Friday, July 31, 2015

Native American Civil Rights: Are Tribes WITHOUT Independent Courts CAPABLE of Unbiased Tribunals?

In the recent post from our friend Paul Johnson, Are Native Are Native Americans Entitled to Civil Rights...? , his first requirement of due  process was an UNBIASED TRIBUNAL.  Such unbiased tribunals do not apply to countless tribes, including Pala, Redding Rancheria and Pechanga to name but a few.

In Pechanga's disenrollment against the Manuela Miranda descendants (Salinas v. LeMere, 7/23/04) Judge Fields ruled that:

"The Defendant band...appears to be almost totally inadequate to the task.  To refer issues to a tribal council, all of whom have a personal stake in the outcome, few if any of whom have legal training and where the council is under no compunction to follow established due process rights, appears to fall into the category of "lack of adequate forum".

Judge Fields came to this conclusion after studying the briefs from BOTH sides for over three months.  
The appeals court overturned based solely on THREE words "TRIBAL SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY" and not on the merits.  Yet tribes try claim that cases HAVE been decided on the merits.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

PALA Tribal Abuse: The TRUTH About The HISTORY of ROBERT SMITH, As Told By the Brittain Descendants. Sovereignty Does NOT MAKE IT RIGHT.

Since 2011 some 165 Pala people have been fighting for their rights to belong in the tribe.  Our comment section are filled with some Pala buffoons laughing at the hardships the disenrolled are now facing.  Some can only take so much.   I've received a letter detailing the history of current tribal chairman Robert Smith, the porcine leader of the Pala Band of Indians. It details HIS family's history.  
Many are tired of being told "YOU DON'T BELONG" by leaders, know..."DON'T BELONG".   The Nooksack 306 faced disenrollment by a leader whose family was ADOPTED into the tribe.  Pechanga has two adopted members in the council, that led to the disenrollment of actual blood members, proven via their own written and oral records.   

Here is the letter detailing the history of Robert Smith.  I will gladly print his response.

It is time that everyone learns the real truth about the history of Robert Smith and his family history. Robert Smith comes from the Moro and Blacktooth families.

Let’s look at his particular ties to the Moro family. Understand that there is a real division in the Moro families and most do have strong ties to Warner Springs and the Cupeño tribe. Robert Smith does not. He is the progeny of Adolfo Moro who was the father of Domingo Moro.

Who is Adolfo Moro?

Adolfo Moro was from Northern California and was at least half Spanish and reported to be half Indian.  No one really knows where his alleged Indian blood comes from. So we can safely say that Adolfo Moro was not a Cupeño Indian.

Adolfo then had his son Domingo Moro. Who is Domingo Moro? Domingo Moro was a Citizen Indian who gave up his rights and all entitlement as an Indian person when he perfected an Indian Homestead at Warner’s Ranch adjacent to Warner Springs. That is why Domingo Moro was not allotted at Pala.

He was a Citizen Indian and ineligible to receive an allotment. It also meant that his children were not eligible to receive allotments either but through the usual government misdealings at Pala his daughters were finally allotted at Pala. That is why they appear as allottees 159 and 160 near the end of the list of Pala Allottees. Understand that Domingo Moro held title to almost 140 acres of land at Warner’s Ranch and therefore he was not considered a landless Indian and neither were his children. The allotments to his children were illegal under the law. 

From a letter to the Indian Agent at Pala November 25, 1918.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NIGA's Ernie Stevens and NCAI's Brian Cladoosby accused of accepting KICKBACKS is reporting:

A former employee of a lobbying firm is accusing prominent leaders in Indian Country of accepting kickbacks.
Nikishna Polequaptewa once worked for Blue Stone Strategies, whose mission calls for "protecting tribal sovereignty" and "building strong economies." He's alleging that the firm did that by "improperly" paying tribal and Indian leaders of hopes of landing more lobbying contracts.

Alleged recipients include Ernie Stevens, the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association; Brian Cladoosby, the president of the National Congress of American Indians; and Brian Patterson, the president of the United South and Eastern Tribes, according to a court filing reviewed by The Santa Fe New Mexican.

The paper's story does not include comments from those who were named by Polequaptewa, who is a member of the Hopi Tribe. He's being sued by Blue Stone in federal court in California for allegedly disclosing trade secrets and damaging company property.

Stay tuned.

Cathy Cory, Disenrolled Chukchansi Walk's Into The Lion's Den After A Decade Without Citizenship UPDATE: CC statement Added

A proud woman warrior leads the battle for honor at the Chukchansi tribe's quarterly meeting today. 
Cathy Cory

Simply walking through  wooden doors to the meeting with her held held high, can inspire many disenfranchised natives, from the dozens of tribes in California that have had their citizenship terminated.  

Her adventure at today's tribal meeting was described this way:

Pechanga's Tribal Flush: Purging Tribal Members For Power and Money

There is a Senate Hearing coming up on the "Integrity of Indian Gaming".  It is important to bring some older stories on disenrollment forward again.  This was published in 2008, and sadly, Hunter family elder Lawrence Madariaga, Apis Elder Mike Salinas and Tosobol elder Manuel Rios have passed away, without the justice they deserved.

Tribal Flush: Pechanga People "Disenrolled" en Masse
On the eve of what could be the largest gambling expansion in U.S. history, a tale of power, betrayal and lost Indian heritage 
Wednesday, January 2, 2008 - 

 John Gomez Jr. parks his silver family van in the back row of one more anonymous strip mall off California’s Highway 79, an hour and a half southeast of Los Angeles, on a windswept ridge overlooking the Temecula Valley. Gomez, his dark hair barely betraying a sprinkling of gray at his temples, steps out of the van and walks away from the mall, to a barren dirt lot marked off with adobe walls.

“This is where Pablo is buried,” he says as we peer over the locked iron gate.

Disenrollment MATTERS, Why YOU Should Care About the Theft of Tribal Heritage and the Crimes Against Indian People

Why YOU Should Care About Disenrollment...

