Chukchansi Dispute: Rival factions fight it out in the media

A leadership dispute continues within the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians of California.

Reggie Lewis claims to be the rightful leader of the tribe. He says the results of a referendum resolved the dispute.

"The referendum was conducted with the assistance of Indian Dispute Resolution Services (IDRS)," Lewis says in an opinion published in The Sierra Star. "The non-profit organization was recommended by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and regularly assists tribes all over the country with dispute resolution services."

Nancy Ayala, however, says she is the real chairwoman. The referendum organized by Lewis did not comply with tribal law, according to her opinion piece.

"The rogue council threesome's latest ploy to grab headlines came in late April," Ayala says. "Again using liquidated tribal funds, the minority hired an allegedly 'independent' consultant to conduct a pair of referenda meant to reshuffle the tribal council in their favor."

Finally, a group called Chukchansi Tribal Members For A Real Solution is calling for an entirely new election to determine who is in charge. A petition is being circulated.

"Let us all come together and demand a new election to end this senseless fight for power once and for all," the group says.

Get the Story:
Reggie Lewis: Petition shows will of the tribe (The Sierra Star 5/15)
Nancy Ayala: Wasted funds and efforts (The Sierra Star 5/15)
Chukchansi Tribal Members For A Real Solution: Tribe needs a clean slate (The Sierra Sta 5/15)

Related Stories:
Faction calls on BIA to intervene in Chukchansi Tribe dispute (04/29)
Rival faction of Chukchansi Tribe disputes outcome of petition (4/25)

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