Tribal Beat

Exploring the lives of East County's Tribal Community

JAMUL CASINO® KICKS OFF SUMMER WITH ANNUAL ALL-STAR BLOCK PARTY

Sports legend Bo Jackson, Emmy Award-winning TV chef “Sam the Cooking Guy,” and local broadcasters join All-Star Block Party 
 
East County News Service
 
June 5, 2021 (Jamul) – On Saturday, June 12, Jamul Casino will ring in summer by hosting its annual All-Star Block Party featuring numerous promotions, live entertainment, free play and food for all guests in the casino, and celebrity guests.  Located at 14145 Campo Road in Jamul, CA, the all-day event will feature:

STOLEN VALLEY CENTER ARTIFACTS RECOVERED

Sheriff's Deputies arrest suspect, recover cultural artifacts stolen from casino.
 
East County News Service
 
May 16, 2021 (Valley Center) -- A man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing priceless cultural artifacts from a historical exhibit at Harrah's Resort Southern California in Valley Center.

PALA CASINO RV RESORT AWARDED GOOD SAM 10/10*/10 RATING FOR SIXTH YEAR IN A ROW

East County News Service

May 14, 2021 (Pala) - Pala Casino RV Resort has been awarded a flawless 10/10*/10 Good Sam rating for the sixth consecutive year. Pala Casino RV Resort was one of only 153 Good Sam Parks throughout the United States to earn a perfect score in the 2021 rankings. Pala Casino RV Resort was awarded top marks in every category, including facilities, restrooms, showers, and overall visual appearance. Pala has received this coveted recognition every year since opening.

SUPERVISORS VOTE 4-1 TO REPEAL “RACIST” LAW AND MAKE IT EASIER FOR TRIBES TO BUY BACK ANCESTRAL LANDS

“It is time to get rid of this racist law against Indians in San Diego.” – Bo Mazzetti, Chair, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians (photo, left)
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors voted 4-1 yesterday to repeal a 1994 board resolution which required blanket opposition to all tribal requests to add land to their reservations under the federal fee-to-trust process.

PALA CASINO SPA RESORT ADDS BEE GEES GOLD TO SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

East County News Service

April 30, 2021 (Pala) -- Pala Casino Spa Resort today announced that the Bee Gees Gold will join the annual Summer Concert Series lineup. Bee Gees Gold will perform in the outdoor Starlight Theater on Saturday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m. General admission tickets are on sale now for $10.  

JAMUL CASINO PROMOTES THERESA GRADY TO CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Experienced Casino Finance Leader Advances to Executive Position
 
East County News Service
 
April 13, 2021 (Jamul) -- Jamul Casino® has announced that Theresa Grady (photo, left) has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Her advancement comes after nearly four years with the Casino as its former Director of Finance, where she was highly involved in building the Casino’s Finance, Audit, Vendor Payments, Payroll, and Count Operations teams, and in helping spearhead the completion of the Casino’s recent refinance in January 2021. 
 
With several other high-profile promotions in recent years, Ms. Grady’s elevation to CFO demonstrates Jamul Casino’s commitment to the professional growth of its team members, according to a press release.

ON A ROLL: ENJOY OUTDOOR SKATING AT VIEJAS OUTLETS IN ALPINE

East County News Service

April 11, 2021 (Alpine) – If you’re looking for some fun outdoor exercise, Southern California’s largest outdoor roller rink is open for the 2021 skating season.

The rink is located at the Viejas Outlet Center, 5003 Willows Road in Alpine.

Admission for roller skating is $10, including rental skates.  You can also get a season pass for $99, which provides unlimited roller skating all season long through September 6.

TRIBE'S CONNECTION WITH GROSSMONT COLLEGE BENEFITS STUDENTS

Source:  Grossmont College

March 23, 2021 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College students who are awarded a scholarship from an East County tribe get much more than the $500 to help them pay for books and supplies. They also get a connection with the tribe’s casino that can help them land a job.

CONGRESSMAN ISSA INTRODUCES BILL TO TRANSFER SACRED LANDS TO PALA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS RESERVATION

Source: Pala Band of Mission Indians

 

March 23, 2021 (Pala) --  On March 17, 2021, Congressman Darrell Issa introduced the Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act (H.R. 1975), a bill that will transfer approximately 721 acres of land adjacent to the Pala Reservation into federal trust status. This land was purchased by the Pala Band of Mission Indians in 2016 in order to prevent the construction of a landfill on sacred Chokla (Gregory Mountain), a site of tremendous cultural significance to Pala’s people.