Disenrollment is the purposeful stripping of citizenship and heritage of Native Americans BY Native Americans to steal money, benefits and power.

Why should we care about disenrollment?

If one persons rights are violated, any persons rights are violated.  How many does it take to be wrong? In this case it's 10,000 who have been harmed.

Tribes promised to take care of their people if voters approved gaming. Disenrollments, Banishments, Moratoriums and levels of membership fly in the face of that promise to make the lives of all Indians better.

Those tribes also threaten tribal self-governance, giving Indian sovereignty skeptics good reason to believe that tribal governments cannot properly handle membership without outside involvement.

·        It's simply wrong. Sovereignty has become a smokescreen for illegitimate, sometimes unlawful behavior

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PALA Tribal Abuse: Aguayo Reply Brief Details GOVT. Mishandling of Trust Responsibilty

We wrote about the Pala tribe's victory in court, where the BIA was able to throw FEDERALLY enrolled Natives under the bus in Nov 2014. Judge Cynthia Bashant wasted no time in denying Plaintiff's motion, saying it was a membership issue.   See Documents here: Aguayo v. Jewell   @

NOT SO FAST your Honor...
You can Find the Aguayo Reply Brief here
Sally Jewell doesn't swear to protect ALL Natives

The Pala Disenrolled defense team has file answer briefs in their appeal. Including the fact that the court beloved Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez (which the court uses to weasel out of making decisions) DOES NOT APPLY HERE.


The BIA’s website also acknowledges the legal distinction for federally
acknowledged tribal members. “The rights, protections and services provided by
the United States to individual American Indians...flow...because he or she is a
member of a recognized tribe.”  

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Disenrolling their ancestors, which is exactly what the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians did to both the Manuela Miranda descendants and then two years later, to the Paulina Hunter descendants.  Shameful.
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Appeals judges hold the fate of 233 people - living and dead - after hearing arguments regarding disenrollment Friday.
Chief Judge Robert Kittecon and associate judges Dennis Peterson and Andrew Psatkowit listened to oral arguments by the Tribe’s attorney, Sara K. Van Norman of the Jacobson Law Group in St. Paul, Minn. and Paula K. Fisher, who is representing the Tribal members who could face disenrollment if the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court approves a motion by the Tribal Council to re-open cases that were dismissed six years ago.
There are 167 living Tribal members appealing Judge Patrick Shannon’s March decision that would allow the cases to be re-opened;

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tribal Disenrollment: Self Decimation or Self Determination? by Professer David Wilkins

In 2006,  Professor David Wilkins published this essay on tribal disenrollment and banishment.  Since casino gaming, tribes have been disenrolling members at an alarming rate. We have links to stories on our sidebar.  Here's that essay:

By David Wilkins / University of Minnesota
Story Published: Aug 25, 2006
Story Updated: Sep 10,2008

Banishment and disenrollment in Indian country 

Tribal nations and their governing bodies, like all human communities, are in a constant state of flux.
They generate on their own and absorb from the outside a bewildering and seemingly increasing
array of issues that create for each First Nation, no matter their population size, opportunities to
evolve and mature or to regress and decay.

Issues include the exercise and enforcement of vital treaty rights, the complicated dynamics of
intergovernmental relations, profound environmental concerns and the always uneven ground of
land claims and sacred site battles. These are but a few of the multitude of topics that warrant
constant tribal vigilance. And, of course, each of these issues requires enormous outlays of time,
energy and resources.

As critical and complicated as these topics are, they pale in comparison to what is arguably the most
important question that has confronted tribal nations from their emergence accounts to the present
time: What does it mean to be Dine, Anishinaabe, Yakama, Lumbee, Tohono O'odham,
Narragansett, Pechanga, or Chukchansi? What, in other words, are the defining characteristics that
make an indigenous nation just that indigenous and a nation? And what is required of each
individual in those nations to be considered a bona fide participant, citizen or, for lack of a better
term, member of a given First Nation?

Chukchansi Should Work to be A UNIFIED TRIBE, BEFORE Opening the Casino.

We wrote earlier about the Chukchansi tribe nearing a deal to open the casino.  But this tribe still hasn't gotten it's act together.

Our friend Cathy Cory, a terminated Chukchansi member says:

Reopening the casino should be the LEAST of Picayunes worries at this point. How 'bout working on just being a TRIBE? 

First things first...our people need to come together, bring ALL Chukchansi people home in order to heal, put a totally new tribal council in place, and implement a forensic audit to determine just which tribal "leaders" are responsible for the theft of $50 million from the tribe. 

Provide consequences for that behavior--NOT reward them by leaving them in power to start the same destructive behaviors all over again with impunity...


Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Picayune Rancheria Eject Members
Chukchansi thuggery on Reservation
Nancy Ayala leads unelected "council"
Chukchansi SHAMEFUL disenrollment
Chukchansi Council Dispute
Morris Reid inducted into Native American Hall of SHAME
Editorial in the Fresno Bee on Chukchansi
Read Story for BIA quote here on Chukchansi

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bill Cosby Stood up FOR Chukchansi People, Does his GOOD WORKS GET LOST with his DESTROYED Reputation.

I will put up a video from former Cosby Show co-star and friend Joseph C. Phillips' commentary on CBS Sunday Morning below. His commentary focuses on Cosby's reputation and legacy, which should be two separately views things.

Does INDIAN COUNTRY remember when Bill Cosby stood up for disenrolled Chukchansi people? WE DO, we wrote about it in 2007 and a couple of times after:

 Bill Cosby has canceled his Sept. 2 appearance at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino because of a dispute between the casino and an outside group over the tribe's efforts to get rid of some members. That group wrote a letter to Cosby to explain how it is upset with the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, owners of the Coarsegold casino, for removing people from its membership rolls. "The letter was written to stop these performers from coming and supporting the tribes for doing what they are doing to the people," says Laura Wass, a Fresno-based American Indian activist who is a member of the group that sent the letter. Wass says Cosby was not singled out for any particular reason. He is just the first of several performers scheduled to appear at Chukchansi who have been sent letters regarding the dispute.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chukchansi PROMISES TRUMP Civil and Human Rights ABUSES...

