Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Tamara Venit-Shelton

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Rights Information

© 2014 Felipe Cardenas


The political sovereignty of indigenous Southern Californians has deep history of disenfranchisement and paternalism. A steady decline characterized the political authority and autonomy from the 18th century to 1850 when indigenous tribes of Southern California were in proximity of Spanish Missionaries and later, Mexican ranchers. Following the inclusion of California into the Union, this decline turned into a sharp drop. This paper looks at the history of these people under the three above-mentioned time frames and then analyzes how tribal gaming is effecting the current political sovereignty of Southern Californian Tribes. Special attention is given to the Barona Casino in San Diego to put into context, how tribal gaming is serving as a catalyst for change in the relationship between the California state government and tribal governments.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.