The ChildSpree program, coordinated through the local chapter of the Salvation Army, set kids ages 5 through 18 up with backpacks, school supplies, a $125 JC Penney Gift Card and volunteer personal shoppers. Pechanga provided 120 of the 205 volunteers needed to chaperone the kids, in addition to $7,000 toward a shopping spree for 56 kids.
While we applaud Pechanga for helping disadvantaged children in their community, isn’t charity and compassion supposed to start at home?
Does the tribe understand what they have done to their own children and families through disenrollment?
150 children were stripped from the tribal rolls, and some forcibly removed from their tribal school (see video below). The trauma of being told that they didn’t belong in what was supposed to be a safe place for them to learn and losing their friends will be remembered for the rest of their lives. They were denied any future education benefits for colleges and universities with the disenrollment of their family. Loss of education benefits is only one of the lasting effects of tribal disenrollment.
The evidence and facts from government archives, historical documents, baptismal records, and the reports of Dr. Johnson, who was hired by the Pechanga Tribe to research these families, all support the case of the Disenrolled Families of Pechanga. In the end, it didn’t matter to the leaders of the Membership Committee and Tribal Council who had their own agenda. They denied the will of the people, and ignored the vote of the Tribe to STOP tribal disenrollment.
So, why would the Membership Committee and Tribal Council disenroll these families against all the evidence? Greed for casino profits? Fear of a losing a power struggle? Concern about differing opinions? Only they can answer these questions. Some of the disenrolled family members were fighting for the “rightful” place of other members who were being kept out of the tribe. Is that why their family members were disenrolled?
We all know the stories of how horrible the “white man” was to our ancestors and American Indians across this country. Sadly, we didn’t expect to be stabbed in the heart by our own tribal brothers and sisters. They wanted to strip us of our identity as Pechanga members by sending letters of disenrollment. However, the blood from our stabs wounds was the true evidence of our heritage.
The blood of our ancestors and future generations of our families will always bear the truth of our Pechanga Heritage and NO piece of paper or loss of a name can change that fact.
Will the Pechanga Tribe have the courage to correct the wrong they have perpetrated against these “rightful” Pechanga families and children? Pechanga Tribe…your ancestors are waiting for you to do the right thing…restore these families back in the tribe
As Paul Harvey would say...NOW YOU KNOW, the REST OF THE STORY....