Sunday, August 29, 2010

SWF Rewind- Wintu Tribal Elections Fraud

The Wintu Tribe of Northern California has operated a non-profit organization since 1993 after thier incorporation as a tribal 501.3 (c) status entity seven years after the closure of Toyon Wintu Center in 1987. The current Wintu Tribe is represnted in its incorporated capacity by the tribally elected governing body, known as the Wintu Tribal Council. Consisting of 12 elected Wintu Members, they are elected on staggered terms.

Annual elections for the Wintu Tribe/ Toyon Wintu Tribe historically have been public knowlege and thier candidates and results reguarly published in Redding area publications like the Record Searchlight, currently an E.W. Scripps Co. owned conseravtive based news source that continues to shun the focus of media attention on the Wintu Tribe or its varied issues, in favor of the more economically contributive Redding Rancheria (RR). The RR also based in Redding and established Win- River Casino a lucritive native american gaming faciltiy in operation since 1990. The gaming revenue generated by Win- River Casino, however, does not benfit the larger Wintu Tribe, in which, ancestral territory the quasi alien Win-River Casino lies. The RR contibutes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the State of California every year, tens of thousands of dollars to the Newspaper annualy, partially, it is alleged. to supress the plight of the Wintu People. The cumulative generated contributory asset revenue capacity to the state and other agencies generated by Win-River (and the RR)since its opening is estimated to be in excess of $180,000,000 (180 million) US dollars (Root- Wintu Demograph- 1998), while the Wintu Tribe remains landless and without federal aknowlegement.

It has come to the attention of Stop Wintu Fraud Editors that a small group of Wintu Members were disenrolled from the Toyon Wintu Tribe/ Wintu Tribe of Northern California's tribally prepared "base roll", that has not yet been approved by the secreatry of the interior (BIA). Carol Sinclair, Wintu Elder and Cultural Resourse Director for the tribe for the last two decades, was disenrolled as a result of the actions of the tribal council and its enrollment committee shortly after the 2003 Wintu Tribal Elections along with 10 other individuals. These 11 Wintu have become known as the Wintu 11. Ms. Sinclair has gone on record as stating it was following provocation, her and another unidentified Wintu Tribal member concurrently serving on the Wintu Tribe Enrollment Committee began to bring questions to the Tribal Council as to enrollment proceedures, and tribal election proceedures, and brought fourth allegations of vote tampering by the 2002 Tribal Council member Linda Malone, and Carol Martin. Vote tampering allegations that include Ms. Sinclair, "... watching Linda throw ballots out (of the ballot box) and onto the floor, and in the trash...". Taking place in June 2002 at the old Wintu Tribal office at the end of the Downtown Mall on Placer St. in Redding. This is alleged to have occoured in front of Womens Leagure of Voters Officials present to provide oversite to the Tribal Election by an unbiased outside body. But whether or not the League recognises the Results or these Election Officials, or the Officials identities has yet to be verified by Stop Wintu Fraud. Other Tribal members that voted in person in 2003 reported seeing the, "... grey haired non-indian ladies in a seprerate room form the voting chambers...", that were, "...tallying ballots with Carol Martin and Linda Malone present."

In an attempt to assure the intergrity of the vote Sinclair and another un-named Tribal Member tried and failed to gain larger tribal support for recount and later recall of the tribal council in 2004. Actions of which are legal proceedures outlined in the Wintu Constitution. These Individuals were bothat the time of the incident serving on the Wintu Election Committee and serving as Election Officers at the proceedings, and were told ot leave while the "illegal" election proceed. The election results saw the Encumbants all being re-elected, some for the 5 and 6th terms consecutively, reigns of tribal leadership that lasted for over 15 years in some cases. Gary Rickard, a progressive, was elected chairman as a result of this vote while some traditionalists, like Loretta Root, lost by small margins.

