With drunk driving steadily presenting itself as a major problem over time, every person that joins in on the fight against this irresponsible practice is a valued partner. A new and unexpected member in the battle against drunk driving is the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. This group is an Indian tribe that is federally recognized and maintains a proud and visible presence in the communities in which they live and work. They have over 1,600 acres of reservation land in the Coachella Valley and operate the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino. They are taking their stand in the Coachella Valley with other protesters who are making their voices known along Highway 111. This Silent Stand is meant to raise awareness and bring this issue to the forefront of people’s minds in an area where the problem is especially prevalent.
Confronting the Problem Head On
Drunk driving has been characterized as an epidemic in Coachella Valley and many of the participants in the Silent Stand cite lost friends, family, and loved ones as their reasons for getting out to join in on the effort to make a real difference. The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians chairman is Doug Welmas. He has played an integral part in organizing the resources of the tribe in order to help make this gathering a success. The Silent Stand has taken every possible approach when it comes to spreading their message. They have created a Facebook page dedicated to their cause and have encouraged participants to do whatever they feel is necessary to put an end to this terrible trend. Many participants have utilized banners, commemorative art for victims, and signs to be posted along the route.
Real People, Real Concerns
The goal of the Silent Stand is to reduce the number of DUIs in the area to zero by the year 2014. This is not the first community effort that the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians has embraced. They have also made extensive efforts to increase employment in the area and extend the potential of public education. They regularly hold events open to the public that increase their awareness of the practices and role of the tribe in the area as well.