For Immediate Release
Board of Supervisors adopts resolution opposing Koi Tribe attempts to establish casino in Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, CA | April 05, 2022
The Board of Supervisors today unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the Koi Nation of Northern California’s attempts to place land southeast of Windsor into trust to build a casino.
The board’s action supports the five federally recognized Sonoma County tribes, including the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, which have all written letters expressing their opposition or have passed resolutions in opposition to the Koi Nation’s application.
The Board of Supervisors and tribal councils have asserted that the Koi Nation lacks the necessary significant historical connection to the lands at 222 East Shiloh Road, where the tribe applied with the U.S. Department of the Interior to have the land placed into trust to become sovereign tribal land. As a Southeastern Pomo tribe, the Koi Nation’s historic and ancestral lands lie in Lake County.
“While we wholeheartedly support the rights of Native American tribes to establish sovereign lands, this application by the Koi Nation could set a serious, negative precedent in allowing one tribe to establish trust land in the ancestral lands of another tribe,” said District 4 Supervisor James Gore, Chair of the Board of Supervisors.
The Koi Nation bought the 68.8-acre parcel at 222 E. Shiloh Road near Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in September 2021 and announced its intention to develop the land for a hotel and casino. Should the Tribe’s application to have the land placed into trust be approved by the federal government, the property would become the sovereign land of the Koi Nation.
The state and county do not have civil regulatory jurisdiction over trust lands, including zoning laws, however the state and county do have criminal prohibitory jurisdiction over trust lands, meaning that the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office enforces criminal laws on trust lands.
The resolution adopted today and the letters of the five federally recognized Sonoma County tribes represent a petition to the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has the authority to deny, approve, or condition the taking of land into trust for gaming.
The county does not have regulatory jurisdiction or decision-making authority over whether a casino opens on land the federal government has taken into trust for gaming for a tribe.