It is the neglect, exploitation or “painful or harmful” mistreatment of anyone who is 65 or older (or any disabled dependent adult aged (18 to 64). It can involve physical violence, psychological abuse, isolation, abandonment, abduction, false imprisonment or a caregiver’s neglect. It could also involve the unlawful taking of a senior’s money or property.
|Matilda Smith 90 years old
Hunter Family Elder
Great Granddaughter of Paulina Hunter
In short, elder abuse involves various crimes, such as theft, assault or identity theft, that strike victims of all ages. But when the victim is 65 years old or older (or a disabled dependent adult), the criminal faces stiffer penalties.
Matilda was 75 years old when the Pechanga tribal council, abandoned her, unlawfully taking this senior's money, health care, voting rights and her rights as an allottee, and dishonoring a tribal elder. At that time, yahoos and felons in the back corner of the room were hollering for disenrolled elders to "GET A JOB"
Hunter Elder Matilda Smith, now 90 years old, recalled being on the reservation in the late 1930’s. “It was a long trip to get there, especially in those days”. “But that is where our roots were, my grandmother loved it there.” Her grandmother was Mary Ann Miller, daughter of Paulina Hunter, an original allottee of the Temecula Reservation known as Pechanga. Up to her disenrollment, she was attending meetings, travelling out from OKLA 'freaking" HOMA to support the tribe and family.
Similar stories can be found in other families. The Tosobol family has brothers that are 80 and 75 years old, Manuel (recently passed) and Mike, who are denied access to their property. The wife of one member actually called the tribal rangers to have some Tosobol members banished from the reservation (isolation and abandonment). The Manuela Mirandas have the most senior elders of those abused by the tribe. Michael Salinas was over 90 years old when he walked on without justice, and others born shortly after Prohibition began.
These stories predate the coming of a casino, but the abuse came after.
Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro is directly responsible for what happened to hundreds of people, and a significant portion are elders. Next time you hear about him giving praise to elders of the tribe, keep in mind what he did to many of them. John Macarro couldn't even give the courtesy of a congratulations to elder Lawrence Madariaga when he was awarded a Silver Feather Award, until he was goaded into it...