Our Sovereignty’s Not For Sale

Our Sovereignty’s Not For Sale

30 minutes 8.50/10 based on 4 votes

Tribal Attorney Tony Cohen’s “Our Sovereignty’s Not For Sale” documents a crucial period in the struggle of California Indian Tribes to achieve economic self-sufficiency through the development of casinos.

In 1998, after refusing to negotiate as required by federal law with California tribes that were operating casinos, Governor Pete Wilson entered into a Class III Gaming Compact with one tribe, the Pala Tribe of San Diego County, that had no casino and little choice but to agree if it wanted to progress.

Other tribes from throughout the state urged the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Kevin Gover, to refuse to approve the Wilson/Pala Compact because they believed that if it was approved for Pala, it would be foisted upon them, illegally forcing them to surrender key aspects of their sovereignty.

This video documents the complex and difficult legal and political struggle among the tribes themselves, and between the tribes, the federal government, and the state of California.

Released in 1998. 30 min. Director: Tony Cohen. (VHS tape)

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8.50/10 (4 votes)

Discuss This Documentary

3 responses to “Our Sovereignty’s Not For Sale”

  1. Tony Cohen says:

    I’m looking forward to any comments viewers may have!

    – Tony

  2. Maurice Aherne says:

    I hope the Californian tribes -as all others- find justice. The Native American tribes deserve far better, than to be still seeking basic rights.
    As do aboriginal people all across this fragile planet.

    I do not know the current law on this issue. I hope matters improve.

    Maurice Aherne

    • Tony Cohen says:

      Thanks for your comment and your interest in justice for native people, Maurice. Unfortunately, it seems that the effects of being victims of conquest linger for a long time. Also, of course, no matter where we are it seems that those “with” have a way of running things that doesn’t work very well for those “without.” And, of course, that means that conquered people have an especially tough time recovering. It’s especially sad when that experience turns the victims against each other . . . But we’ve got to keep working to help in any way we can!

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