In a move that could force the closure of Valley View Casino, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said yesterday the tribal government for the San Pasqual Indian band has collapsed in a rift over tribal membership.
“I am unable to recognize any tribal government for San Pasqual and strongly urge the members of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians to take immediate action to address this matter,” James Fletcher, the bureau's local superintendent, said in a letter.
“Only federally recognized tribal governments may operate governmental programs, businesses, conduct business or act on behalf of their membership,” he wrote.
In addition to its hillside casino in Valley Center, the tribe operates a quarry and provides government services including fire protection, housing and education.
The tribe last year expanded the casino and is planning to open a hotel.
But it has long struggled over who belongs in the tribe and the disagreement now has broken up a five-member committee the BIA considers the tribe's governing body.
Only legitimate governments can operate tribal casinos, say the BIA and the National Indian Gaming Commission, which oversees such gambling.
Soboba Tribal Chairman Robert Salgado confirmed Friday that members of the National Indian Gaming Commission will visit to the casino near San Jacinto
Tribal members should NOT be displaying their weapons during this visit.