FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Susan Jensen
Disaster Fund Created for Tribes Devastated by Fires
October 29, 2003, Sacramento, CA - A disaster relief fund has been established for California tribes and tribal members victimized by devastating fires throughout Southern California. The fund is being established at the Borrego Springs Bank in La Mesa by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association.
A number of tribes were particularly hard hit by the flames.
Sixty-seven of 68 homes on the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians reservation were destroyed and two people were reportedly killed when fire swept Valley Center.
Forty homes and two small buildings were destroyed on the Barona Band of Mission Indians reservation near Lakeside. The tribal hall and daycare center were spared. All residents of the Barona Band of Mission Indians are safe and accounted for.
Twenty homes were lost on the Rincon San Luiseño Band of Mission Indians reservation in Valley Center. Ninety-eight percent of the vegetation on the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians reservation near Patton was destroyed, leaving the hillside reservation subject to potentially devastating erosion. Half of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians reservation near Alpine was burned, but fortunately no structures were destroyed.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to these and other tribes that suffered so greatly in the fires," said Brenda Soulliere, chairwoman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association.
The fund is being established to provide immediate assistance to tribes directly impacted by the fires. It will be a permanent fund for future disasters.
Persons wishing to contribute are asked to make checks out to:
The Disaster Relief Fund for Tribes
Borrego Springs Bank
ATTN: Joanne McBride
7777 Alvarado Road, Suite 114
La Mesa, CA 91941