Friday, March 16, 2007

Disaster in Jamul

With permission, I am reprinting this email sent by a Jamul resident to the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Voice of San Diego:

Disaster in Jamul

I found it very interesting while I was doing some research on Southern California Intertribal Court Judge Anthony Brandenburg that on the web page for the Intertribal Court of San Diego it lists under Member Tribes only Pala, Pauma, Rincon, San Pasqual, La Jolla, Mesa Grande and Santa Ysabel. I do not see the Jamul Indian Village any where on the site so why would the Sheriff’s office support an eviction notice from this “Court” when it appears they do not even have jurisdiction? This is information Sheriff Deputies or Captain Chambers could check just like any other citizen. I certainly can understand why Walter Rosales and Karen Toggery, their attorney plus concerned friends would expect Sheriff Deputies to protect them from unlawful home invasion that led to violent, illegal evictions and their homes being unjustly demolished.

Shame on the Sheriff’s Department for supporting the “Mafia” like tactics of the Jamul Indian Village and Lakes Gaming.

Linda Ivy

Jamul, CA

This is yet another example of how the country-within-a-country nature of America’s relationship with the American Indians complicates seemingly ordinary events, and leads to results that look crazy. Who would have believed that the sheriffs and police would just look on as Americans were clubbed and pepper-sprayed by hired thugs?

I have no expertise on the great, entangled mess that is the body of law and regulation controlling this relationship. My own investigations into the actual status of the Jamul Indian Village are completely inconclusive — authoritative-sounding people on both sides of the issue make contradictory claims, and support them. I have trouble getting excited about who is right or wrong on this issue (and I suspect the answer is somewhat plastic anyhow). What I could get excited about is a movement to remove the distinction, so that it no longer mattered whether the tribe was “certified", whether Walter Rosales had the “right blood” to be a Jamul Indian tribe member, or any of the other crazy questions that arise because we’ve made this artificial distinction between classes of Americans.

But it may well be that the fate of the casino rests on the answers to questions like the one that Linda Ivy raises in her email. For that reason, it behooves us all both to raise the questions (as Linda has done) and to try our best to follow the maze of headache-inducing rules and laws that determine the answers.

I think I’ll order a big bottle of aspirin…

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