Friday, October 31, 2014


Fifteen people involved in the Oct. 9 armed confrontation at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino have been charged with multiple felonies, Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz announced Friday.
The forced takeover of the casino occurred Oct. 9 when people directed by Tex McDonald, leader of one of the contentious factions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, took over the gaming center from another tribal faction. The casino and hotel has been closed since then.
Those charged include McDonald; his fellow tribal council member, Vernon King; McDonald’s tribal police chief, John Olivera; David Lee Dixon; Timothy Tofaute; Shawn Fernandez; Tyrone Mark Twain Bishop; Benjamin James Rhodes; Jim Glasscock; Brian Lec Auchenbach; John David Cayanne; Ronald Jones; David Paul Anderson; and Miguel Ramos.
All are charged with seven counts of kidnapping, seven counts of false imprisonment, eight counts of assault with a firearm, and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and battery inflicting serious bodily injury, and five counts of assault with a stun gun.
A 15th man, Eric Domingo Flores Suniga, was charged with five counts of assault with a stun gun.

Read more here:

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Grant $197,000 to Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda

Well DONE, San Manuel, for showing that tribes can do good things, in the face of the bad things that some tribes are doing..
The Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House has received a grant award of $197,000 from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians that will allow the house to continue its off-site hotel program.
The program provides overnight housing near Loma Linda University Medical Center and other nearby hospitals to families of seriously ill children. These funds will extend the reach of the house to provide even more families with a home-away-from-home when it has reached capacity.
“Turning away families who need our help is extremely difficult, yet it’s a reality our organization must frequently face as demand for our services increase,” said Mike Kovack, executive director of the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.
“The San Manuel tribal community is proud to support the efforts of Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House,” said chairwoman Lynn Valbuena. “Their services and accommodations provided to families with young children facing health issues are critically important for the entire community.”

BIA's Refusal To Act Led to Violence Plus Response From A Disenrolled Chukchansi EDITORIAL from FRESNO BEE

Here's a 2012 editorial in the Fresno Bee that gets a lot of things RIGHT. But following the piece is a rebuttal from disenrolled Chukchansi member Cathy Cory

It’s difficult to find anyone in the Chukchansi tribal controversy who shouldn’t share the blame for the dispute turning violent today. Both factions in the leadership battle took calculated steps that made violence likely. Government officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Madera County sheriff’s office refused to act, even when it became clear that illegal acts had been committed.

It is no excuse to say that tribal sovereignty prevented authorities from moving earlier. When it got to the riot stage, law enforcement finally got involved, rushing to the scene with officers from multiple jurisdictions. Tribal sovereignty was no longer an excuse to look the other way.

But the agency that is most to blame is the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which repeatedly refused to sort out the tribal dispute. The BIA, which is under the U.S. Department of Interior, should be very embarrassed over its unwillingness to do its job when its presence was needed most.

Had the BIA heeded the many early calls to recognize the duly elected tribal leadership, the dispute likely would not have gotten this far.

There are many victims, includal tribal members. It’s a sad time for the once-proud Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. The tribe's leaders rioted instead of resolving their dispute honorably.

Official say up to 50 members of the rival Chukchansi Indian leadership factions were escorted from the tribal offices by law enforcement this afternoon. Two people were injured when a melee involving about 40 people broke out earlier at the grounds of the Picayune Rancheria.

This is a story of how gambling money ripped apart the Chukchansi tribe. It's about who controls the tribe's casino and who gets to benefit from the gambling money. An election in December, changed tribal council leadership, but the losing side refused to give up control. The BIA would not get involved and the sheriff called the dispute a “family matter.”

Both were outrageous responses to growing trouble with the tribal leadership. The election results were clear, but the BIA empowered the losing side by not acting.

While authorities ducked the difficult issues in this dispute, the refusal of the losing faction to leave in December started us on the course that ended in a riot. But that did not give the other side — which was the duly elected council — the right to break into the tribal offices on Monday.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs could have recognized the proper leadership. But the BIA shamefully refused to get involved.

This is a very sad saga that just might make California voters rethink their support of tribal gaming.

Cathy Cory's Response:

Although many of the articles in regard to the conflict at picayune seem to describe it as "recent," this is hardly the truth...these conflicts in regard to disenrollment and power within the tribe have been ......occurring for almost a twenty year period...the BIA and CONGRESS have long been aware of what is going on within several gaming tribes--this horrendous violation of thousands of indian people's tribal, civil, and human rights by their own corrupt tribal governments--BUT HAVE REFUSED PLEAS FOR HELP IN THIS VERY THEFT OF THEIR BIRTHRIGHT AS INDIAN PEOPLE...

Over 200 people were disenrolled from picayune in 1999, another 500-600 in 2006-2007, 57 in 2011, and around 70 thus far this year with another 200 pending...OVER ONE THOUSAND CHUKCHANSI PEOPLE--ELDERS AND FUTURE GENERATIONS--HAVE BEEN DISMEMBERED OR ARE PENDING DISENROLLMENT AS OF TODAY (significantly, in a tribe that had 1073 members in 1998 "pre-chukchansi gold"--NEARLY 2/3 OF THE TRIBE)

Picayune is only the tip of the iceberg...redding, dry creek, table mountain, pechanga, pala, san pasqual, enterprise--over 20 of the gaming tribes or those attempting to establish gaming here in california are engaging in this horrific genocide and theft of the very birthright of THOUSANDS of indian people WITHOUT SANCTION BENEATH THE GUISE OF "TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY"...

Department of justice, the federal bureau of investigation, congress, and the bureau of indian affairs-- ALL should be involved at picayune...the tribal government there should be made to bring ALL the people home to picayune, and if unwilling to do so the casino should be closed and federal funds withdrawn until they do...

