Tex McDonald: Clearing the air about Chukchansi Tribe's leaders

Tex McDonald says he's the acting chair of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California, a position also claimed by Reggie Lewis:
Lies left unchallenged have an unfortunate, damaging way of becoming the truth. That's why I — and the current, duly elected tribal council of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians headquartered on tribal land — have written this to clear the air.

We believe in fact, not fiction. We believe in the law, not lies.

The same cannot be said of two factions seeking to take over our tribe for their own selfish, greedy ends.

Last week, the regional director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Pacific Region, Amy Dutschke, issued a relatively simple "letter opinion." This opinion was as notable for what it did not do as for what it did. As Dutschke pointed out, decisions electing tribal leadership, "fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the tribe, and BIA does not have the authority to determine the tribe's leadership."

The opinion instead made a much more narrow, temporary distinction. While the BIA has no power to choose who leads our sovereign nation, the bureau can pick who it negotiates with for the purposes of signing some contracts and awarding federal grants. Dutschke wrote that "the Bureau of lndian Affairs, Pacific Region, will conduct business, on an interim basis, with the last uncontested tribal council elected December 2010."

Get the Story:
Tex McDonald: Clearing the Air (The Sierra Star 2/19)

Another Opinion:
Reginald Lewis: A victory for the Chukchansi people (The Sierra Star 2/19)

Also Today:
Indian Affairs to recognize 2010 council (The Sierra Star 2/19)

Related Stories:
BIA issues decision in Chukchansi Tribe leadership dispute (2/12)

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