UPDATE: The Sierra Star News prints the editorial on TRIBAL TERRORISM. (link fixed) Thank you to Sierra Star for keeping the spotlight on the corruption. Indianz.com has also picked up the editorial. Pechanga.net hasn't put it up...wonder why?
The Fresno Bee, North County Times and Sierra Star News have done an excellent job in bringing the shameful acts of disenrollments and and Tribal Cleansing of members of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, Pala Band and San Pascual to the public.
Chukchansi leaders have forgotten tribal membership is about heritage. It’s the corrupt tribal council of Chukchansi, along with those from the Pechanga tribe of Temecula, and
Redding Rancheriathat are tossing aside the history of their tribes with a dismissive attitude that should be alarming to the people of California. Pechanga ran ads for expanding gaming claiming 10,000 years of history; yet quickly shed two large families with more historical ties to the land, proven by the tribe’s own expert, than one of their sitting council members who has NO Pechanga blood.
Corrupt tribal councils are using sovereignty as a weapon to beat the weak and helpless, and terrorize them into submission. Our federal and state governments are happy to stay out of the issue by saying, that membership is a tribal matter. Fair enough, but what about the government’s trust responsibility to Indians, to see that tribal constitutions are followed? Forced evictions, such as what happened at Jamul Indian Village, and those expected at Pala shortly are acts of tribal terrorism that belies the calm peaceful face that Mark Macarro presented in his commercials for expanded gaming. Now, Macarro’s tribe practices apartheid, and recently presented his plan for segregation on the Pechanga reservation.
Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force. That simply is not what is happening on tribal reservations.
On reservations across our state tribes are using fear tactics and yes, terrorism to keep members in line for fear of losing their land, homes, per capita shares and health benefits. More critical they also lose their rights to choose a representative government and to vote on issues that pertain to them. Imagine if the Republicans were able to eliminate 25% of the Democratic vote? What if anti-union proponents were able to eliminate 70% of the union votes? Well, that’s just what happened at Pechanga, Redding and Chukchansi.
Currently at Pechanga, the tribal council is threatening allottees with fines, banishment and restricted access to their property. One family is taking it upon themselves to try to force another family who was given an allotment with the creation of the reservation, off their land. They’re using their family members on the council to issue the threatening letter that is published on Original Pechanga’s Blog.
This is not what we voted for when we approved gaming to tribes in our state. This was not what was meant by self-reliance. I urge the readers to stand up for civil and human rights and not patronize casinos that violate them. Bill Cosby stood up and refused to perform at Chukchansi because of these issues. By telling tribes you won’t go to their casinos, you can nudge them into acting justly.
Don’t let the tribes get away with terrorizing their own people into silence. Don’t go to tribal casinos owned by tribes that abuse their people. If they will cheat their own people and violate their OWN Constitution, they will cheat YOU.
It is so sad that the only thing these committees and tribal councils will be remembered for is how they helped dismantle their own history and legitimacy as a tribe. What is even more disturbing is the amount of people that were a part of a tribe from before federal recognition and worked side by side with members to get federal recognition and now people that know the truth are arguing those same people that put in the work, blood, sweat, and tears do not belong. Are people that ignorant to think that people don't know the actual truth and even more importantly were present when original forms were signed and articles of association were put in place. It is time to stop allowing ignorance to continue and allowing people to lie there way into disenrollment hearings. Make no mistake, those that do not stand up for what is right will be exposed in name for what they allowed to happen by being silent. Your good name is as good as gone forever if you encourage and support termination and relocation of your own people. Stand up people or you are one disenrollment away from losing all your history, heritage, advocates, and legitimacy as a people.
May 22, 2012 at 4:45 PM
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