Tribe: Stand on props misstated

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Note: The following was submitted by Chairman Dale Miller, on behalf of the Elk Valley Rancheria, California.

The Elk Valley Rancheria, California, a federally recognized Indian tribe, read with interest the andquot;Our Viewandquot; section published Saturday.

We agree that voters should actively participate in today's election. The respective political parties' presidential candidates will in large part be determined by the outcome of Super Tuesdayas will important issues to the citizens of California.

However, The Triplicate missed the mark on the Elk Valley Rancheria, California's position regarding Propositions 94-97.

The editorial staff incorrectly stated that those propositions andquot;are so far away from here that the operators of our local casinos don't seem to be bothering to weigh in on the issues.andquot;

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Triplicate acknowledged the complex nature of the propositions in an article published Fridayprior to the Saturday andquot;Our Viewandquot; publication.

In fact, when asked, the Elk Valley Rancheria, California's representative communicated to Triplicate staff that it urges a andquot;Yesandquot; vote on Propositions 94-97. That communication occurred on Jan. 31, 2008, at approximately 4:15 p.m.

The Triplicate, without research or confirmation, published an inaccurate statement generically attributing indifference to one or more Del Norte County federally recognized Indian tribes.

To say the least, the andquot;Our Viewandquot; column demonstrated a profound ignorance of Propositions 94-97 and the potential impact on California, the role of tribal governments in California and nationally, tribal sovereignty, tribal self-governance and economic development, and the interaction of federal and state law.

In our view, The Triplicate editorial staff should take time to educate themselves about local, state-wide, and national issues well before publishing assumptions about tribal government positions on issues, including Propositions 94-97.

Even more, Triplicate editorial staff should talk to their reporters to whom the Elk Valley Rancheria's position was made clear.

To be clear, the Elk Valley Rancheria, California, urges voters to vote andquot;Yesandquot; on Propositions 94-97.

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