Monday, December 30, 2019

Tribal Sovereignty Without Accountability Leads to Abuses Like Disenrollment and Apartheid

Disenrollment is NOT the Indian Way
Readers, some of this was posted as early as June 2007 and it still does apply.  The links tell the story of what's happened at my Pechanga reservation and other reservations.  Feel free to comment, they are open, but more importantly, share far and wide.

Tribal gaming has helped many tribes in CA, come out of poverty, Pechanga included. Many of the Pechanga people aren't well educated and I remember they were so excited when they qualified for a Target credit card. Unfortunately, with success, greed soon follows. They looked at who they could get rid of to increase their per capita. FOLLOW Pechanga's per capita growth here
The money didn't made everyone happy, some needed power.

But the facts are clear, most tribes have not treated their people as abominably as Pechanga, Redding, Picayune Rancheria, Nooksack and others have treated their people. In fact TWO disenrolling tribes Enterprise and Robinson Rancheria have brought their people home.

Reconciling MORAL OUTRAGE at Disenrolling Tribes with Self Determination

An excellent article by Sheryl Lightfoot in Indian Country Today in late 2006 (I can't find a link) about how to support sovereignty issues, while not supporting the actions when they are morally repugnant, such as Pechanga's disenrollment of 25% of their tribe in order to enrich the remaining members, and which rewarded the Enrollment Committee leader with membership for her family in their moratorium (Quid Pro Quo) .  Chukchansi disenolled half their tribe, including original language speakers.

In order to be sovereign nations, we must act like sovereign nations. But that does not mean that in order to support self-determination in principle, we need to agree with every decision of other sovereign nations. Nation-states in the international system do not always agree with the internal actions of other nation-states, yet they nearly always accept the principle of the equal sovereignty of all nation-states within the international system (with certain notable exceptions like the Iraq invasion or humanitarian interventions). When a nation-state, a group of nation-states, or private citizens of other nation-states disagree with the internal actions of another nation-state, there are a number of possible avenues of action.

First, sovereign nation-states can register a diplomatic complaint with the government of the offending nation-state. This is done all the time in the international system. The U.S. Department of State often drafts and delivers letters of protest to the diplomats and officials of other governments over areas of disagreement. Likewise, the executives of our indigenous nations have the right, if not the moral responsibility, to send letters and make phone calls of complaint directly to the executives of the Cherokee Nation, expressing their concern over the disenrollment decision. This can be done while supporting the inherent right of an indigenous nation to determine its own membership.

Another tactic which can be employed by other indigenous nations or the private citizens of other nations is the art of moral persuasion, or ''moral suasion,'' as it has also been termed. This involves a campaign of exposure and embarrassment.
This tactic has most often been employed in international human rights campaigns, with the purpose being to expose the immoral government action in the media and open up international discussion in order to embarrass the target government into changing its policy to better conform to international norms. This was done in the early days of the campaign against apartheid in South Africa and has been used often by groups like Amnesty International to urge governments to stop human rights abuses. 

OP: My view is this:

As mentioned on other sites, tribal sovereignty is something that should be nurtured and cherished. Many now believe that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from Temecula, CA will be responsible for the erosion of sovereignty, that tribes have fought for centuries. 
Here is what many of the tribes have done:

•Stripped tribal members of their citizenship (name one American stripped)
•Denied voting rights to members
•Taken away rightful healthcare to seniors, children
•Blocked access to land on the reservation, separate entrances
•Denied members due process of law,including no attorneys , even writing tools.
•Prohibit of practicing religion,including right to pray at their ancestor's graves
•Threatened others if they speak out
•Subjected some to ex post facto laws.

The question was asked, "what could be done?".

Frankly, economic sanctions of another nation, plus public embarrassment may be the only course of action that is effective. For instance, in South Africa, it was their SOVEREIGN RIGHT as a free nation to impose apartheid on their country.

What recourse did civilized countries use to bring down this hateful policy? Economic sanctions and world ridicule of the policy. No trade, no travel, no money.
Final result, end of apartheid and a welcome back to South Africa into the world community.
Similarly, citizens of the United States (OP: AND California especially) can impose their own economic sanctions on the Tribal Nations of Pechanga, Chuckchansi, Pala, by boycotting their nation and withholding federal funds, or state funds.

MONEY:  Stop patronizing their casino, hotel, restaurants and their powwows. Let them know that we do not agree with their system of denying civil rights to their people and until they follow their own tribal law, citizens of our country will NOT support their nation, but will patronize their competitor nations enterprises.

Letting state and federal representatives know that we expect them not to support a nation that would harm its citizens, living and dead this way, and certainly not accept their endorsements like California's junior Senator Kamala Harris did.  But since she's ignored the civil and human rights abuses in her state, did we expect more?

Readers, there are 250 members of the Pechang band that were disenrolled and 200 people who are caught in Pechanga's illegal moratorium (illegal in that SOVEREIGN nation, against the sovereign nation of Pechanga's own constitution).  The Nooksack 306 are well known

Pechanga and its chairman, Mark Macarro, Pala's Robert Smith, to name two deserves no benefit from violations of their laws and against citizens of the United States.

Please ask your friends to read my blog and friends, please let me know your opinion in the comments section. It's not always marching in protest, sometimes you have to let your fingers do the walking...

IF YOU DON'T fight for YOUR rights, why should anyone else?

Learn More on Disenrollment, Ethnic Cleansing in Indian Gaming Country at these Links:
Gaming Revenue Blamed for Disenrollment
disenrollment is paper Genocide
CA Tribal Cleansing
Tribal terrorism
TRIBAL TERRORISM includes Banishment
Nooksack Disenrollment

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