For countless generations, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians lived in the Northern California region now called Tehama County. Although the influx of white settlers dramatically altered the environment and many aspects of the Tribe’s traditional ways of life, the Paskenta Band maintained its own culture and ties to this region.
In the 1950’s, the federal government terminated recognition of hundreds of Indian tribes in a misguided attempt to force assimilation. The Paskenta Band suffered this fate in 1959, and its Rancheria was sold to private parties. Despite the denial of federally recognized tribal status, the Paskenta Band maintained its tribal identity and culture while it worked for restoration as a Native American tribe. Finally in 1994, the federal government restored the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians to full tribal status.
Full tribal status enabled the Paskenta Band to embark on its mission to develop a strong, diverse economic base for its 240 members and surrounding communities. In 2000, the Tribe acquired a 2000-acre reservation near Corning, California and soon began construction of Rolling Hills Casino. The Casino opened in 2002, providing employment to several hundred local residents. Today, the Casino and Resort employs over 500 employees and has a monthly payroll of over $1,000,000. Most of the employees work full time and enjoy health care benefits and 401k options. The multiplier effect from the payroll alone on the local economy is estimated to be $36 million a year.
Revenues from Rolling Hills Casino enabled the Tribe to grant over $4,500,000 to enhance the health, safety and education of Tehama County. Grants to Saint Elizabeth Hospital helped purchase an ambulance and vital lifesaving diagnostic equipment. The Tribe purchased a 75-foot aerial ladder truck for the Corning Fire Department and made major contributions to the District Attorney’s office, law enforcement agencies, and to the County’s general fund. Numerous other organizations received sizeable grants as well including SERRF, VFW, Sacramento Discovery Center, and Northern California Child Development.
The Tribe established the Rolling Hills Community Development Foundation, which supports local groups in their efforts to improve and develop the North State. The Foundation funds programs with the end goal of higher education; education related activities that better the economic landscape of our local counties; and activities that further the goals of improving the quality of life for local residents — usually through the investment into education and the resulting return to our surrounding communities.