Honor the ancestors, the history, and the circle of our chukchansi people...bring the people--ALL the people--home to picayune...AND to every other tribe engaging in this blatant destruction of their people through dismemberment and nonrecognition...</< b="">

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ashley Hutchinson on YES on Prop. 48:

Guest Blogger Ashley Hutchinson writes in support of Prop. 48.

Prop 48 truly makes me sad. Sad that the large tribes have so much power over the casinos and seemingly care more about their profits than they do cultural preservation. 

I'm not saying allow a casino to be built on every corner, but it's time for the smaller and less politically powerful tribes to have a say. It's unfair that the powerhouse tribes purposely try to squash the efforts of tribes like the Gabrieleno and Juanenos to receive the federal recognition they deserve because they're scared of "competition". 

The two tribes are not looking to build casinos, but rather preserve their culture, their language, their missions, and their heritage as a people of California's first ancestors. 

I'm not a California Indian but I am the mother of one, and for her sake I would like for her to grow up in a California that respects and honors her culture, not one that stomps on it for casinos and political profit. 

Sadly more people are wrapped up on renaming the Redskins instead of paying attention to what's happening to these small and rapidly declining California mission bands. 

I know when Tom McClintock agrees I'm in the right company.

Ashley Hutchinson a former political operative and wife/mother to a Gabrieleno.

SACBEE Says MACARRO of Pechanga's AD is MOSTLY MISLEADING: That happens when his LIPS MOVE

Opponents of Proposition 48, a referendum on a state-tribal compact that would allow a Madera tribal casino, have taken to the airwaves with TV ads contending that the measure would set a precedent for off-reservation gambling. A yes vote on the measure upholds the compact; a no vote rejects it.

One of the ads features Mark Macarro, the chairman of the Temecula-area Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, one of California’s most politically influential tribes. The tribe has contributed more than $1 million to the No on 48 effort, which has raised $15.3 million this year compared to the $470,000 collected by the measure’s supporters. Table Mountain Rancheria in Friant, which operates a casino about 26 miles from the proposed casino site, has put up more than $10 million to defeat the referendum.

Following is a text of the ad and an analysis by Jim Miller of The Bee Capitol Bureau:

Mark Macarro: “More than a decade ago, we promised to limit casinos to existing tribal land. And you voted overwhelmingly to approve tribal gaming based on that promise....


OP: The FRESNO BEE had an editorial last April on the greed at Chukchansi that has seen the demise of 70% of their tribe. AND THEY NAILED it!  

 According to Buddha, "There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed."

A torrent of greed is ripping apart the Chukchansi tribe, which owns a Las Vegas-style casino and resort below Yosemite National Park.

OP:THIS IS NOT NEW, THIS has been a decade in the making. 

 Three factions have claimed to be the rightful tribal council in little more than a year. There has been a riot that required law-enforcement intervention. There have been continuing disenrollments. And, in fact, the situation is so messy that bankers stepped in and froze a $12 million account.

Profits from Indian gaming are supposed to lift up tribal members, many of who are impoverished. The money flowing from table games, slots, hotels and concerts should go for education, health care and investments in other businesses.

But the focus among some Chukchansi has been on getting as rich as possible and as quickly as possible -- even if it means casting others aside. And profits meant to help tribe members are being diverted to lawyers for legal battles.

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs bears responsibility in these contentious events. Its hands-off policy allowed a feud to snowball into dysfunction. OP: AND VIOLENCE

Finally, last month, Troy Burdick, the Central California superintendent for the bureau, offered mediation. Tribal leaders should take up his offer because it is abundantly clear that they are incapable of working out things on their own.  OP: Burdick is ineffective and unwilling to make a hard decision: THE CASINO MUST BE SHUT DOWN.  Does the BIA WANT the destruction of Indians.

Most of the tourists and Valley residents who flock to the casino don't concern themselves with tribal matters. They just want to know that their chips will be cashed, the food will be good and there will be clean sheets on the beds.

But with the federal government and Gov. Jerry Brown approving the North Fork Mono Indians' proposed casino along Highway 99 in Madera County, the Chukchansi better soon get their house in order.
It's possible, perhaps even probable, that the specter of a rival casino is driving one or more of the Chukchansi factions. They see the handwriting on the wall, and want to split the spoils with as few as possible.
This is, more than anything else, a classic case of greed. Question is, can it be cured?

Read more here:

Read MORE about the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians

What a YES Vote on Prop. 48 Means To California

Charles Banks-Altekruse is the public affairs director for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California and here is his recent editorial from the Bakersfield Californian.

Voting yes on Proposition 48 provides California voters the opportunity to affirm two tribal gaming compacts that:

* Uphold binding contractual agreements between willing parties (the state of California, Madera County and two tribes).

* Support historical justice and allow the North Fork Tribe to conduct gaming "on Indian lands in California in accordance with federal law," in alignment with what Proposition 1A promised California voters in 2000.

* Allow investment to deliver huge economic benefits -- thousands of jobs, business opportunities, billions of dollars in private investment, shared revenues and new tax revenues -- to some of the poorest regions of the state and nation (Central Valley and North Coast).

* Respect local control for a strongly supported local project.

* Promote tribal rights and self-reliance, allowing the tribe to use its lands without further outside interference.

* Protect our most pristine environmental areas by avoiding construction of gaming facilities in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite (North Fork) or along the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Preserve (Wiyot Tribe) and placing it where existing infrastructure will support development.

