Graton Rancheria to pay Cloverdale Rancheria, Kashia Band $ 3 million

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The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria confirmed on Tuesday that they will donate $ 3 million each to two other local Pomo branches, Cloverdale Rancheria and Kashia Band. The payments, which are part of a 2012 deal with Sonoma County, immediately ended up in the Graton Tribe’s land dispute with the Koi Nation, which last week announced plans for a resort and casino in $ 600 million outside of Windsor.

“This offer has been made to the Koi in the past, and the tribe has never received a dime,” a spokesperson for the tribal chiefs told the Democratic press in a statement. “The Koi Nation is happy to have brought this idea to the Sonoma County Tribal Councils and may have encouraged Graton to keep this promise they have made for years.”

The place of the Koi Nation in the 2012 Intergovernmental Mitigation Agreement is not entirely clear. This document states that Graton Rancheria is obligated to fund “federally recognized non-player tribes in Sonoma County.” The Koi had not received federal recognition in 2012; now they have.

Contributions pledged Tuesday by Graton Rancheria, which also includes members of Coast Miwok, will begin on November 1, the tribe said in a statement.

“Our sister tribes are sovereign nations and they must ultimately decide how much this aid is spent, but we ask that at least 70% of this funding be distributed to their adult tribal citizens as per capita payments with the rest going to health or environmental or similar programs, ”Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria president Greg Sarris said in the statement.

A representative for Cloverdale Rancheria said the tribe will not be making a statement on the transaction at this time.

The October 2012 agreement calls for Graton Rancheria to pay a total of $ 8 million per year for Native American support services, including $ 6 million to the two non-player tribes and an additional $ 2 million to the Sonoma County Indian. Health Project – “to the extent available in the Graton Mitigation Fund.

These numbers are distinct from other massive disbursements that the tribe is contractually obligated to pay the town of Rohnert Park to and pay the county for things like regional parks and open spaces, police and fire, dispatch operations. emergency, traffic easements.

The county’s best estimate for the income stream reaching the agreed threshold is sometime in 2023, Montenegro said. His reading of the document is that the payments to Cloverdale and Kashia could be less than $ 6 million per year if the income of the Graton Tribe cannot meet them.

“What Graton is doing for the non-playing tribes in Sonoma County is incredibly generous and I’m happy they are able to do it,” said Chris Wright, president of Dry Creek Rancheria, which generates its own income. River Rock casino gambling in Geyserville and therefore does not benefit from the mitigation agreement.

Last Friday, Sarris and Graton Rancheria voiced strong opposition to a casino and resort offered by Koi Nation, another Pomo group, calling the plan a “blatant attempt at reservation shopping.”

The Koi project will provide a 200-room hotel, six food courts and 2,500 slot machines and other gaming machines on a 68-acre lot in the Shiloh neighborhood, just south of the city limits of Windsor.

The Koi tribal leaders once again welcomed Sarris and his group to become an economic partner in development, but did not apologize for his goals.

“The Koi Nation will continue to seek economic opportunities for our people, just as Graton Rancheria has done for its people, as well as our joint community in Sonoma County,” their statement said Tuesday.

You can reach Phil Barber at 707-521-5263 or [email protected] On Twitter @Skinny_Post.

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