These bad guys have decimated their tribe, they can't account for $50 million, they've already defaulted on their loans.   What do they think happened?  That some of them went to anger management classes? Don't let Chukchansi have JACK until they bring ALL the people home.  Until they quit their abuses  of NATIVE AMERICANS..

A $35 million deal with creditors is close to being reached to reopen the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino by the end of the year, perhaps as early as Labor Day, but the tribe is still awaiting state and federal approval to open.

Officials with the tribal council led by Reggie Lewis described it as one of the “significant milestones necessary to re-open their world-class” casino.

Chukchansi Gold, near Coarsegold, has been closed since rival factions squared off during an Oct. 9 raid on a casino office. The action that night resulted in 15 arrests and state and federal authorities stepped in Oct. 10 to make the closure lasting, demanding that the operating tribe get its affairs in order first.

The Lewis faction said in a statement Monday that the casino will reopen before the end of 2015. The statement indicated that the Lewis group expects to finalize an agreement in a few weeks with the National Indian Gaming Commission and state Attorney General’s Office.

An official with Gov. Jerry Brown’s office said Monday that the state continues to work with the tribe.

“Our priority is to help ensure the facility reopens under circumstances that protect the safety of patrons, employees and tribal members,” said Gareth Lacy, the governor’s deputy press secretary. “We are in ongoing conversations and cannot discuss details at this time.”

Another sticking point is dealing with Madera County supervisors, who are yet to recognize a tribal council because members of a faction once led by Tex McDonald are working in the offices across the street from the casino and hotel.

The tribal council Lewis represents is from 2010. It was recognized by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs last year and affirmed by the U.S. Department of the Interior Board of Indian Appeals in February as interim council until an election, which is scheduled for Oct. 3.

The recognition allowed federal grants to flow to the Lewis council to administer through the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Housing and Urban Development.

It was the Chukchansi Economic Development Authority, the body overseeing the casino, that entered into a deal with some of the tribe’s lenders that will allow it to raise $35 million, at a 12% interest rate, to reopen the facility.

The tribe already is under a $250 million bond deal struck in 2012 and is paying 9.75% in interest through 2020. The tribe must pay about $12 million twice each year to its creditors. The bond was for construction of the casino. The tribe missed its last $12 million payment, which was scheduled to be made at the end of March.

Lewis said the two arrangements are separate, equating the new agreement to taking out a second mortgage on a house.

READ MORE at Sierra Star News

Friday, July 17, 2015

50 Reasons WHY ILLEGAL Disenrollment Should NOT EXIST -

Our young activist friend Emilio Reyes, Gabrieleno, has put together a strong list against disenrollment.  Do you agree?   Do you have more?  

1.       It’s a cultural genocide
2.       It kills my Indian
3.       It’s a violation of all rights
4.       Banishes my traditions
5.       Violation of my religion
6.       Don’t have an explanation for my future generations
7.       It’s identity theft
8.       Illegal removal
9.       Allotment removal
10.   It’s another Indian war
11.   The creator will be upset
12.   I Cannot vote
13.   Abusive power of sovereignty
14.   I lose my healthcare
15.   I get kicked out of the REZ
16.   It’s colonial ways
17.   It’s Epidemic
18.   Forced assimilation
19.   It’s immoral and unethical
20.   It’s Colonial terrorism
21.   Divides family
22.   Forced Termination
23.   Historically disenrollment never existed
24.   Elimination by force
25.   If I was a member before I should be a member for life
26.   I have nowhere to turn to
27.   Indian gaming is diving our people
28.   My dead ancestors get removed from the rolls
29.   Bloodless genocide
30.   It’s the modern smallpox
31.   Deleted history
32.   No due process
33.   My citizenship gets revoked
34.   It’s tribal corruption
35.   The BIA has no “jurisdiction” 
36.   I also bleed red
37.   It kills my spirituality
38.   Creator made us Native
39.   Forced relocation
40.   Forced acculturation
41.   Our dead ancestors get removed and re-buried off reservation
42.   Our elders are dying b4 getting justice
43.   Per capita should be a blessing
44.   It’s a paper genocide
45.   I lose my job
46.   I lose my education
47.   It’s a punishment
48.   Leaves me culturally homeless
49.   Makes us disappear
50.   Because family is first

Former Chukchansi leader McDonald speaks out after Prison

The man arrested last year after a fight at Chukchansi Casino is talking about his time in jail and his hopes for the tribe.

Tex McDonald is no longer the tribal chair. He says he likes it better that way. Thursday he sat down to discuss why he accepted a plea deal and what is standing in the way of the casino re-opening.

McDonald has spent the past few weeks getting caught up on all he missed while he was locked up.

"I am doing a lot of yardwork and I've been coming over here," said McDonald. "Yesterday I came over here to clean up and getting the feel of everything."

He is no longer the leader of what was known as the Tex McDonald Faction, and he is fine taking a back seat.

"It's a big responsibility, you have a lot to think about, and I did my, I tried what my solution was to work and it didn't," said McDonald. "So I'm going to let somebody else try theirs."

Chukchansi Casino remains closed, a federal court hearing to determine the future of the property will take place in 2016. For now, McDonald is still involved as a tribal council member, but focusing on his family. Two of his sisters are battling cancer.

McDonald explained, "That was the main reason I took the deal was to help them to cross over into the spirit world."

Days after his release McDonald met with the other tribal faction. So far, he says no conflicts were resolved and there is still a deep division.

"Our goal is to open the casino, that's what our council wants, to open the casino," said McDonald. "But everybody has to work together to do it. That is the main problem we are facing right now."

For the moment, McDonald says, he is operating out of his tribal offices across the street from the casino. He says he has not stepped foot on casino grounds, for fear it will cause even more problems with the other faction.

