INDIO, Calif. - A former tribal chairman who helped build the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino was memorialized Saturday.
John James of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians passed away in April at the age of 86.
"The Father of Native American Gaming" was recognized and respected throughout the U.S., and was remembered in Indio.
"It was never about getting recognition for himself, or becoming someone with a lot of esteem or success," James' granddaughter, Dana Washington, said. "He just wanted to make things better for his tribe, and for them to have a place at the table."
The memorial included a tribal blessing and military honors.
James served in the Army during the Korean War.