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North Fork Rancheria honors Chuck Doud

The Tribe has lost a good friend; so too has the community.

It is with great sadness that the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California (“Tribe”) learned recently of the passing of our good friend and great community leader Chuck Doud, long-time Editor of the Madera Tribune. In our nearly two-decade-long pursuit of social justice for our Tribe and economic betterment for our community, there were few fairer, more objective supporters for our casino project than Chuck.

Before Chuck backed our project, he wanted to know the facts: What was the legal basis for the Tribe, lacking a suitable land base for economic development, to seek control over historical lands closer to Madera? Why was this a good idea and were there drawbacks? Who supported the project? And always: What was the timeline and when would it be built?

Early on, in 2006, the Madera Tribune ran a comprehensive 5-part series on the history of the North Fork Mono Indians, illustrating how our tribal ancestors were partners in building many of the enduring and defining industries of the region, such as lumber, ranches, railroads, vineyards, mining, and more. Chuck especially appreciated the irony that our ancestors were among the very first farmers of the region (on reservations established for local Indians in the 1850s’ near the proposed site of the casino) — but also the very first migrant workers as our people were kicked off those reservations and dispossessed of their lands in the years that followed.

With Chuck, we could always count on a long, thorough conversation — on or off-the-record. Such was his inquisitive, objective, and generous nature. Chuck eventually backed our project — even if more subdued than we might have preferred — because he took the time to understand our history and current conditions. And because he recognized the vast economic, employment, and entertainment benefits it would bring the region.

That support eventually cost his paper financially as local gaming competitors withheld advertising revenues in retribution. Chuck could not understand this as he felt a critical mass of local gaming and entertainment options would attract more customers from all over and increase the ‘size of the pie’ for everyone.

We will miss Chuck and are very sad that he won’t be around to see the economic benefits of our project come to fruition (thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, delayed for so long due to the stalling tactics of opponents). But we know Chuck will be smiling down on us and the community he cared so deeply for.

Rest in Peace good friend.

— The Tribal Council of the North Fork Rancheria


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