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Case tests Pechanga Tribe's right to disenroll 130
Monday, February 2, 2004

A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 130 members of the Pechanga Band of Luiseo Indians who are being threatened with disenrollment.

The group claims descent from one of the tribe's major leaders. But the tribe's enrollment committee contends one of their ancestors cut her ties from the tribe.

Normally, the courts are loathe to get into disputes over enrollment. The tribe's lawyers and legal experts say the tribe has a sovereign right to decide who belongs.

The group says it has no other choice. By being held to a stricter enrollment standard, they say the enrollment committee is breaking the law.

If the 130 people are disenrolled, they lose many benefits, including a $120,000 yearly per capita payment. One person said he was fired from his job as an analyst with the tribe.

Get the Story:
Tribe Wants to Deal Out 10% of Its Members (The Los Angeles Times 1/31)
Enrollment suit puts tribe's affairs in public (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 1/31)
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Relevant Links:
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians - http://www.pechanga.com

Related Stories:
Adopted man protests exclusion Pechanga Tribe (01/15)
Pechanga tribe threatens to cut off newspaper (03/14)
Pechanga disenrollment campaign to continue (02/25)
Pechanga chairman surprised by his 'racist' statement (2/24)

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