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California Tribal Chief Targets Casino Plans

18 Oct 2005

CALIFORNIA – As reported by the Hesperia Star: "The influential leader of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is alleging the proposed Hesperia and Barstow casino projects are being built on Serrano ancestral lands, and are examples of 'reservation shopping' by casino development companies.

"Deron Marquez, the chairman of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, made the comments in a featured commentary on Indian Country Today, the dominant Internet news site relating to American Indian affairs.

"…'Unfortunately, this country has strayed from the intent of IGRA. Indian gaming has become a tool for non-Indian development companies and casino corporations seeking profits, and state officials seeking to tax tribal government revenues.'

"…"Moreover, off-reservation gaming projects often encroach on the ancestral land claims of other tribes,' Marquez's piece continues. 'Today, three tribes seek our ancestral lands: the Shoshone, Los Coyotes and Big Lagoon Rancheria. One of their casino proposals is near an ancient Serrano village.'…"

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