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.