- NEWS FLASH (July, 2009)
- Soboba 62-year water battles not over yet!
Just when the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians thought their water battle was over with the signing of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Settlement Act by President George W. Bush on July 31, 2008 the Obama administration has decided that it doesn’t have the money to pay the tribe the $11 million dollars the federal government owes the tribe as its part of the settlement with the tribe....
Soboba Tribe Settles 62-year Water Struggle
By Ernie C. Salgado Jr., Soboba Tribal Member
On July 31, 2008 President Bush's signature the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Settlement Act into law ending a 62-year-old Soboba Tribal water rights dispute involving the Eastern Municipal Water District and Metropolitan Water District.
Tribal Chairman Adam Castillo filed the original lawsuit in 1946. “It’s been a long process” Soboba Tribal Chairman, Robert J. Salgado said at the dedication luncheon held at the Soboba Spring Country Club on
Friday, August 15, 2008.
In the above news photograph, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack presents a copy of the Soboba water rights settlement to Soboba tribal Chairman Robert Salgado Sr. during a ceremony on August 15, 2008 at the Soboba Springs Country Club in San Jacinto.
The settlement ends 63 years of Dispute between the tribe, the federal government and local Water Districts in the San Jacinto Valley.
Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne referred to the Soboba water rights settlement Friday as "an evaporation of a litigation cloud," and a showing of how cooperation can ensure a water supply and protection of the resource both for the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians and other San Jacinto Valley water users in the future.
Chairman Salgado, in congressional testimony earlier this year, described how the tribe grew melons, beans, corn and fruit trees in irrigated fields.
Chairman Salgado testified that the loss of the reservation water supply completely destroyed the economic base of the tribe.
Chairman Salgado said no amount of money will ever compensated the tribal member for the decades they were forced to live without the basic supply of water.
Chairman Salgado told the congressional committee he remembers as a young boy having to haul water in five-gallon containers from the nearby city of San Jacinto just to survive.
We are not bitter or hold any animosity against anyone he told the committee he has just made us as a people stronger so that we are better prepared to face the next challenge to our Tribal Sovereignty.
ERNIE C. SALGADO JR
Tribal: Soboba Indian Reservation
Web Site: www.apapas.com
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