Strides in Sovereignty

Strides in Sovereignty

View Larger

Article published May 21, 1965 in the Desert Sun

Used by Permission of the (Palm Springs, CA) Desert Sun


During the 1960s, the Tribe filed a lawsuit against the City of Palm Springs in regards to the question of who has jurisdiction over zoning of Indian lands. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1975 recognized that Indian tribes retain "attributes of sovereignty over both their members and their territory" (United States  v. Mazurie, 1975).


The Tribe votes to change its name to Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The original name included the term “Mission Indians” – an inaccuracy since the Agua Caliente Indians were not closely associated with the Spanish Mission system. In that same year, the Tribe entered into land use agreement with the City of Palm Springs – the first such agreement in the country.


The U.S. Supreme Court again holds that "tribal sovereignty is dependent on, and subordinate  to, only the Federal Government, not the States" (Washington v. Confederated Tribes of Colville Indian Reservation, 1980).


The U.S. Supreme Court rules in California v. the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians that the regulation of gaming on tribal lands is the province of the tribes. This ultimately leads to the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.