November 17, 2010 (Alpine) – The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and Padre Dam Municipal Water District today announced an agreement to conduct further tribal cultural resource investigations at a proposed development site which has been declared a sanctified Native American burial ground and ceremonial site.
The agreement between the parties and the Native American Heritage Commission was reached in connection with pending litigation over development at the site, located south of I-8 in Lakeside, as ECM has previously reported. Pursuant to the agreement, the parties have jointly asked the court to suspend the litigation for at least 60 days to allow the investigation to be completed.
The decision comes on the heels of an election in which Padre Board president Dan McMillan lost his reelection bid to James Peasley, who was supported by the Viejas and Sycuan tribes.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown filed suit against Padre Dam in June 24 after the District continued construction despite a court order to halt all work at the site. The court order was in response to the District's defiance of a California Native American Heritage finding on behalf of Viejas. The Commission had asked Padre to stop construction after discovery of a sacred burial ground and ceremonial site on the property, but the District continued to excavate, as an ECM video documented.
The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians is a sovereign Nation whose people have inhabited the San Diego County area for thousands of years. The 1,600 acre Viejas Indian Reservation is located near Alpine, California, approximately 35 miles east of San Diego. For more information on the history and current government of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians visit www.viejasbandofkumeyaay.org.
Padre Dam Municipal Water District, provides water, sewer and recycled water services for the 100,000 people living in the communities of Santee, Blossom Valley, Crest, Harbison Canyon and Alpine, and owns and operates Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, a regional park and campground. For more information on Padre Dam Municipal Water District please visit http://www.padredam.org/.