Editorial: Agua Caliente Band can help ease tensions over land

Businesses along South Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, California, are being told to vacate Indian land by May 31. Image from Google Maps

Newspaper urges the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to help ease tensions over the future of land development in Palm Springs, California:
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the community of Palm Springs have a history that has seen its share of ups and downs.

Recently, a City Council member raised eyebrows with a comment suggesting businesses might avoid dealing with the tribe or its members in the future in the wake of a dispute involving a group of landowners who are members of the tribe and several merchants in downtown Palm Springs.

“I would be angry as hell, and frankly I would never do anything on Indian land,” Councilwoman Ginny Foat said in expressing her frustration for the business owners, who were told they had to vacate their shops by May 31 or face hefty fines.

That a representative of Palm Springs speaking about a landlord-tenant contract dispute involving neither the tribal nor city government would make such a statement boggles the mind. According to at least one merchant, the latest permit signed had a May 31 end date, though he had hoped to negotiate different terms.

Especially in this situation, an irresponsible blanket comment like Foat’s only serves to fuel darker sentiments in the community that paint the tribe as a menacing force acting solely in its own interests with no regard to those of others.

Get the Story:
Our Voice: Palm Springs, tribe can ease tensions (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 4/15)

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