Tejon Tribe seeks headquarters as casino project sits in limbo

Chairwoman Kathryn Montes Morgan of the Tejon Tribe, second from right, and other tribal leaders met with officials from the Indian Health Service in October 2015. Photo by IHS The recently recognized Tejon Tribe is still pursuing a casino in California but there's been little movement on the project in more than a year.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the preparation of an environmental impact statement for the 306-acre site in Kern County in August 2015. A scoping meeting was held a month later in anticipation of a draft being released in the winter or spring of 2016.

But that deadline has come and gone as the tribe pursues a second land-into-trust application. Plans call for a headquarters at a different and much-smaller site in the county.

“It is the first step in rebuilding our tribe culturally and spiritually," Chairwoman Kathryn Montes Morgan told Bakersfield.com.

The tribe is seeking a memorandum of understanding with the county but a vote on the agreement was delayed last week amid concerns about gaming, according to news reports. The headquarters site -- located at a former school that Chairwoman Morgan and other members once attended -- is about 7 miles from the proposed casino site.

The BIA placed the tribe back on the list of federally recognized entities in January 2012.

Read More on the Story:
Casino fears complicate tribe's bid for home (Bakersfield.com 10/15)
Tejon Tribe buys old school building for first place to call home in 150 years (KBAK 10/10)

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Tejon Indian Tribe's Proposed Trust Acquisition and Casino Project, Kern County, California (August 13, 2015)

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