“This health emergency we are all facing is something none of us could have ever imagined. It’s similar to something we’ve seen in a science fiction movie, something we never thought could be possible. But the fact is that this is real and now is the time to respond and do the right thing to protect the people,” said Adam Dalton, Tribal Chairman for the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians.
The thought of closing Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort for two weeks may seem crazy. While different in many ways, it’s pretty easy to make comparisons to the 2015 Butte Fire, when Dalton and the Jackson Band of Miwuk Indians turned a large portion of their operations into the world’s first disaster resort. For those long week’s during the 2015 Butte Fire, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort was no longer a profit center, it became a relief center. Selfless deeds were performed by everyone, the resort became a place where love and care was present to all who needed it. Evacuees were housed, fed and clothed as needed. Everyone came together. Neighbors. Employees. Players and customers. Without question, the power of community, caring for one another, was the spirit led by Dalton, the Tribe, and the employees of Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. The community not only survived the 2015 Butte Fire, it became stronger. So, it should be of little surprise that as the Coronavirus surrounds our county, and precautions and procedures are put in place, that Dalton would once again tell the Tribe, all the employees, and the community … “We’re all going to have to do our very best to take care of each other during these uncertain times. We can and will get through this, but it’s going to take all of us working together.”
And this week, with a state and a nation scrambling to control the spread of the Coronavirus, Dalton is preparing, not for the worst, but for what needs to be done to protect a Tribe, the employees, the customers and the community.
“This is an ever evolving emergency and we don’t have all the answers right now,” said Dalton. “The Tribe is watching and is aware of the great impact that this virus is having on many surrounding communities. We have a great deal of elders in our community and we want to do our part to protect the senior population as well as our citizens, families, employees and friends. In an effort to be part of a solution, our Tribal Council made the difficult decision to close the majority of our operations for a period of two weeks while we continue to evaluate this quickly evolving situation. We must all answer the call to protect the community, as there is no greater importance. Looking back, I was so impressed with how we came together to support each other during the Butte Fire. It filled my heart with pride to witness the strength and dedication of the people of Amador County and how quickly we responded without pause. This is proof of what a strong and resilient community can accomplish together, and although it is true that this emergency is very different, we must do our best to react with the same care and compassion as we did during the 2015 Butte Fire.”
The first steps to closing the majority of operations for the coming two weeks were, as you might imagine, having Dalton outline ways to improve conditions for his community. A rather astonishing and large donation of perishables is being donated to the Interfaith Food Bank and other areas of need within the community.
“We are facing a complicated challenge with the Coronavirus,” said Dalton. “We all want to band together to assist, but know that we must socially distance ourselves to keep everyone safe. So, it’s finding creative ways to help. We hope that our donation of food will help make ends meet for those who need it most and we’re happy to provide this contribution to the people of our community.”
Along with donations to the Interfaith Food Bank, Dalton directed the Ledger Dispatch to offer free advertising listings to local businesses of the community that need to promote goods and services during these tough times. The Tribe is also paying its employees over the next two and a half weeks.
“We truly care about our employees and it is important to us that they are able to be with their families during such an unsettling time,” said Dalton.
And while Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, takes an interesting pause in most of its operations over the next two weeks, Dalton is undeterred in his mission.
“We’re going to do everything we can for our community. It’s going to take all of us working together. Stay safe and healthy,” said Dalton. “As we get through this we will be praying for everyone. May Grandfather be with you and watch over us all.”