 

“The Pala Band is grateful to Congressman Issa for his partnership and willingness to introduce this bill. Transferring the Gregory Mountain cultural property into trust ensures that it will be forever protected as a part of the Pala Reservation. The Pala Band also wishes to acknowledge Congressman Juan Vargas, who has worked with the tribe since 2016 to facilitate this land transfer, according to a press release issued by the tribe.

DEB HAALAND CONFIRMED AS FIRST NATIVE AMERICAN TO SERVE AS SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Update: View video of Deb Haaland's swearing in ceremony:  https://twitter.com/i/status/1372571598486695942

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – By a 51-40 vote, The U.S. Senate has confirmed Deb Haaland to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the first Native American to lead a federal cabinet agency and only the third woman to head up the Interior Department. Her appointment by President Joe Biden has been hailed by Native American leaders and environmentalists  nationwide. 

SUPERVISOR VOTE ON FINAL APPROVAL TO RESTORE, IMPROVE EL MONTE RIVER VALLEY LAND IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

March 6, 2021 (Lakeside) -- San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to set aside $6.44 million to restore and improve roughly 98 acres of newly acquired open space, trails and recreational facilities in Lakeside’ scenic El Monte River Valley. The board hailed the action as a “great” project for the region.

The Board previously voted Feb. 10 to spend $3.2 million to buy the property that includes important coastal sage scrub, riparian scrub and riparian forest habitats, open space and already existing equestrian and youth sports playing fields. That action came after a petition signed by thousands and a march with hundreds of residents and Kumeyaay Native Americans urged support of the acquisition.

Board members envision the land as the home for future trail connections to other County parks, and recreational facilities for the public to enjoy in addition to the open space. The land is located nearby the County’s existing Cactus County and Louis A. Stelzer parks, and its future $18 million Lakeside Equestrian Park.

'WE'RE BORN INDIAN AND WE DIE WHITE': CALIFORNIA INDIGENOUS FEAR COVID DEATHS UNDERCOUNTED

By Kate Cimini, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Photo:  James Gensaw, a Yurok language teacher and ceremonial practitioner, performs a Brush Dance demonstration. Photo courtesy of Yurok Tribe

March 4, 2021 (San Diego) - For years, Betty Sigala spoke to her family about her death: she didn’t want to be put on a machine and she didn’t want to die alone. 

INTERIOR ANNOUNCES SERIES OF TRIBAL CONSULTATIONS IN RECOGNITION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF NATION-TO-NATION RELATIONSHIPS

Source:  U.S. Department of the Interior

February 11, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) - The Department of the Interior announced today that it will host initial consultations with Tribal leaders next month. In addition to honoring and strengthening the nation-to-nation relationship, these steps will help ensure that future White House and Interior efforts at addressing the four converging crises of our time – COVID-19, economic security, racial justice and climate change – are inclusive of Tribal Nations’ priorities and recommendations. 

SHOOTING AT SINGING HILLS GOLF RESORT AT SYCUAN

East County News Service

February 11, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday around 6:00 p.m., Sheriff's deputies and officers with the Sycuan Police Department responded to a report of a shooting and found a man who had been shot in a hotel room at the Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan in unincorporated El Cajon. They provided lifesaving measures until relieved by Sycuan Fire Department personnel. The man was transported to a local area hospital, but  was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving.

The Sheriff's Homicide Unit responded and has assumed responsibility of the investigation. The identity of the victim is known to investigators; however, his name is being withheld pending family notification, says Lt. Thomas Siever with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

ARTIST SIMON MELNYK TO CREATE KUMEYAAY MURAL IN RAMONA

Source: Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Murals

February 11, 2021 (Ramona) -- Artist Simon Melnyk has been chosen by Ramona H.E.A.R.T. murals to create a new mural paying tribute to the Kumeyaay Native Americans who occupied the area as long as 12,000 years ago.

The mural will be placed on the Verizon Building at 1530 Main Street, Ramona to be completed in September 2021 and will fill a portion of the wall on the end closest to Main St.

VIEW OUR INTERVIEW WITH ERICA PINTO, CHAIR OF CALIF. INDIAN HEALTH COUNCIL

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Jamul Indian Chairwoman Erica Pinto, newly elected Chair of the California Indian Health Council, sat down for an interview with ECM in January aired on KNSJ radio.

We discussed healthcare issues facing Native Americans in our region, COVID-19, and her goals as the new Chair, including “finding ways to improve our healthcare,” notably finding and retaining doctors for remote rural areas. We also asked her reaction to Pres. Biden's nomination of the first Native AMerican women to head up the Department of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs as well as federal public lands.

