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.