Tribal-owned casino operations are unique in many ways. There are differences on the human side of the business, on the regulatory side and on who governs the land. In many cases, tribes are large and, as sovereign nations, have full governmental infrastructures complete with a tribal police force, court system, etc. Some tribes are small and work with local and/or regional agencies for policing, courts, etc. In any case, it’s almost always the goal of a tribe to be as self-sufficient as possible.
One of the other big, overriding responsibilities our Tribe takes very seriously is the role of being “good stewards of the land.” In the case of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, we’ve taken that to the next level by being the very first Tribal casino in North America to become fully powered by solar energy. In 2008, our Tribe built a 15,000-panel solar array which provided enough energy to run the electrical systems of the casino and its ancillary buildings. It was so successful that only four years later, in 2012, the Tribe was able to add an additional 10,000-panel array on the reservation. The newer array with more advanced solar technology actually sends energy back to the grid and provides power for many households in the Coachella Valley.
The Tribe is currently in the final stages of its latest project—a new organic farm—on Tribal land just south of the solar arrays and Augustine Casino. These diverse endeavors not only ensure that the Tribe remains self-sufficient long into the future but also makes good on the promise that we are committed to being “good stewards of the land” in the long tradition of the Cahuilla Indians in the region.
As employees of this Tribe, we are all proud of its accomplishments, the perseverance it took to achieve them and the Tribe’s commitment to its future generations. Working for such an impressive group of people as the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians is an added benefit we all enjoy as employees of Augustine Casino.