Prop. 48 is on the ballot as the latest attempt by two local tribal casinos and Wall Street hedge-fund operators to stop competition from the North Fork project. They are trying to spin Prop. 48 into a referendum about various Indian policy issues unrelated to these compacts -- and punish this tribe for abiding by the laws in place today.

For more than 50 years, the tribe has fought tirelessly, transparently and collaboratively to right historical wrongs and restore its tribal status and lands lost in the 1950s.

North Fork's unique "landless" status was reaffirmed recently by the leader of the "No" effort to overturn the compacts: "The North Fork tribe had no reservation, no land for itself until the federal government allowed them to pick these 305 acres at Madera" (Cheryl Schmit, San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 17).

In 2013, the federal government finally restored 305 acres within the tribe's ancestral territory in rural Madera County as official "Indian trust land." The tribe later obtained a state-tribal gaming compact, negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown and ratified by a bipartisan majority of the state Legislature, for gaming on that land.

The Prop. 48 compacts are nearly identical to others recently ratified and put into effect without great delay or concern, except these are perhaps more generous to local communities and other less well-off, non-gaming tribes.

After decades, the North Fork Tribe had reclaimed a fraction of its former territory for the benefit of its people and local community.

Fear mongering by opponents about "reservation shopping," "off-reservation casinos," "open floodgates," and "broken promises" sounds ominous but is disingenuous. This project has been extensively reviewed and approved by two gubernatorial administrations, two federal administrations and numerous courts.

In 2006, the leader of the "No" side stated: "This [North Fork project] is not reservation shopping ... This is the state exercising its authority to locate gaming where it is wanted" (San Diego Union-Tribune, Feb. 4, 2006).

Gov. Brown called North Fork's approval process "thorough" and "lasting over seven years" when he supported the project. He said, "I expect there will be few requests from other tribes that will present the same kind of exceptional circumstances to support a similar expansion of tribal gaming land."

Prop. 48 is not about "reservations" -- it is about whether local, state and tribal governments will benefit from negotiated, contractual agreements that make up two compacts.

A "yes" vote on 48 preserves a "deal" and $600 million in revenue sharing to local, state and tribal governments from these compacts.

A "no" overturns this mutually agreed upon "deal" without cause or due process and jeopardizes these revenues -- without preventing a casino, altering a single tribal law, regulation, or policy, or providing a viable economic alternative.

The governor has called the "No" effort to overturn these compacts "unfortunate" and about "money and competition."

California voters should reject this cynical abuse of the state initiative process by voting yes on Prop. 48.


Is it past time for the BIA and the Department of Interior to END recognition of the Picayune Rancheria?  Is THIS the tribe that was recognized?   After all the harm they have done to Native People, shouldn't their be a judgement AGAINST them?   Suspend their constitution and set an example to all for what happens when you violate the rights of your people.

The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, of Coarsegold near Fresno have drastically reduced their membership. Last year, they removed 200 people including their few remaining language speakers.

 The BIA's director Dale Risling was quoted in 2007 saying there was nothing they could do "short of ceasing to recognize" the tribe because of the Martinez decision. Well, how many would recognize the tribe from what is was in 2005?

 I have put together a very rudimentary graphic that explains what the destruction of the Chukchansi populace looks like if you put them into buses to move them. Once a proud convoy of 30 buses would have been used (at 50 people per bus) to transport the tribe.   Now, after the tribe has thrown so many UNDER the bus, less than eight full buses would be needed.

Read more about Chukchansi

Picayune Rancheria
Chukchansi thuggery
Council in Chaos
Chukchansi disenrollment

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Here's the statement Chairman McDonald just released on the audits and the $49.6 million "fund deficit" created on Reggie Lewis, Chance Alberta and Nancy Ayala's watch (From Chukchansi FB PAGE):
This audit and the so-called “fund deficit” shows why our Tribal Council sent our police chief and officers to regain control of the Tribal Gaming Commission. We knew the factions headed by Reggie Lewis, Chance Alberta and Nancy Ayala were illegally seizing records and that they failed to file audits for two years. Now we know why. With nearly $50 million deficient on their watch, Lewis, Alberta, Ayala, their fake council and their lawyers owe the Chukchansi people and our bondholders an explanation immediately.
Today, the members of the On-Rancheria Council – the only body elected by a vote of the people per the Tribe’s Constitution – call on the National Indian Gaming Commission to immediately launch a full investigation of this $49.6 million “fund deficit."

Our Tribe put its full faith and trust in Lewis, Alberta and Ayala, as well as casino general manger Giffen Tan and former tribal gaming commission head Diane Eckstein. These people had responsibility for our casino and its funds and they must be held accountable for their gross failures in management. This is not some nickel and dime problem. It’s a $50 million problem and our people demand and deserve justice.

Redskins Controversy: What Ray Halbritter of The Oneida Tribe DID to his OWN FAMILY is WORSE than a Mean Nickname

The flames that Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation is fanning concerning the Washington Redskins issue is NOTHING compared what he has wrought on his OWN family.

Watch this video and at the 7 minute mark,Hillary Clinton was called out on her failure to do what she promised would happen.  This was on Chris Matthew's SOFTBALL show.  He of course didn't follow up.

While I am of the opinion that the Redskins nickname IS offensive, my readers in a poll certainly did NOT.  That being said, the team nickname is NOT something our government should be hanging their hats on.  In fact, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says the Redskins flap isn't on the radar for most Native People

It's the corruption, the abuse, the violations of civil and human rights that groups like the National Congress of American Indians is trying to avoid.  As we reported yesteday, The NCAI is avoiding the issue while giving time to the mascot "problem"

WATCH this video and SHARE on Facebook and Twitter to all your friends. And PLEASE, check out: Oneidas for Democracy for more on Halbritter and the damage done

UPDATED: STAY CLOSED! Decision in CHUKCHANSI Matter By 2:30 Today; Judge

Looks like there were some FIREWORKS in court today, as Tex McDonald was warned by Judge today on his outbursts.

