Pechanga Indian leaders hired anthropologist John Johnson in 2004 to determine whether or not the Madariaga clan were members of the tribe.
Generations of Madariagas had grown up on the reservation. Family patriarch Lawrence Madariaga, 90, built his home there. He also built the local clinic, served on tribal committees and lived on Hunter Lane, named after his great-grandmother, Paulina Hunter. He received a lifetime achievement award from the tribe.
However, now that the tribe receives significant monthly checks from casino profits, there is a motive among Members to restrict Membership. When tribes are paid royalties from oil or the BIA by head-count, then Membership was inclusive. Now, when the pot stays the same, and the more Members, the less each receives, some family members were found to be frauds unfairly pocketing income. Most receive $20,000 each in monthly checks from casino profits.
John Johnson, the curator of anthropology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, hired as an expert witness on Luiseno genealogy, concluded that the Madariaga family was indeed descended from Hunter. He presented the proof that Paulina was a Temecula Indian from the Pechanga reservation. He showed her lineal descent from an original tribal ancestor.
However, the tribal enrollment committee, chose to ignore the facts. Ignore the facts, and keep more money for themselves.
Apparently rich people are pretty much the same, whether they come from poverty, spiritual traditions, or have access to the clearest expertise and wisdom. When people get rich, they want to keep it, and they want to be better off than others. Why keep the eggs if you can kill the goose?
FOOTNOTE on the Law. In cases around the country, the State and Federal Courts are "deferring" to the Tribal Councils who are excluding competing clan members they don't like, even when the decision is clearly contrary to the facts. Funny, the courts never deferred to the Councils when they were claiming lost land, resources, damages for broken treaties. All of a sudden Federal Courts no longer have jurisdiction over disputes between local sovereignties?
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.