Welcome to the California Tribal Business Alliance

Statement by the California Tribal Business Alliance

Filed under:
June 19, 2012

Many tribal governments want Governor Brown to make the right decision and stop “off-reservation” gaming by not concurring with the U.S. Department of Interior’s approval of two off-reservation gaming facilities, Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians in Yuba County and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians in Madera County. When California approved Propositions 1A and 5, initiatives allowing Indian tribes to operate gaming as a means of achieving self-sufficient tribal governments and tribal economies, they agreed to do so with the assurance that tribal gaming would take place on traditional tribal lands. The will of the people would be jeopardized if the Governor approves these two off-reservation gaming facilities.

The North Fork tribe already has federally recognized land eligible for gaming, which is located over 40 miles away from the proposed site of the casino. The Enterprise tribe is in a similar situation. To allow these tribes to move beyond their aboriginal territory to improve their profit margin will negatively impact the tribes that followed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and the process to game on tribal lands. Furthermore, when these tribes move they end up in another tribe’s homeland, compromising that tribe’s sovereign authority and cultural identity.

“We do not fear competition as we are already competing with Gold Country Casino, which is approximately 4 miles from our Rancheria and Casino. To allow Enterprise to move beyond its aboriginal territory and usurp the aboriginal territory of another tribe is not what we feel the IGRA was intended to do,” said Gary Archuleta, Tribal Chairman of Mooretown Rancheria.

The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA) feels “reservation shopping”, which refers to off-reservation casino deals, compromises tribal governments. “Land has great importance to Indian tribes and the exercise of sovereignty,” said CTBA Chairwoman Leslie Lohse. “These lands contain their histories, ancestors and cultural resources.” That’s why CTBA and other tribes are concerned when tribes try to acquire lands into trust for the primary purpose of accessing new gaming markets so that they can build casinos in more profitable areas. Reservation shopping runs afoul of the spirit and intent of federal law and will have catastrophic effects on sovereign authority and cultural identity.