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)