Tribal Disenrollment


"Paulina Hunter"




Please visit Orignial Pechanga’s Blog to learn more about the 300 Tribal Members eliminated because of GREED!

Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians

The Mixed-Blood Uinta’s of Utah

ONYOTA’A:KA ~ People of the Standing Stone

Tribal Greed Website

Original pechanga’s Myspace Page

2/20/07 Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, dis-enrollment  issue “Without a Tribe” video Pechanga Membership Battle – Videos – KNBC

November 27, 2007
Open Letter to Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro

From Original Pechanga

Dear Mr. Chairman,
For nearly a decade, you have been in the lead of the tribal council.  During that time you have helmed the disenrollment of 25% of your membership.

What makes you proud to be the chairman?  That you have made the tribe weaker?   You were quoted in 2004 saying,  “I believe that our tribal members know the fairness and diligence I try to bring to all of our issues.”   Where sir, was the diligence in creating fairness on the Enrollment Committee?   Why “sir”, did you allow the committee to bring families up for review out of order, instead of the order they came in?

Why “sir”, did you, during your terms in office, not uphold the constitution and bylaws when you allowed an illegal moratorium on membership when the Pechanga constitution and bylaws says open enrollment is every January?    How “sir”, can you say you bring fairness and diligence when you did not follow tribal law and in fact skirted the new law that the tribe passed to “halt all disenrollments”?  All currently enrolled members were covered in the July 2005 petition halting disenrollments.   Why “sir”, did you not follow tribal law?
Where “sir”, was the fairness when you denied Hunters their civil rights by not allowing members to have an attorney with them to defend their positions?    Where “sir”, was the fairness when you would not even allow writing implements for those who came before the Enrollment Committee, and in their appeal to the Tribal Council?  Or to see the evidence against them.   Was it because there was no credible evidence.

Why “sir”, did you not respond to the questions as to your Enrollment Committee member sleeping through the Hunter family’s hearings?  Why “sir”, did you allow hearings to be held when one of the council was late?  Couldn’t you even wait for him to hear the appeal, or, did you KNOW, it didn’t matter, as his mind was made up?  Why “sir”, did you not respond to the obvious bias of one of your Enrollment Committee members telling Hunter family that they were going to be out no matter what evidence they had?
Why “sir”, did you consolidate cases?  Why was each member not allowed to present his or her own case for appeal?  Where is the fairness you said you would bring?  Was a half hour per member, to appeal their own position, too much to ask?
Why “sir”, was the Enrollment committee allowed to use evidence biased against the Hunter family in their decision, when it was not presented to the family so they could address it in their appeal?  Why would the word of a convicted child molester be considered valid versus the most respected authority on California Mission Indians, that Pechanga, not the Hunters chose to research Paulina Hunter?  Why was “hearsay” testimony, that wasn’t even notarized, turned in by the CPP given more credibility than five other notarized depositions from other current tribal elders not from CPP families that affirmed our membership?

Why sir, during the shameful period that you and the tribal council were working to disenroll two large families, did you not hold monthly meetings, as was the custom?

How sir, can you say you bring fairness and diligence when you did not follow tribal law and in fact skirted the new law that the tribe passed to “halt all disenrollments”?  All currently enrolled members were covered in the November 2005 petition halting disenrollments.   Why sir, did you not follow tribal law?

Will you, Mr. Chairman take credit for the erosion of Tribal Sovereignty in California?   There is still time to reverse this terrible injustice.    Lead the tribe back to peace.   Your ancestor Martin Berdugo called mine “Aunt”.   Antonio Ashman SWORE to this.    Bring the family together.

Original Pechanga
Ancestor of Paulina Hunter
Eliminated from Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians
Along with 300 tribal members because of greed
reprinted with permission 11/07

A quote from a current tribally dis-enrolled member in California.:

The only thing I want in this life is to see my people to be united and strong, the way it should be. But the world we live in is controlled by greed and selfishness.

This is not the world I want me and my children and their children to live in or even see. People are afraid to stand up and talk, they are afraid that they will not last.

I have been told all my life not to think about myself first, but to think of the future generations first, to have a good and open mind. I am only standing up for what I think is the right. Living under a dictatorship is not the right way.

He thinks it is funny to play with a bunch of woman and children. He has his own little army that is made of all non-native police to come and torment us. A man who does this kind of thing to his own family is just pure evil. But I never give up hope that he will change his ways.

Most people think that if you get money from him that makes you Indian. People are forgetting their original instructions, and their songs to give thanks.

Not many people go to ceremonies these days. And if you know your way of life that your ancestors left for you, that is what makes you Indian. We have to save these songs of thanks for the future generatins so they know who they are.

Who are we to deprive them of knowledge and that birth right?