The tribal council at that time (1998-2006) has come to be known as the Curl-Malone Board which was responsible for several attemts at violations of the tribal members rights inclding political convolution with the WWO (winnemem wintu organization), seeking to reduce the tribal roll (dis-enroll) by more than 350 people, and passing a illeaglly written document as the 2003 interim Wintu Constitution, an attmept by the former CILS attourney, Mary Risling, to draft controls into the Wintu Constitution. Controls that would have enabled the Curl-Malone Board to violate various former tribal member rights that are guarenteed by former Toyon Constitution. The governing document by which the tribe had been operating, albeit sporadically, since the closure of the facilities at Toyon by the BIA in 1987. The rule-change violations alleged in the secific rights vioaltions include the language "...right to deprive of life propertry or liberty without prior notice...", and the heavily suspect language that attempted to hand the WWO power to control all of the tribes archaeological and spiritual resourses. The language was removed by a majority vote of tribal members in 2003, denoucing the Curl-Malone Board and its memebers ability and future goal, in capacity to regain the sole rights to the use of the lands at Toyon Wintu Center.

The Wintu 11 are a small numer of California Indians in comparison to the other 2000+ tribal disenrollments statewide California's Gaming Tribes have seen in the last several years, but the lack of civil rights enforcement quite equal. 57 members of the Foreman Family were also disenrolled from the Redding Rancheria, a scandal which recieved national media attention, the Wintu 11 and the the Disenrollments of 2003 by the Wintu Tribe's enrollment committee members in contrast has seen no media attention to this day.

Allegations of illegal tribal elections, tribal voter fraud, illegal use of the identity of the Womens League of Voters by the Wintu Enrollment Committee, Wintu Constitution and Wintu Election Ordanance violations, vioaltions of the Brown Act, Violations of Civil Rights, Illegal Seizure of Tribal Assetts without CFR Probate, are just some of the Allegations that are coming to light as a result of inquests by Stop Wintu Fraud contributors.

Stop Wintu Fraud is seeking Contributors on Wintu Rights Violations, you can email for information on how to contribute to the exsposure of Wintu Fraud.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wintu Elder Carol Sinclair Passes

Carol Sinclair- Born December 29. 1943, passed away July 26, 2010.
Carol is survived by her son John Neely and his wife Laura; daughter Lisa Chapman; grandchildren Jeff Henderling, Sean Neely, Dylan Neely, and Cody Chapman II; great granddau...ghter Vivienne Neely; many aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends; and her horses Mytar and Fury; dogs Beowolf and Little Bear; and cats Ivan and Rascal.
Carol grew up in Redding and was always very active. As a youth, she enjoyed pitching women's fast pitch softball, working on her cars, spelunking, and caring for her many animals.
After marriage, Carol and her family moved to Eureka. While in Eureka working and raising her children, Carol began a lifelong relationship with and love for horses. When Carol returned to Redding, her horses came as well.
Carol was an active member of the horse community and was called on frequently for her expertise. Carol was also an avid supporter, educator, and advocate for her Wintu heritage.
Though she is no longer with us in the flesh, she will continue to guide and support us in spirit. She will truly be missed.
A graveside service will be held on August 7th at 10 a.m. at the Black Canyon Cemetery located at 4500 Boca St., Shasta Lake City (Central Valley) followed by a Celebration of Life and potluck at the Win River Rancheria.
Much gratitude to Hospice for helping mom and us through this most difficult time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

SWF Rewind- The Wintu Factions Have to Unite in Order to Recieve Federal Acknowledgment?

(photo changed- new photo- Sampson & Cat, Nom-Ti-Pom Wintu, photo taken at La Moine)

Think about what our families miss out on by continuing to not Unify Twards Recognition. What could we potentially loose if the Wintu leaders fail to unify us?

So here some of us still are. 2008. A long time since the BIA instated the Office of Federal Acknowledgement (OFA) thru federal CFR regulations to review BAR petitions from Tribes claiming to be modern conglomerations of Wintu surviving 1800's genocide and removal to reservations. In 1984, when our petitions were initially announced to Interior, the various Wintu leaders, that that time, Ray Patton for the Central Valley Wintun, Gloria Gomez for the Wintu of Shasta, Ed Grant for the Wintun of Cottonwood and also Ray Patton for the Nor Rel Muk Nation. We thank these honorable Wintu people for their fore site.
This week the BIA/ Asst. Secretary of the Interior published in the Federal Register an unprecedented OFA Notice attempting to supply "Guidance and Direction Regarding Internal Procedures" for OFA personnel review tribal applications. In the Notice, dated May 23, 2008, the Asst. Secretary of the Interior Carl Artman, referenced several issues that are sure to have wide ranging impacts on the several groups seeking acknowledgement currently thru BAR representing the Northern Wintu Tribe. New direction from the Asst. Sect'y Artman that includes what Interior has now termed as, "managing recurring administrative and technical problems in processing petitions for Federal acknowledgment.

