County Supervisors Repeal Ban on San Diego Tribal Land Expansions

by on May 6, 2021 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, San Diego

On Wednesday, May 5, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to repeal policies that basically stopped any expansion by Native American tribal governments.

Federal policy requires Native People’s tribal governments to secure land they own for their reservations under a fee-to-trust process.  In turn, tribes are allowed to build housing and energy projects on the land and also access natural resources. But in March 1994, the San Diego Board of Supervisors approved a policy that opposed all  fee-to-trust applications proposed by tribes within the county, which meant the Board opposed all applications regardless of the merits.

Then in 2001, the Board passed another policy set up strict criteria for tribes to obtain liquor licenses on their lands.

This week, the Board repealed both policies. In the future, any projects will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and include notifying affected property owners, residents and businesses consistent with zoning laws. Tribes also will still need approval from other regulating agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Supervisor Joel Anderson cast the lone no vote on Wednesday, but offered no formal reason why. Before the vote during a public call-in, Native people’s leaders strongly urged the repeals.

Marcus Cuero, chairman of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation, reminded supervisors that their tribal lands “are where each of you sit today … I hope you’ll remove this impediment, and we’ll start down a new path for our native people.”

Erica Pinto, chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village, said she was glad that after 30 years, the board was ending two unfair policies. “We evolve, we change policies, we remove statues, we don’t name buildings in honor of people who commit atrocities,” Pinto said.

Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luseño Indians, said it was “time to get rid of this outright racist law. Let’s do what’s right.” Mazzetti added that “generation after generation, our people have had land taken from them. We’re just asking for the opportunity to buy back our own land.” Also, “no one in this county can point to an example where tribes purchased land and didn’t improve it,” Mazzetti said.

News source: City News Service

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Don Wood May 8, 2021 at 2:11 pm

“Supervisor Joel Anderson cast the lone no vote on Wednesday, but offered no formal reason why.” We all know why. Joel Anderson’s racism is well known and documented over the years, He reflects the worst redneck impulses of some denizens of east county.

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