Brings Chickasaw’s unparalleled gaming expertise and shared values to project to support Koi’s economic independence on tribal lands in Sonoma
Santa Rosa, Calif. (24 January 2022)— The Koi Nation of Northern California, one of California’s historic federally recognized Native American tribes, has executed a predevelopment agreement with Global Gaming Solutions (GGS), a wholly-owned business of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, to engage as the Koi’s development partner for its planned Shiloh Casino & Resort in Sonoma County. GGS will also act as the manager and operator of the establishment when completed.
“We are honored to build this important business relationship with our brothers and sisters of the Chickasaw Nation, one of the most experienced Native American tribes in the gaming industry,” said Darin Beltran, Koi Nation’s Tribal Chair.
“Not only does the Chickasaw Nation have great expertise in gaming and resorts, but they also share the same values as the Koi Nation. Chickasaw leaders understand the importance of this project to the restoration of our economic self-reliance because they have walked the same path many times in support of their own people’s future,” said Dino Beltran, Koi Nation Vice Chair and Director of Development.
The Chickasaw Nation, with its tribal headquarters in Ada, Oklahoma, has an exemplary track record in developing and operating tribal gaming operations and related resort properties. It operates 23 gaming establishments around the nation, including Winstar World Casino and Resort, the largest casino in the world. The Chickasaw Nation also operates nearly 200 additional highly successful businesses, giving it a broad range of commercial expertise that makes it the ideal partner to develop and manage the Shiloh Resort & Casino.
“The Chickasaw Nation is pleased to play a role in this project, and we look forward to a successful collaboration,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said. “The prosperity of our citizens and a commitment to working together with our partners in the Koi Nation as well as local, state and community officials are key components to our mission. We look forward to witnessing new jobs, additional businesses and increased tourism to this region.”
“We are excited by the opportunity to use our expertise to help the Koi Nation realize this project and establish the economic self-sufficiency that is the inherent right of all Native American tribes,” said Bill Lance, Commerce Secretary of the Chickasaw Nation. “We look forward to beginning a successful long-term economic partnership with the Koi.”
About the project
The Shiloh Casino & Resort will be built on the Koi Nation’s property at 222 E. Shiloh Road in unincorporated Sonoma County. The tribe purchased the 68-acre site late last year to re-establish its tribal land base more than a century after the Koi’s ancestors were forced to relocate to the Santa Rosa/Sebastopol area.
The non-smoking Shiloh Casino & Resort will include a 2,500 Class III gaming machine facility, a 200-room hotel, six restaurant and food service areas, a meeting center and a spa, as well as a state-of-the-art live entertainment venue. The design for the low-rise facility integrates with the natural beauty of the region and will be energy-efficient and respectful of the environment, in keeping with the Tribe’s historic relationship with the land.
The Shiloh Casino & Resort will employ more than 1,100 full-time workers when fully operational. The project also will create hundreds of jobs for workers in the construction trades and other skilled laborers. The Koi Nation anticipates that a portion of the resort’s revenues will be shared with the broader community through the support of local organizations as well as collaborating with local governments to address their needs.
About the Koi Nation
The Koi Nation’s mission is to empower our people to achieve a better way of life and to maintain tribal integrity and honor through responsive government. We are committed to protecting and exercising our inherent sovereign rights as a federally recognized tribe to their fullest extent, including obtaining land to re-establish a permanent land base for our people who have lived in this region for thousands of years, and creating self-sustaining economic activity to support the tribal government and its people, and the entire community of Sonoma County. For more information visit https://www.koinationsonoma.com
About the Chickasaw Nation
With more than 73,000 citizens, the Chickasaw Nation is a democratic republic with executive, legislative and judicial departments elected by its citizens. The treaty territory of the tribe includes 7,648 square miles of south-central Oklahoma and encompasses all or parts of 13 Oklahoma counties. The Chickasaw Nation contributes billions to the Oklahoma economy annually and employs nearly 13,500 workers.
For more information, visit https://www.chickasaw.net
Historic Native American Tribe Plans Shiloh Resort & Casino on 68-acre Site in Unincorporated Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, Calif. (15 September 2021)— The Koi Nation, one of the state’s federally recognized Native American tribes, today announced it has selected a 68-acre site in unincorporated Sonoma County to re-establish its tribal land base. The Koi have filed plans to build a resort and casino on the site, exercising their sovereign rights under federal law.
