Bryan Galt, friend of ours from One Little Indian Reports, and unjustly disenrolled from the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, had such a good comment in 2007, that I'm bringing it forward for easier viewing. I've added my 2 cents worth.
Bryan Galt said...
The real purposes of terminating memberships are two-fold:
1. Removal of potential distribution competition:Each member of a gaming Tribe is usually entitled to an equal share of the Casino profits.
In the case of Chukchansi Gold, the casino has been averaging $4 million per month in payments to the Tribe over the past 18 months (as reported to me by a former Tribal Council member).
The Tribe had 1,224 members the day the Casino opened its doors in 6-2003. As of 11-29-07, it has less than 600.a. 18 months at $4M = $72Mb. 1,224 members / $72M = $58.8K over the 18 months or $3,200 per member per monthc. 580 members / $72M = $124K over the 18 months or $6,900 per member per monthd. 200 members / $72M = $4M over the 18 months or $20K per member per month (100 members is the stated goal of the faction currently in control of the Tribe and its operations.
OP: When the Pechanga Band had 1,000 members, the per capita was $20,000 per month (including bonuses) $20 million per month. NOW with less than 800, it's 32,500 per month, about $26 million. Still think it's not about the money?
2. Removal of Native Americans from Federal obligation: Under current federal guidelines, almost every benefit that is available for Native Americans require that the person is a member of a federally-recognized Tribe or be at least 50% blood Native.
The removal of so many people is helping the federal government to disband the BIA and save untold millions or even billion’s in assistance to Natives who are terminated. Historically speaking for California, the 50% blood is extremely difficult to find any more since the California Native Americans were nearly wiped out.a. Spanish arrival in the late 1600’s through 1848: it is estimated that 100,000 Indians in California died during this period, reducing the population down to 200,000 to 220,000.b. The American’s arrive: in 1849, the gold rush began. In 1850 California became a state. In 1851 or 1852, California offered a bounty on the head of any dead Indians (men, women and children).
In that year, 177,000 Indians were killed. From 1852 to 1900, the Indian population statewide dropped to just over 10,000 people (and that was counting all mixed race individuals down to 1/32 Indian bloodline). OP: Any yet, my ancestor, Paulina Hunter was 100% Pechanga, as proved by Pechanga's expert. Already, Pechanga blood was diluted in other families, including Macarros.
3. To Add Insult to Injury: There have been several Supreme Court rulings that have determined Tribes can determine their own memberships. Not one of these rulings ever addresses the conflict of interest involved when kicking members off the rolls for money. The Court states that only Congress has the power to change this rule. Unfortunately, Congress is the property of the gaming Tribes. In January 2007, the Senate voted to turn down a resolution that would have placed Indian Tribes into the same category as corporations and thus limit their donations. Instead, the Tribes are able to donate any amount they wish to either party and to any incumbent or candidate they wish. The gaming Tribes donated more money than the AFL-CIO! This kind of feeding frenzy has virtually guaranteed the continuing spiral of the Tribes into smaller and more powerful groups. It is also guaranteed that the Tribes are going to be non-existent at that rate, which I believe is the ultimate goal of the federal government. OP: Bryan, are you talking about the huge influx of CASH that Don Perata's campaigns got? Or Cruz Bustamante? (OP: Pechanga gave Cruz Bustamante, more money than allowed..)
Historically, every action taken against any Indian Tribe and every law passed since the US was formed has had the purpose of bringing the “savages” into “civilized life” and that goal has not changed. The only change has been in the way the game is being played. Instead of the government taking directly offensive actions to “civilize” the Natives, the casinos are doing it at light-speed. The casinos are destroying the Tribes while forcing the Native’s to become part of mainstream society by cutting them out of the system once and for all. The government has the perfect cover: the Tribe made the decision, not them!I hope this helps you to see what is really at stake: the very existence of the Native spirit that once inhabited this land is on the verge of extinction.
The Native people are victims of ‘genocide on paper’ and as long as the money keeps flowing into the political coffers, it won’t stop until the Natives are no more (at least from a legal viewpoint).As for the question regarding air time, the rules that you are referring to only apply to Presidential elections. Also, since Pechanga is a quasi-sovereign state, the rules would definitely have no bearing on them at all.I have repeatedly suggested that there are enough disenrolled Natives in this state to mount a great counter PR campaign if only it were possible to get $10 to $20 a month from the entire group (more would be even better). However, for reasons that I don't understand, I have found that the vast majority of Native people I speak with don't want to put up a fight, especially if they have to help pay for it.Until that changes, the casino's are going to win every time.