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Miwok tribal leader answers Burley’s charges

Editor, Ceres Courier,

I serve as the Deputy and Tribal Administrator for the California Valley Miwok Tribe, and I am responding in opposition to the allegations made by Silvia Burley in her letter to the editor published April 8. 

Silvia Burley is not the chairperson for the tribe, the authority for which the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is currently in the process of finalizing. Her current publicity is likely an attempt to interfere with that process.

Her allegations about Senator Feinstein and Arlo Smith are untrue and borderline libelous. Senator Feinstein has never taken in any side in the membership dispute and has only urged the BIA adhere to the law. Her letter of March 6, 2019 is posted at and anyone can judge for oneself. 

Arlo Smith is a well-known and respected former District Attorney for the City of San Francisco and was instrumental in creating the California Gambling Control Commission when it was transfer from the Department of Justice. Those posts require the highest ethical standards. Upon retirement, he has served as a legal advisor to the tribe. In addition, a recent finding by the BIA was made regarding the legitimate genealogies for membership in this tribe. The regional director for the BIA on May 30, 2019 made a determination that, while not explicit about Ms. Burley, does categorically excludes individuals who are derived from Jeff Davis, of whom Ms. Burley is one. Thus, she cannot be recognized as a member.

Chadd Everone,

Tribal Administrator,

California Valley Miwok Tribe,

(Sheep Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California),

Berkeley, Calif.

LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed and include an address and phone number. Letters should be 250 words or less and be void of libel. Send to The Ceres Courier, 138 S. Center Street, Turlock CA 95380 or emailed to