In Sonoma County California, The Mishawal Wappo, a local tribe hoping to regain federal recognition, has lost another appeal in its eight-year court battle.
Last week, a federal court of appeals agreed the Wappos waited four decades too long to bring their lawsuit against the Secretary of the Interior claiming the tribe was illegally terminated in 1961 when its rural Alexander Valley settlement was dissolved.
Local government officials fear the tribe would open a casino if successful in court.
Tribal Chairman Scott Gabaldon has said the tribe’s prime motive in re-establishing federal recognition is to allow its approximate 345 members to access health, education and housing benefits available to tribal members.
He said the tribe has yet to decide if it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.