COACHELLA, Calif. -

Wednesday was a big day for one of the Valley's Indian casinos.

The Augustine Casino in Coachella celebrated its 10th anniversary.

A decade ago when the casino opened, it saved the small Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indian tribe from vanishing.

"If we had not built the casino and become economically self sufficient, the United States government would have terminated the Augustine tribe," said Michael Lombardi, Chairman of the Augustine Gaming Commission.  "This casino allows this tribe to continue to breathe and live as a sovereign Indian nation."

Since the casino opened, the small, nine-member Augustine tribe has donated more than $1,000,000 to local charities.