In the recent past Interior has come under scrutiny from national tribal leaders and tribal rights watch groups, and the national media, arising concern for tribes, that the current nature of the BAR review process has become overbearing on tribes seeking acknowledgement thru Interior. And that specifically the Interior has violated Trust Responsibilities to hundreds of thousands of American Indians, that are currently members of Non-federally recognised tribes, who's members could be currently be benefiting from federal assets to benefit their welfare, like health, education, and housing, but have been left with-out Trust services in denial and termination of thei Trust responsibility of the Federal Government towards the tribal members. Some tribes like our own Wintu, have been waiting for longer than two decades.

In that time our members have seen our reservation at Toyon closed and our members forcefully removed (1987), another tribe re-acknowledged (Redding Rancheria 1983) in our traditional territory, including members of tribes not from the Shasta Trinity County area, then a casino was built in the Wintu name with millions in revenue sharing to the state of California with no benefit to the Wintu members to this day (Win-River Casino 1990-present), and more recently as a result of inter-tribal disputes the "splintering" of tribal families into separate factions claiming control of the Wintu people as a whole. Yes, unfortunately for the members caught in the middle of tribal leadership disputes where very few get anything of grant monies and everyone else in the tribe is left to guess whats going on... tribal governments without representation for tribal members, or equal rights against tribal governments gone mad, and no legal recourse even as Not for profit organizations as County and State courts have repeatedly referenced Santa Clara v. Martinez where tribal sovereignty trumps the governments rights to interfere in inter-tribal disputes, this all despite California being a PL 280 where the Wintu Tribe resides, delegating authority to the state attorney general, and also despite the State of California declaring authority to excercise Illegal Taxation of California tribal lands thru the Gaming Revenue Agreements forced upon California Tribes by the California Governors Office.
Contradictory leadership from the non-Indians to say the least. More accurately these recent events have proven to be for the Wintu, Double-handed legislation eminent of the Old 1851 Ash Creek Treaty days, where we as Indians have no re-course, no representation.
To the knowledge of Stop Wintu Fraud Editors it is the first time that Interior has officially used the term "splinter" to define in the Federal Register the fracturing of tribal memberships, for various reasons unique to each occasion. A good example of why federal statues rarely fit into real day Tribal issues like the "splintering of the Wintu", the new CFR Notice Recommendations and Direction does nothing to actually assist the tribe in resolution of any type to inter-tribal/ band disputes. Disputes that would be better clarified with the direct assistance and approval of the Interior and Regional Directors working in concert for the tribe to speed conflict resolution and complete applications, and move on to review to reduce back-log of the List of Tribes waiting for recognition which is now over 310 tribes waiting for review decisions.
It has been calculated by this Stop Wintu Fraud editor that of the 310+ tribes waiting for review thru OFA/ BAR, 32% of the tribes listed today in the Register are in some way Duplicate tribes that potentially would benefit by complying with interior's wishes , that in the name of speeding the process, tribes are to both resolve inter-tribal disputes and stop fracturing of tribal groups from single former petitioning groups into rival petitioners that would potentially, to interior create (and are creating) at least some of the back log.
Is the back long caused by tribes? No. Are tribes being forced to suffer "negative determinations" as a result of awry tribal leaders gone astray that no longer think in the tribal general memberships best interests. Here in the Notice today, Interior has gone beyond past mis-statements towards us as trustees, that the splintering of tribal groups should result in the tribe not receiving assistance in the BAR process, nor receive acknowledgement as a result of the splintering Interior has defined today as,

In the more than 29 years that the Department's acknowledgment regulations have
been in effect, the Department has confronted a number of recurring issues in
the administration of the regulations including: the emergence of splinter
groups;... opportunities for streamlining the process
through expedited decisions against acknowledgment and decisions against
acknowledgment on fewer than all seven criteria; the handling of questionable
submissions; and designation of ``inactive'' status.

