A revised letter to send to both the Indian Affairs Committee AND to YOUR local representavive and your Senators.
Senate Indian Affairs Committee
838 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington , D.C. 20510
Re: Request for Committee and field hearings on civil rights violations in Indian Country
Dear Chairman Barrasso and Honorable Committee Members:
I respectfully submit this letter as a request to your Committee to hold field hearings on the growing number of civil rights abuses occurring in Indian Country. Your recent hearings at the Wind River Reservation shows your commitment to finding the issues that are critical in Indian Country. We have critical issues here in California
The number of civil rights violations in Indian Country has reached epidemic proportions. Thousands upon thousands have been stripped or denied the basic due process and equal protection rights provided for in the United States Constitution, the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (“ICRA”), and tribal laws.
We who have been harmed by tribes such as Pechanga, Pala, San Pasqual, Chukchansi, Redding, Grand Ronde and Nooksack to name just a few, would appreciate the opportunity to enlighten your committee on the issues.
The responsibility to address this issue does not lie with the Interior Secretary alone. Even the appelate court in CA erupted in derisive laughter in the recent Pala disenrollment hearing when it was stated that it was up to Congress to act. The number of civil rights violations in Indian Country will continue to grow unless Congress once again takes action, just as it did in enacting the ICRA, to further protect individuals from the “arbitrary and capricious” actions of tribal governments. The recent CA appeals court determined For sovereign immunity to bar claims against tribal officials, the claims must be based on actions the officials took in their official capacity and within the scope of their official authority. An official’s actions that exceed the scope of his or her authority are not protected. Tribes are acting outside the scope of authority without concern for the law, or tribal law.
Considering the current situation and an environment which rewards the villain and punishes the victim, I ask you, “How do you plan to address this problem?”
I believe that hearings on the current civil rights situation in Indian Country are not only warranted, they are long overdue. Therefore, I respectfully request that your Committee hold hearings as an initial step to further action that will uphold and enforce the rights of those who, to date, have been stripped of or denied the basic rights guaranteed by law.
I trust you will thoughtfully consider my request, and I will eagerly await your response.
Another tool for the tool box is to make a phone call to them members of the committee. In most case, nearly all, you will not speak with the legislator, but they will take your name and zip code and your position on an issues. This is a way of having your vice heard. I do some lobbying at work. Although it is not for this particular issue I have been told that each phone call represents a significant number of constituents. In most cases people will not take the time to make a call. Better still is to pen a letter and mail it through the post office. These carry a lot of weight. Remember every phone call and letter is entered into the public record.
Excellent idea, White Buffalo.
Mark said "We have a right to determine membership." Correct, the truth is WE ALREADY DETERMINED MEMBERSHIP, and our Ancestors were honored and respected. Now to have a faction led by Macarro et al thinking it's legal and ok to dishonor our Ancestors, determine membership on enrolled members who meet the requirements, take away all their rights and spend their share of everything the band has been allowed to participate in. Pechanga deserves to be honored with truth. Hunter family is Pechanga, no other family is more Pechanga than Paulina and her descendants. Your Ancestors knew the truth and filed oral depositions on Allotted Indians. The reservation and Casino would not be here today if the Ancestors did not record the truth. Honor them NOW!
The B.I.A. and congress said the tribe has a right to determine tribal membership based on tribal law and tribal constitution. This means the tribes can deny membership and disenroll following the criteria of tribal by laws and their constitution. Now this is were tribes like Pechanga , Pala , San Pasqaul and others have broken tribal by laws and constitution just because they are in office disenrolling who they dislike or threatens their political power. Not enrolling others but enrolling their family for votes. So if congress , senate and the B.I.A. make strong statements of tribes rights to disenroll based on tribal laws and constitution then they need to make shore that the disenrolling tribes are following their tribal laws.
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