California tribes help prepare a new generation to work in casinos

The Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University is preparing graduates for jobs in the Indian gaming industry.

The Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians started the institute in 2005 with a $5.5 million endowment. The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the Barona Band of Mission Indians are also involved.

“We focus on tribal government in particular and the special federally directed framework under which tribes operate," Kate Spilde, the chairwoman of the institute, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. "Our students are very well-versed in federal Indian law. And we focus on the cultural element and the social and cultural recovery of tribes from years of genocide and repression.”

The first group of about 10 students graduated from the program in 2008 and 2009. Another 10 are getting their degrees.

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SDSU’s gaming institute focuses on tribal casinos (The San Diego Union-Tribune 9/6)