UCLA Law School Receives $15m Donation by Graton Tribe

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California’s UCLA School of Law received a significant donation of $15 million by the Graton Tribe. The donation will aid Native American and other students interested in careers as tribal legal advocates.

The Graton Tribe Donates $15 Million to UCLA

The UCLA School of Law in California received a $15 million donation by the Northern California’s Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. Native American students and other students interested in having a career as tribal legal advocates will be aided by the donation. Announced on Wednesday, the donation by the Graton Tribe comes just a couple of days before the California Native American Day on Friday. This Friday, the holiday will celebrate the cultural, historic, and educational contributions of Native Americans in the Golden State.

And here is what Greg Sarris, Graton Tribal Chairman, graduate and former professor at the UCLA said about the donation: “Tribal law is a cornerstone of Native Americans’ quest for equality and inclusion within the U.S. justice system.” He outlined that he knows the “next generation of tribal legal advocates“. Furthermore, Sarris stressed that UCLA is fully committed to educating and preparing the new tribal advocates. He expressed hope that this donation “will begin the drive for equality for our people in our native land.

Focusing on the financial aspect, the $15 million donation is the single-largest sum received by the UCLA of all times. Moreover, $15 million is one of the biggest sums donated to a university by a tribe across the U.S. With that in mind, a donation of $9 million was made to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas by Southern California’s San Manuel Tribe back in February.

The $15m Donation – One of the Largest Gifts in UCLA History

UCLA Chancellor since 2007, Gene Block commented on the subject by saying: “This is one of the largest gifts to support scholarships in UCLA history.” He outlined that the donation by the Graton Tribe will undoubtedly help the “university’s longtime commitment to service in Indian country and the success of Native people everywhere“. According to Block, with the help of the donation, the very best candidates will be able to pursue their legal education at UCLA. By doing so, the young advocates will be fully prepared for their careers with the Native nations, concluded Block.

The Law School Dean at UCLA Jennifer L. Mnookin also commented on the subject. She outlined that with the donation by the Graton Tribe “the best and brightest” of Native American and other law students will be recruited and taught. Mnookin added that UCLA Law is “immensely proud” for being a National leader in American Indian law. According to Mnookin, the contribution will bring great opportunities for the faculty, staff, and students.

Focusing on the bigger picture, we see that in California there are more than 60 tribal casinos and this places the state at the top of any U.S. state with most Indian gaming venues. Based on numbers by the National Indian Gaming Commission, California alone raised one-fourth of all of the revenue raised by tribal operations across the U.S. In 2018, according to numbers of the Commission, some $34 billion in gambling revenue was raised across the U.S. and California alone raised $9 billion out of that total.

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