Terry L. Pechota is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and was raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He graduated Cum Laude from Black Hills State College in 1969 and from the University of Iowa Law School in 1972. After becoming an attorney, he was director of Rosebud Legal Services on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney for South Dakota, and a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund. Mr. Pechota currently practices Indian law with the law firm of, Viken, Viken, Pechota, Leach & Dewell in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Anyone with a general knowledge of the history of Indian tribes in the United States understands the adversity and struggles they have experienced since the arrival of the White man upon this continent long ago. The effort of Indian tribes to avoid the extinction and demise of their members has been stymied by a long history of fluctuating governmental policy, most notably that which envisioned the termination of tribes and the assimilation of their members, the destruction of culture and land base, and most recently the curtailment and erosion of tribal sovereignty in the courts and by legislation. The struggle for tribes continues. In this historical and captivating book by Ambrose Lane, we find the true story of a small tribe that has hurdled the often insurmountable obstacles placed in its way to become a showcase of economic development.
The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, about which Lane writes, is a remarkable tribe that, as a result of various negotiations and treaties by the White man, was left with only a small fraction of land that it had originally owned. Lane tells the history of the Tribe from the 1960s and especially how it has, sometimes alone and always at the vanguard, taken the steps and fought the battles brilliantly in court and the halls of Congress to build on the opportunity that gaming offered to a desert tribe for economic development and the cultural betterment of its members.