21 November 2000
Hon: Bill Horn
San Diego County Supervisor
1600 Pacific Blvd Hwy
San Diego, CA
Last week I read with dismay the article in the Union Tribune and the North County Times of 15 Nov '00, reporting the actions of the Board or Supervisors, withdrawing permits initially granted for construction of Casinos in the Southland, that were issued or pending issue to several Indian Reservations in the San Diego area. I find it difficult to understand that you and your counterparts have again failed to recognize our status as a Sovereign Nation. As the original indigenous peoples of this area it is disheartening to observe the degradation of a nation once again.
It has evidently escaped your notice that we as a nation have rights. A fact that keeps being overlooked by most Governments and Government agencies, especially if they wish to capitalize on certain actions that may prove advantageous for political gain, which is now the case with Indian Gaming. It is evident that you and your cohorts have banned against the Indian tribes in trying to restrict what the State and Federal Governments ruled as an action outside the jurisdiction of the state. In the case of Kings county planning commission vs. Borrow and Bega, the planning commission had cited the two brothers for violating County ordinances by having located mobile homes on their reservation lands (Santa Rosa Band Of Indians. On 3 Nov '00 the court ruled against the Kings county planning commission (74-1565) and held that the commission did not have jurisdiction over an Indian reservation to enforce ordinances and building codes. As with similar cases brought before the 9'' Circuit Court of Appeals, it has always held that Counties do not have authority to impose ordinances or building codes on Tribes unless P.L. 280, U.S.C. 1316, explicitly grants it. In this situation the requests for permits were in some instances an action of respect, by seeking approval where approval was not necessary.
In Aug 1953 Congress passed H.R. 1063 that became P.L. 280, which was unfortunately passed at the request of a single organization called "Mission Indian Federation", which was not representative of the majority of Indian tribal governments. As a result of the lack of funding for Tribal representatives to attend the hearings our majority opinion was never heard. Even at that time we have been at the mercy of the Governments miss interpretations of our needs and intentions. P.L. 280 transferred the dollars and partial criminal and civil actions to the State, for enforcement from our tribal governments. This service of course has been sporadic and less than beneficial or provided willingly. Now we have an opportunity to develop our own community base, which appears to be in opposition to your wishes.
We understand the need to improve the base structures such as roads and services, but to imply that these improvements were caused only by the Gaming initiative is an act of misdirection for the public. For instance, we were against the selection of the pending north county waste cite just north of the Pala Indian reservation, we cited the need for an increase in both seize and structure of HWY 76 a fact that was chiefly ignored by the County. Additionally, due to the increase in construction and zoning changes the traffic situation in Valley Center has gone from bad to deplorable, the accident rate has tripled and congestion is unbearable in the rush hours. Now because you wish to gain public support for your actions you are citing the pending congestion as a by-product of the pending casinos. But the board has avoided the problem until now that it may be possible to hang the blame on the local tribes. When you attend our groundbreaking ceremony for Rincon, you stated that you would do all that you could to cooperate with our Tribal Government, which will it be support or opposition?
As a Nation, in recognition of the communities that we interface with, we have always tried to cooperate and treat problems honestly and openly, supporting the desire of the Board of Supervisors and there requests with Honor and respect. A relationship that the Board seems intent on discarding. Very one sided don't you agree?
Former Tribal Chairman/Director California Indian Congress
CC: Rincon Tribal Council
Bill Lockyer (Attornev General)