The property selection restores the Tribe’s ability to exercise its rights to self-governance and will provide a base for economic development that will sustain the Koi Nation’s independence within a few miles of its ancestral home.
“The Koi Nation has had to struggle harder than almost any other Tribe in California to re-establish our sovereignty,” said Darin Beltran, Tribal Chairman. “Despite this treatment, however, we have endured. It is time to exercise our rights as a federally recognized Tribe to have our own land and to control our own destiny.”
Koi Nation said it plans to build the Shiloh Resort & Casino on its property at 222 E. Shiloh Road. The project will include a 2,500 Class III gaming machine facility, a 200-room hotel, six restaurant and food service areas, a meeting center and a spa. The design for the low-rise facility integrates with the natural beauty of the site and will be energy-efficient and respectful of the environment, in keeping with the Tribe’s historic relationship with the land. The property will be designated as entirely non-smoking, respecting the health of patrons and workers alike.
The Koi Nation will build and operate the resort and casino under the 1988 federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), as well as the favorable ruling by the federal district court in Koi Nation v Zinke (2019) that recognized the tribe’s inherent rights. Koi Nation attorneys in Washington, D.C., today filed an application to place the land into trust with the federal government, making it eligible for gaming under the IGRA. The action will lead to an environmental review and public comment period to begin in 60 to 90 days, Beltran said.
The property site is just over 10 miles from the Tribe’s historic lands within California’s Pomo territory. It gives life to negotiated treaty rights dating from the 1850s, undoing decades of woeful federal mistreatment.
“This region, the historic home of our people, today has one of the highest costs of living in the world, meaning that 90% of our citizens are part of what are considered low-income households,” Beltran said. “By exercising our rights under the IGRA, we can build prosperity for our Tribe and make a real difference for our people today as well as for our children and the generations yet to come.”
Revenue from the planned resort and casino will enable the tribal government to become economically independent and provide a long-term income source supporting the needs of current and future generations of tribal citizens, Beltran added.
An Economic Engine for the Tribe and its Sonoma County Neighbors
Development of the resort and casino will create hundreds of jobs for workers in construction trades and other skilled laborers. When in full operation, the Shiloh Casino & Resort will employ more than 1,100 full-time workers and provide benefits for the entire Sonoma community. The Koi Nation anticipates that a portion of the resort’s revenues will be shared with the broader community through the support of local organizations as well as collaborating with local governments and community members to address their needs.
The Koi Nation has assembled a broad team of experts for its project, including Michael J. Anderson, Esq., a former senior BIA and Secretary of the Interior official for the Clinton Administration; Allyson Saunders, Esq., having extensive experience in tribal governance and economic development; and Dale Partners architects, an award-winning architectural firm.
Koi Nation’s Long Ties to the Region
The Koi Nation is one of the remaining groups of Pomo people who have remained landless for most of the last 150 years. Their ancient home was on an island in Clear Lake, on which they lived peacefully for thousands of years. Beginning with the arrival of colonists during the Gold Rush, the Tribe’s people were exploited both as slaves and as cheap labor. In 1871, their homes were burned to the ground by settlers who had seized land in the area; as a result, the Koi Pomo then came to live in communities along the Russian River Valley from Sebastopol to Clear Lake.
In 1916, the United States government attempted to relegate the tribe to a small rancheria near Clear Lake. This land was determined by BIA to be uninhabitable and could not support the Koi community. As a result, in 1918 the Koi captains (spiritual leaders) Tom Johnson and his brother John Johnson led their community to Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. For more than a 100 years, the Koi’s political and spiritual leadership have called Sebastopol and Santa Rosa home.
Although uninhabited, the Lower Lake Rancheria was terminated in 1956, which also mistakenly terminated the federal government’s relationship with the Koi Nation.
Against this historic backdrop of injustice, for another 50 years, the United States would continue to deny the Koi Nation its right of sovereign recognition and land, and the Koi people their rights as tribal citizens. The Koi Nation was forced to wage an expensive and lengthy battle in federal court until it was finally vindicated in 2019 when the court restored both the Tribe’s recognition and its consequent rights as a tribal entity, including the right to establish a sovereign land base.
“With this land and the Shiloh Resort & Casino, we are taking long overdue steps to preserve our cultural and historic integrity and secure a brighter future for coming generations,” Beltran said. “At the same time, our success will also benefit the communities in the region where our people have lived for thousands of years. We are confident the community will support us as we seek to restore our independence and exercise our rights as Native Americans.”