KSEE reporter Raquel Cervantes tweeted:

McDonald faction attorney says again he doesn't think judge has jurisdiction. Judge scolds him and says that's his last warning

Prior to that Raquel tweeted:
Judge says doesn't see that any Chukchansi faction has changed positions. Calls it "explosive keg" situation.

BREAKING: Federal judge grants preliminary injunction to keep Chukchansi casino closed. And...
BOOM: If ever there were irrefutable proof of the need for the injunction to continue, it would be the opposition documents received from the McDonald faction,” the judge wrote in his nine-page order issued at noon. “The McDonald faction argues that its incursion was a lawful effort to evict ‘trespassers’ from the casino, namely members of the Lewis-Ayala faction and the ‘mercenary’ private security service.

Read more here:

Los Angeles' TONGVA Indians Live on Via Language

Time Magazine "discovers" the Tongva who have been fighting for recognition for decades.  Please share...

 As Los Angeles fourth graders know (because their curriculum includes the study of California Indians), the original language of Los Angeles is Tongva. This American Indian language (also called Gabrielino) used to be spoken in villages all over the L.A. Basin.

These villages have given their names to places all over Los Angeles, including Tujunga (from Tongva Tuhuunga “place of the old woman”) and Cahuenga (from Kawee’nga “place of the fox”). But despite these ever-present reminders, the language has not been spoken for over 50 years.

I first encountered Tongva shortly after I began teaching at UCLA 40 years ago, when my mentor, the late Professor William Bright, introduced me to the field notes of J. P. Harrington, an ethnographer and linguist who worked with Tongva speakers during the early 20th century.

It’s hard to find information on Tongva. There are no audio recordings of people speaking the language, just a few scratchy wax cylinder recordings of Tongva songs. There are additional word lists from scholars, explorers, and others dating from 1838 to 1903, but Harrington’s notes are the best source of information on the language. These records are often inconsistent and maddeningly incomplete, however—it takes a lot of analysis to synthesize them into a clear picture of the language.

Over the years I compiled a Tongva dictionary of over a thousand words and felt I knew quite a bit about the language’s grammar. Based on Harrington’s work, I developed a consistent orthography or writing system, using ordinary letters, without special characters not found on a standard keyboard (you can type Tongva on your phone!) Of course, English speakers can’t understand this system without learning its rules—just as non-Spanish speakers have to learn that the ll in Pollo Loco is pronounced like y. The English pronunciation of a word like Tujunga uses a “hard g,” as in finger, for example, but the Tongva ng represents the sound at the end of bang or in the middle of singer, without a separate g sound.

My confidence in this purely academic approach to Tongva was shaken in 2004. I was asked to serve as a linguistic mentor to several Tongva people who wanted to learn about their language at the Breath of Life Workshop, a biennial event in Berkeley where members of California Indian tribes whose languages are no longer spoken can learn how to access technical materials on those languages. Armed with my dictionary, grammar notes, and typeable spelling system, I felt well prepared to contribute. When I met with my group of three ethnic Tongva learners, however, I realized that people who want to learn their ancestral language don’t want or need the same things as academic linguists.

The first thing they want, they often say, is to be able to pray in their language. To be most useful to these participants, a dictionary should go from English to the target language, so they can find the words they want to say. (Linguists, on the other hand, are more likely to arrange such a list from the target language to English, to aid in finding words similar to words in related languages.) I got almost no sleep that first night at the workshop, because I was manually creating an English-Tongva index to my Tongva-English vocabulary to share with the group the next day.

Ever since then, I have met each month in San Pedro with an ever-changing group of learners whose core members include two of the Breath of Life participants from 2004. Most of the people who come to these classes are Tongva descendants, but a few are interested community members.

In addition to lessons on word structure and sentence creation, we sing songs, play games, learn useful phrases for conversation, and discuss words to be added to the dictionary. Songs are particularly helpful to learning. We now have Tongva versions of Christmas carols, traditional folksongs, kids’ songs—everything from the theme song from Maleficent to a version of “This Land is Your Land” that includes lines like Topaa’ve Tuhuung’aro “from Topanga to Tujunga.”

Our Gabrieleno-Tongva Language Committee has put together a phrasebook (including everything from Chongaa’aa kukuume’a! “Wash the dishes!” to ‘Wiishmenokre “I love you”) and a little book about animals. We’ve had to figure out a lot of things using creativity, common sense, and comparison with other local languages. Now we have a Coyote story (a moral tale like those in Aesop’s Fables), the Christmas story, and a version of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s blue whale story.

Would the Tongva speakers of a hundred years ago understand these? I’m sure they would. Would they laugh at the mistakes we make? Probably—but I hope they would also be forgiving.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Madera County Sheriff Completes FELONY Complaints on 11 people in Chukchansi Closures

Criminal complaints have been completed by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office regarding the Oct. 9 armed infiltration of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, which prompted the facility’s closure the following day.
The criminal complaints were completed Monday after many interviews and a review of casino surveillance footage, said Sheriff John Anderson. On Tuesday morning, District Attorney Michael Keitz said he was told the reports would be delivered to his office before the end of the day.
Anderson said the complaints are against 11 people, and he recommends six or seven felony charges each. Anderson declined to share more information, stating the complaints are being reviewed by the district attorney.
On Oct. 9, security forces from two feuding tribal factions squared off after a faction led by Tex McDonald entered the casino in search of documents to complete late audits.
The next day, public safety concerns prompted the closure of the 1,800-slot, 40-table casino and hotel under a mandate from the National Indian Gaming Commission, the state attorney general and a federal judge. The next hearing about the closure will be held in federal court on Wednesday in Fresno.