Our people should not be fighting like this, day in and day out.

printed with permission, 2004

Today’s genocide Indian ~vs~ Indian

Tribal dis-enrollment and the blood quantum issue are spreading throughout Indian Country like a deadly cancer, eating away the cells of our existence.

Tribal gaming has attributed to and brought the dominant cultures disease, greed. Before the existence of tribal gaming, tribes suffered from poverty, unemployment, apathy and no sense of a brighter future to come. The sudden wealth that tribal members have experienced has forced them into a new realm they have never known. California gaming tribes pay their enrolled members amounts up to $45,000 a month in gaming revenues. Tribal gaming has ignited old family feuds and corrupt leadership in several cases. If tribal members do not agree with council decisions they risk tribal dis-enrollment, in a few cases it has been entire families. This leaves more revenues available to divide among the remaining tribal members. This has become a lucrative benefit adding thousands of dollars in their corrupt pockets.

Many of these reservations have non-Indians running their tribal councils. These people are part of families that were adopted into the tribe many years ago and have taken control, dis-enrolling families that have been on the reservation for generations. Many of the California Tribes have been severely affected by this epidemic, with approximately 1500 dis-enrolled tribal members and many more currently being threatened.

Several tribes have diversified in their economy and have succeeded in benefiting their people. Many have invested millions of dollars in developing programs to care for elders, children, preserving their culture and language. Unfortunately, for some the other side is greed, which has resulted in tribes turning on each other, family feuds, hate, drugs, violence and attempted murder in several cases.

Many of the dis-enrolled tribal members have filed lawsuits with the courts, have requested investigations from the B.I.A. and other agencies, only to continually be rejected or told it is a family issue not a federal issue. The dis-enrolled tribal members are left with nowhere to turn and to defend themselves. What this amounts to is, a modern day cultural genocide and is resulting in what we have been fighting since 1492, only now, it is Indians ~vs.~ Indians. We are falling into what the dominant society has been attempting to accomplish for hundreds of years; to conquer and divide. All Native people will be affected by this in the end. Our ancestors fought against genocide with thousands giving their lives to protect the way of life for the people. I think they would be disgusted and appalled with this disease that is tearing apart and dividing Indian Country. Our survival as Native people will only be achieved though unity and living as one people inhabiting Turtle Island. Tribal gaming should have strengthened tribal sovereignty, brought financial freedom to the people and given hope for the future generations. Instead in to many cases, it has brought disunity, greed and spiritual sickness.

Some of these cases of tribal dis-enrollment have developed due to the blood quantum issues. Tribes can change their guidelines on what percentage constitutes being “Indian” and/or a tribal member. For generations tribes have mixed with other tribes, whites and many other cultures. A tribal member or entire family can possibly be dis-enrolled due to this change in policy, even if they have resided on the reservation for generations and can attest to their lineage.

There have been dozens of cases of tribes being denied federal recognition by the B.I.A. because they can not prove their blood quantum. There are full blood Indians that can not get a tribal card because they either are not from a Federally Recognized Tribe, or they have mixed Native blood and do not have enough “blood” from one specific tribe to enroll. In these cases the bottom line is, you are told by the government, you are not recognized as being “Indian”. One thought that comes to mind is; why is the B.I.A. still governing and determining who is and who is not, Indian? The blood quantum policy is undoubtedly a self imposed recipe for extinction. If tribes were to maintain the required blood quantum of their members from generation to generation, they would have to intra-marry (marry within the tribe) in an ever decreasing pool of people with the “appropriate” blood quantum level, giving rise to genetic diseases that would surely finish us anyway. So here is a very clever catch-22 imposed by the federal government with the sure outcome of our extermination. To prevent this, the only option is to change this policy and take control of how we determine who belongs to each of our Nations.

Another variable of the blood quantum issue that currently divides Indian Country is people that have mixed blood; Indian with white, African American, Asian and many other ethnicities. For hundreds of years Native people have been intermixing with many other cultures resulting in varied physical appearances. Many eastern tribes have people who are full blood tribal members and have lighter features than many western tribes. There are people that have been mistaken as being “white,” by other native people, when if fact they are not. How is telling a mixed blood or non tribally recognized person that they are not Indian, any different than the racism that has happened to all Native people for 513 years? My response to that is simply, “I’m part white but can’t prove it.”

It is bad enough that we continue to fight for our rights and what we are entitled to with the government, why continually fight each other? Today we continue to be suppressed, ignored and our cultures disrespected. The continual division in Indian Country over tribal gaming, dis-enrollment issues and blood quantum issues could ultimately destroy us. If everyone would unite as one people, one nation, we would become stronger and more powerful. This would be a step forward in ensuring as Indian people we don’t loose our ways, or let them succeed in the pursuit of Native People’s extinction.

Written by:
Tamra Brennan
Director of NDN News
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