On Monday, October 21st, 2013, the California Valley Miwok Tribe did everything within its power to save the Tribal Property at 10601 N. Escondido Pl., Stockton, CA. The Tribe was notified that the Tribal Property was scheduled for auction at 11:00 am at 222 E. Weber Avenue, Stockton, California. Tribal Consultant, Tiger Paulk was sent to the auction to inform potential buyers that the Tribe is fighting to save its property. Tiger Paulk distributed flyers at the auction site informing people that the Tribe is not willing to lose its Tribal land. The Tribe is asking the Bank to work with the Tribe to get the Tribe’s Revenue Sharing Trust Fund monies released from the California Gambling Control Commission so that the Tribe can pay off the property, and no longer be threatened with eviction.
As the auction proceeding moved forward, the Tribe anxiously waited to see what was going to happen with the property. With a 24 hour reprieve, we’ll be back at the auction site tomorrow. This whole thing can go away if the California Gambling Control Commission would release the Tribes RSTF money. While at the auction, CVMT Tribal Consultant, Tiger Paulk was interviewed by Channel 10 News Reporter, Mr. Tim Daly. Mr. Daly was invited to the Tribal Property to get a better understanding of the frustrations of the Tribe, and of knowing that the Tribe indeed would actually have the funds to pay for the Tribal Property if the California Gambling Control Commission would release the funds. The Tribe fully believes that the Tribes that operate casinos in California, meaning the Tribes that pay into the Revenue Sharing Trust Funds, in which non-gaming eligible Tribes receive quarterly payments from that trust fund, need oversight over the California Gambling Control Commissions’ distribution of said funds to the non-gaming Tribes. The California Gambling Control Commission has no authority to tell a Tribe who its membership should be or who its duly elected Chairperson is. As it is, there is no Native American on the California Gambling Control Commission, and when alleged disputes arise amongst a Tribe, it’s been the experience of CVMT, that the California Gambling Control Commission doesn’t know how to handle the issue, therefore as in our case, they just simply cut off the funds to the Tribe.
CVMT believes that the Gaming Tribes paying into the RSTF account should have a Board established to deal with Indian issues in regards to the RSTF distribution. If CGCC believes there to be a dispute within a Tribe that receives RSTF distributions, then that dispute would be forwarded to the Oversight Board Governed by Native Americans who understand Tribal Affairs. Simply put, the RSTF account was established by Gaming Tribes to help non-gaming Tribes, the only clear authority that CGCC has is to distribute RSTF monies to eligible Tribes, not to dictate their opinion regarding potential membership. CGCC does not have any authority to tell a Tribe who the Tribe’s elected officials will be. The Tribe sent a document to CGCC from the Bureau of Indian Affairs acknowledging the Tribes most recent election of January 2011. CVMT has an election every 6 years. The next Chairperson election is set for 2017. The California Gambling Control Commission is overstepping their authority by unilaterally withholding the RSTF money from the California Valley Miwok Tribe. CVMT as a sovereign Indian nation, who is eligible to receive the RSTF money, and is asking for the Gaming Tribes to seriously consider establishing an Oversight Committee or Board to handle issues related to the RSTF account regarding distribution of funds.
We pray that this issue gets taken care of soon, so that the Tribe can continue its day-to-day tribal business without worrying about being put in the street. We ask that our local and surrounding community stands with the Tribe to save its land. The California Valley Miwok Tribe is the only federally recognized tribe located in San Joaquin County.