Travis Armstrong: Agua Caliente Band defends sovereignty

Travis Armstrong discusses recent lawsuits filed by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in California:
The Desert Sun published an opinion piece headlined “Tribes have overplayed their hands.” But the reality is that few tribes in the United States are dealt winning hands.

That is why the efforts of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and other well-heeled tribal governments to try to safeguard the existing sovereignty protections are so important.

The Agua Caliente government’s legal filings can be viewed through a local prism. And if one prefers to do only that, you already can see the benefits that these cases have had to our community.

The case involving water rights has produced new public awareness not only about the preciousness of this resource in terms of quantity — but also about quality. The possible degradation of our water supplies was not in the Coachella Valley’s collective consciousness until the tribe took action. Just for that, we should be grateful as a community.

The lawsuit over taxes on Indian land against Riverside County raises matters of tax equity.

Get the Story:
Travis Armstrong: Tribe's lawsuits are vital to Native America (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 1/18)

Related Stories:
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band aims for better community (1/9)
Agua Caliente Band sues county block tax on Indian lands (1/7)

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