The idea that Interior is now, in 2008, 26 years into the OFA process, attempting to penalize tribes for excericising the Federal Right to be Self-Determinative of our futures and our right to Self-Governance as American Indians to dissolve and formulate tribal identity as tribal members see fit here has been diminished in interiors attempts to, "opportunities for streamlining the process through expedited decisions against acknowledgment and decisions against acknowledgment." Really whats being said to tribes is if your tribes splits up, we'll use that against you now. Also in the Notice Interior states for its OFA personnel that past "Conflicts within a petitioning group that result in multiple and conflicting claims to leadership hamper the ability of OFA to communicate and conduct its business with the group when OFA cannot identify a single governing body as the point of contact with the group." Here BIA is stating, "hey, if you make it harder on us (your trustor) by splintering into contradictory factions we will use it against you (the potential trustee). In a possible violation of trust relations, and certainly in an attempt to limit the size of tribes acknowledged in the future, and there bye limiting the trust responsibility of the federal government to assets held in the name of our people, without representation as to the resources use historically, therefore is interpreted here to be potentially a undue and illegal termination of trust responsibilities to hundreds of thousands of non-federalised Americans Indians, not just the Wintu.

A note for our pseudo-leaders, Wade, Gene, and Linda. Dis-enrolling people from the tribe was, and never will be the answer to what you cannot accomplish alone. You your self's actually amount to a splinter group when you applied as the Toyon by OUR 1993 deadline. And again when you Malone's wanted remove all the Central Valley people back in 2003. Why was that again, oh yeah, because you don't "like" Gloria Gomez. A real Wintu leader would can the bullshit set your personal differences aside and work for the good of all the Wintu, not just your pitiful family. Perhaps you begin to see that everyone around you when they become involved are forced to see your strangle-hold on the tribal government thru illegal elections every year. You can't have both tribes (Toyon and the Wintu Tribe), tribal members see for themselves the tribal council stop the Wintu meeting and then have the Not for profit meeting separate. Ask questions Wintu members, find out for yourselves why the general members aren't on the not for profit list but they have a separate general council listing for members? And the way they have it currently structured by the careful help of Non-Wintu CILS attorney Mary Risling, and this was only the Curl and Malone descendants will benefit from any monetary revenue from the tribe in the future? Read your Constitution. 33% to constitute a majority? Well from the 91 members base roll that's almost exactly the percentage of the 17 member extended family Curl-Malone Voting Block.

If theirs nothing wrong with the way the tribe is currently being run then why did Caleen Sisk leave the Curl-Malone Board to formulate the Traditional Winnmem? Why did Jill leave the Curl- Malone group? Why did Loretta Root leave the Curl Malone Ground? Why did 350 other Wintu leave to join United Bands after you illegally adopted your likewise illegally drafted Curl-Malone Wintu of Northern California Interim Constitution in 2003 by a vote, to small, to exact it. Ask the Nor-el-muk, the wintu from Trinity County, if they'll have anything to do with the Curl-Malone Board? Why did Gloria Gomez stick with the Central Valley Wintu after your family, in the name of your fraudulent tribe, drag her into court back in 1997-1998? It wasn't because you actually picketed in front of her private residence that year.... ya' think? And why would a single member who regained salmon harvesting rights on his own and fished for 6 years using traditional methods without assistance from the tribe, then be threatened with dis-enrollment after being nominated for Wintu Tribal Council?

Internal conflicts aside, the Wintu- interband disputes of our tribe have been addressed by attorneys representing us (as early as 2001), and now have been addressed by the Department of the Interior, and their position on "splintering" of petitioning groups is clear, if any ambiguity existed before surrounding duplicate petitions doomed for negative determinations, duplicate petitioners will not receive assistance or acknowledgement.

To absolve the Wintu bands is easy, the only obstacle to our rapid progression and eventual recognition is just a lot of power tripping old people that have entertained a false sense of control over the tribal membership for so long that it seem the leaders won't even won't take their finger off the button, and resolve petty differences for the good of the people.

The link to the notice from the Assistant Secretary of the Interior on Current Splinter groups:

Federal Register 5/23/08