- Legal States
Kyamil Nasuf August 31, 2022 3 min read
Graton Rancheria Donate $3.5M to Construct Roseland Library
The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria have long been supporting education with its UCLA donations, and scholarship funds and now we can add helping fund a regional library to the list of its generosity’s beneficiaries.
Regional Library Project Close to Full Funding
The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria announced it’s made a $3.5 million donation to the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation to help the funding of the Roseland Public Library construction. The library will be situated less than ten miles from Rohnert Park, which is extremely close to the Tribe’s Graton Resort & Casino.
The library’s project cost amounts to a bit over $24 million, with a combined $16 million being funded by the City of Santa Rosa and the State, which would mean the project funding is sitting at $19.5 million. A further $5 million in funding from other sources is still pending, as per the News Direct-published news release.
Greg Sarris – Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Tribal Chairman – said that the Tribe is “proud and happy to be able to support” the project, especially considering that a large number of Tribe members have practically grown up in this part of Santa Rosa or at least have close family and friends that have.
Deborah Doyle, Chair of the Sonoma County Library Commission, called it a “fabulous investment” and thanked the Graton Rancheria for its “generous gift”. The library is going to be a part of the upcoming Hearn Avenue Community Hub.
Tribal Goodness and Community Efforts
And, the Graton Rancheria has been generous with its funds for sure. The end of April and the beginning of May saw the Tribe announce the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Scholarship Fund. The $2.5 million fund will be making it possible for “all California Native American students accepted to the University of California” to attend the establishment tuition free. The “all California Native American students” part means that both non-federally recognized California Native American students of the University of California, as well as students that come from federally recognized tribes, will be able to benefit from the fund.
Later in July, the Tribe also made a very sizeable donation to UCLA Law, in the face of $4.265 million for the creation of two faculty chairs in Native American law. As per the news release, again as can be seen on the News Direct website, the two chairs are honoring Greg Sarris and Distinguished Professor Carole Goldberg. And this donation’s 2020 predecessor was the previously unheard-of $15 million, again gifted to UCLA Law, aimed at creating scholarships for students interested in becoming tribal legal advocates, further cementing the Tribe’s commitments.
Of course, these are just some of the great deeds of just one tribe. Many tribal casinos shut down during the worst lockdowns of the global pandemic, along with restaurants and all other hospitality venues. It’s encouraging to remember that even in those trying times and also being out of business, tribal operators kept giving back to their respective communities. The operators of Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California had donated close to $ 100,000 worth of food in Riverside County, thus supporting charities aimed at providing help to the homeless in the region. The Gun Lake Casino, operating in Wayland, Michigan, also donated food to local non-profits – an amazing seven tons of it, to be a bit more precise. The Native Business website has a great round-up of acts of kindness and generosity coming from Tribal casinos during the lockdowns that can really restore your faith that good really can come from all places.