HUNDREDS MARCH TO SAVE EL MONTE VALLEY: LAKESIDE RESIDENTS AND TRIBAL MEMBERS URGE SUPERVISORS TO VOTE YES ON LAND PURCHASE

Over 1,500 sign petition to save valley from sand mining

 

By Henri Migala

 

Photo: marchers support land purchase to protect land from sand mining

 

February 7, 2021 (Lakeside) -- San Diego County Supervisors are slated to vote this Wed., Feb. 10 on purchasing 98 acres of Lakeside’s  El Monte Valley from the Helix Water District. A petition signed by more than 1,500 people urges them to vote yes, in hopes of protecting the valley against sand mining and protecting it for posterity. (An earlier petition to stop sand mining in the valley drew more than 3,000 signatures.)

 

Former Supervisor Dianne Jacob introduced the measure to protect the land for the public and prevent it from becoming a sand mine. Jacob, who represented District 2 which includes Lakeside, was a forceful ally of the community and the Kumeyaay in their efforts to protect El Monte Valley from being mined. She secured funds and gathered support of other Supervisors to purchase the land, but term-limits ended her tenure before the issue came up for a vote. Now her replacement, Supervisor Joel Anderson, and two other newly elected Supervisors, will cast deciding votes.  

 

To make sure the new Supervisors are aware of the strong sentiments of the community, a “Save El Monte” demonstration and march was held by Kumeyaay Native Americans and people from across San Diego County on Saturday.

SYCUAN RESORTS AMONG FIRST IN WORLD TO RECEIVE HEALTH SECURITY VERIFICATION FROM SHARECARE AND FORBES TRAVEL GUIDE

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of Sycuan Casino Resort

February 7, 2021 (Sycuan) -- Sycuan Casino Resort and Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan are among the first hotels in the world to become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide. The comprehensive facility verification helps ensure that guests and travel planners can book with confidence at properties that have appropriate health safety procedures in place.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE OF CALIFORNIA DONATES $75,000 TO REGIONAL HEALTHCARE AGENCIES

Tribe seeks to alleviate effects of pandemic

Source:  Jamul Indian Village of California

Photo:  Erica M. Pinto, Chairwoman of Jamul Indian Village of California

January 5, 2021 (Jamul) - Today, the Jamul Indian Village of California (JIV or Tribe), owner and operator of Jamul Casino®, announced its 2020 year-end donations totaling $75,000 to local healthcare agencies, including $45,000 to Sharp Grossmont Hospital, $15,000 to Southern Indian Health Council, and $15,000 to Indian Health Council, Inc.  JIV provided these year-end healthcare donations in addition to its annual fall philanthropy and community outreach campaigns, which included contributing more than $40,000 to non-profits for breast cancer research and awareness, veterans’ programs, and other local causes. These donations reflect JIV’s desire to give back to the community in impactful ways, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that has particularly challenged front-line workers in the healthcare industry.

LOCAL CASINOS CANCEL NEW YEAR’S PARTIES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

December 31, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On most New Year’s eves, local casinos host lavish parties with amenities such as fireworks, dinner and dancing, and even a glittering ball drop reminiscent of Times Square in New York.  But not this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 343,000 Americans and 1.8 million people worldwide.

Local casinos are on tribal land, and as sovereign nations, tribes are exempt from state shutdown orders and gathering bans. But a check of websites for East County casinos including Barona, Golden Acorn, Jamul, Sycuan and Viejas found none promoting any New Year’s eve parties, though some are offering gambling promotions and Sycuan has live music in its bars.

Jamul Casino announced cancellation of all live music over New Year's.  Barona posted, “For your safety, there will be no New Year’s Eve events.”

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE OF CALIFORNIA'S CHAIRWOMAN, ERICA M. PINTO, ELECTED CHAIR OF SOUTHERN INDIAN HEALTH COUNCIL, INC.

Chairwoman expands efforts to improve lives of Native peoples

East County News Service

December 10, 2020 (Jamul) - On Monday, November 30, Erica M. Pinto, Chairwoman of The Jamul Indian Village of California (JIV), was elected Chair of the Southern Indian Health Council, Inc. (SIHC).  The SIHC, founded in 1982, is a Native American organization which aims to protect and improve the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the Native American community.  Having intermittently served on the 14-member SIHC board since 2004, Ms. Pinto will begin her two-year term as Chair in January 2021.  The Chairwoman, who was honored last month with the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California’s highest honor, the Warrior Award, has become a recognized leader in the effort to improve the lives of Native peoples.

