Tejon Tribe plans to negotiate agreement with county for casino

Chairwoman Kathryn Morgan of the Tejon Tribe of California. Photo from Facebook

The recently-recognized Tejon Tribe of California is still working on plans for a casino.

The tribe has options on 305 acres near the intersections of two major highways in Mettler. Although the land is in escrow, Chairwoman Kathryn Morgan said it will take years before plans come to fruition.

"It's a long process," Morgan told the Kern County Board of Supervisors, Bakersfield Now reported. "Best case scenario is two years, but it's going to be probably longer than that."

As part of the process, the tribe and the county will begin negotiations for memorandum of understanding. An agreement could address revenue sharing, infrastructure, jurisdiction and other issues.

The tribe was placed back on the list of federally recognized entities in January 2012. An investigation later said former assistant secretary Larry Echo Hawk did so without following any sort of "discernible process."

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, generally, bars gaming on land acquired after 1988. But Section 20 of the law contains an exception for tribes that were restored to federal recognition -- the Tejons presumably qualify.

Get the Story:
Supes consider sovereign tribal nation within county (The Bakersfield Californian 6/3)
Tejon tribe confirms plans for casino (Bakersfield Now 6/2)
Tejon Indians take another step towards reservation, casino (The Kern Golden Empire 6/2)
Tribe, Kern County to forge government-to-government relationship (The Bakersfield Californian 5/31)

DOI Inspector General Report:
Investigative Report of the Tejon Indian Tribe (April 2013)

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DOI backs Larry Echo Hawk's decision to recognize Tejon Tribe (05/02)
OIG report blasts Larry Echo Hawk for handling of Tejon case (5/1)
Inspector General Reports: Larry Echo Hawk, Jeanette Hanna (4/30)
Editorial: Casino a possiblity for newly recognized Tejon Tribe (01/09)
Tejon Indian Tribe to start preparing for future as newest tribe (1/4)
BIA places Tejon Indian Tribe back on list of recognized tribes (1/3)

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