Monday, February 26, 2024

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro's Selective Amnesia: Ignoring Present-Day Trauma While Denouncing Historical Wrongs

Pechanga works to end being associated with the historical traumas of our ancestors, yet is willingly blind to the CURRENT TRAUMA they have perpetrated on our ancestor's descendants.  WHY is 19th century trauma, worse than 21st century trauma to the living?  MY FAMILY's Pechanga ancestors were abused by mission priests, the Spaniards, the Mexicans and the heritage they bequeathed us with, has been abused by Pechanga leadership. 
Pechanga has dropped the term LUISENO from it's well known name, as reported in the Press Enterprise .  

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro stated:  “We have long discussed this name and its origins associated with the mistreatment, enslavement and killing of our ancestors.”

It is a grave oversight for Chairman  Macarro to denounce historical abuses while turning a blind eye to the present-day travesties perpetuated by his council of tribal leaders through disenrollment.

While he rightly acknowledges the mistreatment, enslavement, and killing of our ancestors, he conveniently ignores the current mistreatment inflicted by our own Pechanga leaders.

The trauma inflicted upon our people by mission priests centuries ago finds its modern counterpart in the egregious act of disenrollment.  Those of us who suffer this injustice experience a profound loss, not just of tribal affiliation, but of their very identity and heritage. The pain runs deep as they are forcibly severed from their ancestral roots, denied the connection to their tribe that is rightfully theirs.  This betrayal by those including Chairman Mcarro, who should protect and uphold their people's legacy only deepens the wounds of historical injustice, perpetuating a cycle of trauma that echoes across generations. It is time for tribal leadership to acknowledge and rectify these present-day abuses, prioritizing unity and healing over division and disenfranchisement.

At Pechanga, the disenrollment of my ancestor Paulina Hunter, 107 years after she died, and  decadess after she spent so many weeks of traveling by wagon from Los Angeles, to Temecula, to be included in the censuses was a direct attack, by people who were not with the tribe at that time.   The Butch Murphy family for one.

For many Native Americans, being part of a tribe is not just a matter of ancestry or heritage. It is a vital part of their identity, providing a sense of belonging and community that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. Losing that connection can be isolating and traumatic, leaving people feeling adrift and disconnected from their cultural and social roots. 

The 21st century should be a time for healing for all those who have been abused.  And there are 11,000 of us.  Come on, Chairman Macarro, DO THE RIGHT THING.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Preserving Heritage or Perpetuating Injustice? The Shocking Reality of Tribal Disenrollment in Native America

Thank you to the loyal readers of my ORIGINAL PECHANGA BLOG.    I've been away from this blog on tribal disenrollment for far too long.  At my age, I've given 17 years to it, and I've had many life changes recently (mostly good) including moving to the east coast, away from my ancentral lands.  We've not been able to establish a good beachhead in this battle,  I'd hoped for a lot more support from the 11,000 of us who have been affected.    But there's always hope that ONE MORE ARROW in the quiver will do the job.  Of course, I choose a day before I leave on vacation to bring my first post, but if you will help us by sharing on your social media AND email to your friends and family and ask them to start checking OPB again, maybe we can find some social justice and honor our ancestors.


In the despicable and decades long saga of tribal disenrollment, a sentiment of profound disgust surges through the veins of justice.  The very act of disenrollment, stripping individuals of their rightful belonging within their tribes, is an affront to the principles of humanity and dignity.


It is a heinous betrayal not only of the present but also a dishonor to the sacred lineage of ancestors who fought to preserve the unique identities of Native communities. To witness tribes engaging in such a repugnant practice is to witness the erosion of the bonds that tie generations together, undermining the very essence of tribal unity and cultural continuity. 

The ancestors, whose sacrifices echo through time, are surely turning in their spiritual resting places at the desecration of the legacy they sought to protect. The stench of injustice in tribal disenrollment is a stain on the tapestry of Native history, and it is incumbent upon our government to rise with righteous indignation against this nauseating violation of the sacred right of belonging.

We are Betrayed and Abandoned:  Justice in Indian Country isn't only for Chiefs and Chairmen

In the vast expanse of Indian Country, our many rich traditions and diverse cultures intertwine, yet, a dark cloud looms over the sovereignty of tribes—a cloud forged by the betrayal of the weak and defenseless (those without power) within their own communities. It is high time our government stands up for the principles of justice, morality, and human rights by addressing the harrowing issue of tribal disenrollment.

The moral outrage against tribal disenrollment should not be a mere whisper; it demands a thunderous roar that resonates through the halls of power. The time has come to hold accountable those tribes that violate the rights of their own people, and the following measures are not just necessary but imperative:

Eliminate Federal Funding for Violating Tribes:

The lifeblood of tribal governance often flows from federal funding, empowering them to serve their communities. However, this financial support should not be an endorsement of injustice. The government must wield its financial influence judiciously, cutting off funding to tribes that trample upon the rights of their own members through disenrollment.

Cease Taking Land into Trust for Abusive Tribes:

Land is not just property; it is a sacred connection to the heritage and identity of Native communities. The government should refuse to take land into trust for tribes that engage in abusive practices such as disenrollment. By doing so, it sends a powerful message that the desecration of tribal identity will not be facilitated by the very entity meant to protect it.

Integrate Enforcement Actions into the Indian Civil Rights Act:

Justice delayed too long is justice denied, as the Rev. Martin Luther King wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. It is time to fortify the legal arsenal against tribal disenrollment by incorporating enforcement actions into the Indian Civil Rights Act. This will provide a robust legal framework to address violations and ensure that the rights of individuals within tribes are safeguarded against arbitrary decisions that strip them of their identity and belonging.

Publicly Expose Tribes Guilty of Harm:   Can you say  PECHANGA, PALA, REDDING or CHUKCHANSI to name just a fewWe have many stories on this blog, PLEASE look around, and use the search bar to help.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and in this case, transparency is paramount. It is crucial to publicly expose tribes that have harmed over 11,000 Native individuals through disenrollment. By bringing these injustices to light, we not only hold the perpetrators accountable but also pave the way for a cultural shift within tribal communities, encouraging them to prioritize justice over division.

Tribes, like any other governing entity, have the right to autonomy, but this should not translate into impunity when it comes to violating the rights of their own people.  Our politicians must no longer lend their support to tribes that engage in such egregious practices. (GAVIN NEWSOM, KAMALA HARRIS)   The government's duty is not just to uphold sovereignty but to champion justice, ensuring that the weak and defenseless are shielded from the tyranny within their own tribes. 

It's time to demand accountability from our elected leaders, for THEM and US to stand up for the betrayed, and to forge a future where the principles of justice are etched into the very fabric of Indian Country.  NO MORE LIP SERVICE.