Andreas, Miranda Take Office with State’s Largest Tribal Governmental Association

Press Release
For Immediate Release


Andreas, Miranda Take Office with State’s Largest Tribal Governmental Association

December 5, 2002

Mary Ann Martin Andreas, a member of the tribal council for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians in Banning, was elected vice chairwoman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, the state’s largest tribal governmental organization, at its annual meeting Thursday. Anthony Miranda, president of the Pechanga Development Corporation for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, was re-elected secretary of the association, which is made up of most of California’s gaming tribes and several who do not conduct gaming on Indian lands. Andreas, a prominent and influential leader in California’s tribal sovereignty movement, said CNIGA will continue to represent many of the state’s tribal governments on issues dealing with self-governance and the right of tribes to engage in gaming on their own lands. The election came during an all-day meeting during which a handful of tribes announced they would withdraw from the association. CNIGA Chairwoman Brenda Soulliere and Andreas extended their gratitude to the outgoing tribes and recognized their right to chart their own course. “The door is always open to them to come back,” Andreas said. “We’re all about sovereignty, and it’s their sovereign right to make a choice,” Andreas said. “We understand that there is tremendous pressure on tribal leaders.” CNIGA will continue to fulfill its mission of preserving tribal sovereignty and protecting the right of tribal governments to engage in gaming on Indian lands. “We have a strong track record in protecting tribal sovereignty and the right of tribal governments to conduct gaming on Indian land in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Our work on those fronts will continue,” Soulliere said. “What remains unchanged is the need to protect our ability to remain self-reliant.” Tribal government gaming is the state’s fastest growing industry, according to the state Employment Development Department, with more than 35,000 employees, most of whom are non-Indian. Tribal government gaming generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year in state and local taxes. “We will continue our efforts to protect the one solution that has successfully eliminated welfare and created jobs in tribal communities,” Soulliere said.

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