RIP: Navajo Code Talkers - Bracamontes On Dis-Enrollment
May 21, 2009 - John Brown, Jr. Passed Away
“The late John Brown, Jr., was a renowned Navajo Code Talker, and one of the original 29, who served the United States of America, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Navajo Nation during World War II with courage, honor and distinction,”
President Joe Shirley said in a proclamation issued Thursday.John Brown, Jr., was born on Dec. 24, 1921, to Nonabah Bia Begay and Little Policeman (the late John Brown, Sr.) in Chinle, Ariz., near Canyon De Chelly. Little Policeman was one of the first police officers of the Navajo Nation at a time when prisoners were brought in on horseback, said Mr. Brown’s son, Frank Brown.
“John Brown, Jr., endured the horrors of combat in the Pacific Theatre battles on the islands of Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian and Guadalcanal, and…was an active member of the Navajo Code Talkers Association who traveled the country to educate the public about the courageous feats and accomplishments of his comrades in arms,”
President Shirley said in his proclamation. He was a beloved member of the Crystal, New Mexico, community, served as a Navajo Tribal Council delegate from 1962 to 1982, and served three terms as Crystal Chapter president after his service as a council delegate, the President said.
“The Navajo Nation unites and offers prayers and deepest condolences to his family during this time of grief,” President Shirley said. John Brown, Jr., is survived by his wife Loncie Polacca Brown and his children Bernice Brown, Dorothy Whilden, Preston Brown, Everett Brown, Virgil Brown, Frank Brown and his adopted daughter Kathy Glenabah Brown of Orem, Utah. His other children were the late Dale Brown and the late Ruth Ann McComb.Funeral services were held in Chinle, Arizona, on Tuesday, May 26th.
May 27, 2009 - Thomas Claw Passed Away
Thomas Claw, who was ill with cancer, died at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care Center in Prescott, said his son Harold Claw. He was 87.
Mr. Claw was born on Feb. 23, 1922, in Chinle, Ariz. He attended Fort Wingate High School. From there, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on March 13, 1943, in Phoenix. He was sent to Camp Pendleton for special military qualification and training as a code talker. He served with the 1st Marine Division and was overseas from Sept 20, 1943, until Nov. 6, 1945.
He served in the Asiatic Pacific Areas of New Caledonia, Australia, New Britain, the Solomon Islands, Palau Islands, and Ryukyu Islands in Japan. Mr. Claw received two presidential unit citations; the 1st Marine Reinforced for action against the enemy at Peleliu and Ngesebus from Sept 15-29, 1944, and for heroic action during the invasion and capture of Okinawa, April 1 to June 21, 1945. While in Okinawa, Mr. Claw was wounded and received a Purple Heart as a result of enemy action on June 24, 1945.
After his military service, Mr. Claw relocated to Parker with his wife Barbara in 1948. He was employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a water master for the Colorado River Indian Irrigation Project, retiring after 20 years of service.
He was in charge of delivering water to 80,000 acres of irrigated farmland.Mr. Claw is survived by wife Barbara Claw, and his children Carolyn Hammond of Parker, Reynold Claw of Clearfield, Utah, and Pauline James, Harold Claw in Parker, and Gloria Claw all of Parker.
Posted By Krystyn Media to The Krystyn Media Blog at 5/29/2009
Dis-Enrollment Is American History
By Robert Bracamontes
Juaneno dis-enrollment is American history. When people that are displaced, disenfranchised and then try to please the dominant society by mimicking the social structure, it breeds dissension. This plutocratic society prides itself with false portrayals of a democracy led by the people and not money.
So Natives mimic these divisions by imposing limits to citizenship into the tribe to give the master, who lays down the rules, an image of legitimacy. In the end, proof of citizenship is only equated with absolute written proof from the federal government and the tribal council relishes this finite equation. But it should be the view of the people that actually forms the natural indigenous community, which without a doubt is the communal self-determination that is the General Council.
People do not get dis-enrolled because they are not Native-- ultimately it is about power and money. They get dis-enrolled because it is political. If people are in the dark and do not know where to find the branch to the ancestral trunk of our tribe, then they are expelled. They are expelled for not being educated in the expertise of research and are penalized for it. The policy of the federal government and the Tribal Council is tortuous. This is a very political attack on the Majority of our community and it will not be tolerated.
The Juaneno People are coming together to establish an all-inclusive tribe. This means unconditional unity. The majority of the tribe wants to take action and let the current leadership realize that the dis-enrollment of thousands is unacceptable. The current leadership, known as the Rivera Group, has ruled in a shroud of secrecy, misinformation and nepotism that bends the laws of democracy far beyond the limits of fairness and equality.
In their own February 2009 newsletter, there is proof of the Rivera Group's nepotism and conflict of interest. In the last election, Sue Rivera, sister of the elected Chairperson, was a “ticker” recorder or counter of votes. To say there is a feeling of impropriety and great temptation in this situation is an understatement. This fact alone is grounds to declare the election invalid and illegal.
The same newsletter stated, “The Acjachemen Nation, for the first time in its history, has been recognized by the Office of Federal Acknowledgment, as the Historical Tribe of the San Juan Capistrano Mission.”
This statement could not be more misleading or false. The OFA, Office of Federal Acknowledgement, has denied our recognition in a letter from Carl J. Artman, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs. Artman lists in great detail why, in the government’s view, they have ruled, “Against Acknowledgement of The Juaneno Band of Mission Indians Acjachemen Nation.” Seven areas have been mentioned for not meeting the criteria. Today, these criteria have Not been entirely fulfilled according to sources that do not want their name used here for fear of repercussions to family members.
As for my own adventure with the process, more research has reviled that Nomovit lived in the village of Pange (Panhe) in 1760. The Bracamontes families (my family) are direct descendants of Nomovit and more, which means there is absolutely no reason why we have been Dis-enrolled from our tribe by the Rivera Group. We have been members of the tribe forever. Many others in the Dis-enrolled group fall into this category of doing more research to satisfy the rubrics.
The only way that the Federal Government and the Rivera Group would be missing much of this information, after we submitted it to them, would be if it was tampered with, intentionally excluded from the records or accidentally forgotten. This Rivera Group may have misinterpreted this historical fact to their own liking or accidentally excluded my ancestors from documents sent to Washington DC due to some misfortune or error. You make the call.
As for the Rivera Group’s intentional destruction of the dis-enrolled tribal documents that was to begin last month, many Juaneno have had mail sent to the tribal office rejected or sent back to them. Mail requesting that personal documents be returned to each dis-enrollee was in many cases not answered. This includes registered mail according to some members.
The law corporation of Bracamontes & Vlasak has sent a letter to the Rivera group to halt the destruction of any documents with the Bracamontes name and instead forward them to the law office. There has been no response to the letter sent. I received an email prior to the letter being sent that it would take a few weeks for me to receive any documents, but I was not allowed to speak for my children, father, grandparents or any other family member or group.
What it boils down to is the Juaneno people are ready to stand up for their rights, the truth, and justice. What we want is unconditional inclusivity, unconditional unity imposed by the people. In the simplest of terms it is communal self determination without rules, regulations or rubrics that fit the slave masters mentality of the federal government and the Tribal Council. There was a gathering to correct this injustice.
The members of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians both active and Dis-enrolled met at The Blas Adobe Museum Saturday May 30th at 10a.m. This was a business and cultural meeting and the plight of all our people was explored.
Robert (Bob) Bracamontes
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