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Pala Indian tribe in San Diego County expels 154 members

The cemetery of the 1816 Mission San Antonio de Pala sits in the heart of the Pala Indian Reservation.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians has expelled 154 people from the tribal membership roll, depriving them of a share of the profits from the band's casino and hotel/spa in northern San Diego County.

The 154 represents 15% of the band's official membership. Under the band's constitution, those who have been expelled can appeal to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, said Pala spokesman Doug Elmets.

The issue in expulsions from tribal rolls is often the degree of Indian heritage. To be on the official Pala roll, a member must have one-sixteenth Pala heritage.

The majority of the band's members live on a 12,000-acre reservation east of Interstate 15 and south of Temecula. Members reportedly receive about $150,000 a year each from the Pala band's business ventures.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: The cemetery of the 1816 Mission San Antonio de Pala sits in the heart of the Pala Indian Reservation. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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