committed acts to deny Indian individuals due process; equal protection of tribal, state, and federal laws; property interest rights; and voting rights. Theses actions have been carried out in gross violation of tribal and federal laws, such as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, which were specifically enacted to guarantee and protect the rights of the individual Indian.

Using sovereignty as a club to beat the weak and render them helpless is abhorrent. The federal government can no longer allow the offending tribes and tribal officials to claim that this is a sovereignty issue that rests solely within the domain of tribal courts and tribal law. Few Tribes actually have tribal courts.And, in most cases, the tribal government officials responsible for the violations of law are the very same people who pass judgment as to whether or not laws have been violated - they are the judge, jury and alleged criminal all rolled into one
The United States has a trust responsibility to the thousands of individual Indians whose basic rights have been infringed upon. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has determined that their trust responsibility extends only to the tribal government and government officials and not to the thousands of individual Indian victims. Therefore, I believe that the DOJ has the legal and moral responsibility
to investigate and prosecute such violations of basic rights.

I urge you to direct the DOJ Civil Rights Division to initiate an investigation into the growing number of human and civil rights violations described above. In addition, I hope that any investigation would not be short-circuited by those who would claim tribal sovereignty as a justification for inaction.
Nor should justice be denied as a result of political wrangling by politicians fighting to protect their tribal “clients” who funnel millions of dollars into their campaign coffers.

Gov. Jerry Brown Acted Properly in Approving OFF RESERVATION Casino for North Fork Rancheria, Says Judge

Gov. Jerry Brown and the federal government acted properly last year when they approved the compact that allows North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians to build an "off-reservation" casino and hotel project, a Madera County judge said.
The ruling was finalized Wednesday by Judge Michael Jurkovich, who said the governor has the power to "negotiate and conclude compacts, subject to ratification by the Legislature," under the state Constitution.
"To hold otherwise would make the phrase 'negotiate and conclude' compacts meaningless," Jurkovich wrote in the ruling.
Opponents include Madera-area residents and Stand Up For California, a group challenging "off-reservation gaming." They said the governor's action usurped the power of the state Legislature. The Legislature approved the compact last summer.
The North Fork Rancheria and partner Station Casinos want to build a gaming complex with 2,000 slot machines, 40 table games and a hotel on 305 acres along Highway 99 near Avenue 18 just north of Madera. The proposed site is 36 miles from the rancheria.
The opponents said the North Fork project should not have been approved. The key issue, opponents say, is that the compact was negotiated before the land was taken into trust for the tribe.
But the judge said it makes no difference when those lands become American Indian lands, so long as the process complies with the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Attorneys for Stand Up For California also tried to make a distinction between the government's definitions of Indian lands and tribal lands.
But the judge said the two words are "intended to have the same meaning."
Stand Up For California intends to appeal, director Cheryl Schmit said.
See the FRESNO BEE for more.

Read more here:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

NOW, SHINGLE SPRINGS Disenrolling Members

Word coming from the Shingle Springs Reservation that disenrollment letters have gone out.  Might be time to rethink going to RED HAWK CASINO...

Stay Tuned.....


The National Congress of American Indians is having their WINTER MEETING right now.   They have this up on their website:

Native Vote is closely monitoring voter disenfranchisement issues and working with coordinators and tribal communities to address these challenges to ensure that all Native Voters have equal access to the polls on Election Day.

TOO bad for THOUSANDS of Indians that the NCAI didn't help to PROTECT THEIR VOTE as they stood by and watched while Native Americans were harmed by their OWN tribes.


The Tribal Disenrollment Decade: Pechanga's Chronology of Disenrollment

As this month is TEN YEARS since the Manuela Miranda descendants have been disenrolled, we are putting this Chronology of Events of Pechanga's Disenrollments up for review.  Please share with your friends and Social Media.

