(People Who Sleep In the Water)
CUPA NEWS 3
Descendants from Cupa:
Remarks by Robert Smith state that a group is starting a new tribe, this could not be further from the truth. The truth is this group is trying to have the right of self-governance restored to the rightful people of the Pala Reservation and for the BIA to recognize the Cupa People. There is also concern that the other people or villages that were removed from Warner’s Ranch also be recognized and their full rights restored as well. No one should be left out that is truly a Warner Ranch Evictee.
If Robert is truly chairman of these people he would be doing what he could to preserve the rights of the Warner Ranch Evictees. Yet he answers to the title of Chairman of the Pala Band of Luiseño Mission Indians which is Old Pala.
He no longer serves the descendants of Warner’s Ranch. Instead he is dis-enrolling and disenfranchising them. We need to find out what is wrong and why the BIA does not recognize the Pala Band of Mission Indians as a tribe. The People, after being removed from Warner’s Ranch decided that they were to be the Pala Band of Mission Indians. This did not include the Luiseño of Old Pala.
Robert has also said that anyone joining this new group cannot be members of Pala and belong to two reservations which he is right. If this is true, how can the Pala Luiseño who are descendants of Old Pala be members of the Pala Band of Mission Indians (PBMI)? This land was purchased for the Warner Ranch Evictees.
There is another group who are descendants of Morongo and Cahuilla attending our meetings and voting on important issues. These are the very same people who are voting to take away the legitimate rights of the members of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.
There are 12 people of the Pala Band of Mission Indians who cannot vote, cannot attend meetings and cannot run for tribal office because these same Morongo and Cahuilla are allowed to vote when they themselves have no rights here.
IT IS TIME TO TAKE BACK CONTROL OF THIS LAND. IT IS TIME FOR THE PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS TO TAKE BACK FROM ROBERT SMITH AND RESTORE TO THE GENERAL COUNCIL CONTROL OF THE BAND’S BUSINESS AND MORE. IT SHOULD BE EASY SINCE ROBERT IS THE CHAIR OF THE LUISENO AND A MEMBER OF ANOTHER RESERVATION.
Any questions or additional information can be sent to P.O. Box 154, Pala, CA 92059.