National

Small California tribe on path to brighter future



Facing near extinction, the La Posta Band of Kumeyaay Indians is hoping to make a comeback amid its more prosperous and successful tribal relatives in southern California.

The La Posta Band was nearly wiped off the books in the 1960s until Marie LaChappa stepped in. She moved back to the reservation, revitalized the tribe and brought in other family members.

Today, all 28 enrolled members of the tribe descend from LaChappa, who died in 2005. Gwendolyn Parada, LaChappa's daughter, serves as chairwoman.

In 1995, when James "Potts" Hill, LaChappa's grandson, started working for the tribe, it receved only $16,000 in federal funds. Now the tribe gets $700,000 in grants, most of which are used to improve infrastructure on the remote reservation.

And with the opening of a small casinos tribal members hope to become successful as their relatives in the Barona Band of Mission Indians. Revenues from the 349-slot machine facility --- along with $1.1 million the tribe receives from the state gaming fund -- will be used to fund health care, education, housing and other programs.

Get the Story:
Tiny, remote tribe owes existence to matriarch, future to her offspring (The San Diego Union Tribune 2/5)

Relevant Links:
Kumeyaay Nation - http://www.kumeyaay.com

Related Stories:
La Posta Band opens casino with 349 slot machines (01/16)
La Posta Band readies county's smallest casino (06/20)