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Sovereignty, Gaming Desert Lecture Topics

Native American Nations, Sovereignty and Gaming Topics of Desert Lecture

Joel Martin Concludes First Season of UC Riverside Desert Lecture Series

(May 13, 2004)

Joel Martin

Joel Martin

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — Native nations, sovereignty and the role of gaming are the topics of the fourth and final lecture in the 2003-04 season of the University of California, Riverside’s Connecting the Dots series, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 20 at the Palm Springs Desert Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. For more information, call the UC Riverside Office of Desert Programs and Desert Region Development at (760) 341-6221.

Joel Martin, professor of history and religious studies, and interim dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at UC Riverside, will discuss the issues surrounding tribal gaming, sovereignty and the struggle to retain cultural identity in a lecture titled Native American Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Role of Gaming in the Struggle to Preserve Cultures. Martin is also director of UC Riverside’s Center for California Native Nations and holds the Costo Endowed Chair in American Indian Affairs, named after Rupert Costo, a Cahuilla Indian, who helped found the UC Riverside campus.

Tribal gaming has received strong public support, but has also attracted a great deal of attention and some criticism. Martin will discuss the issues, put them into historical perspective, and examine some of the ways sovereignty and self reliance are helping tribes create healthier communities and revitalize unique cultures.

Near neighbor to more than 30 federally recognized tribes, UC Riverside is located near several reservations of Cahuilla, Serrano, Chemehuevi, Luiseño, Kumeyaay, Cupeño, and Tongva Indians. California currently has the largest population of Native American of any state, surpassing Oklahoma in the 2000 census. UC Riverside, through the Center for California Native Nations, encourages original research important to California Indians by using an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on the skills and talents of Native Americans, University of California faculty, graduate and post-graduate students.

UC Riverside’s presence in the Coachella Valley will deepen when classes open in 2005 at the UC Riverside Palm Desert Campus, a two-building complex under construction at Cook Street and Frank Sinatra Drive. The Palm Desert campus will house graduate level academic programs in entrepreneurship, serve as a focal point for UC Riverside research on issues vital to the region's future, and serve as a home for UC Riverside outreach programs and services. Core objectives for this satellite campus include establishing an internationally significant Center for Entrepreneurial Management, offering advanced management courses in areas such as environmental science, engineering and the arts as well as developing a satellite technology transfer center.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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