Tex McDonald says he would like the federal government to audit and investigate the financial records of the casino to determine whether the books are balanced for the future.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

First Lady Michelle Obama Takes Ownership of US GOVERNMENT'S Actions Against Native Americans

Credit where credit is due.  When speaking to the White House Convening on Creating Opportunity for Native Youth conference First Lady Michelle Obama said this:
Michelle Obama

“Let me offer just a few examples from our past, starting with how, back in 1830, we passed a law removing Native Americans from their homes and forcibly re-locating them to barren lands out west. The Trail of Tears was part of this process. Then we began separating children from their families and sending them to boarding schools designed to strip them of all traces of their culture, language and history. And then our government started issuing what were known as ‘Civilization Regulations’ – regulations that outlawed Indian religions, ceremonies and practices – so we literally made their culture illegal.”

This is PROPER RESPECT to the governments actions against native Americans.  We and our are ownership words.  And that's a good start.  Left unsaid was what Tribal Leaders and groups are NOT ADDRESSING, the CURRENT abuses perpetrated on Native People by corrupt councils and chairmen.

Our friend Cathy Cory, a Chukchansi Indian who was stripped of citizenship by her own tribe had this to say:

Today, THOUSANDS of our Indian people are being stripped of our culture again--this time by our own corrupt tribal councils through tribal disenrollment and nonrecognition of legitimate descendants who abuse tribal sovereignty to destroy our people...WAKE UP White House and Congress! Only YOU have plenary power over these corrupt tribal governments who continue to push this new destruction--paper genocide--throughout Indian Country!

We'd love to have the first lady take the lead on THIS issue, restoration of the right of belonging that tribes like Pala, San Pasqual, Pechanga, Redding, Nooksack stripped from thousands of us.

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Senate Indian Affairs Committee: PAY ATTENTION to what INTEGRITY of Tribal Casino Gaming Has Led To

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will be holding hearings on the integrity of Tribal Gaming.  So we are posting to what gaming has done to THOUSANDS of NativeAmericans, while the SIAC has done NOTHING.

HERE KCBS Channel 2 reporter CRISTY FAJARDO reports on disenrollment for greed and power. Pay special attention as to how WEAK the responses are from the two tribal chairmen, Mark Macarro and Robert Smith!  They can lie and obfuscate with ease.

Here is the video:

Chukchansi Council Approves Ordinance that Brings Back 2010 Disenrolled. Over 600 Chukchansi people REMAIN Disenrolled

A good start from the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indian.  They AFFIRM a previous vote to bring back those disenrolled in 2010.   Still outside looking in, is over 600 Chukchansi people.

Still some work to do, but the goodwill generated by doing that would be ... PRICELESS

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The DARK SIDE of INDIAN GAMING; A Must Read for Senator Indian Affairs Committee

The Senate Committee of Indian Affairs is having a hearing next week on the "Integrity of Indian Gaming" No, really, integrity...don't laugh.  We will be putting some older posts up this week, so that we can ALL share them so that they will be seen.  We have buttons at the bottom of each post to Tweet, Share on Facebook and Google +

A press release from AIRRO in 2008, was prescient concerning the DARK SIDE of Indian Gaming.  It's critical, as a new hearing into Indian gaming is upcoming, that we share the details of what is STILL happening, under the watchful and uncaring eyes of the BIA.

An epidemic has swept through Indian Country, and in its wake, it is leaving thousands of victims struggling for basic rights protections.

"The civil rights of Indian people need to be protected from and enforced against the illegal acts of tribal officials. Until such a time, thousands more Indian people will be victimized as corrupt tribal officials violate tribal and federal laws to deny or strip them of the basic rights all other United States citizens enjoy," commented John Gomez Jr. of the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization.  "Tribal officials will continue to violate civil and human rights laws as long as they can escape prosecution for such actions by hiding behind tribal sovereignty."

The rights violations referred to are often characterized by the denial of due process and equal protection of laws specifically enacted to protect individuals from the "arbitrary and capricous actions" of tribal officials. In most instances, the violations have resulted in the stripping or denial of tribal citizenship of numerous individuals.  The number of such reported rights violations in Indian Country has increased dramatically since the legalization and expansion of Indian Gaming.

In California alone, 20+ federally recognized tribes have stripped nearly 5,000 Indian people of their tribal citizenship since the passage of Props 5 and 1A. And thousands more have been denied their birthright as tribes close their roles in an attempt to limit the number of those who benefit from Indian Gaming. Currently San Pasqual has denied membership to true San Pasqual people, while Pechanga has maintained a moratorium, purportedly to "catch up on applications received" for nearly 15 years.

Some Indian activists have even gone so far as to call disenrollment the new Indian genocide, reminiscent of the old termination policies practiced by the United States government. Unlike before, where it was the United States Cavalry or local militias who carried out the termination polices of the government, it is now tribal officials who are responsible for the acts of genocide being carried out against Indian people.  A disenrollment letter, instead of a smallpox blanket?

“It is a sad and shameful time for American Indians in this country because some tribals leaders are failing to protect the civil and human rights of their members,"  stated Carla Foreman-Maslin, a dis-enrolled member of the Redding Rancheria.

As a result, thousands of traditional First Nations People are now being denied adequate health care and other benefits previously provided to them as members of federally recognized tribes.  Some have been denied access to their traditional gathering places and forceably evicted from the only home they have ever known.  Others have been banished from their tribal lands and kept from visiting the resting place of their deceased ancestors.  It's at best segregation and at worst, APARTHEID.

Call it what you will- genocide, identity theft, disenrollment.  It will continue to spread throughout Indian Country as long as the basic rights of Indian people are merely words on paper like so many of the treaties signed with their ancestors. 

"IDENTITY THEFT" of Tribal Heritage is a GROWING CANCER.

A recent opinion piece by Cherokee genealogist David Cornsilk had me thinking about the "identity theft" of heritage that is going on in California Indian Country.

