Monday, November 8, 2010

Anna Prieto Sandoval, Influential Sycuan Leader, Dies

When Anna Prieto Sandoval became leader of the Sycuan Band of Mission Indians in 1972, its reservation near El Cajon was a tumbledown settlement of wooden shacks with outhouses, a 100-year-old Catholic church and a cinder-block meeting hall. About 80 members lived on the tribal land, and none had a steady job.

When she stepped down two decades later, the Sycuan had risen from abject poverty to become a national model of tribal self-sufficiency, a transformation that Sandoval was largely responsible for — and that she came to regret.

Her dedication was tremendous. It was all about her people, about native people," said Daniel J. Tucker, current chairman of the Sycuan band.

Tucker said Sandoval's vision and drive led to dramatic improvements. New houses for every family replaced the dilapidated structures. She built a new church, a medical clinic and a fire station. As the gambling operation grew, the Sycuan became one of the largest employers in east San Diego County, with 600 workers and almost 1 million visitors annually.


White Buffalo said...

From the Article;

"[A] transformation that Sandoval was largely responsible for — and that she came to regret."

I do not know their history, is there corruption on that rez? Why would she regret her achievements? She should be held up as a model for all to see because she helped here people.

Luiseno said...

To quote the original article.

"She said that in the pre-casino days, if your roof leaked, you called your neighbor for help, and that when there was a potluck, everybody made a dish. Once the money started flowing, however, old customs started to fade. The tribal office supplied the roofers, and food for the potlucks came from caterers.

"Now the kids don't have no hardships," Sandoval complained in a 1994 interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, noting that even 18-year-olds were given their own houses. "I guess it's good in a way, but when you lose your traditions, you don't know who you are, what you are. All they know is what's mine."

Same thing happened at Pechanga and I assume other reservations that built a casino.