Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rosemary Morillo New Chairwoman of Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Replacing Scott Cozart

Raised on and still residing at the Soboba Indian Reservation, Rosemary Morillo was recently elected to lead her people for the next two years in the role of Tribal Council chairwoman of the Soboba Band of LuiseƱo Indians.

As the first female leader in more than 30 years, Morillo plans to address the challenges of her tribe and Indian Country as a whole.

“Ever since gaming brought Indians into the public eye, it’s an everyday battle to retain sovereignty,” she said. “There are still myths out there. People don’t understand what our status is. They think we are wards of the federal government because we are identified through our enrollment numbers.”

Programs that could benefit the tribe are not getting funded through community resources because people think the tribe’s needs are funded by the federal government, she said.

“The Soboba Band resides on trust land. We gave up everything to be put on lands chosen for us to live on,” Morillo said. “(Our council) is really no different than local municipalities. We have the same concerns about infrastructure, housing and services needed for a decent quality of life. We just have different titles: we have a chair and vice chair (instead of a mayor and vice mayor).”

Morillo replaces Scott Cozart, who was elected to a two-year term as chairman in 2010.


Anonymous said...

Why should they get government funds when they own a Casino?...the money they make should replace any Federal funding...instead of the per capita each month..take the money and put it back into your sounds like most the money goes to people off the reservations that really dont care about tribal reservations.

White Buffalo said...

It would be the smart to reinvest in your reservation, by taking a percentage of the per cap that is being given and place it in an interest bearing account that then could be used for infrastructure and housing loans to families who live on the reservation. It would be reasonable for tribes with profitable casinos to give back the federal dollars, so that the money can then be redistributed to those tribes who do not have casinos can also realize a better quality of life. We need to look at what we are doing and then plan for the next generation and the generation after that.