Saturday, July 14, 2012

In 1984 Pala General Council Votes Margarita Brittain Is Fullblood

In the late 1950's and early 1960's Pala sought to organize its tribal government.  Part of this organization was laying down a frame work for how the tribe would determine its membership.  Pala decided to go by the 1913 Pala Allotment Rolls which were reconstructed from various BIA documents including notes made by Special Allotting Agent Mr. L. W. Green.

This reconstructed type writen 1913 Pala Allotment Roll became the base roll of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.  On this roll Margarita Brittain is listed as 4/4 blood degree.  Someone at some unknown time made pen and ink changes to the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll.  They circled 4/4 next to Margarita Brittain and wrote 1/2 next to the 4/4.  This pen and ink change was not noted in anyway.  On the BIA copy of the 1913 Roll Margarita Brittain was listed as 4/4.

In the late 1970's this error was discovered and descendents of Margarita Brittain began seeking to correct this mistake.  By 1983 the BIA was preliminarily agreeing that Margarita Brittain was 4/4.  This decision was later appealed and after over 6 years of investigation in 1989 the BIA issued its final determination that Margarita Brittain is fullblood.

5 years prior to the BIA ruling in 1984 Pala's General Council voted to correct Margarita Brittain's blood degree to 4/4.

Here are the minutes from that 1984 General Council meeting:

1984 Pala General Council Votes To Correct Margarita Brittain's Blood Degree To Fullblood

Pala also made an announcement in their newsletter to let Brittain Descendents know Margarita Brittain's blood degree was corrected.  Here is that announcement:

Pala Newsletter Announcement That Margarita Brittain Is Fullblood