- By Tribal Business News Staff
A Koi Nation casino project in northern California has secured the support of a coalition of tribal governments, elected officials, public agencies, and labor unions, per a statement from the tribe earlier this week.
The support for a proposed gaming operation that would be built in unincorporated Sonoma County comes from 18 other tribes, as well as a number of elected officials and actor-environmentalist Peter Coyote.
The project, which aims to create an economic base for the Koi Nation’s citizenry in northern California, will stand on the tribe’s first acquired land since its rancheria was sold by Congress during a spate of tribal terminations in the state in the 1950s.
The planned resort will include a 400-room hotel, entertainment venues, and an array of games, while providing income and jobs for tribal members and economic benefits to its surrounding community, the tribe wrote in its Tuesday statement.
“The coalition of our supporters share a recognition of the project’s immense value potential for the Sonoma County community and the moral imperative underlying our effort to right historical wrongs and reestablish our people’s tribal land base,” Darin Beltran, chairman of the Koi Nation Tribal Council, said in a statement.
The supporters include California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, retired Lake County Sheriff Bryan Martin, and two retired Santa Rosa City Councilmembers, Tom Schwedhelm and John Sawyer. The project also earned support from the Sonoma County Fire District and the Northern California Carpenters Union, as well as 18 federally recognized tribes from throughout the state.
“The Koi Nation believes it has become increasingly important for tribal governments to advocate for one another as we seek to establish and exercise the sovereign rights we all share under federal law,” said Dino Beltran, vice chairman of the Koi Nation’s tribal council and its director of development in a statement. “It is our hope that tribal governments continue to join the eighteen of our brother and sister tribes that have already voiced support and advocacy for our people’s long overdue effort to build a self-sustaining economic future through the placement of land into trust for gaming purposes.”
The project is currently awaiting approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its Environmental Assessment, which has been posted here.