Arizona State University has announced a $5 million gift from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in support of facility renovations and to establish an endowment for the university's Indian Legal Program's Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs.
Half the gift will be used to renovate the culturally significant Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles. The building, which ASU has leased to accommodate its growing presence in Southern California, is being restored to its original Spanish Colonial style and is scheduled to reopen in 2021. The remaining $2.5 million will establish an endowment in support of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs within the Indian Legal Program at the university's Sandra Day O'Conner College of Law. Established in 1988, the program is home to one of the highest concentrations of Native law students in the nation and generates scholarly writing in the area of Native American law. According to ASU, Native Americans are among the most underrepresented groups in the legal community in terms of inclusion, retention, and representation. The grant funds will be used to expand student work experiences and educational opportunities in the field of Indian law, as well as the development of training programs for Native American tribes and organizations.
"We are pleased to fund an endowment to support the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs within ASU Law's Indian Law Program," said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians chairwoman Lynn Valbuena. "Tribal nations today are facing critical economic and governance challenges in an increasingly complex world, which will require highly educated tribal citizens to navigate a path to the future. These programs at ASU will provide a means for tribes to achieve self-determination."