Read more here:

Picayune Rancheria Submitted OVERDUE Audits.. Way Overdue...

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians has submitted overdue audits to theNational Indian Gaming Commission, The Fresno Bee reports.
The missing financial and compliance reports were one of the reasons why the NIGC issued a series of violation notices to the tribe. The submission could help lead to the reopening of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, which closed on October 7 due to infighting among rival factions.
The state, however, doesn't think the facility should reopen. The leadership dispute doesn't seem to be ending any time soon, the Attorney General’s office said in a brief filed in federal court.
“All evidence points to the tensions and confrontations continuing, not abating," the brief said, the Bee reported.
Rival factions of the tribe did meet last Friday under court-supervised mediation. They haven't commented publicly and are due back in court tomorrow for another hearing before Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, the Bee reported.

Gabe Galanda on Tribal Disenrollment:Using JACK ABRAMOFF PLAYBOOK To LIE CHEAT and Steal

Gabe Galanda, Attorney from Indian Country Law Firm Galanda Broadman, has been fighting for justice for Native Americans that have been ignored by the Native American Rights Fund, the ACLU, The Bureau of Indian Affairs and The Senate Indian Committee.   Here he lays out how tribes are following the playbook of the notorious Casino Jack Abramoff.   I've added links to stories where appropriate, that will help you understand the issues.

We do a recall, election and take over. Let's discuss." – Jack Abramoff, February 14, 2002
Casino Jack Abrahamoff
In professional sports “the playbook is a sacred hardbound diary of trust. It's an accumulation of decades' worth of knowledge, tweaked and perfected, sectioned off by scribbles and colored tabs.”

Looming large in Indian Country right now, there’s another kind of playbook; a dark one. The plays were originally designed by Jack Abramoff during his infamous stint at Ysleta Del Sur, Coushatta and Saginaw Chippewa. For the last two decades, Casino Jack’s playbook has been enhanced with the knowledge of other lawyers, lobbyists and executives, especially those in the Indian gaming industry. Even Native lawyers are now picking up and deploying the playbook.

The plays are shrewdly designed to divide and conquer Tribal Councils and communities from within, while federal trustees stand on the sidelines. The first few plays are as scripted as an NFL team’s opening drive.

Play 1—Create a Tribal Leadership Dispute. Whether through “recall, election and takeover,” or some form of Tribal Chairman fiat or General Council coup d’état and resulting insurrection, the Abramoffs of the world—the bad guys—know that if Tribal governmental factions can be created, it will paralyze all interested parties, including all levels of federal government, tribal and state law enforcement, and financial institutions. In turn, those pivotal players will not immediately know who to treat as the “rightful Tribal Council” for purposes of government-to-government relations, law and order, or financial security.
See: Chukchansi Tribal Leadership Dispute

The bad guys will begin their takeover by setting their sights on weak persons or institutions in the Tribe, and then exploiting those weaknesses to drive a deep wedge into the heart of the community. They will tap, even bribe, a weak Chairman, or a group of dissident members, or notoriously unethical Tribal officers or employees. P.L. 280 jurisdictions are particularly vulnerable to such organized crime given perennial inter-agency law enforcement indecision and inaction.

In the face of a takeover, the United States must “recognize the last undisputed officials” as tribal officials—meaning the officials in office immediately before the leadership dispute was manufactured—for government-to-government purposes, until the dispute can be settled pursuant to tribal law and procedure. Alturas Indian Rancheria v. Acting Pacific Regional Director, 54 IBIA 1, 8 (2011). But the bad guys know that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will be slow to make that declaration.

The bad guys also know that if the BIA does ever declare the Tribe’s last undisputed officials as rightful leadership, they can immediately appeal any decision that goes against them and stay its effect for up to three years, given the current backlog at the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. 25 C.F.R. 2.6(b). While the appeal lumbers along, and the bad guys declare that the decision has no effect pending that appeal, they mount a concerted war of attrition against anybody who stands in their way.

Play 2—Seize the Palace. Concurrent with the eruption of the Tribal leadership dispute, the bad guys immediately exert control over the Tribe’s casino and other cash-generating enterprises—by violent force if necessary.

The bad guys know that in a war of attrition, a war chest is required—and there is no deeper war chest than replenishing Indian casino coffers. They seize the gaming money to pay themselves and to recruit an army of others. Recall the following emails from Abramoff to his colleagues: "I want all their MONEY!!!" “We're charging these guys up the wazoo . . . Make sure you bill your hours like a demon.” This is precisely the state of mind of the bad guy-lawyers, who are sure to extract an enormous retainer up front so that they get paid no matter what ultimately happens to the Tribe.

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment
Nooksack Disenrollment

The bad guys then deny gaming per capita payments to their opponents to prevent them from accumulating any war chest of their own, while increasing those payments to other Tribal members to attract them as allies. Per capita monies are especially leveraged to buy votes in Tribal Council elections, or recall or initiative drives. All of this is done in disregard of any Tribal revenue allocation plan and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.  OP: Total theft of per capita is nearing $800 MILLION...and tribes will say, it's NOT about the money.

