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California Tribal Business Alliance announces new officers

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SACRAMENTO – The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA) announced Dec. 7 the election of its 2010 officers. Leslie Lohse, treasurer of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, was elected chairwoman of the CTBA at a meeting of the Board of Directors Dec. 3. Other officers elected include Jessica Tavares, chairwoman of the United Auburn Indian Community as vice chairman; Margie Mejia, chairwoman of the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians as secretary; and Bobbie Barrett, chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians as treasurer. The officers will serve a one-year term.

“Next year is going to be pivotal for CTBA and tribal gaming in California,” said Lohse. “There are several issues in California including off-reservation gaming and internet gambling with national implications that we plan to tackle in 2010. In particular, allowing a tribe to build a casino outside its aboriginal territory is nothing more than ‘reservation shopping’ with the intent of building a casino on land that may have a better commercial location. When the voters of California passed Prop 1A in 2000 they never intended for casinos to be built on lands that were not part of the tribe’s historical territory.”

The CTBA was formed in 2004 and its eight members include the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, the Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, the Pauma Band of Luiseño Mission Indians, the United Auburn Indian Community and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians and most recently Jackson Rancheria. Jackson Rancheria joined the alliance in October after CTBA unanimously voted to approve its membership. Jackson Rancheria owns Jackson Casino Hotel and RV Park in Jackson, Calif. and is the largest private employer in Amador County.

The mission of the CTBA is to develop partnerships and coalitions with like-minded governments and with business, community, and civic organizations, with the intent to build productive alliances based on mutual respect and cooperation.