POSSIBLE KUMEYAAY CREMATION SITE SPARKS NEW BID TO HALT BORDER WALL PROJECT

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Members of the Kumeyaay tribe danced at the beginning of the Women’s March rally in 2019. Photo by Chris Stone

November 27, 2020 (San Diego) - The surprise discovery of possible human remains at Kumeyaay cultural sites has sparked a new attempt to halt border wall construction — even with 14 of 15 miles of the bollards already done.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE OF CALIFORNIA CHAIRWOMAN, ERICA M. PINTO, RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS HONOR FROM THE AMERICAN INDIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF CA

East County News Service
 
Warrior Award recognizes outstanding efforts to grow tribal business
 
November 9, 2020 (Jamul) – Last Friday, Erica M. Pinto, Chairwoman of Jamul Indian Village of California (JIV), received the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of California’s highest honor, the Warrior Award.  Ms. Pinto was recognized at the Chamber’s 2020 Native American Heritage Month Luncheon on Friday, November 6 at the Agua Caliente Resort in Rancho Mirage, CA.  The prestigious Warrior Award recognizes Ms. Pinto’s continuous work on behalf of tribal businesses and community growth for Native peoples. 

SUNBELT CELEBRATES NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH WITH NEW RELEASE AND ONLINE PROGRAMS

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Just in time for Native American Heritage Month, Sunbelt Publications announces the release of California Indian Basketry: Ikons of the Florescence by Wayne A. Thompson and Eugene S. Mejeran.  You can stream a spotlight sneak preview or pre-order a copy with 20% early bird discount.

VIEJAS CASINO & RESORT DONATES 100,000 MASKS TO LOCAL SCHOOLS

Viejas Donates 100,000 masks to local schools

Source: Newswire.com

September 26, 2020 (Alpine) -- Viejas Casino & Resort recently donated 100,000 face masks to the Alpine Union School District. The donation, conceived by the Viejas Tribal Council, is focused on protecting the community and its children. Viejas has a long-standing tradition of community and isupporting local schools.

“It’s important to the Viejas Tribal membership and also to the Viejas Casino & Resort team that we understand and appreciate the importance of safety in the COVID-19 environment that we’re in,” Viejas Tribal Vice Chairman Victor Woods stated. “Safety and well-being of the students in class are of paramount importance to us.”

Alpine Union School District Superintendent Dr. Rich Newman expressed, “The impact that these face masks will have on our school district is huge. This is a year’s worth of supply for our students, staff, and our family members that are in need. It also is a huge cost savings to us and, as always, Viejas has been a fantastic partner with us through the years. This is one more example of how they step up for the community and support virtually every need that we have.”

QUESTION, PERSUADE, REFER: VIRTUAL SUICIDE PREVENTION TRAINING HOSTED BY KUMEYAAY FAMILY SERVICES

Source:  Southern Indian Health Council

August 31, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - Kumeyaay Family Services PEI (Prevention and Early Intervention) is hosting a virtual suicide prevention training which is open to adults in the community.

FEDERAL JUDGE SIDES WITH TRUMP FOR NOW IN TRIBAL SUIT OVER BORDER WALL

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  A section of new, steel bollard-style replacement wall goes up near Calexico. CBP photo by Mani Albrecht

August 28, 2020 (Campo) - A federal judge handed the Trump administration a victory Thursday by refusing to halt construction of a section of border wall near Campo.

WHILE MAJOR EVENT PLANNERS RALLY TO REQUEST AID AS SHUTDOWNS CONTINUE, TRIBES RESUME EVENTS, EXEMPT FROM STATE RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2020 (San Diego) – Due to state and county restrictions on gatherings of any size, most theaters, concert halls and other large event sites remained closed to prevent spread of COVID-19.  On Aug. 13, the San Diego Event Coalition held an “empty venue” rally to call not for reopening due to safety concerns, but for aid to assist the industry.  

PALA CASINO SPA RESORT ANNOUNCES NEW OUTDOOR CONCERT SERIES: UP & COMING COUNTRY ARTISTS

East County News Service

August 24, 2020 (Pala, CA) – Pala Casino Spa Resort in northeast San Diego County is launching an outdoor concert series in the Starlight Theater. The series is titled “Up & Coming Country Artistsopening Aug. 29 and running through Oct. 2.

 

The Pala tribe is able to host these events because sovereign tribal lands are not required to follow state or county restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19.  However, Pala will follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to protect health and safety of guests. According to Pala’s press release, guests will be asked to wear facial coverings and practice safe social distancing at events. Seats will be sanitized and pre-set to enforce proper social distancing. All guests will have temperatures screened. For a full list of the property updates and safety protocols, see https://www.palacasino.com/.

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