1. In December 2001, apparently in the holiday spirit, Yolanda McCarter (niece of Irene Scearce and Ruth Masiel OP: and she is the porcine one on the Pechanga infomercial saying she could die happy if she didn't have the casino money.) submitted a letter to Enrollment Committee demanding the Committee research several families including ours.  The request stated that "this (be) straightened up before the next election in July." (So that there would be fewer votes for any opposition, a clear sign that they wanted to disenfranchise "several families")

2. In June 2002, Enrollment Committee Chairperson Mary Magee is removed from the Committee for divulging confidential information. (She was caught talking about other families. Her sister is Gloria Wright, who is CPP, a group of degenerate human beings) A petition is justified to amend the Disenrollment Procedures. A vote to approve or deny the petition is set for July 2002. (Petition is not brought forth until February 2003.)  The newly built Pechanga Resort and Casino is opened. This is a permanent structure which replaced the original Casino structures which were in modular and sprung structure. In October 2002, 2 new members are elected to Enrollment Committee to bring membership up to required 10 members. (A member retired from Committee in September 2002).  Olivia Walls is elected Committee Chair, and we request an audit of Enrollment Committee activities for the previous years and advice from our legal counsel at California Indian Legal Services on how to address wrong-doings by Committee and Committee members.   Our legal counsel is told by John Macarro not to take any action to assist the Committee or answer our questions regarding the wrong-doings. (Wrong doings include enrollment of adult family members of 'certain' enrollment committee members.)

3. November 12, 2002, members of the Enrollment Committee, acting without a quorum and outside the Committee's procedures, serve several other Committee members with disenrollment summonses. The Committee members who took the action were- Irene Scearce, Ruth Masiel, Frances Miranda, Margaret Duncan, and Bobbi Lamere. Those served include John Gomez, Theresa Spears, Olivia Walls, and Sandra Garbani. (Lamere later gets her family members enrolled in the tribe, during the "moratorium", while others have languished for years.

4. On December 10, 2002, Concerned Pechanga People (These were part of the splinter group, many who were not on the original 1979 membership roll, nor allottees, as the Hunters were, being descended from Paulina Hunter, an ORIGINAL PECHANGA person) submit documents to the Enrollment Committee questioning the lineal descent of several families including the Manuela Miranda descendants, Paulina Hunter descendants, and Garbani descendants. This action was taken a month after the above action. The Concerned Pechanga people are immediate family and friends of Committee members who initiated the November 12, 2002 action. 

5. Between December 10, 2002 and February 23, 2003, Concerned Pechanga people make visits to Enrollment Committee and send out flyers to Tribal members urging disenrollment actions be taken against the 3 families they have targeted. The Enrollment Committee does not move forward due to a split as to how to proceed and what constitutes "factual" information related to enrollment. 

6. The Concerned Pechanga people move to have Pechanga Development Corporation Elections post-poned until disenrollment occurs. After the PDC elections have been put off for over a month, elections are finally held and Jennie Miranda is voted out of office. She is replaced by a member of the Hunter family. She and members of her family make statements about getting revenge on the Hunters and Manuela people. 

7. February 18, 2003, members of the Enrollment Committee, acting without a quorum and outside the Committee's procedures serve several other Committee members with disenrollment summonses. The Committee members who took the action were- Irene Scearce, Ruth Masiel, Frances Miranda, Margaret Duncan, and Bobbi Lamere. Those served include John Gomez, Theresa Spears, Olivia Walls, and Sandra Garbani. 

8. From February 24, 2003 to March 18, 2003 Committee is locked out while the Tribal Council reviews actions and concerns of Enrollment Committee Chair. 

9. March 7, 2003 letter from Tribal Council nullifying the February 18, 2003 action taken by Committee members to initiate the disenrollment process against several other Enrollment Committee members. Enrollment Committee members removed from committee and Enrollment Committee reconstituted. 

10. March 18, 2003, Enrollment Committee now consisting of Bobbi Lamere, Margaret Duncan, and Lori Vasquez reconvene. Committee drafts letters of rescission and send to Committee members who were targeted by February 18, 2003 action. 