As we have seen in some tribe's such as San Pasqual , white  interlopers have taken control of the tribe.  And as surely as Andrea Smith, Elizabeth Warren,or Ward Churchill did, they have taken the identity of real Indians.

San Pasqual leader Allan Lawson's ancestor has NO blood of the band.  His ancestor explicitly stated they were NOT Indian, yet the BIA has seen fit to give them all rights as Indians and keep the real descendants out.  Self proclaimed Indians should not have the rights of true Native Americans.  Yet, they do at Pechanga and San Pasqual.  The Nooksack tribe is led by one who was adopted into the tribe, yet he  has been attempting to disenroll true Nooksack people claiming they "don't belong".   His attempts were SLAPPED down this week by the IBIA.

In my own family's case, we are descended from Original Pechanga Indians.  In our disenrollment case the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, led by Mark Macarro, hired renowned anthropologist Dr. John Johnson to research our ancestor Paulina Hunter, from whom 175 of us descend. 

Dr. Johnson has done extensive work with The Padrones, the records of the Spanish missionaries dating back to the 18th century.  He was quickly able to provide documentation and evidence of our ancestral ties to Pechanga and Temecula, where the Pechanga Reservation now exists.  He used the tribe's own paperwork and records, to show Paulina Hunter was indeed a Pechanga Indian.

In a television interview, Dr. Johnson stated that NO OTHER FAMILY belonged more than the Hunters.  We were 100% Pechanga.  Well at least from the 1700's to 2006 when the tribal council overruled the will of the people and terminated Paulina Hunter and all her descendants, living or dead.   We are collateral damage.

We had the proof of ancestry, something that many in the tribe DO NOT have.  My family is still on the outside, even though we LIVE ON THE INSIDE of the reservation. We still have our original allotment issued by President McKinley that we received at the inception of the reservation .  We live under an Apartheid system, with no rights to vote on issues that affect us.

Our tribal history proves we belong, with chairman Macarro's own ancestor calling Paulina Hunter "AUNT". We have sworn depositions, taken in the Luiseno language in 1915 that state that Paulina Hunter was Pechanga, you know, from people that KNEW HER when she was living! (she died in 1899).

I invite ALL Pechanga people to compare our history to their own.  Chairman Macarro wasn't born in the area like so many of our family have been.  He wasn't even on the original list of enrolled, nor was Jennie Miranda the previous tribal chair, who is now disenfranchised.
We have long established relations to the tribe and the reservation.   We didn't have to manufacture our history like some tribal families.

Do the right thing Pechanga, bring the rightful people home........

Monday, July 13, 2015

What SAY YOU? Is Squaw Bread Offensive?

My lovely wife eats at this restaurant, which has terrific sandwiches.  And the owner mentioned the controversy to last week.   Do you take it offensively?  Or does HOW the word is used matter?   

A Riverside eatery wants your help to rename a kind of bread that some people say could be offensive to Native Americans.

The Backstreet Restaurant, perhaps best known by locals for its pastrami and corned beef sandwiches since its opening nearly 50 years ago, has reportedly launched a contest to find a new name for its squaw bread, one of six types of bread the eatery offers customers for their sandwiches.

Owner Keith Holloway started the search after a female customer ordered a turkey sandwich a few weeks ago and pointed to the word “squaw” as her bread type selection,according to the Press-Enterprise.

The customer reportedly told Holloway she would not say the word, calling it “highly offensive”.

Upon learning that the word “squaw” – which has traditionally been used to describe the rye and molasses bread linked to the arrival of Germans in the southwest U.S. during the 1800s – was “apparently” the equivalent of the “N-word” for Native Americans, Holloway decided to reportedly cover up the bread’s name on the deli chalkboard.

“The last thing I want to do is to offend my customers,” Holloway told reporters.

While the restaurant is currently taking suggestions for new names for the bread – which other eateries have replaced with “Indian Princess Bread” or “Indian Maiden Bread” – the name was still on the restaurant’s website as of Monday morning.

NOOKSACK 306: BIG WIN from IBIA in Washington DC! Disenrollment order VACATED AND REMANDED

Word from our Nooksack 306 friends:

 The U.S. Interior Board of Indian Appeals in Washington, DC has just handed down a decision, rejecting the Kelly Faction and BIA's arguments in favor of the Nooksack Disenrollment
ordinance! Stan Speaks' approval decision was "VACATED and REMANDED."

We remain ENROLLED, and subject to a Tribal Court stay of any disenrollment.

This is another BIG WIN for us! The Courts, the People, the World know the truth: WE BELONG.

Here's what it means:

Footnotes 3-5 suggest the Board sees the ordinance exactly the way we see it: as illegally targeting the Nooksack 306.

Meanwhile, under Judge Doucet's stay/injunction ruling from earlier this year, disenrollment cannot recommence unless or until the Secretary/BIA finally reviews and approves the new Nooksack disenrollment ordinance (which could be re-legislated by the Tribal Council, as before, to avoid federal constitutional scrutiny).

Upon any re-approval by the Secretary/BIA-Portland, another appeal of ours would follow, as would a automatic stay of any such decision via the CFR, as alluded to in the IBIA's ruling. Further administrative appeal process could take years to conclude, with, again, disenrollment being stayed/enjoined by the Tribal Court the whole time.

In sum, disenrollment cannot commence anytime soon, and there's no telling when, if ever, it will resume. This win is BIG.

San Pasqual Justice: Appeal Filed with IBIA to DEMAND DUE PROCESS

There has been an appeal filed with the IBIA in the San Pasqual Descendants to demand DUE PROCESS that the CA BIA has failed to provide..

Notice of APPEAL to IBIA from San Pasqual descendants

MORE ON SAN PASQUAL San Pasqual Lawsuit

San Pasqual Split

San Pasqual Must Lose Right to Run Valley View

San Pasqual Members DENIED their Civil Rights says BIA


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Twila Barnes: Andrea Smith's Attack on Tribal Sovereignty

My friend Twila Barnes, who writes the estimable Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter blog on Cherokee issues, enters the fray on UC Riverside Professor Andrea Smith's identity theft of Cherokee citizenship.

