Sunday, September 7, 2014

Do Tribal Members Have Constitutional Rights?

Tribal Members have a dual citizenship status.  They are both citizens of the United States and members of their respective tribes.  Many tribes including Pala supposedly extend rights granted in the U.S. Constitution to tribal members.  But more and more it seems Pala's Executive Committee continues to punish its members for exercising their 1st amendment rights.

The 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Members sought to petition their tribal government for redress of grievances and assembled peacefully.  They were subsequently punished for this.  11 members had their rights stripped from them.

Now Pala's Executive Committee is seeking to exact even more punishment on its membership.

It is worth noting that Pala's Revenue Allocation Plan states in section 4. e. the following:

"Nothing contained in this subsection shall be interpreted to interfere with a member's right to freely express his or her views."

You can read it here:

Chairman Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, Pala Band of Luiseno Indians, Pala Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pala Reservation, is monitoring your comments.  He is going to track your IP address and "take action" against any tribal member posting comments he does not like.