Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Letter To 50 Democrat Senators Who Chose The EASY ISSUE Redskins Controversy Over What's REALLY Important in Indian Country.

United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510
Dear Senators,

We read with dismay that you are jumping onto an "easy issues" bandwagon, namely the NFL Washington Redskin's nickname.   While offensive to some, it seems too coincidental that you focus with laser intensity on this issue, while blithely ignoring the real issues in Indian Country:  Tribal abuses of their own people. This year marks a full decade of civil rights violations primarily by Native American tribes with casinos.  

Today, we urge you to be more serious about issues that matter in Indian County. Those issues include: 

Denial of due process: 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. These 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.

Disenrollment, the action of stripping tribal citizenship and federal recognition as native americans by councils for questioning illegal or self serving actions of corrupt tribal leaders who hold on to their positions at all costs to hide their crimes or to increase the amounts of per capita, or perhaps to settle an old score, has been growing at a level that should draw your attention much more than an offensive nickname.   Tribes such as Chukchansi, near Fresno, CA with 60% of their tribe disenrolled, and the Pala Band of Luiseno Indians, in San Diego County, with more that 15% of the tribe terminated are just two of the more prominent tribes to have removed large numbers of people.  20% of citizens terminated would represent 7 million Californians.

Apartheid on our reservations in the 21st century.  And it is native american tribes that are practicing this disgraceful action.  The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula, led my Chairman Mark Macarro, known to many of you does not allow allottees of the reservation that have been disenrolled to use any reservation facilities, such as playgrounds, park or restrooms and water fountains.  If they are caught, they could be banished from their homes and land, in the family since 1895.  Allottees have no right to vote on issues pertaining to them, and recently attempted to steal water rights from allottees in a bill that seemed to be written by chairman Macarro's wife, lobbyist Holly Cook Macarro of IETAN.

Theft of Per Capita has grown to well over $700 million in the Decade of Disgrace.  Tribes and lobbyists came to your body, proclaiming to want to help their tribes with casino gaming and in fact, thousands of native americans have been financially harmed when they have lost their per capita, their health benefits that went away with their right to vote in tribal elections.

Wielding sovereignty as a club to beat the weak.  In your letter to Commissioner Goodell, you claimed that tribal sovereignty was an issue in regards to the Redskins team name.  Nothing is further from the truth.  This is not a sovereignty issue, unless it's a U.S. sovereignty right to not have tribes being able to tell a business what to do.   Where is the sovereignty protection for the individual Indian, from tribes who harm them and dishonor their ancestors posthumously? Individual Indians fear to exercise their free speech, as they may say something that offends a council person and disenrollment proceedings could begin.

Now is the time for the Senate to act.  The Indian Civil Rights Act needs your efforts to add enforcement statues so that tribes will consider the ramifications of their actions before destroying the heritage of innocent people.  Provide for their common defense, give them the ablility to protect themselves.

What is more important:
Cultural heritage   or a nickname
Apartheid             or a nickname
Civil Rights          or a nickname
Protecting Elders  or a nickname

Be on the right side of history, as you have asked Commissioner Goodell to do regarding the Redskins.  Hold hearings as to what tribes are doing to their people to learn more about the civil and human rights abuses by tribal councils against their people.  

YOUR trust responsibility is to ALL native American Indians and not just to chiefs and chairmen.

The Senate can no longer ignore what is happening in Indian Country.  A racial slur is one thing, but the gross violations of civil and human rights is quite another.   We urge you to GET SERIOUS and pay attention.


Anonymous said...

I find it disturbingly amazing how these people give priority for the contrived issue of the name of a team that has zero effect on anybody involved over an issue that has so much emotional, financial, and health consequences for people and their families.

Anonymous said...

What is the NCAI thinking? Mo' money?

Anonymous said...

What is the NCAI thinking? Mo' money?

Anonymous said...

The DOJ would rather go after Porn stars and payday lenders...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting a letter together...who else can we send it to?

Anonymous said...

How about taking out a full page ad in the Washington Post? Maybe their plight might get the attention of DOJ......