Tribal Protestors Speak Out

May 21, 2013 7:27 PM

It's been five days since 20 protestors were arrested inside the tribal offices behind Gold Country Casino in Oroville, and they are now speaking out about their motivations.

"We are not scared. We are just saying we just want this done right and we want justice to be done," William Grigsby said.
"I would never have done something like this if I did not know what was right," Teresa Lee said.
"We need change within our tribal government. It is corrupted we are trying to keep the integrity within our tribe," Charlene De La Garza said.

Several members of the Tyme Maidu tribe say they were standing up for the rights of their fellow members when they locked themselves in the tribal offices Thursday, sparking an eleven hour standoff.
They say their main purpose behind the demonstration was to bring light to the attempt by tribal leaders to disenroll more than 70 members.

"We have never had that word [disenroll] in our tribe until the casino came and the revenue started rolling in. The greed set in," De La Garza said.
"It's not unique to Tyme Maidu. You can Google this and look up all the other reports through indian country nationwide," Saundra Mitrovich said.

The protestors say tribal leaders are targeting members of a founding member's family, questioning their family ties to the tribe.
But the protestors say the leaders are ignoring their documentation.

"Whether or not you have documents proving your rights to belong to this tribe, they do not care. They go by a vote of hands and majority. It's wrong," Donald Hedrick said.

The protestors say they will continue to fight for their rights as well as well as the integrity of the entire tribe.

"We will stand up until this battle is won," De La Garza said.

A tribal secretary said the council doesn't want to comment on the protest because they want to avoid a he said she said situation in the media.
She did say they the council is preparing to resend the disenrollment ballots that they say were shredded during the standoff.
They expect that vote to be completed in three weeks.


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