Monday, December 24, 2012

Kevin Washburn

 Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs

Kevin Wasburn was nominated in August 2012 by President Obama to the position of Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.  On September 21, 2012 he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

I didn't know much about Kevin Washburn and decided to do a little google searching.

He does have a Wiki Entry

He has quite a background which includes (information from Wiki):

General Counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) from January 2000 to July 2002

Author of a law school casebook on Gaming Law and Regulation

Taught the first course at Hardvard University on Gaming/Gambling Law in that school’s history

Scholarship focusing on the intersection of Federal Indian law and criminal law

Author of one of the principal casebooks on Federal Indian Law, entitled American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System

Enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, a federally recognized Indian nation.

Taught Gaming/Gambling Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, Harvard Law School, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, and the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Was a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School

Served as an Assistant United States Attorney in New Mexico
Was named the dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law on March 3, 2009

This is just some of what Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn has accomplished.  There's actually much more.

Here are some articles:

Salazar Applauds Senate Confirmation of Kevin Washburn as Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs 

Q&A With Ken Salazar and Kevin Washburn

From One Who’s Been There: Kevin Gover’s Advice for Kevin Washburn

This really is a challenging job.  There are 304 Indian Reservations across the United States.  Each has its own unique tribal governing documents, enrollment procedures, natural resources, economic development, gaming, sacred sites, and other issues.  There are a myriad of lawsuits the BIA is facing over trust disputes, land into trust, gaming compacts, etc etc.

One thing I didn't even realize was an issue until I did some reading is wind power.  Apparently there are some issues with Wind Turbines being built on sacred ground that needs to be addressed.  There's so much going on I can't imagine how it all gets tackled and dealt with.

This excerpt comes from the article above titled From One Who’s Been There: Kevin Gover’s Advice for Kevin Washburn:

What are some of the major challenges that Kevin Washburn is facing?

First of all, it’s strange to come in at the tail end of a president’s term, but it does give him these couple of months to intensely study what’s been going on. He hasn’t been in Washington for a long time, so he will be getting caught up of all the details. Catching up is no small matter. Next, he has to confront the reality that decisions about Indian affairs have been being made all over the Department—not just at the BIA. His predecessor [Larry] Echo Hawk recused himself on a lot of key issues, including Cobell, trust, and the federal recognition cases. That means somebody else, somewhere else in the building, has been handling those issues. Those are major responsibilities for the Assistant Secretary to get back under his portfolio. I also hope the White House allows him to bring in some of his own staff to help him get up to speed, so he doesn’t have to worry about working with others who have their own agendas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pala Anchor Managment Contract

Available on the NIGC Website is the management agreement between the Pala Band of Mission Indians and Anchor Gaming, or Pala Anchor LLC.  All you have to do is go to the NIGC website and in the search box type Pala Anchor.  There are other Pala related public documents available on the NIGC website as well.

The Articles of Association are mentioned on page 7 and page 12.  If you have Adobe you can download the document and search it.

Pala is officially referred to as the Pala Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pala Reservation

 Pala Anchor Managment Contract

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Then and Now

He was Pala's website just last year.  It stated the same thing until earlier this year:

Here is Pala's website now:

Congratulations Pala on your new Constitution.

You can click on the images to enlarge them.  The right columns provide a date reference.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pala's Enrollment Committee Violated Their Own Ordinance

Pala's Executive Committee is also Pala's Enrollment Committe.  Pala has an Enrollment Ordinance.  It's had one since the 1960's.  It was changed in 2005 and again in 2009.

What always bothered me is that Pala's Enrollment Committee violated their own ordinance.

The Ordinance States:

"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Executive Committee of the Pala Band, by adoption of this revised Ordinance, does not intend to alter or change the membership status of individuals whose membership has already been approved and who are currently listed on the membership roll of the Pala Band of Mission Indians..."

I think most tribal members read that in 2005 when the Ordinance was revised and took it to mean the rolls were locked in.  No one was getting disenrolled.  In the early 2000's the issue of Margarita Brittain's blood degree would boil to the surface during General Council meetings.  After many years of sitting in General Council meetings listening to people trash Margarita Brittain Robert Smith spoke up one meeting and said the issue was over and would never be brought up again.  A 10 year moratorium was put in place on changing the rolls at all except for new membership.

Thus when the disenrollments started happening it was a pretty big shock to me and I suspect to many.  We have had our political differences but I though we all agreed we were tribal members.  I guess I was wrong.
Pala Enrollment Ordinance No1 Rev 2009

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll Margarita Brittain is 4/4

In the late 1950's and early 1960's Pala sought to organize itself.  Part of this process was establishing a government to government relationship with the BIA which meant establishing governing documents.  Pala worked to establish the Articles of Association as its governing document.

Pala also sought economic development.  Part of economic development involved per capita payments to its members from business enterprises.  In order for this to happen Pala had to establish an enrollment standard and the BIA had to approve the rolls. This lead to the establishment of Ordinance No. 1 which governed enrollments.

Pala decided to use the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll as the base roll for the tribe.  The original Pala Allotment Roll was hand written by alloting agents and did not have blood degrees.  In the 1960's Pala and the BIA reconstructed this roll to include blood degrees using notes from the Alloting agents, Individual Family History Cards, and other documents.

The Pala Enrollment Committee had 5 points to consider:

Pala Enrollment Committee - 5 points to be considered for enrollment

Notice the Pala Enrollment Committee recommended a minimum blood degree of 1/16.  This was because they wanted to look out for their grand children and great grand children.

Here is the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll as reconstructed in the 1960's.  Margarita Brittain is listed as 4/4 and her children as 1/2:

1913 Pala Enrollment Approved by Secretary of the Interior

Every name on the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll is listed as either 4/4 or 1/2.  This because one had to be at least 1/2 to receive an allotment at Pala.  Margarita's children received allotments.  Also note there is no distinction as to what type of blood degree each person had.  There was a mix of Indians living at Warner's and Indians already living at Pala.  As such Pala is a "Band" of Mission Indians which include Kupa, Luiseno, Kumeyaay, Cahuilla, and Yaqui.  Blood Degrees in the Articles of Association came to be known as "Pala Blood" rather than distinguishing from each group.

Here is Margarita Brittain's selection for Allotment:

1911 Margarita Britten Selection for Allotment (Brittain)

You will notice that the Alloting agent that signed Margarita's allotment selection was L.W. Green.

When Pala inquired into Margarita Brittain's blood degree in 1962 they received this letter from the BIA:
1962 Feb 27 Letter from the Department of the Interior - Margarita Britten Full Blood Cupa Indian

Notice that it was the alloting agent L. W. Green who made a record that Margarita Brittain was a fullblood Cupa Indian.

My copy of the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll came from my Grandmother, Pauline Pink.  This is the letter that she received with her copy of the roll:

1967 Jan 12 Letter to Pauline Pink Accompanying the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll