California | Opinion
Jack Duran: Off-reservation casino move supports sovereignty

"Recently, the California Governor, Jerry Brown, authorized the Class III gaming compacts of two landless tribes, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and Estom Yumeka Maidu (Enterprise Rancheria), who had petitioned the state to operate tribal gaming facilities outside of their traditional reservation lands. Commonly known and ignorantly referred to as “reservation shopping”, the Governor’s decision, while somewhat controversial is both consistent with the State’s policy towards Indians and Indian gaming, supportive of tribal sovereignty and consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA).

Governor Brown’s decision is consistent with the State’s policy of regulating Indian gaming as voted on by the public in Proposition 1A, the voter initiative passed in 2000, that California voters enacted to amend the California constitution to permit federally recognized tribes to operate gaming facilities within the state.

Proposition 1A was a watershed moment for California Indians whose ancestors were subject a prior history of unratified treaties, resulting in the confiscation of millions of acres of the most fertile state lands, rampant mass murder of Indians and forced removals of Indians from traditional aboriginal lands. These atrocious acts were not only permitted and encouraged by the State but were often supported and codified in State and local laws specifically targeted at Indian peoples. One such act, the 1850’s Act for the Protection of Indians, an act passed by the California legislature, required the forced removal of Indians from ancestral lands, leading to the destruction of Indian families. The Act was also interpreted to authorize a form of “indentured servitude” of Indian families, including Indian children. During this period the state not only encouraged, but required local governments to form militias to conduct expeditions specifically to eradicate and or enslave Indian people."

Get the Story:
Jack Duran: Like it or Not, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Approval of Limited Off-Reservation Gaming Is Lawful and Supportive of Tribal Sovereignty (Indian Country Today 9/27)

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California off-reservation casino opponents weigh lawsuits (09/14)