Agua Caliente Band Of Cahuilla Indians Contributes $100,000 to Katrina Disaster Relief ACBCI Tribal Chairman Presents Check at Annual Conference of the National Congress of American Indians in Tulsa, OK

Palm Springs, CA – The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has made a $100,000 donation to the Katrina Disaster Fund organized by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). This generous donation is earmarked to assist more than 6,000 tribal members that were affected by Hurricane Katrina.

At the recent annual NCAI conference held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tribal Chairman Richard M. Milanovich presented a $100,000 check to Tex Hall, outgoing NCAI president. “The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has long been champions of inter-tribal causes. However, the extraordinary plight of our Tribal brothers and sisters who suffered so greatly from Hurricane Katrina has deeply touched our hearts and compelled us to help them in this way,” said Chairman Milanovich.

Indian Country has donated well over $5 million to hurricane relief efforts. “Indian Country and our supporters can be extremely proud of the outpouring of support shown to our brothers and sisters in the Gulf,” said NCAI President-elect Joe Garcia. “This sizable contribution by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to NCAI’s hurricane relief fund has set a sterling example in Indian Country. That money will go directly to the tribes affected by the hurricanes who are in desperate need of relief. On behalf of the tribes in the Gulf region, I offer my sincere thanks for your generous donation.”

American Indian tribes are a large cultural segment of the population affected by the storm that have not received media attention but nonetheless have suffered great losses. Also, a $250 billion bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate, Louisiana Katrina Reconstruction Act (S.1766), contains no mention of an Indian Nation or tribal community in Louisiana.

“Particularly in this catastrophic situation, our Tribe felt it was incumbent upon us to step up to lend a helping hand where assistance from the federal and state level was non-existent,” added Chairman Milanovich.

Among the American Indian tribes affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita are: Alabama Coushatta, Chitimacha, Choctaw, United Houma, Poarch Creek, MOWA Band of Choctaw, Jena Band of Choctaw, Biloxi Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogee, Pointe au Chien, Clifton Band, Four Winds and Tunica-Biloxi Nations in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. NCAI’s Hurricane Relief Funds will be distributed equally among the tribes.