MONEY:  By rejecting the idea that enrollment or citizenship in an Indian Nation is a factor in who is or is not Indian, Andrea Smith is taking an anti-Indian position. That is a direct attack on tribal sovereignty. No matter what Smith says, she is not acting in our best interest. She is not our friend and she is not seeking justice for us. Instead, she's forced us to a national stage where we must defend our tribal sovereignty, and once again, battle to protect one of the only things we Cherokees have left - our identity.

I take some issue with this, however, as one who has been beaten by a tribe wielding sovereignty as a club, to destroy my ancestor's legacy.    I am fighting corruption in my own tribe, who have ignored the evidence of our own tribal history, to eliminate anyone who opposes their power.

PLEASE, go to the link above and read Twila's take.  We also recently published David Cornsilk's view of the matter....


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Native News Online Pick Up Donald Trump Story

Thanks to our friends at at NativeNewsOnline for picking up the story we did on Donald Trump being fired by 29 Palms Band. The Donald has done some good, bringing more traffic to our site.

 Please, keep sharing with your friends.... Thank you Levi Rickert...

David Cornsilk: Clearing Up Misconceptions About Cherokee Identification

It appears the Andrea Smith apologists are doing everything they can to divert attention from the one thing about her that is important right now, whether or not she is Cherokee. They want to make it about her work, not so. They want to make it about her complexion, not so. They want to make it about blood quantum, not so. Some have even suggested it is about jealousy, not so. The factual basis of all grievances against Andrea Smith, and others like her, begins and ends with whether or not she can prove Cherokee ancestry.
These people don’t know real Cherokees, our history, culture, language and genealogies. They cannot speak intelligently to the question of her authenticity because they have no baseline, which is why they use diversionary tactics. Why would they know real Cherokees when all they see are fakes?

In the 1990s, Andrea Smith sought me out as a Cherokee genealogist, on two separate occasions, to see if she had any connections. My research into Smith’s ancestry showed that her ancestry was not connected to the Cherokee people.

In the subsequent years, many have challenged her identity including representatives of the Cherokee Nation. In those ensuing years, she has had ample opportunity to come forth with proof of her Cherokee claims. Instead, she has admitted to not being Cherokee or promised to stop claiming Cherokee; but perhaps because the foundation of her work as a ‘woman of color’ depended upon making others believe her claim she would back paddle and like a drug addict, fall off the truth wagon. As far as I can tell, nothing has changed in the evidence of pher ancestry that would lead me to believe she is or even might be of Cherokee descent.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Non Cherokee Andrea Smith Says She can be Cherokee if SHE WANTS TO...

We wrote about UC Riverside academic Andrea Smith being called out by Cherokee researcher David Cornsilk,, as well as by numerous real Native American academics.    It wasn't pretty.

Now, Professor Smith has a response:

To the academic and social justice organizing communities which I have been part of for many years, and to whom I am indebted:

I have always been, and will always be Cherokee.  I have consistently identified myself based on what I knew to be true.  My enrollment status does not impact my Cherokee identity or my continued commitment to organizing for justice for Native communities.

There have been innumerable false statements made about me in the media. OP: WHICH ONES? But ultimately what is most concerning is that these social media attacks send a chilling message to all Native peoples who are not enrolled, or who are otherwise marginalized, that they should not publicly work for justice for Native peoples out of fear that they too may one day be attacked.  It is my hope that more Indigenous peoples will answer the call to work for social justice without fear of being subjected to violent identity-policing.  I also hope the field of Native studies might attend to disagreement and difference in a manner that respects the dignity of all persons rather than through abusive social media campaigns.

Out of respect for the dignity and privacy of my family, and out of concern for the damage that these attacks have had on my students, colleagues, and organizing communities, I will direct my energies back to the work of social justice.

I would LOVE to see her fighting against the stain of tribal disenrollment, using her skills and connections to bring THAT injustice to light.  Theft of identity harms everyone.   Be real, there is NOTHING wrong with being white.....

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Alturas Rancheria POT RAID Leads to ZERO Arrests. No Word On Munchies. No Word On Volunteers to Weed The Marijuana Patch...

A leadership dispute within the Alturas Rancheria of California helped spur a federal raid of the tribe's marijuana operation.

Depending on who you ask, the tribe has anywhere from three to seven members. Of those, only two can trace direct descent from the Pit River Indians whose rancheria was originally set aside by the federal government in 1927.

Those two members are siblings Phillip Del Rosa and Wendy Del Rosa. According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Phillip started the marijuana farm over Wendy's objections.

In a letter to federal authorities, "Wendy Del Rosa affirmed that the marijuana manufacturing operation on tribal lands was opposed by the tribe and illegal under state and federal law," special agent Charles Turner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs stated.

Wendy further told U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner to "take all appropriate law enforcement action to close this illegal drug operation and bring those responsible to justice," the affidavit stated.
Wagner followed up on part of that request by raiding the marijuana operation on the rancheria on Wednesday morning.

But authorities didn't arrest anyone associated with the farm. And Wagner said no charges are pending against anyone involved so Wendy won't be seeing her brother going to jail any time soon.
Federal agents also raided a marijuana facility on the XL Rancheria, a reservation that is home to the Pit River Tribe. That operation was described as much larger than the one on the Alturas Rancheria.
Altogether, authorities seized more than 12,000 marijuana plants and more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana from the two reservations

Native American Tribe FIRED Donald Trump, REMEMBER? 29 Palms Band Terminated The Donald's Contract

Yes, Native Americans told DONALD TRUMP, YOU'RE FIRED!  The 29 Palms Band had hired Donald Trump's Company to run  it's casino.

