Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Berry Creek Rancheria Disenrolled in Court Today. DA Mike Ramsey Forcing Felony Counts As Favor to Chairman James Edwards?

In what is becoming an ever increasing horror story, we are reminded that our local governments are more in the bag with corrupt tribal governments.

20 defendants are in court today facing FELONY charges for putting nail holes in a door at the offices of the Berry Creek Rancheria.   The cost of wood putty and paint have risen dramatically in Oroville, apparently.

Protesters say they were being threatened with disenrollments when they barricaded themselves inside Berry Creek Rancheria headquarters.  Actually STANDING UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS is not looked at favorably either by Berry Creek Tribal Council, nor the district attorney.

From an earlier news report:

The standoff was reportedly over a disenrollment vote for four individuals. During the event, 19 people locked and barricaded themselves inside the tribe's offices. The prosecution alleges the other defendants provided support to the group.
After the event, investigators found lumber, wire, tarps and straps drilled into walls, windows and doors through the tribal office's two buildings. Officials also found baseball bats, slingshots, bear pepper spray and sleeping bags.

Sheriff's deputies and tribal officials estimated the standoff caused more than $20,000 in damage.
Investigators also reportedly found absentee ballots from the disenrollment process removed from ballot boxes and shredded.
Interesting that the District Attorney is working so hard on an "internal tribal matter" when he won't lift a finger concerning the abuse by the Berry Creek Rancheria on their tribal members.   They have stolen over $4.4 MILLION from tribal members via disenrollment.

This disenrollment dispute has been simmering for over a decade:   
The Sierra-foothill Berry Creek Rancheria is having difficulty deciding if its election to decide the status of 28 tribal members was legitimate. On Oct. 22 the rancheria's general assembly voted 83 to 78 - with 13 abstentions - to retain the disputed members in full status. That should settle the matter, right? No says the tribal council whose members felt there were sufficient irregularities in the voting process to establish grounds for a new election. This has disputed tribal members crying foul. The central issue is whether disputed members, largely from one family, were descended from Dick Harry, a tribal member from the 1850s. Disputed members say they are descended from Dick Harry's half-brother, a historically documented Maidu Indian named Billy Day. The members in question claim the evidence they have was sufficient for the tribal council in the 1980s when many of the family members were admitted to the tribe. Disputed members say the reason their membership has been called into question relates to gaming revenue.
The disaffected members feel the tribal council wants to gain bigger gaming shares for themselves and their families.

Last summer the tribal council decided to put the matter to a vote in September, later delayed until October. Ballots were sent by certified mail to all voting members who were asked to vote on whether the 28 members were full members. All 28 disputed members were allowed to take part in the vote. In a summer interview, tribal council members said that no one was being considered for disenrollment. They said a discrepancy was found in 1992 regarding their descent and the disputed members were informed at that time and they were looking to change the members' status to a lesser rank without full member rights. When the ballot appeared in October, however, it asked for the disputed member's disenrollment. Enrollment committee chairwoman Bolton says the reason for this discrepancy was because the council was "still researching the matter." One of the disputed members, Victoria Mahnke, points out that the tribal council is claiming the members in question had known of the council inquiry into their ancestry since 1992
It's SHAMEFUL that the BIA won't address the issues facing Indian Country.


Anonymous said...

If they are still enrolled, isn't the tribal offices building owned by all of the members, so they have ownership in the building they decided to put nail holes in, so now if anyone works on their own properties they are guilty of ruining it and can be prosecuted by the District Attorney, doesn't that seem wrong. Tribal leaders are elected into office, they do not own the land or the building that they use. Hope these people decide to do something better while they are still enrolled, and it works out for them. These tribal leaders are getting away with way too much evil and they are the biggest cry babies, man up Chairmen and face your people, with no security, no supporters, just you and them after all they at one point voted you in, you owe them the dignity to listen to their grievances, either that or get out of office.

Anonymous said...

I believe tribal leaders could press charges on members if there is no court system.

B.S charges if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

does this mean they waived their sovereign amenity on them to press charges and if so then can they take their disenrollment to court.

Anonymous said...

Such sad business! I will pray for those facing charhges. The Corrupt Tribal Leaders must be held accountable. This is so very wrong! THIS ABUSE OF INDIGENOUS CITIZENS MUST STOP! When the criminals finally sell out our treaty rights and sovereignty,land base all for money, then those within our Nations who turn a blind eye will be crying. For we will no longer be a distinct people, but we sure will be extinct. Wake up my Indigenous People we are all one.

Anonymous said...

Yes a judge once told me the tribe waives its rights and allows the feds or county to charge the people.

Anonymous said...

And what of the direct descendants of this tribe that the council and tribal bodies refuse to acknowledge exist. They have indicated they will open their rolls to allow those excluded descendants to enroll only to secretly change the hours of enrollment time or to cancel completely. Greed is abounds but instead of stating publically they are defiant and do not wish to address the issue the tribal goverment plays manipulative games with the lives of their descendants. Some of their own tribal members from "prominant" families have stated how wrong this is but for fear of being excluded or causing rifts refuse to address this sore subject. Greed, manipulation and outright scandal, shamelessly. Native people were never raised to be shameless. Where this comes from is definately not from their elders.

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Anonymous said...

Sad sad sad...These tribes are so sad. While other tribes throughout Indian country are trying to build up their communities others are tearing them down. Destroying the progress we have been making for hundreds of years.
Pray for not only the citizens of the tribe but for the tribal leaders. They have lost their way.

nickey said...

When our group broke into our Tribal offices and occupied the building we were told by the sheriff "that it was like breaking into our own house." We could not be charged.