Because what the bad guys really know is that the National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman will largely sit on the sidelines until the inert BIA decision-making process finally runs its course, and that in the meantime the NIGC will not take any meaningful steps to shut down an illegal gaming operation or otherwise stem illegality. Recall that in Bay Mills the states argued that the “Commission only rarely invokes its authority to enforce the law against Indian tribes.” The states appear to be right. As we also saw in Bay Mills, the entire U.S. Department of Justice—from local U.S. Attorneys and FBI Special Agents, to everyone at Main Justice—sits idle too, despite its clear statutory criminal and civil authority to intervene. Indian country could use Phil Hogen and Tom Perrelli right about now.

All the while, the bad guys run roughshod over the Tribe’s entire gaming operation. This increasingly includes heavily armed “security” personnel surrounding the casino, paid with gaming monies and tasked to by any means necessary, prevent legitimate Tribal officials from resuming control over the casino.

Play 3—Cause a Tribal Membership Dispute. The bad guys know that if they style the Tribal leadership dispute as a membership dispute, nobody will touch it. They know that under banner of Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49 (1978), federal, state and local officials will simply say: “Sorry, the matter is internal to the Tribe. Tribes are sovereign and self-governing.”

The bad guys know that they can claim to disenroll any Tribal Councilperson or member who is not aligned with them, without suffering any legal recourse. They know that the federal and state courts will almost surely not get involved. They also know that they can denounce an Indian court as illegitimate and flout any Ex parte Young efforts to prospectively enjoin their “Ethnic Cleansing” efforts.

Tribal disenrollment is already at an “epidemic” level according to Professor David Wilkins; applying the Abramoff Playbook only accelerates the self-genocide.  SEE: Tribal Membership Dispute

Play 4—Rush to the Media. The bad guys hurry to create headlines that further cause folks in positions of power to stay out of it. The news stories they generate—through paid-for press releases via PRNewswire—will speak of “tribal disenrollments” and “tribal factions.” They will allege some form of wrongdoing by their opponents, to the point of slander or libel. They understand that federal and state officials, cops and judges, as well as local community members and business leaders, will read the resulting headlines. In turn, those readers will fall back on preconceived ideas about what is happening within the Tribe, leading them to either pick the bad guys’ side or stay out of it completely.

Play 5—Make Political Rounds. The bad guys rush to visit officials at all levels of government, starting at nearby towns and counties, and extending to state and national capitols. Aided by the first four scripted plays, the bad guys spin their talking points into the minds of anybody who innocently gives them a meeting, and further cause folks to either pick their side or “stay neutral.” They especially lobby BIA superintendents and career staff to delay the agency’s recognition of the last undisputed Tribal officials, knowing that all other government officials will await that determination before they might be inclined to do anything.

Play 6—Exploit National Tribal Silence. The bad guys know that Tribal leadership and disenrollment disputes are taboo in forums like the National Congress of American Indians and National Indian Gaming Association. They leverage this silence to further advance their cause. Even worse, the bad guy-lawyers write large checks on behalf of their firms or other affiliates, even other inter-tribal trade associations, to sponsor large inter-tribal meetings. National Indian groups unknowingly accept that dirty money and promote those sponsorships, which allows the bad guys to infiltrate the groups’ most inner circles, where they spread their message to ensure continued inaction. With their most powerful potential critics—other Tribes’ leaders—hushed, it becomes even easier for the bad guys to persuade federal officials to either do nothing or tread slowly.

This is really happening, and these are only the first six scripted plays. Today’s Abramoffs are already tweaking and perfecting new plays, without any shame or repercussion. Nobody formidable is standing in their way.

Unless there is a dramatic change of mind and heart within Indian country and its extended federal family, it is only a question of time before the bad guys hit another Indian community. And absent a change in the status quo, the good guys may soon be left with no other choice but to preemptively call plays from the Abramoff Playbook in self-defense of what is right—and what is truly Tribal.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fresno BEE: Kamala Harris' Office WIll ask Feds to KEEP CHUKCHANSI CLOSED Due to Endangered Public

The Attorney General Kamala Harris' office will ask a Fresno federal judge on Wednesday to keep Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino closed until state officials are convinced that the tribe can run the casino without endangering patrons and employees.
Attorney General Kamala Harris

“All evidence points to the tensions and confrontations continuing, not abating,” said a 14-page brief filed by deputy state attorney general William Torngren. The state’s brief asks U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to issue a preliminary injunction that would essentially extend the current closure until the tribe can ensure that weapons are kept away from the Coarsegold casino, and patrons, employees and tribal members are safe.

On Oct. 10, the National Indian Gaming Commission and state Attorney General closed the casino after an armed clash by the security forces of the Tex McDonald and Reggie Lewis factions the night before. The scuffle forced 500 patrons and employees from the 1,800-slot, 40-table casino and hotel.

The McDonald group’s entry was prompted by a federal gaming commission order filed two days earlier that threatened to close the casino on Oct. 27 because the tribe failed to submit audits for 2012 and 2013. The commission also threatened the tribe with fines that could exceed $16 million and would climb by up to $100,000 each day the tribe fails to comply. After the closure, the commission filed an additional violation against the tribe, that could add another$25,000 a day in fines.

NCAI Meets Without Discussing Tribal Disenrollment or Tribal Abuse of It's Citizens

It's quite shameful that the 71st meeting of the National Congress of American Indians doesn't include an agenda item to address the abuse and civil and human rights abuses of THOUSANDS of Native Americans by their own tribes.

There are at least 90 agenda meetings/speakers and NOT ONE addresses the stripping of citizenship of tribal people, nor the APARTHEID practiced on tribal reservations.  Not the theft of water rights, voter disenfranchisment.  But don't worry, the NCAI did set up Ray Halbritter with time to discuss MASCOTS.  Yes, the same Halbritter that BULLDOZED his own family's homes.

