Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Pen and Ink Changes on the 1913 Pala Allotment Rolls

One of the sources of the continued persecution of the descendents of Margarita Brittain is a copy of the 1913 Pala Allotment Rolls Pala had in its possession in the formative years of its tribal government.

In the 1950'a Pala began formally organizing itself as a tribe and establishing a government to government relationship with the BIA.  Part of this process was establishing the governing documents of the tribe - the Articles of Association.

Pala was also exploring economic development.  They began looking at leasing out some of their land to Sand and Gravel operations.  This was to help provide funding for the tribal government and per capita payments to its members.

Before per capita payments could be made Pala would have to define how it determined its membership and adopt a distribution plan.  Pala decided it would use the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll as the base roll of the tribe.  To be a member one must show lineal descent from the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll and poses at least 1/16 "Pala" blood based on that roll.  This has been enshrined in Pala's governing documents for over 50 years and has been custom and tradition for at least as long.

Sometime in the late 1950's or early 1960's some unknown individual used a pen to circle the 4/4 for Margarita Brittain's blood degree and wrote next to it 1/2. This unknown person then wrote 1/4 next to all her children.

This pen and ink change was made despite the fact that in 1962 a letter was sent to the Pala Enrollment Committee clearly stating Margarita Britten (Brittain) was full blood.

When this occurred and who made the pen and ink changes is largely unknown. Pala then went on to recognize this pen and ink change until the error was discovered. An appeal was then made to the tribe and the BIA to restore Margarita Brittain's blood degree. This is all referenced in the 1989 letter from the Department of the Ineterior to Pala Chairperson Patricia Nelson

The BIA found that the pen and ink change did not appear on the original roll housed in Washington D.C. Further, they found no record or reference justifying the change.

When the Pala Enrollment Committee asked for documentation to verify our blood degree I included a copy of the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll sent to my Grandmother Pauline Pink. I have included here the letter sent to her along with the complete roll. I heard by rumor that the Pala Enrollment Committee claimed the roll to be a forgery of some sorts or that it was tampered with.

I have the original document. It is no forgery which is clear to anyone who sees it. I have uploaded a full copy of that roll.

Further, the only way an individual could obtain an allotment was to be either full blood or half. All of Margarita's children were given allotments. Thus, how can any of them be considered anything but at least 1/2 Indian Blood? As usual, logic does not apply when we consider who sits on the current Pala Enrollment Committee and logic certainly does not apply to Pala's current Chairman, Robert Smith.

Robert Smith has been Chairman of Pala for over 20 years. People of Pala - do you not think it is time for a change in leadership? 1913Nov3_PalaAllotmentRoll_PenandInkChange0001 1967 Jan 12 Letter to Pauline Pink Accompanying the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll 1913 Pala Enrollment Approved by Secretary of the Interior

September 11, 1989 Department of the Interior Lettter to Pala Chairperson Patricia Nelson On Margarita Brittain

The Document Speaks for Itself September 11, 1989 Department of the Interior Lettter to Pala Chairperson Patricia Nelson On Margarita Brit...