11. Between March 18, 2003 and June 1, 2003, Concerned Pechanga people meet with the Enrollment Committee to provide additional information against the 3 families targeted and to push the Leyva/Basquez review before the review of any other family. The information questioning the Leyva/Basquez family (which includes Jennie Miranda, Irene Scearce, and Ruth Masiel) was received well after the information questioning the Manuela descendents and the other families. Procedurally, the Manuela descendents and other families should have been reviewed prior to the Leyva/Basquez family and/or the Candelaria Flores review. However, the Enrollment Committee consisted of members- Bobbi Lamere and Margaret Duncan- who acted with and for the Concerned Pechanga people. Even though the Manuela descendents provided information to the Enrollment Committee as early as December 17, 2003 refuting the allegations made by the Concerned Pechanga people, those working with, for, or were/are a part of the Concerned Pechanga people were pushed ahead of us in the review process. This was done to stack the Committee and guarantee our disenrollment. 

12. On or about June 1, 2003, the Garbani and Leyva/Basquez families were cleared. Ruth Masiel, Irene Scearce, and Sandra Garbani returned to the Enrollment Committee. 

13. Between June 1, 2003 and September 23, 2003, the Manuela descendents provided the Enrollment Committee with additional documents proving lineal descent and refuting the allegations made by the Concerned Pechanga. 

14. On September 23, 2003, the Enrollment Committee clears the Candelaria Flores family. Frances Miranda returns to the Committee as a result of this decision. We were once again passed over for review so that a member working with, for, or is/was a part of the Concerned Pechanga people could be put back on the Committee. Frances Miranda's father, Richard Miranda, was a member of our family. The years before he passed away, she was receiving his per capita check as she was "taking care of him". Once he passed away and she was no longer receiving 2 per capita checks, the Splinter Group initiated their disenrollment action against the targeted families. 

15. On October 21, 2003, Jennie Miranda provides the Enrollment Committee with a letter regarding the lineage of Pablo Apish. Demands that the Manuela descendents be disenrolled. On October 23, 2003, the Enrollment Committee sends summonses to all adult members who are lineally descended from Manuela Miranda.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

TRIBAL CORRUPTION: Nooksack Council Terminates Employees of Nooksack 306 before Elections

Received word from Nooksack people that Chairman Bob Kelly has engaged in shady acts, firing those from the Nooksack 306.  Fighting for their right to belong is NOT looked kindly upon. Let's hope this weekend's vote bodes well for the 306.

Well Bob Kelly, Katherine Caniete, Bob Solomon, Rick George, Abbie Smith, Roy Bailey have gone over board and have fired anyone that is part of the 306 today. 
Another example of how they are using their power for nothing other than hurting people. We need change and elect people that make decisions for the RIGHT reasons. This has to show people how WRONG they are and have been." -- Nooksack Councilwoman Michelle Roberts

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Corrupt Chukchansi Faction LOSES to OTHER Corrupt Chukchansi Faction

This time it's the Ayala Faction over the Lewis Faction.  Oh, wait, Ayala has been suspended...

A U.S. District Court judge in Fresno dismissed a restraining order request in the continuing battle for control of the Chukchansi tribe after one group accused a competing faction of taking $316,017 that should have gone into a casino bank account overseen by both sides.
Judge Anthony Ishii said in a ruling Friday that his court "does not have jurisdiction" over a restraining order filed by the Reggie Lewis faction, which said that money was illegally taken by the other faction led by Tex McDonald.
The Lewis group was seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the McDonald faction from moving money in ways the Lewis side claims violate a New York judge's ruling last year.
Ishii also said he does not view the Lewis group as rightful leaders of the tribe even though the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs last month recognized a 2010 council election that included Lewis and four allies to lead the tribe. That decision is pending an appeal by the McDonald group with the federal Interior Board of Indian Appeals.
Without an appeal ruling, the judge said, he will not trigger any change.
"This court has received no indication that the IBIA (appeals board) has actually come to a decision on the issue," Ishii wrote in his decision.

Read more here:

Nooksack Vote Could Reverse Terminations of Citizenship in Tribe

March 15th is a crucial vote for the Nooksack tribe, Blogger Jim Diamond has the full story:

On March 15, 2014 a very important vote will take place on the Deming, Washington Reservation of The Nooksack Indian Tribe. The Tribe has attempted a mass disenrollment of more than 300 enrolled tribal members. Represented by Gabe Galanda of Galanda Broadman, several lawsuits have been filed in tribal court and in federal court. Elections of the Tribal Council and its officers, however, could alter the balance of power and the attempted purge..

Check the link above for the rest of the story.

North Fork Rancheria Tribe Wants to keep 30 MILLION CALIFORNIANS from Voting on it's OFF RESERVATION CASINO.

Remember when the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, headed by Mark Macarro tried to keep us from voting on expanding gaming?   Now a tribe in Central CA is doing the same thing.  How about let's open gaming under California regulations.    In the big city, GAMING by CALIFORNIANS, FOR CALIFORNIANS.                                                                                                                                                                     

Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up For California says: "This is a frivolous lawsuit by desperate Las Vegas gaming interests who want to deny the people of CA the right to vote on the issue of off-reservation casinos.  They know that CA voters will reject the North Fork Compact because it breaks the promise that tribal gaming would stay on Indian land."

The landmark ballot referendum proposing to reverse the California Legislature's ratification of two off-reservation tribal casinos is being challenged in state court litigation seeking to block the referendum from appearing on the general election ballot in November.

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has just filed the litigation in Madera County Superior Court proposing to preserve the compact signed by Governor Jerry Brown in July 2013 and approved through operation of federal law on October 22, 2013. Formal notice of the compact approval was published in the Federal Register on that same day. The status of the second compact likely will be determined in this litigation although that tribe is not a party to this litigation.

The Legislature approved the two compacts pursuant to California's state law requiring legislative ratification of such documents. California is one of the states requiring legislative confirmation of tribal compacts. California's Constitution allows statutes enacted by the Legislature to be challenged through petition and referendum, and the required number of signatures to put the measure on the ballot were collected within the requisite period of time. The petition drive was conducted by a Sacramento area casino watchdog organization and was funded primarily by two casino tribes and a New York City investment firm that has a significant investment in one of the tribal casinos opposing the project. The latest estimate of the total amount spent in the petition/ referendum effort is $2 million.

The new litigation challenges the referendum on two major legal theories. The first theory alleges that the compact is final because federal law allows tribes to conduct casino gaming so long as the state does not – as a matter of criminal law and public policy – prohibit such gaming activity. However, the gaming must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of a compact negotiated by the Governor and approved by the Secretary of the Interior. Thus, the state court will have to address whether a post-ratification challenge at the ballot box can be used to deratify a compact that has been approved by the federal government pursuant to applicable federal laws. The second theory raises the question of whether legislative ratification of a contract between the State and a tribe is subject to the petition/ referendum process.

The stakes in this litigation are enormous for California and its booming Indian gaming industry, as well as neighboring states that permit casino gaming operations. This is litigation that likely will be in higher courts before it is fully resolved.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

USING Social Media to Spread Details of Injustice in Indian Country.

Here are Twitter addresses to which to share stories of injustice in Indian Country.  This blog, as well as have buttons to tweet out each story.  GOOGLE + each story too, please.  Using this method as well as email will help.

@USIndianAffairs =   BIA
@Interior = Dept. of the Interior
@IndianCommittee = Senate Indian Affairs Committee (SIAC)
@NatResources   = Natural Resources Committee
@NRDems   = Democratic Side
@Indianz   =
@CantwellPress   = Majority SIAC
@SenJohnBarrasso = Minority SIAC
@Senator Boxer   = CA Senator Barbara Boxer
@SenFeinstein    = CA Senator Dianne Feinstein

@PiaMalbran - CBS producer