I am pleased to be a capitol sponsor of the upcoming 50th Native American Day celebration scheduled for September 22 on the South Steps of the State Capitol. Bo Mazzetti, Chairman of both the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association is a lead organizer of the event. This year’s event will celebrate Tribal Sovereignty to recognize the authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within our nation’s borders.
18 reservations lie within San Diego County, more than any other county in the nation. Eight of those, which include five gaming tribes, lie within the 75th Assembly District. As a member of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee with jurisdiction over Indian gaming, I am keenly aware of gaming’s importance to tribal economies and the region as a whole. While tribal economies generate thousands of jobs and economic benefits, they also provide basic infrastructure including roads, bridges and public buildings along with services such as law enforcement, judicial systems and environmental protection for tribal lands. Tribal governments also contribute millions of dollars to local charitable and educational organizations which is a huge benefit to our communities.
We should also remember that native peoples have made great sacrifices to our country through military service. These include the Code Talkers of both World Wars, along with thousands who continue to serve today. On a per-capita basis, Native Americans have served in our nation’s military in greater numbers than any other ethnic group.
California has over 100 federally recognized Indian tribes. Self- government is essential for these tribal communities to continue to protect their unique cultures and identities, which enrich the economic, cultural and social fabric of our state and nation.
Last week, it was my honor to join Senator Ben Hueso of San Diego to present a joint Resolution recognizing Tribal Sovereignty and honoring the contributions of California’s native peoples which I presented to Chairman Mazzetti on the Assembly floor.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.