Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians has two sections to their nation near Coachella and Twentynine Palms, just west and north of Joshua Tree National Park. Members are Chemehuevi, a culture that ranged throughout the Great Basin. Their territory once covered parts of California, Utah, Arizona and Southern Nevada. In the Chemehuevi language they call themselves Nüwüwü (The People), and members also honor their Desert Cahuilla, Luiseño and Southern Paiute ancestry. These cultures were and are adept in thriving in the desert.
Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians is a major employer in this region with their Spotlight 29 Casino near Coachella and Tortoise Rock Casino near the town of Twentynine Palms. The Nation’s environmental protection agency restores and protects sensitive desert and wildlife, including the desert tortoise that is an important cultural symbol to the Nation.
For the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians and for other Chemehuevi, the desert tortoise, or Aya, is an important symbol of perseverance in the desert ecosystem. Desert tortoises dig extensive burrows that also create homes for other animals, allowing them to escape the harsh desert heat. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians Tribal Environmental Protection Agency works to protect the desert tortoise populations that are under threat from development, increased predation, and other detrimental conditions. The Tribal EPA also partners with The Living Desert Zoo to increase awareness of the desert tortoise through outreach events at the Tribe’s Tortoise Rock Casino. Learn more at www.29palmstribe.org/tribalepa.
Tortoise Rock Casino, located near Joshua Tree National Park has a large desert tortoise sculpture in front of the casino speaks to the Tribe’s connection to this hardy desert dweller.
What We Do
Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians has two casinos adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park. At Spotlight 29 Casino guests can enjoy video and table gaming, outstanding food including wood-oven pizza and house-made craft beers from its Taproom29. Additionally, Spotlight 29’s Whisky’s, has the largest selection of barrel-aged spirits in the Coachella Valley, and top shelf mixologists make inspired cocktails all on the Casino floor. Live concerts and comedy are also a highlight at the Spotlight Showroom, with artists and acts like Banda Movil, Dave Chapelle, Marisela, Ice Cube, Kool & The Gang, Vince Neil, and Walker Hayes to name a few. Its outdoor space Coachella Crossroads has hosted the likes of award-winning artists Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, and plays host to numerous community celebrations for July 4th, Mexican Independence Day, Easter and much more. At Tortoise Rock Casino, located near Joshua Tree National Park, the 30,000 square foot Casino houses slots and table games, live entertainment and food and drinks at the Oasis Grille and Shelly’s Lounge.
Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians hosts various events at both Casinos throughout the year. Community gatherings and meal and gaming specials focusing on holidays are hosted each month. Charitable events and giveaways support local schools and non-profits uniting the region and is a focus of the Tribe’s commitment to giving back to the community.