In April 2002 Hotel Online reported

Trump signed a deal in May 2000 to manage the former Spotlight 29 for the tribe, shortly after voters approved Proposition 1A allowing the use of Nevada-style slot machines in Native American casinos. 
The developer helped secure $60 million in loans for the tribe to build the new venture. "They've helped us a lot," Mike said. "This is a big step for a small tribe." 

"We've done a very good job and they [the tribe] appreciate it," Trump said. 

The tribe will pay Trump 30 percent of the casino's net annual revenue, the maximum allowed by Indian gaming laws, tribal officials said. 

The management agreement is for five years, the maximum allowed by the National Indian Gaming Commission. While all Indian casinos report revenues to the commission, neither the casinos nor the commission divulge specific financial information to the public.

But it didn't LAST LONG, from ICT in Jan. 2005

Another California tribe, the 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians, recently fired Donald Trump, whose bankrupt casino company had been managing its Trump 29 Palms casino east of Palm Springs.

Read more at Indian Country Today from 2005  and this article too which says 29 Palms paid $6 million to get rid of Trump's contract

The tribal owner of the Trump 29 Casino plans to buy out the management contract of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, which has overseen operations there since April 2002, and sever its ties to the legendary gaming company.
The Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians will also give up the rights to the Trump name, which it has used for multiple promotions over the years.
"They want to once and for all take it back and operate it like they did before, putting their own pride back into it," said tribal attorney Gary Kovall by phone. From 1994 to 2002, the tribe operated the Coachella casino as Spotlight 29.
Under the terms of its contract with Trump Hotels, the tribe has the right to buy out the management contract beginning in April 2005. Both sides agreed to accelerate the date by a few months, Kovall said.
The Twentynine Palms Band will pay Trump Hotels $6 million, said Scott Butera, executive vice president of the Atlantic City, N.J.-based casino firm.

Is Donald THAT hard to get along with??

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Court RULES AGAINST REDSKINS: Disparaging to Native Americans

U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee upheld the ruling of the Federal Trademark Trail and Appeal Board, which deemed the team’s name offensive to Native Americans making it ineligible under the Lanham Act for status in the federal trademark registry.

Judge Lee, in his 70-page ruling, quoted Allen Iverson.

"As a threshold matter, throughout the pleadings the parties conflated the legal principles surrounding trademarks with those surrounding trademark registration," wrote Judge Lee. "Just as Allen Iverson once reminded the media that they were wasting time at the end of the Philadelphia 76ers' season 'talking about practice' and not an actual professional game, the Court is similarly compelled to highlight what is at issue in this case - trademark registration, not the trademarks themselves.

"It is the registrations of the Redskins Marks that were scheduled for cancellation by the TTAB's decision, not the trademarks. In fact, the TTAB itself pointed out that it is only empowered to cancel the statutory registration of the marks; it cannot cancel the trademarks themselves."

From the TTAB's initial ruling on canceling the Redskins' trademarks:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

BOOM! Indigenous Women Scholars Expand the Discussion in the Fake Cherokee Andrea Smith Matter.

In a masterful opinion piece written by some of Native America's strongest  women scholars, they touch on the matters of importance, including the need for nations to stand up against those taking claims of membership.   In the Andrea Smith case, they've known for over a decade that she was fake. Why allow her to continue the charade?

This fakery harms everyone, be it Smith, or many tribal leaders who claim Indian status, but know they are not blood, or achieved their positions through subterfuge.   Read it all

Given the intellectual and emotional labor that Andrea Smith’s silence and lack of accountability has required us all—supporter or critic—to undertake, we would like to also ask for reflection and care in the stories generated to make sense of her contradictions and her silences. 

The history of Cherokee removal and dispossession is deeply woven into the same southeastern landscapes shaped by slavery and anti-black racism, and the Cherokee Nation’s disenfranchisement of the Freedmen must continue to be ethically addressed and challenged. 

So too must efforts to expunge the rolls of entire families in indigenous nations across this continent. At the same time, we recognize that histories of “playing Indian” have gone hand in hand with dispossession of land in Indian Territory during allotment. Playing Indian is enabled by and supports the dominant narrative that indigenous peoples are vanishing or already vanished. The material consequences of that narrative includes ongoing claims by the state, by science, and by non-indigenous individuals to indigenous lands, sacred sites, remains, and both individual and group representations of us. Our concerns are grounded in these histories, and we challenge both individual and structural forms of indigenous erasure.

Smith’s self-acknowledged false claims and lack of clarity on her own identity perpetuate deeply ingrained notions of race—black, white, and Indian—that run counter to indigenous modes of kinship, family, and community connection. When she and others continue to produce her as Cherokee, indigenous, and/or as a woman of color by default, they reinforce a history in which settlers have sought to appropriate every aspect of indigenous life and absolve themselves of their own complicity with continued dispossession of both indigenous territory and existence.

Read more at Indian Country Today Opinion on Andrea Smith

UC Riverside Professor Andrea Smith OUTED as FAKE INDIAN. NOT Cherokee. Shades of Elizabeth "Fauxahontas" Warren.

Another glaring example of "It's okay to be a fake Indian"  UC Riverside professor Andrea Smith has been outed for claiming to be CHEROKEE (at least she didn't say she was descended from a "Cherokee princess".

To add insult to injury, UC Riverside is standing by her:  Professor Smith is a teacher and researcher of high merit who, on that basis, earned a tenured faculty position at UC Riverside,” the school said in a statement given to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The University of California is precluded by law from considering an individual’s ethnicity in any hiring or advancement decisions.”   

How about lying on an application?

The Beast article quotes David Cornsilk, a Cherokee genealogist, who says he actually researched Smith’s heritage back in 1993 (while she was still an undergraduate) at her request and found absolutely no evidence of Cherokee heritage. Cornsilk says Smith actually approached him a second time in 1997 to look again, allegedly telling him “her employment depended on finding proof of Indian heritage.” Once again, Cornsilk found nothing.

Donald Trump: Not Just Mexicans, Native Americans Too

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has been in the news for inarticulate, some say racist comments about Mexican immigrants, but remember  when he was against NATIVE AMERICANS too?

