San Manuel Gaming & Hospitality Authority Formally Acknowledges Ancestral Lands of Las Vegas and Moapa Paiute in Iconic Ceremony

(L-R) Joseph Maarango, Culture Seat Tribal Council; Vickie Simmons, Chair of Moapa Band of Paiute Indians; Carla Rodriguez, SMGHA Board Secretary; Ila Yazzie, Vice Chairwoman Las Vegas Paiute Tribe; Latisha Prieto, SMGHA Chairperson

LAS VEGAS (May 8, 2024) — In recognition of San Manuel Gaming & Hospitality Authority’s (SMGHA) second anniversary as the first Native American tribe to wholly own and operate a Las Vegas resort casino, SMGHA invited members of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians to a land acknowledgement ceremony at Palms Casino Resort.

Following a prayer offered by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ (SMBMI) Culture Seat Member of the Tribal Council Joseph Maarongo, SMGHA Management Committee member Laurens Vosloo welcomed the guests to Palms and introduced the San Manuel Bird Singers and the Southern Paiute Singers, whose traditional sacred songs paid homage to Mother Earth and extended a cordial welcome to the Tribal community leaders. To view video footage, click here.

SMGHA Chairperson Latisha Prieto recognized notable guests including representatives from the Nevada Indian Commission, the Las Vegas Indian Center, and members of the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of Northern Nevada, highlighting the significance of their participation in the ceremony.

Chairperson Prieto stated, “As we were undergoing the complexities of the transaction involved with the purchase of Palms, we knew that outreach to the indigenous tribes of this region was necessary. We shared with them our plans for coming to Las Vegas as guests of the Nuwu in southern Nevada. Today, we formalize that acknowledgement with respect and appreciation for the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians.”

The Land Acknowledgement reads:

The San Manuel Gaming & Hospitality Authority and Palms Casino Resort gratefully extend appreciation to the Nuwu People upon whose Aboriginal lands we are privileged to conduct our business operations in Las Vegas, NV. We are proud to acknowledge and honor the sovereignty of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and the Moapa Band of Paiutes, known collectively as the Southern Paiutes. The Indigenous Nuwu Nations continue to provide stewardship of these lands.

SMGHA Secretary Carla Rodriguez commented that “The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of California, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, and the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians have forged an important cultural partnership that will now and forever be a part of our respective tribal histories. We learned from our ancestors that acknowledgement of tribes and their lands on which you will establish a presence is the highest sign of respect. Today, we are not only proud and honored, but also humbled, to join with the Nuwu for this sacred occasion.”

Following the ceremony, guests were invited to a private breakfast hosted by Palms in the View Room, overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and valley.

Permanent installation of the land acknowledgement will follow at a future date.