Sunday, August 16, 2015

Free Range Indian: Theft From Native Land Owners With BIA Assistance: The Next Elephant in the Room

Guest Blogger Free Range Indian has a new piece on the lands owned by Natives disenrolled from their tribes.  

We've owned ours for over 120 years.  Some new adopted tribal council members decide we should no longer have the land of our ancestors and what??, we should MOVE?   Bullshit.  That would be placing a LOT of people in danger.

Here's Free Range Indian's post:


It is just a matter of time before the BIA is confronted with the next elephant in the room. It is not just a matter of disenrollment. It now becomes a realty matter. How many disenrolled Indians are carried on the rolls of the Office of Special Trust? How many of the disenrolled have land interests in trust land?

What will happen to the land of the disenrollees?

Are the disenrollees Indian or not? If they are Indian and eligible to have their lands to be held in trust then which rule is the BIA using to make this determination. If the BIA determines that a disenrollee is not Indian, does this mean that the disenrollee’s land automatically becomes fee land and subject to taxation?

The BIA already went through the nightmare of the Cobell Settlement Case. Do you think the BIA is prepared for the next nightmare?

Tribes now have first right to acquire minor interests in allotments and also to acquire fee lands because of tax default. In a twist of laws and regulations it gives tribes the right of eminent domain. Eminent Domain gives tribes the right to condemn and take property away from individuals if the tribe feels that property is necessary for the benefit of the tribe.  OP:  This will lead to bloodletting. 

Would tribes really go so far as to take away people’s property? It didn’t take long for many of the tribes to evict disenrollees from their homes and assigned lands so it can be predicted that as long as the BIA plays along, the disenrollees can expect another round of their heritage disappearing before their very eyes.

It is my understanding that Robert Eben, former Superintendent of the Southern Californian Agency, BIA, was already working with tribal leaders to develop the authority to condemn the lands of the disenrollees. A Freedom of Information request on the topic of eminent domain to the BIA should be very revealing. They were working to define and give the authority and right to tribes to exercise the power of Eminent Domain.

Land that is in fee title (Such as owned by Pechanga Chairman Macarro) is not under the jurisdiction of the BIA and not of the tribe. Any attempt to take fee lands could possibly be interpreted as “Adverse Condemnation”. If there is anything that shakes the core of State and Local government it is the challenge in court of Adverse Condemnation.  Governments almost always lose in these matters and it is an area of law where the tribes will not be able to scream “sovereign immunity”.  If the United States, States and Local governments can be sued for Adverse Condemnation I do not believe the courts will be sympathetic to tribes and grant them a higher degree of power than that of the United States.

So which is it? Are the disenrollees Indian or not? If they are Indian, how does the BIA reach this conclusion and how are they able to carry the disenrollees on the rolls of the Office of Special Trust. If they are Indian then aren’t they entitled to the full protection of the United States? Is the United States obligated to protect the disenrollees from any further assault from the tribes and have their lands protected and their status as Indian persons protected as well?

So if the United States via the BIA is assisting the tribes in developing the “proper” authority to exercise the power of eminent domain, is the United States also obligated to protect the rights of the very same ones they are advising tribes on ways of taking away lands of the disenrollees?
It is ethnic cleansing at its finest degree. It is the BIA working to provide a way for tribes to purge themselves of the disenrollees and to consolidate the lands of the reservations. It truly is the next elephant in the room.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the truth! This is shared to ALL Indians in ALL reservations.

Anonymous said...

pala's Robert Smith isn't even going to wait for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to back his game. He is proposing an ordinance that will give him complete authority over tribal assignments. He will be able to pick and choose who can live on the reservation. Does he really think that the General Council is that stupid to surrender this power to him? If they do then they get what they deserve. Just another step forward in Smith's long march to total dictatorship and total corruption