Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Vote For Robert Smith Is A Vote For More Disenrollments

Pala is facing its most important election in a long time.  The outcome of this election will determine Pala's future and fate as a tribe.  If Robert Smith and the rest of the Executive Committee are re-elected they will view it as tribal approval of the disenrollments.  They will feel emboldened and continue their plans to disenroll even more tribal members.

Right now Pala's Executive Committee is just sitting back and waiting.  They are waiting to see if the BIA will do anything.  It appears they won't.  They are waiting to see if NIGC will do anything.  It appears they won't.  They are waiting to see if the Federal Government will do anything.  So far it appears they won't.  The last hurdle really is this election and the General Council.  Once they secure another term they will be able to accelerate their plan.

I don't know if the People of Pala are aware (except the families of the disenrolled) but Pala's Executive Committee basically took the minor's trust funds.  Where the money went is not clear.  Some of the money from Vulcan was supposed to be in trust with the BIA.  It wasn't.  It was with the tribe.  The Per Capita money for the minors was in trust funds with Pala.  That was their money.  They were members over the years the money was put into trust.  Those trust funds should still be theirs.

The only way to reverse all this is to change the make up of the Executive Committee and return power to the General Council.  Word needs to get out.  All 162 disenrolled have fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins still enrolled.  They need to all be voting.  About half live off the reservation the rest live on.

It's no secret that in the past many Brittains living off the reservation voted for Robert Smith.  Not being able to go to General Council meetings they had to rely on meeting agendas and minutes to determine what was going on.  The consensus seemed to be that since the casino was doing ok Robert and the rest of the Executive Committee must be doing ok so they kept voting for them.

That's over now.  The mask is off.  The Brittains know they were betrayed by the Executive Committee.

It will be herculean task to defeat the current Executive Committee in the upcoming election.  But for the sake of the tribe it needs to be done.  If the Executive Committee is re-elected more disenrollments will happen.  Will your family be next?

Speak out at a General Council meeting against the Executive Committee's plans and your family could be targeted for disenrollments.  Do you want to continue living under that fear?  Vote in new people and move the tribe forward.  Reverse these shameful disenrollments and put Pala on a path to future prosperity.  If a change in leadership does not happen then the tribe will continue to be torn apart by the Executive Committee.