Opinion: Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe still dreaming about casino

"With Indian Casinos virtually surrounding Los Angeles County, one might ask: why are there no Indian Casinos in Los Angeles County? The short answer is, there are no Indian Reservations in Los Angeles County upon which a casino could be built. How close did the L.A. basin get to having an Indian Reservation? The Gabrielino-Tongva, along with other tribes living west of the Sierras negotiated treaties with the United States between 1851 and 1853, but the treaties were never ratified by the U.S. Senate. Rather, the treaties were stuck in a drawer for 50 years in Washington, D.C. until found there in 1905. Today, over a hundred years after the treaties were discovered, there is no reservation. There is no federal recognition of the Gabrielino-Tongva as an Indian Nation. There will be no Indian Casino in Los Angeles County.

One can dream that had the United States government by Congressional Resolution adopted the 1851 Treaty recognizing the Gabrielino-Tongva as an Indian Nation, with a reservation set on properties somewhere in Los Angeles County as a settlement of the Tribe’s claim for lands in the Los Angeles basin. Wrongs committed by Mexico and Missionaries against generations of Gabrielino-Tongva would have been rectified. As an officially recognized Indian Tribe the Gabrielino-Tongva certainly could have been in the club of Indian Nations in California operating Indian gaming casinos after 1999. It didn’t happen in 1851, and it realistically cannot happen now."

Get the Story:
Ralph B. Saltsman and Stephen Warren Solomon: No Indian Casinos in Los Angeles County? Why Not? (Indian Country Today 11/22)