Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Myth of Inevitability, Part 5

Champagne corks were popping on the West Coast this week. And this one is a true victory for the little guy - and a body blow to the 'done deal'.

For close to four years the Santa Ynez Band (tribe) along with the Federal Government had been arguing that two California community organizations, Preservation of Los Olivos (P.O.L.O.) and Preservation of Santa Ynez (POSY) had no right to appeal decisions by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Internal Board of Indian Appeals.

Last July, a Federal judge said they were wrong. There was an appeal - but this week it was withdrawn, making the ruling final.

According to Steve Pappas, a founder of P.O.L.O. "This has always been about restoring and preserving the voice of each and every one of us. The Constitution is still a very young document, but it provides a clear framework for our rights as citizens and this case is a monumental example."

A spokesperson for P.O.L.O. stated that "P.O.L.O. and POSY now have standing to challenge the federal government's ability to remove land from local regulatory and taxing authority through the fee-to-trust process and puts decisions made by the BIA or IBIA under the scrutiny of a federal court. Never before have these decisions been subject to judicial review. This is a very big victory for all affected communities."

I can't tell you how important the efforts of these and other activist groups are to us and every other community that's been turned into a battlefield thanks to failed Federal Indian policy. They'e fought long battles for small victories, but each little victory adds up, and chips away at a common wrong.

I would encourage anyone to visit their web site. Like us, they are ordinary citizens committed to preserving their rural quality of life, and have demonstrated what can happen when citizens stand strong against what's wrong, and stand up for what's right. They are part of the reason that in America, the concept of inevitability remains a myth.

3 comments:

carverchick said...

This is wonderful news Gladys! We do have a voice, as proven by this victory.


Steve Pappas said,

"This has always been about restoring and preserving the voice of each and every one of us. The Constitution is still a very young document, but it provides a clear framework for our rights as citizens and this case is a monumental example."

I think that says it all.

Anonymous said...

Hooray to the small group that fought the well funded march to INEVITABILITY!

And they won their battle without the pending Mashpee Wampanoag indictments.

P.S. Please tell Scott Fearsome and the Mboro BOS who refuse to inform themselves.

alicia

Anonymous said...

We all must pay attention to even other states casino issues. It is getting to be an issue close to home,(meaning in our state). Their fights have become ours! Watch, learn, and pay attention, look what happened right here in Middleboro! In a million yrs. I would never have thought this could happen in my hometown.
ps it isin't comming to Middleboro!

Gladys,
Thank you for keeping us informed of the big picture! Even though this is far by distance in miles, these victories are close to (our)home! Keep publishing! Please! It certainly gives us more faith and hope in our future and the proof that the slogan, "it's a done deal" is NOT TRUE!! after all.

ShareThis