NCAI, you must be proud.  SALLY Jewell, can we just say, WTF?

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro Protecting Little Brother John from Attacks Within

Sources inside Pechanga are letting word out that Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro, well known for eliminating 25% of Native American people from his tribe via TRIBAL Disenrollment is protecting his little brother John Macarro, and his $300,000+ salary.  He gets paid for being an attorney, yet hasn't passed the Califonia Bar according to sources.
Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro

Here's how it was explained, based on what's happened at meetings..

The Basquez family went after John Macarro for trying to remove Raymond Jr. from the culture dept. They got a petition last summer to have John removed because he doesn't have his license to practice law. He admits that he's too stupid to pass the Ca. bar.
He is paid over $350,000 a year plus carte blanc credit card use to travel all over the world 1st class and take his family, all at the tribes expense.

The Macarros caught wind of the petition last summer and canceled the tribes monthly meeting to avoid problems.  So the Basquez clan waited for the next meeting to present their petition. They needed 20 signitures for it to be legal. They had 51 sigs. The Macarros told the tribe at the meeting that it was not a justified petition. But it really was. They're so corrupt and controlling. 

The Basquez said they'll be back with another petition. 

While we are amused at the infighting at Pechanga, it makes us wonder why the tribal citizens haven't asked some questions, such as:

WHY does John Macarro make so much money?
Why does he have such a large expense account?
Why does Mark Macarro say petitions with enough signatures are invalid?
What has John Macarro accomplished during his tenure?
Why hasn't John Macarro passed the bar?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tribal Disenrollment An Example of BOTTOM of the BARREL Thinking.

Cedric Sunray has a good take on TRIBAL DISENROLLMENT

Rhetoric posited by various leadership factions of tribes nationally attest to removing people (disenrollment) for the reasons that they are dually enrolled with another tribe, that they lack a certain blood quantum, that their ancestors are “not really of this particular tribe” or my favorite, that they were fraudulently or mistakenly enrolled.

The first justification, dual enrollment, is absurd. I don’t see any tribes attempting to revoke the American citizenship of their tribal members/citizens, yet they have no problem in saying that they can’t be a member of another sovereign nation which happens to be indigenous as well. You would think that if these tribal leaders were so proud of their “Indianness” that they would preference dual enrollment/citizenship/membership with another indigenous nation prior to even allowing citizenship with the United States. Dividing people into pieces makes little sense, especially in Indian Country. There are many citizens of the United States who hold dual citizenship with other countries.

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment
Nooksack Disenrollment

The blood quantum issue is even more irrelevant. There are many tribes here in Oklahoma who herald their “inclusiveness” due to their lineal descendant requirement as opposed to strict blood quantum standards. Some of these tribes, for instance, attempted to use this supposed “inclusivity” as proof that they have no prejudice during their attempted removals of the Indian Freedmen population.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tribal Casino Lays off 1,300 Workers. Chukchansi Corruption Harms Californians

Most of the 1,300 employees at Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino have been laid off. Now, only a skeleton crew will remain.

The layoffs are the direct result of a federal shutdown caused by fighting among tribal leaders. More than a week ago, a dispute between two factions resulted in a lockdown at the casino. The federal government and the National Indian Gaming Commission have since stepped in to mediate.

A single-page letter sent out to Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino employees paints a dire situation for staff members. One line in particular: "We cannot anticipate the duration of this closure because the government entities will not tell us how long this closure will remain in effect."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fresno BEE on the Turmoil Caused by the CASINO at Chukchansi

The reporters at the Fresno Bee have done excellent work in telling the story of what's happening at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.  Great teamwork in the storytelling

On a June day in 1999, close to 20 Chukchansi members burst into tribal headquarters, banging on doors, screaming and terrorizing staff members inside. Daisy Liedkie, the Chukchansi tribal chair at the time, later said one of the aggressors spit on her.

The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was at that time still mostly a dream, but the tantalizing possibility of big money had already begun to cause internal squabbling — squabbling that continues to this day. Now the casino sits closed, with millions being lost, because tribal members can’t get along.

Madera County sheriff’s deputies were called to the incident 15 years ago, and a subsequent report described the scene as “some sort of insurrection by Indian subjects.” Liedkie, 80 at the time, was ousted as tribal chair, and a short time later she and all her relatives were kicked out of the tribe. Scores more were sent packing with them.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chukchansi Tells Employees They Will Get an Extra Weeks PAY

A nice gesture....but they should CASH the check rather than deposit verify. Why would the tribe be surprised at the closure of the casino when they are a YEAR AND A HALF late with audits?
Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino employees were told Friday they’ll be getting an extra week of pay in the wake of last week’s sudden shutdown.
The casino notified its workers about the gesture in a letter.
“Chukchansi understands the burden this places on our team members and you will all be paid an extra week through Oct. 16, 2014,” the letter says. “The sudden closure of the casino by state and federal authorities has taken us all by surprise. We apologize for any inconvenience this unexpected closure has caused you and your families.”

Read more here:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pechanga Asking "Team Members" to VOTE NO on Prop.48. Don't want OTHER Indians to Benefit from GAMING.

I've received this a few times from sources at Pechanga.  The apartheid practicing Pechanga Tribe does NOT want the North Fork Rancheria to get an off reservation casino. 
Here's a missive that went out to PDC's 4500 employees.  Lots of laughable points here, such as the "promise" of casino operations limited to Indian laughs. (They promised to limit machines, then Pechanga broke that promise by putting more CLass II machines in)   Remember when Pechanga tried to keep Californians from voting on expanded gaming.
Wonder if the No on 48 buttons are being worn yet?

