PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The torch is being passed, a Milanovich is once again sitting on the Tribal Council for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Long time Chairman Richard Milanovich led the tribe for nearly 30 years, becoming one of the most influential people in the Valley until his death two years ago.
Now his son, Reid Milanovich, has been elected as a Council Member, hoping to continue his father's legacy.
"It's a great responsibility, it is. It is a lot of work and there is going to be a lot of time and effort going into it. It is a very prestigious position that I am very happy and very honored to have," said Milanovich.
At 30 years old, Reid is the first Milanovich to be elected to the Tribal Council as a Member since his father.
"He's a big influence in my life, and watching him and what he was able to do and what he was able to accomplish is definitely very inspiring to me and is definitely something I aspire to also be like," said Milanovich.
Richard Milanovich was elected Chairman in 1984. It was his vision that you now see today, two hotels and casinos, and a golf resort all providing support to the Tribal community.
"I don't look as filling this position as filling anyone's shoes, I see it as a continuation of bettering the tribe, just like my dad, he spoke very often of how he wanted to continue what the leaders before him did," said Milanovich.
Reid and his siblings grew up hiking in the Indian Canyons with their father.
"He was such a great guy and we had such a special relationship," said Milanovich. "He let me grow with showing me the way and letting me make mistakes and I think I learned a lot through that."
"I really do miss his guidance and his wisdom," said Milanovich.
For Reid, family is everything. "That is a big understatement because my family has been my support beam, they have supported me in every way you can imagine," said Milanovich.
Now Milanovich wants to support them in his new position.
"I would just like to see the tribe grow, I want to see us continue to protect this land. These canyons are glorious, they are very sacred to us, by all means protect them as much as we can," said Milanovich.
Giving back just like his father, "I think he would be really proud and I can imagine him looking down, right now looking down on me with that grin that he has," said Milanovich.
Reid Milanovich was elected to a one year term.
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