Friday, October 17, 2008

20 Yrs of Indian Fortunes & Feuds From Pechanga Dishonor to Struggling Tribes.

An article in today Union Tribune has some stories about what has happened to some tribes since the IGRA became law. Some tribes have become rich, some are on their way. Some like Pechanga, Redding, Picayune, Enterprise have cut the hearts out of some of their tribes elders, and children.

When Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro went on television to implore the citizens of California to help make tribes SELF RELIANT, we thought that they would work together for the betterment of everyone. Instead, tribal members got swallowed up in greed and infighting and bullying became the rule of the day.

Tribes complained about treaties being broken by the white man, yet, the Cherokee have hurt the Freedmen with a treaty of over 140 years that was broken.

Picayune (Chukchansi) eliminated 500 people from their tribe, dulling the glitter.
Pechanga has kept 500 people OUT of the tribe that rightfully should be in via an illegal moratorium and have also terminated 300, while FORCIBLY removing children and escorting them from the reservation school, noted in this KNBC VIDEO. Now, they have eliminated 700 jobs due to economic slowdowns and the public avoiding them for casinos of tribes that have not treated their people so badly.

The links have more of the story and here's that UTrib story:

Much has changed in the 20 years since Congress enacted the landmark Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which set the ground rules for Indian casinos and changed life forever at Viejas and many other reservations.

Before gaming, Viejas was a dying tribe, mired in poverty that fostered drug and alcohol abuse, discouraged education and contributed to an infant mortality rate approaching 20 percent.
“What a difference,” Pico said. “Gaming gave us the opportunity to be able to think and plan. Before, we just had a high interest in surviving.”

Yet other local tribes – Ewiiaapaayp, Jamul, Los Coyotes, Manzanita, Mesa Grande – have yet to cash in their casino dreams.

Across California and the nation, Indian gaming has brought uneven results, from unimaginable wealth for a relative few to years of frustration for others and worse, such as members being banished as political power came to mean control of serious money.
“We don't have to worry about the federal government terminating us anymore,” said Clyde Bellecourt, national director of the American Indian Movement. “We're terminating ourselves.”

While big tribes with large reservations had dominated Indian affairs nationally, casino wealth has flowed largely to smaller tribes, such as most of those in San Diego County and California.
“The economic benefit that it brought was kind of inverse to some of the needs that existed in Indian Country,” said Philip Hogen, an Oglala Sioux and chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Rather than the large, rural reservations, “it was tribes that by accident of history and geography found themselves next to a metropolitan market who made the most of it,” Hogen said. “Nothing wrong with that. Nobody said it wasn't going to work that way.”
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was a compromise, six years in the making, driven in the end by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in California v. Cabazon.
The court ruled that Cabazon, a 25-member band in Riverside County, and other tribes could continue to conduct high-stakes bingo on their reservations without state regulation or interference.

“After the Cabazon decision, there was a lot of concern that the floodgates were open,” said Bill Eadington, a gambling expert at the University of Nevada Reno. The gaming act “was really an attempt to plug the dike . . . to create a level playing field between tribes and other interests.”
Instead, Indian gambling quickly exceeded expectations, Eadington said.
From $200 million in 1988, it mushroomed into a $26 billion industry nationwide by 2007, with nearly $8 billion in California, the dominant Indian gaming state with 58 casinos.

But just 69 of the country's 420 Indian casinos generated $18.8 billion, or 72 percent, of the $26 billion. Many of the most successful tribes – such as Barona, Pala, Sycuan and Viejas of San Diego County – also are in California.
Twenty years ago, few knew or cared that San Diego County was home to more tribes – 17 – than any other county in the nation. Today, only Riverside County has as many tribal casinos – 10.

Some California Indians have become multimillionaires, but only about 32,000 people – less than 10 percent of the state's American Indian population – belong to a gaming tribe, according to the latest state and federal data.
In a program unique to California, gaming tribes pay into funds that have distributed nearly $525 million over the past seven years to more than 70 less-fortunate tribes.

But gaming appears to have done little to bring down alarming unemployment rates. California reservations reported a 49 percent jobless rate, matching the national level, according to the 2005 American Indian Population and Labor Force Report, which contains the latest data available.

Flush gaming tribes have become political powers, contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to candidates and campaigns across the nation.

Read more HERE


Creeper said...

I'm betting that the Jobless are on the reservations without casinos. The reservations with casinos do not need to worry about joblessness, NOT YET.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by your statement that Indians with casinos do not have to worry about unemployment?
If you mean they are getting their per cap checks and do not have to work, I beg to differ with you. Citizens who do not work or contribute constructively to our society do certainly need to worry! Money is a very fluid commodity. One may think it will always be there, but they are wrong! God has very clear ways of reminding us all of just who is in charge!
Tribes such as Pechanga, who are treating their own with such distain really need to worry, their unemployment may come back to seriously bite them!