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GEYSERVILLE (CBS SF) — An American Indian tribe in the North Bay has made a dramatic change following a KPIX 5 report on members being disenrolled.
The Dry Creek Rancheria band of Pomo Indians has announced a 10-year moratorium on disenrollments for tribe members.
“I think the light on it, the news reporting on it, I think it brings it to the light,” Carmen Cardoza of the Dry Creek Rancheria band said.
Some tribe members say casinos were at the heart of the disenrollment issue. Fewer people in the tribe can mean more casino money for the remaining members.
“It’s an ugly, ugly thing,” said Greg Sarris of the recently opened Graton Casino.
Sarris’ tribe decided to take a stand before opening the casino, rewriting their constitution to make sure no members can be disenrolled, unless they’ve been convicted of a crime.
“Casinos are the biggest cultural shock to us since the gold rush, since they murdered us so awfully. We have the opportunity to have money, but what haven’t we learned? Why repeat history?” Sarris said.
But, the Dry Creek Rancheria band has already disenrolled dozens of members, including the Cardoza family, who can trace their lineage back to 1915 with the tribe.
It was unclear if the moratorium would mean the Cardoza family would be allowed back into the tribe.