As tribal archaeologist for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Myra Masiel uses her UC Berkeley anthropology training daily. Her mission: track down skeletons of Native Californians extracted from gravesites over the last two centuries and shipped off to museums around the world, and return them to the tribe’s ancestral land near Temecula so they can be reburied with dignity.
OP: Masiel is part of Pechanga's Masiel Basquez Crime Family, which we documented. That family also has been determined to have falsified Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents while employed in the Riverside Office.
The remains of thousands of Native Americans, along with possessions such as beads and fishhooks buried with them, now sit in drawers and boxes at University of California museums. Federal and state laws require their return to tribes able to prove a connection to them.
Pechanga’s dispute with the Hearst Museum began on San Nicolas Island, a sandy, scrub-covered outpost about 60 miles offshore of Southern California, owned by the Navy. Archaeologists with the Navy and Cal State Los Angeles were digging there, seeking to unravel the mystery of the Lone Woman, a Native American whose story inspired the novel Island of the Blue Dolphins.
OP: Not mentioned is the dispute over the remains with the TONGVA NATION, one of the factions of the Gabrieleno people.
That didn’t sit well with the Pechanga tribal council, which said traditional songs and stories prove the tribe’s connection to the island. It filed a petition with the Navy, which agreed the tribe had a cultural affiliation with the area. That meant digging had to stop—and by law, the nearly 500 remains uncovered on the island over the decades could go to the tribe.
OP: The Pechanga Council OVERSAW the disenrollment of 20% of their living tribal members and scores of the Pechanga DEAD ancestors, including Paulina Hunter, who was disenrolled 106 years after her death, the mountain of evidence notwithstanding.
But for many tribes, the very idea that their ancestors would become research objects is, in Pechanga chairman Mark Macarro’s word, “abhorrent.”
“As long as these remains are out there and our people are in pieces in different institutions,” he said, “the tribes have this sense that things are really out of balance.”
OP: Macarro is upset about bones, but ensured that the bones of Pechanga ancestors were now NOT resting in peace, after what he and his cohorts including MASIEL's father, aunt and grandmother had a huge part in the abuse of their own tribe's members, children and ancestors and others kept out via moratorium .
While the tribes await Senate action, Masiel continues her work. Last month, she flew to Europe to consult with a museum about remains that she says have ties to her people.
“The tribe, we’re very patient,” she said. “We don’t forget. I will continue to fight for these people until they get returned back to where they came from.”
OP: WE DON'T FORGET EITHER MYRA, and that's WHY we will continue to fight for OUR rightful place in the tribe, for OUR ancestors who ARE of PECHANGA blood. Do the RIGHT think MYRA and bring the LIVING back where they came from.
Wouldn’t it be something if All the tribal members submit their DNA to see how they are related...
How can a CPP "Concerned Pechanga People" ignore the TRUTH? The TRUTH is crystal clear. NoOne is more Pechanga than anyone else, NoONE! ALL members were enrolled by the band using custom and tradition before 1992. The band spoke loudly in the 1970 time frame and enrollment was determined by the band as a whole. Did ALL members agree, nope but the band as a whole spoke and according to custom and tradition laws were passed and followed by ALL members. Our Ancestors have recordings and for a few members to ignore those recordings and the elders who performed their sharing of the TRUTH in recorded depositions by the US government is shameful for ALL Pechanga!!! Temecula indian, Luiseno aka San Luis Rey mission indian, Pechanga indian. We are ALL members not going against the TRUTH.
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