Thursday, January 31, 2013

Warner Springs Ranch Bankruptcy Sale

It appears Warner's Ranch will be sold off - click links to read the articles

CBRE Appointed Exclusive Agent For Sale Of Warner Springs Ranch

San Diego – October 23, 2012 – CBRE’s Golf & Resort Group has been authorized by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to professionally market Warner Springs Ranch for sale on behalf of the debtor, Warner Springs Ranchowners Association, in accordance with a Section 363 Bankruptcy Sale, including the use of a Stalking Horse Buyer and provision for overbids.

More Here 

SHUTTERED RESORT TANGLED IN LAWSUITS, HARD FEELINGS Sale of Warner Springs Ranch fell through, leading to Chapter 11 bankruptcy 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Margarita Brittain 101

In the late 1950's, early 1960's Pala began organizing itself and establishing a government to government relationship with the BIA.  This was done in part so the tribe could pursue economic development.  At this time this consisted of pursuing Sand and Gravel operations.  There were probably other economic development plans as well that I am not aware of.

In order for the tribe to pursue economic development and distribute per capita payments membership had to be defined, an enrollment process established, and a base roll for the tribe needed to be created.

An Enrollment Committee was formed to discuss how this process should occur and what standards would be established.  Here are the 5 points they considered:

Pala Enrollment Committee - 5 points to be considered for enrollment

We can see from these 5 points that some but not all of these points were adopted. 1/16 was decided as the minimum blood degree. This standard was included in the Articles of Association and later in Pala's Constitution. But we know people moved from Warner's were not all considered fullbloods. Everyone listed on the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll are listed as full or half. Margarita Brittain is listed as full while her children are listed as half. If the standard of counting everyone that was moved from Warner's as fullblood was adopted then Margarita Brittain's children would have been counted as fullblood as well.

The original 1913 Pala Allotment Roll was a hand written document and did not contain blood degrees. But the alloting agent did make notes for all or some of the individuals. In addition the BIA also had Individual Family History cards for many as well as other documentation of blood degree.

An inquiry was made to the Department of the Interior about the blood degree of certain individuals including Margarita Brittain.  The Department of the Interior issued this letter in 1962:

1962 Feb 27 Letter from the Department of the Interior - Margarita Britten Full Blood Cupa Indian

The letter states that on December 5th, 1910 Special Alloting Agent Mr. L.W. Green recorded Margarita Brittain as a fullblood Cupa Indian.

We can see on Margarita Brittain's selection for Allotment that the agent was L. W, Green:

1911 Margarita Britten Selection for Allotment (Brittain)

We can see on the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll that Margarita Brittain is recorded as 4/4:

1913 Pala Enrollment Approved by Secretary of the Interior

However on the copy Pala had of the 1913 Roll that the tribe used for enrollment purposes someone circled 4/4 next to Margartia Brittain and wrote 1/2 next to it.  They wrote 1/4 next to her children.  The changes are not noted in anyway:


In the mid-1970's this error was discovered.  In 1984 Pala's General Council voted to correct Margarita Brittain's blood degree to 4/4.

In 1985 the tribe requested a Per Capita distribution.  At the time the Original Enrollment Ordinance required Department of the Interior approval of the rolls before a Per Capita Distribution could be made.  In 1986 the BIA recommended that the Secretary authorize the BIA to officially record Margarita Brittain's blood degree as 4/4:

1986 BIA Letter Authorizing The Secretary to Record Margarita Brittain as 4/4

This decision was appealed and in 1989 the BIA issued their Final Decision that Margarita Brittain is fullblood:

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Regarding Commnets

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year.   Let's hope 2013 is better than 2012.

I have struggled for many months with the tone and tenor of the comments on this blog.  And while I was considered a member of the Pala Band of Mission Indians for 19 years I am also a United States Citizen.  As a Citizen of the United States I do believe in The Constitution which has enshrined in it Freedom of Speech.

For this reason I have not yet censored comments or required registration.  I have wrestled with this and even thought of turning the comments section off at times.

I cannot and do not speak for anyone else but myself.  Comments on this blog do not reflect my own personal views.  I do not agree with any of the hateful things being said about anyone.  I don't think it's necessary to call people names.

I am also against violence.  My own view is violence is not a solution.  It would only perpetuate the problem for more generations.  Solutions need to be pursued through the legal system, the BIA, and through Tribal Government.  That is my opinion.

I would also caution everyone on putting too much weight behind anything anyone says anonymously.  You don't know who they are or what their agenda is.  Some I fear are just trying to stir trouble and to continue giving the Brittain Family a bad name.

I have no problem with vigorous debate.  I have no problem debating the facts and the issues.  Discussions can surely get heated over the facts.  But they do not have to resort to name calling or threats of violence.

In many ways it seems the comments section has turned into an unruly Pala General Council meeting with anonymous commenters playing those role of those who make snide comments during the meetings.  Much of the comments are nothing more than graffiti on the wall of a bathroom stall.

If you guys want to call each other names and jawbone each other I would ask that you take it somewhere else.  Post on each others Facebook pages.  Go comment to each other on forums.  Tweet at each other.  Send each other emails.  Or go meet in the park and jawbone each other there.  There is no need for it here.

For now I will continue to respect Freedom of Speech but please remember with Freedom of Speech also comes responsibility.