Friday, February 25, 2022

Tribal Disenrollment Restrospective: The Enterprise Rancheria Disenrolled Members for Speaking OUT. Who Needs 1st Amendment Rights. Eighth in the Series


Here's a story of the ENTERPRISE RANCHERIA who disenrolled over 70 members in 2003, please take a look.  Oh, and there is an update at the end

Please keep in mind, the numbers may look small but they equate to a significant population of a tribe.   For instance, the Picayune Disenrollment would equate to 16,000,000 Californians being eliminated as state citizens, with no rights to vote, or any state services.   Enterprise Rancheria disenrollments would equate to over 4,000,000 California citizens being denied their rights.  

Thirty former members of Enterprise Rancheria protested in front of the tribal office Saturday, while one disenrolled member waited for an appeals hearing at the Palermo Grange.

In November 2003, the Enterprise Rancheria booted 70 tribal members who questioned the way the tribal council spent a human services fund, according to Robert Edwards, a disenrolled member. Later two more tribal members were disenrolled.

Saturday, the Enterprise Tribal Council held an appeals hearing at Palermo Grange to decide if one disenrolled member, Rick Wilson, could return to tribal rolls.

"Everything they did there was a farce," Edwards said. "It was another kangaroo court."

Edwards said the tribal council brought up issues for Wilson's disenrollment that had happened after Wilson was removed from membership. Edwards said Wilson was escorted into and out of the meeting by two armed security guards.

"They're treating us like criminals, and we aren't criminals," Edwards said.

Edwards said he and 11 other members would go before the council on November 4, which will be almost three years after they requested appeals hearings.

The disenrolled members had signed a petition and asked for a vote to recall the tribal council back in 2003. However, the council responded by disenrolling the members who asked for the recall.

A few months ago, Enterprise Rancheria Tribal Chairwoman Glenda Nelson said the council had disenrolled the 72 members to keep the tribe from being divided and preserve the unity of the remaining tribal members.  Ironically, Glenda Nelson was the tribe's Treasurer in September 2003 when this occurred. She successfully suspended the 72 members, pending disenrollment, in a manner timely to prevent those members from voting in the recall election scheduled to be held seven days later.

OP:   Preserve UNITY?  By taking away the right to VOTE the way you want?   What if the Republicans took away the Democrats citizenship because they were against the Republican candidate, or because they voted to recall a politician like Gray Davis or Cunningham from San Diego.

Nelson was one of the tribal council members the disenrolled members tried to recall in 2003. Edwards said several Indian rights groups were fighting for legislation that would protect tribal members from arbitrarily being disenrolled by tribes, which has happened in California and around the nation since tribes started receiving gaming revenue.

Ricky Wilson said he applied for an appeals hearing after he was disenrolled in 2003, which he said was supposed to be scheduled within 60 working days.

Almost three years later last Saturday, he attended the hearing in Palermo, where he waited outside from 9:30 a.m. to almost 2 p.m., he said. The hearing lasted until 5:50 p.m., he said, with the tribal council taking most of the time to cite his actions against the tribe after he was disenrolled.

The tribal council cited issues that had taken place since the disenrollment he said, such as speaking out against the tribal council including a "Letter to the Editor" he wrote to a newspaper. (OP: Getting abused and then COMPLAINING about the abuse is WRONG?)

When Wilson tried to speak in his defense, the council said if he didn't keep quiet, they wouldn't let him testify after the council had spoken, he said.

"They didn't allow me due process," Wilson said.

He said the complaints the council testified that he publicly criticized the tribe's tactics regarding the disenrollment. He said the tribe violated his civil rights including free speech, and he would like some government entity to hold tribes to the letter of their constitutions, so members couldn't be disenrolled so easily.

Before the disenrollment, the 72 members received incomes from casino gaming funds. According to the disenrolled, they were kicked out because they criticized the way the tribal council did business.

"It was to get me out of the way, so they could do their own business, and it wasn't above water," Wilson said.

Nelson, the tribal chair, didn't respond to requests for comments before press time. However, in the past, Nelson has maintained the tribal council did not mismanage funds, and they disenrolled members who were trying to divide the tribe.

UPDATE to Enterprise Rancheria Disenrollment:

Congratulations to the Enterprise Rancheria for finding it in their hearts to DO THE RIGHT THING.  It's not difficult.

Thirteen years after disenrolling 73 tribal members, in a move that was orchestrated and illegal in 2003,  the Tribe sent letters of appeal for potential membership in the tribe.  25 disenrolled members applied for reinstatement.


WeRone said...

It’s always the right time to do the right things.

Robert Edwards said...

I want to thank Rick Cuevas for his ongoing efforts to keep all of us who have experienced tribal disenrollment apprised of where the situation stands today.
Although, I chose not to re-apply for membership in the Enterprise Rancheria tribe when I was invited to do so. I am very supportive of the decision by the formerly disenrolled members who have opted to return to their tribe.
Unfortunately, there have been changes made to the Enterprise Rancheria Tribal Constitution that now enable Glenda Nelson, the Tribal Chair and others to remain in their positions indefinitely. I can say without hesitation, this is not in the best interest of the tribe. It is just another violation and manipulation of the rights of tribal members. I'm hopeful that at some point collectively they will rally for the changes that need to be made.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed this on the web and a lot is incorrect. Glenda Nelson wasn't tribal chairman she was treasurer. Harvey Angle was chairman. Enterprise Rancheria suspended our membership then rewrote a new constitution to dis enroll the members. 70 members were dis enrolled. According. The tribal council was embezzling money which started a recall petition. The tribal council knew they were going to lose their power , which prompted them to go to Sacramento Bureau of Indian affairs. Raymond Fry from the Sacramento office, suggested that they just suspend our membership, then disenroll us . At my disenrollmen hearing it was my turn to protect not just listen . They allowed new members that were just enrolled under a new constitution to vote against us . I can supply all the information that will support my claim , even the timeline that Glenda Nelson stated that I spoke to the Appell Democrat in Yuba County which happened way after Enterprise Rancheria disenrolled me ! What Glenda Nelson time lines and accusations are false and Inaccurate . Tribal gaming casinos instead of helping destroys . This is Rick Wilson and if you want the truth and all the supporting documents then I will be glad to talk to you in person.