native american rights

120 petitions

Started 1 week ago

Petition to

Innocent Man Incarcerated for More Than 24 Years

In October 2021 Rodney “Patrick” McNeal began his 25th year in prison for the murder of his wife Deborah, a crime that he did not commit.  He was granted parole, but California's Governor Newsom blocked his release because of political pressures!  It is time to end the incarceration of this innocent Black man. The California Innocence Project presented McNeal’s case to Governor Newsom who, after carefully reviewing the case, commuted Patrick’s sentence on March 27, 2020 making him eligible for immediate parole consideration.  On October 20, 2020 the full Board of Parole Hearings voted to grant him parole, however, the Governor surprisingly reversed that decision on January 29, 2021 due to political pressure. Clearly this reversal was motivated by political influences. Patrick’s late wife, Deborah, was a member of a Sioux tribe in South Dakota and the Governor received pressure from both Deborah's tribe and local tribes which caused the Governor to change his mind on parole, even after granting a commutation!  But the tribes were relying on Deborah's daughter's opinion that Patrick is guilty, not on the evidence.  While Native American women are subject to higher rates of violence, keeping Patrick incarcerated does NOT bring justice for Deborah's murder, because HER MURDERER REMAINS UNPUNISHED. Her tribe and family deserve the truth, and true justice. On March 10, 1997, Rodney Patrick McNeal, a San Bernardino County probation officer, left his office at 12:19 p.m., and arrived home just before 12:30 p.m. to take his wife, Deborah, to a doctor’s appointment. There, he discovered Deborah, who was 6 months pregnant, brutally murdered and laying in the bathtub of the master bedroom weighted down and soaked in bleach.  Patrick tried to lift Deborah out of the tub, but couldn't. After unsuccessfully trying to find the house cordless phone, he ran to a neighbor’s home and asked them to call 911. When police arrived at 12:32, they discovered that the house had been trashed; furniture slashed, a wall unit knocked over, and a trail of blood led from the living room to the master bathroom. Deborah had been beaten, stabbed, and ultimately died of manual strangulation. Her body was already in "late rigor mortis" when examined by paramedics at 12:40. Rigor mortis takes 1-2 hours to start setting in. The timeline of events demonstrates Patrick’s innocence.  Phone records and eyewitness testimony prove Patrick was working in his office until at least 12:15 p.m. It took at least ten minutes for him to drive home. The 911 call was placed at 12:28 and police arrived at the scene at about 12:32. Patrick was still wearing the clothes he was wearing at the office, and they had no blood or bleach on them. It would have been impossible for Patrick to kill Deborah and ransack the house in that timeframe. Further, the blood spatter patterns in the living room indicated that whoever beat and killed Debra would have had Debra’s blood on their clothing, which Patrick did not.  At an evidentiary hearing in front of a San Bernardino Superior Court judge, two witnesses testified that someone else had confessed to killing Deborah. This man had a motive, no solid alibi for the time of the murder, and prior convictions for killing another person, and assaulting another. When that suspect was called to testify by the California Innocence Project, he pled the 5th, a tacit admission that his testimony would be incriminating!  Despite strong evidence that Patrick is innocent, the San Bernardino Superior Court judge declined to reverse Patrick’s conviction. To give you a better idea of who Patrick is, here is just a sampling of the many laudatory evaluations from prison staff who have worked alongside Patrick. ·       He makes a cheerful, productive, and valuable contribution to the work that occurs within our clinic, and I believe that he would do the same in society at large. (3/11/2013) ·       Based on my work relations with Mr. McNeal, I believe that he contains the necessary abilities required to uphold a successful, prolific career and life in our public. (6/23/2014)  ·       McNeal has a good attitude and strong commitment to self-help programs at the California Correctional Institution.  He has a positive attitude, good behavior, and sincerity. (8/15/2017) ·       McNeal has not displayed any characteristic that indicate violence, manipulation, or antisocial behavior. I have observed a model inmate who I believe is ready to become a productive member of society. (9/20/2017)  ·       He holds himself to high standards and always strives to help others.  I believe he will positively contribute to society. (1/6/2018) Please take a moment to sign this petition to Governor Newsom of California and the Board of Parole Hearings and help Patrick to finally gain his freedom.  For more information about his case go to:

Faye Kennedy
244 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Sites JPA, Gavin Newsom