The NYTIMES article from 1993

Donald J. Trump, who owns three casinos in Atlantic City, has sued the Federal Government, maintaining that allowing Indian tribes to open casinos discriminates against him.

The Trump lawsuit, filed Friday in Federal District Court in Newark, gives legal voice to fears that growth in legalized gambling threatens New Jersey's casino monopoly on the East Coast.

BIA CLUELESS Says Duwamish Tribe of Washington State

Well, yes, they are, or if not clueless, then willfully blind and ignorant.  The BIA has mad so many mistakes, they CANNOT FIX THEM because fixing them would be problematic, never mind that it would be the right thing to do.

"Chief Seattle’s Duwamish Tribe has never abandoned its tribal relations. We are the Duwamish Tribe that signed the Point Elliot Treaty. We will continue to fight on.

There is ample precedence for the federal recognition of Point Elliot Treaty historic tribes in addition to the reservations--the historic Upper Skagit, Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, Samish and Snoqualmie Tribes have all been acknowledged since the 1970’s.

We find it disingenuous that the Bureau has labeled the Duwamish Tribe as a new 1925 organization in their attempt to create the scenario that we are not the continuing tribe. The Duwamish organized under a written constitution in 1925 to be more powerful in perusing its tribal rights. The Clinton administration recognized this change as evidence of tribal continuity in its 2001 positive determination of the Duwamish Tribe. The Clinton Administration reviewed the petition under the fundamental tenet of Federal Indian Law that statues and regulations enacted for the benefit of Indian Tribes are to be interpreted in their favor.

Does the BIA know us? They appear to be clueless. We will probably never get the original hard copy of this decision. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is apparently mailing the decision to an old Burien address we have not been at for 10 years. The BIA is ignoring the obvious--We are still here and thriving at the Duwamish Longhouse.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Divide and CONQUER Part V: Pechanga Tribe's Splinter Group: Shameful Conclusion to Abuses via Tribal Disenrollment

We repost this originally from 2005, we had it on our blog in 2008.  It's from the Manuela Miranda descendants, who were shamefully disenrolled from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in 2004. At the hands of their OWN relatives.   France Miranda was cousin to the MM people.  EVIL she is.

This segment of the Splinter Group saga will deal with some recent history. Since it is Father’s Day weekend, I think it is appropriate to look back three years ago to this very same weekend. It was then that the Splinter Group presented a petition to re-instate the Enrollment Committee Chairperson. The series of events surrounding her removal and the subsequent election of new Committee members, along with the choosing of a new Committee Chair, played important roles in their disenrollment effort.

I know, some of you may say we are skipping ahead a bit. However, as you read this, keep in mind that the Splinter Group is in the midst of disenrolling another family from Pechanga.(The Paulina Hunter Descendants) They can do this not because the family cannot prove their lineal descent from an Original Pechanga (Temecula) person,. they can do this solely on the basis that they have a voting majority on the Committee.

You must remember, the Splinter Group’s actions to break away from the Tribe and form its own government was based on the fact that they could not prove lineal descent, as set forth in the Tribe’s Constitution and Bylaws. The Splinter Group wanted to rely solely on “recognition” and continue to deny membership to rightful members by saying that they did not recognize them.

The tribe, in an effort to move away from this biased form of tribal membership, drafted and approved membership requirements and an enrollment application. As descendants of adopted members, the Splinter Group’s membership with the Tribe was in jeopardy. In fact most did not even attempt to enroll.

Let me remind you of some of the language used by the tribe in describing the Splinter Group and its actions to break away and form its own

“…a small group of dissident individuals led by BM began attending
meetings and opposing everything that the Band had been working on
(I.e., Constitution and Bylaws and membership criteria) for the last

“ …twenty applications involved the descendants of adopted members.
The Enrollment Committee did not believe that such descendants were
eligible (for enrollment).”

“…, none of the individuals that were on the splinter group’s
are enrolled members of the Pechanga Band.”

“… we have a small group of perhaps twenty malcontents who simply
to comply with the will of the Band…”

Not only was the splinter group’s membership suspect, but heir ability to participate in Tribal affairs was in jeopardy as the tribe took the stance that “Non-Pechanga Indians will not be included in the membership; stepchildren and adopted children in general will not be included.”

So how have we gotten to where we are now? Very simply put, the Tribe, at a duly noticed meeting of the general membership, voted to adopt some of the members of the Splinter Group as tribal members. Since that date, they have participated in government and worked their way into positions on tribal committees that determine membership.

You will notice that the Tribe only adopted some of the splinter group’s members. There is concern that the Enrollment Committee, as recently as 2003, finding that another splinter group family lacked lineal descent, may have “adopted” them as members. This action would violate the customs and traditions of the Tribe, and it would clearly contradict the established procedure of calling a general membership meeting and voting on whether such an adoption should occur.

Since Father’s Day weekend 2002, the Splinter Group launched an offensive to do away with those Committee members and their families who had uncovered inconsistencies and violations of Tribal laws and procedures in the enrollment process.

You will recall that a member of the Tribal Council, as well as the new Committee Chair, requested and audit of the Enrollment Committee’s actions, and the Committee Chair requested legal assistance from the Committee’s attorney to address the violations. Shortly thereafter, the Committee’s attorney advised the Chair and some of its members that he was told not to provide them with any advice on the matter.

And, just a week later, the splinter group, through its members on the Enrollment Committee initiated disenrollment procedures against other members of the Committee and their families.

In just 2 short years, their actions have led to the disenrollment of one family, impacted the tribal council elections, and have led to the initiation of another disenrollment. What has happened to our Tribe!?!

I leave you with this passage taken from a Tribal letter to the BIA regarding the splinter group:“Butch Murphy is neither a recognized nor an enrolled member of the Pechanga Band; he has never shown and cannot show lineal descent from an original allottee; and he is also not an adopted member (of the Band)”

Something to chew on as we think about the situation our Tribe is in.