(Tule River Tribe, Porterville, CA 93257) – Once upon a time, Native Americans flourished throughout California; they separated, relocated, and relocated again. Yet, the Tule River Tribe survived. Overcoming Adversity is the way of life for the Tule River Tribe, and perseverance is how they live.

This past Monday, January 9, 2023, the Tule River Tribe celebrated its 150th anniversary. The ceremonies included a celebration of their courage, generosity, community, and success.

The Tule River Tribe held an event celebrating “150 years Sovereignty Day” inside the Tribal gym by the Tule River Tribal Office on Monday. The event featured a culture presentation, time capsule, food, music, booths, and a fireworks show at dark.

“Not many people know that this is our third home. Our people used to roam the San Joaquin Valley until we were gathered up and taken to the Sebastian Reservation below the City of Bakersfield. From there, we were moved again to the Madden Farm in East Porterville”, said Neil Peyron, Chairman of the Tule River Tribe.

The Tule River reservation was established on January 9, 1873, in Porterville, California, by executive order by President Ulysses S. Grant.

“In 1876, those who did not want to come up here were forcibly removed from our homes at gunpoint. Since then, we have made this a home, and we have turned this into our homeland. We are making this a safe place to raise our children and our families by providing employment and other services to our membership, including police and fire. We have accomplished so much over the last 150 years because of the resiliency and the strength of our people”, said Peyron.

The reservation sits on approximately 55,000 acres in a steep rocky canyon on land unsuitable for agricultural development.

Tule River Tribal enrollment has more than 1,900 tribal members and offers a myriad of services for its members, including a child and health care.

The Tule River Tribal Council consists of 9 members that serve alternating terms, and the Council acts as the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government for the Tule River Tribe and its members.

The Tule River Tribal Council has always strived to increase diversification amongst its members and community to ensure success. To accomplish this, the Tule River Tribal Council established numerous departments and services and supplied new jobs to benefit the tribal community and surrounding communities.

Departments include Fire, Education, Natural Resources, Towanits Indian School, Public Works, Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act Program, Telecommunications, Emergency Management, Family & Social Services, Public Safety, Environmental, USDA Food Administration, Land Management, Recreation Department, Alcohol Program, Language and Future Generations.

The Tule River Tribe is a proud sovereign nation that strives to improve its members’ livelihood, community, and surrounding communities.

The Tribal Enterprises include Eagle Mountain Casino, Landing 13 Restaurant, Stoney Creek Barbeque, and Eagle Feather Trading Post Gas Station and Convenience Stores. The tribe also owns 40 acres in the Porterville Airport Industrial Park and 79.9 acres in the foothill’s scenic development corridor along Highway 190.

“On behalf of the Tribe, I want to say congratulations to you, my people, for persevering and doing so well, and we look forward to another 150 years”, said Peyron.

In 2023 the Tule River Tribe will welcome the relocation of Eagle Mountain Casino, which will double in size, growing to over 100,000 square feet, featuring new dining options, 1750 slot machines, 20 table games, and a state-of-the-art event center.

“I am proud to be a part of this momentous occasion, as we celebrate our Sovereignty Day and 150th Anniversary of the Tule River Reservation, for my Tribe.  It has been a joy to see our community that started from humble beginnings to what we have accomplished to date.  The word Yokuts means The People, which is fitting as it took the sacrifices, diligence, and dedication of many people including the leadership of our Tribal Councils and Elders. Let us also remember and honor those that have passed and are not with us today to celebrate this occasion”, said Tiffani Sahagun, Assistant General Manager at Eagle Mountain Casino.

The new property will feature many of the Tule River Tribe’s memories & treasures throughout the entire property.

“This Anniversary is a testament to the Tule River Tribe’s tenacity, determination, and overall strength to overcome all obstacles to take care of its people and the community at large. The Tule River Tribe has demonstrated unbelievable resolve time and time again in their pursuit of Self-Governance and Sovereignty, despite the historic powers that have been impediments against them. It has been my extreme pleasure and honor to work for such a generous and caring group of people”, said Matthew Mingrone, General Manager at Eagle Mountain Casino.

The Tule River reservation was established in 1873 in Porterville, Ca. Tribal enrollment is just over 1900, and the reservation spans approximately 55,356 acres. The Tule River Yokut Tribe operates the Tule River Health Center, Justice Center, and many tribal services within the reservation. The tribe also owns and operates gas stations, restaurants, and other entities under the TREDC (Tule River Economic Development Corporation). For more information on the Tule River Tribe, please visit www.tulerivertribe-nsn.gov

The Tule River Tribe, owner, and operator of Eagle Mountain Casino, 17 miles east of Porterville, is a full-service casino owned and operated by the Tule River Tribe. Guests must be 18 years of age to enter. The casino is open 24/7. In addition, the Grizzly Food court is open 24/7, and the River Steakhouse is open Friday – Sunday from 5 pm – 10 pm. Eagle Mountain Casino is a short drive from Bakersfield or Visalia.

The new casino property is scheduled to open in 2023, off Highway 65 in Porterville, CA, next to the Porterville Fair Grounds. The new property will double in size, growing to over 100,000 square feet, featuring new dining options, 1750 slot machines, 20 table games, and a state-of-the-art event center.