Dear Team Members,

As we receive our ballots to vote on November 4th, many of you have asked about Proposition 48. Since the voter information guide is a bit confusing, maybe even misleading, we want to be clear that Prop. 48 is bad for the vast majority of tribes and California. Thus, we ask you to vote NO on Prop. 48. 

Proposition 48 is not about Indian gaming, it is about a Las Vegas Casino corporation (Station Casinos) attempting an end-run in order to place a new Indian casino in an urban area - away from existing tribal lands. In doing so, Proposition 48 breaks the promise that Pechanga and other tribes made to the voters of California: that Indian gaming would be limited to Indian lands. 

Prop. 48 would also be unfair to the vast majority of tribes in California that have honored the promise of limiting gaming to existing Indian lands. If approved, Prop. 48 would open the door to an expansion of gaming into urban areas. 

This is why we respectfully ask that you vote NO on 48 and encourage your family and friends to also vote NO on 48.  
Please contact Jacob Mejia at Jmejia@removedemailaddy if you have any questions. Thank you.


Board of Directors 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


 Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, shut down amid a sometimes violent breakdown in tribal leadership, will remain closed for at least a couple more weeks, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Federal Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, who issued a temporary restraining order Friday to close Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino because he believed the health and safety of patrons could not be protected, told lawyers and representatives from the competing leadership factions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians to file motions and return to a followup hearing Oct. 29.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Anti North Fork Rancheria Casino Supporters Raise over $11 Million. Mostly from OTHER Tribes

Alexei Koseff of the Sacramento Bee has the latest on Prop. 48's supporters and detractors.  We should NOT HAVE off reservation gaming.

Buried by the barrage of ads on insurance rates and doctor drug-testing, another high-stakes ballot measure is quietly attracting millions in donations ahead of the November election.

Proposition 48, a referendum on two tribal gaming compacts brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown and approved by the Legislature, will ask voters whether or not they want to uphold the deals. Massive gambling revenue is on the line, as are questions about the growing phenomenon of “off-reservation” Indian casinos in California.

Proponents of Proposition 48 – including the North Fork Rancheria band of Mono Indians, the Wiyot tribe and their financial backers from Station Casinos in Las Vegas – argue that the proposal to build a 2,000-slot machine casino off Highway 99 in Madera would create an economic engine in a depressed region of the Central Valley and allow the North Fork tribe to reclaim part of its historic land. The campaign is hosting a media open house today at the North Fork Rancheria in the mountains near Yosemite, which is not where they plan to build the casino.

That’s part of the problem for opponents of the initiative, who make the case that the deal opens the door for more casinos outside established reservations, a limitation that voters approved in a 2000 proposition. But there’s also an aspect of financial rivalry: The main funders of the no campaign are other tribes whose own gaming operations would face more competition with construction of the North Fork casino, as well as their New York investors.

They have seriously outraised the yes campaign – $11.6 million so far this year, compared to only $418,000 by supporters of Proposition 48. Will voters follow the money?

Read SacBee story

Sunday, October 12, 2014

After ARMED INFILTRATIONChukchansi Casino Still Shut , Members Whine About Lost Revenue

The corrupt Chukchansi tribe is suffering losses from a closed casino. Meanwhile, those customers that have money coming to them will have to wait.  Room supposedly won't be charged. A big reunion coming next week is in LIMBO.
Walking through a lobby devoid of guests at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino on Saturday, televisions still blared sporting matches above empty bars and nearby slot machines gave off an eerie glow.
“It’s like the twilight zone,” said Reggie Lewis, co-chairman of one feuding tribal faction as he rode the elevator to the 11th floor.
Although the casino was shut down Friday afternoon by a federal judge following an armed infiltration of the casino by a faction led by Tex McDonald, members of both factions remained inside the building Saturday afternoon.
Tribal leaders and casino management said the Lewis/Nancy Ayala faction remained on the 11th floor of the hotel, and the McDonald faction remained on the bottom floor and in tribal offices across the street.
MONEY QUOTE:  The monthly stipends are essential, Lewis said. “Without those per-cap payments, I don’t know what they are going to do.”   WELL YOU DUMBASS, they are going to do like those HUNDREDS you terminated from the tribe!

Read more here:

Read more here:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Patrons of Chukchansi Casino USHERED OUT IN MID GAME.

FRESNO BEE REPORTS: Patrons of Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold were abruptly ushered out of the casino in mid-game Thursday night and the casino and hotel were apparently closed, according to patrons.
Madera County sheriff’s spokewoman Erica Stuart said tribal factions were feuding again and someone pulled a fire alarm to evacuate the building. She said it is not known who pulled the alarm. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating, she said.
Stuart said she was advised that only people who have rented rooms at the hotel will be allowed back in Thursday night.
Donn Hanfler of Merced said he was playing Spanish 21 at a table about 7:45 p.m. when a security guard ordered the game shut down and the players to leave. Players were not allowed to cash in their chips or tickets, and even cashiers were locked out, he said.
“They threw us all out,” he said. “I ended up getting screwed out of my money.”
he National Indian Gaming Commission says the casino could close Oct. 27 if the missing audits are not submitted. The tribe also faces fines of up to $100,000 per day dating back to April 30. If fully assessed, those fines would equal $16 million.
In a five-page letter dated Tuesday, the NIGC's acting chairman, Jonodev Chaudhuri, said that casino officials have not filed financial statements and audits dating back to 2012 and 2013, the earliest of which was due on April 30, 2013.
Audits are required so that the government officials are assured that tribal gaming meets certain federal guidelines.

Read more here:

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