Stop Sites: Don't Drain NorCal Rivers for A Private Reservoir

Help us oppose the proposed 13,200 acres reservoir in the foothills west of the Sacramento River. The new Sites Reservoir in Northern California would be the size of Manhattan, could store up to 1.5-million acre-feet of water, and make it almost half the size of Shasta Reservoir. The reservoir would be owned by the private entity the Sites Project Authority, which is made up mainly of State Water Project (SWP) water contractors and irrigation districts. The authority is already offering new water rights in watersheds where five times more water is allocated than exists to powerful water districts, like the Metropolitan Water District. A previously filed water rights application for the Sites project asked for 3-million acre-feet of water a year.  MWD has stated it is reluctant to invest in Sites if it cannot be assured it will be able to pull its water out of the reservoir when it wants to. This has led many to believe the reservoirs would be used to fill Governor Brown’s twin tunnels.  The proposal includes inundating four creeks and adds new diversion pumps on the Sacramento River in Red Bluff. It does not include protections for the Trinity River or Upper Sacramento River salmon or for the Tribes and fishermen that depend on them despite the fact it will lower flows and impact water quality some years. Water rights held by Tribes and counties and flows to avert fish kills in the Klamath River are currently not protected in the Sites proposal. In theory, these pumps are meant to divert and store “surplus” water in winter and summer months, but they would also increase diversions and that would later return as sun-warmed water increasing the river’s temperature. In truth, there is no “extra” water in this part of California, where up to 75% of the salmon habitat has been blocked by dams. Fisheries science has now proven that high flows during winter and spring are needed if salmon are to survive in California. High flows have many benefits. Flushing flows in high water years inundate floodplains, help out migrating salmon, scour out sediments and algae, move spawning gravel, and reduce fish diseases, all of which greatly increase salmon numbers. In fact, new flow science coupled with extremely low salmon returns has led the state water board to create plans to restore winter and spring flows in the Sacramento River. In the Klamath watershed, the Trinity Management Council, which the Hoopa Valley and Yurok Tribes are members of, is recommending higher winter flows in the Trinity River and a recent lawsuit has forced higher spring flows in the Klamath River to combat the C. shasta fish disease, which killed the majority of juvenile salmon in recent years. Steps have also been taken to use Trinity River reservoir water for fall cold water releases to prevent large scale adult fish kills in the Klamath River during droughts. Restoring flows are needed to bring back salmon. The Sites Proposal threatens all of these actions, and it could not come at a worse time. A recent report from U.C. Davis shows that over 45% of California salmon are facing extinction. Furthermore, the Klamath River is facing the worst salmon returns in history and wild Spring Chinook returns in the Klamath, Trinity and Sacramento Rivers last year numbered in the hundreds.  

Save California Salmon !
51,291 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, Jean M. Rousseau, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, Congressman Tom McClintock, Dunlap Band of Mono Indians, Traditional Choinumni Tribe, Wukchumni Tribal Council, Wuksachi (Eshom Valley Band)


What if I told you there was one common word sexual predators of Native American women used?  What if I told you some individuals vehemently defend the term as a word of honor and respect?  What if I told you an entire community was named after this word? That word is "squaw”.  Although the word “squaw” is defined as a North American Indian woman or wife, it is clear that the term is now offensive due to its pejorative usage over time, despite the lack of awareness by Non-Native Americans. The historical roots of the term “squaw” suggests it emphasizes sexual desires when the term was used; to mean female genitalia; and to denote a Native American woman who provides sexual satisfaction. The term “squaw” in American literature shows that it describes a Native American woman who is a failed “princess”.  While an “Indian Princess” was thought to be natural, wholesome, virtuous, honorable, and connote virginity; the “squaw” was considered to be ugly, debased, immoral, and a sexual convenience that lived a squalid life of servile toil and openly available to Non-Native men.   The word “squaw” epitomizes the racism and sexism Native American women face. I am an enrolled member of the Dunlap Band of Mono Indian Tribe and self identify as also Choinumni, both tribally indigenous to the valley.  Not only do the indigenous tribes to the valley remain Non-Federally recognized, its unconscionable that all of our mothers and daughters continue to be subjected to such blatant disrespect. Its 2022, not one more day!  Names are powerful, helping to form our identity; they are a significant contributor to one's self esteem.   Sign and stand with us, amplifying our call to respect our community, all impacted grandmothers, mothers, daughters, future Native American female generations, and Mother Earth, to end the use of a pejorative, specific for Native American women, for geographic naming.   WEBSITE: LINK TO PROPOSED RESOLUTION     Contact: (559) 581-2893 /          LOCATION:  "Squaw Valley" is a census-designated place located in Fresno County, California, United States of America (zip codes 93646 & 93675)

Roman Rain Tree
35,827 supporters