Monday, January 31, 2011


Litigation expected to delay Cowlitz casino by at least 18 months
Friday, January 28, 2011

Litigation will delay a casino for the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington by at least 18 months, the tribe's partner said.

Officials in Clark County are going to sue the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approving the tribe's land-into-trust application. The deadline to file is February 4.

The tribe's partner is the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut. The Mohegans have reportedly spent $40 million on the project so far.

Get the Story:
Mohegan Tribe, partners in Cowlitz casino, says legal challenges could take more than a year (The Oregonian 1/28)
Mohegans say Cowlitz casino will be “exciting destination” (The Columbian 1/28)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Land-into-trust issues cloud gaming plans for at least two tribes
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians of Michigan, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, will open its first casino on February 11 but land-into-trust issues could affect future gaming plans.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs placed a 147-acre site in trust for the tribe in January 2009. A few weeks later, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.

The decision restricts the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934. The Gun Lake Tribe didn't gain federal recognition until 1998, an issue that will be revived now that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit against the BIA.

The Cowlitz Tribe of Washington is the target of a similar lawsuit. The BIA agreed to place 152 acres in trust for the tribe but local officials are going to sue over the 1934 issue.

The tribe gained federal recognition in 2000. The BIA addressed the 1934 issue in its record of decision on the land-into-trust application.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Story taken from't the Cowlitz, the tribe that Mohegans were going in business with to open a casino in Washington? Is that deal dead? Where are the Mohegans going to get the money for this project? What are you going to do about this Chairman Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum? What do you think?

Friday, January 21, 2011


Union seeks jobs with new casino
Friday, January 21, 2011

PALMER - Construction union leaders urged their members Wednesday to contact legislators to push for passage of a law allowing casinos in the state and one specifically in Western Massachusetts.

"This is our time. This is the last shot we are going to have. Call your elected officials," said Daniel D'Alma, the business manager of Local 7 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

D'Alma said 120 of the 450 members of his electrical workers local are out of work and they need a major project like the proposal to build a resort hotel and casino in Palmer across Route 32 from the Massachusetts Turnpike toll plaza.

"This should happen this time around," D'Alma said during a rally that attracted more than 60 members of local construction trade unions to the Steaming Tender restaurant Wednesday night.

Palmer Town Councilor Paul Burns, a strong advocate of the Mohegan Sun proposal for a casino in Palmer, spoke openly during the rally of his frustration over the collapse of legislative efforts in Massachusetts last year to legalize casino gambling.

But Burns said that in the first weeks of this year's legislative session the leaders of the Senate, House of Representatives and Gov. Deval L. Patrick are already talking compromise.

Legislation was approved by both houses in July authorizing three casinos and stipulating that at least one be located in the four westernmost counties of the state, but ultimately that bill died because Patrick objected to permitting slot machines at race tracks without bidding, a measure pushed by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.

Burns said the potential for a compromise that would lead to a law authorizing a casino in Western Massachusetts is good news for Palmer, a town that for years has seen majorities favor having a casino.

"The people in Palmer understand this issue and they are ready to move forward," Burns said. "If the casino moves east, the jobs will move east with it. Instead of having a seat at the table, we will be eating crumbs off the floor again."

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Will Native Americans get priority on contracts if the casino is Built? Where will the Mohegans get the money to do such a project? Will the Mohegans purchase the land or will they lease it? Will this ever happen or is another pipe dream of the MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority)? What do you think?'


(NECN) - City leaders in Fall River, Massachusetts have reportedly decided not to roll the dice on a casino there.

The Cape Cod Times reports city officials told the Mashpee Wampanoags their $21 million offer for land in fall river is off the table.

Instead, they'll consider bringing in a biotechnology park.

The Wampanoags have been pushing for a casino for nearly four years.

Last year, the tribe scrapped a deal it had with Middleboro because it was facing so much opposition.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's casino project delayed by litigation
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Last year, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe agreed to pay a total of $21 million to buy land for a casino in Fall River, Massachusetts.

But litigation has delayed the tribe from acquiring the land. The first deadline passed in November and it looks like a second deadline will pass next month as the lawsuit continues in state court.

A group of 10 residents, including the leader of a state-recognized tribe, say the land deal is illegal. They say state law hasn't authorized casino-style gaming and that the city should have started a bidding process for the land.

A judge has issued a preliminary injunction against the sale of the land. The next hearing in the case will be held in late March or April, The Fall River Herald News reported.

The tribe has already included the site in its land-into-trust application at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Monday, January 10, 2011


BIA puts hold on all two-part off-reservation casino applications
Monday, January 10, 2011

The Obama administration has put a hold on all two-part determination applications for off-reservation casinos.

There are currently nine pending applications, some dating back nearly a decade. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs won't make a decision until Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk develops his own policy on the matter, a spokesperson for the Interior Department said.

“Last year, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar instructed Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk to undertake a comprehensive review of Department of the Interior policy on the two-part determination exemption under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for taking land into trust for gaming purposes. As part of the review, Echo Hawk held six consultation meetings with Indian leaders around the country which finished on Dec. 18, 2010,” spokesperson Kendra Barkoff told The Hood River News. “Mr. Echo Hawk’s office is currently reviewing the comments received as part of that consultation and determining the next steps on the process for considering two-part determination applications for tribes."

The nine applications include one from the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. The BIA has approved a Class III gaming compact for a proposed off-reservation casino but the casino itself remains in limbo.

"This is a major hurdle for our project to clear and is long-awaited good news for the tribal families who hope that our casino and resort project at Cascade Locks will bring a measure of economic relief from our impoverished conditions," Tribal Secretary Jody Calica said in a press release.

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the two-part determination process requires approval of an off-reservation casino by the BIA and the state governor. Since 1988, only three tribes have successfully cleared both hurdles.


Friday, January 7, 2011


For Native Americans Recession Hits a Lot Harder
Published 6 Jan 2011, 10:51 am

The US Mint on January 12th will celebrate the release of this year’s $1 coin in its Native American series. The coin features the images of a Native American and white man passing a peace pipe. This represents a 1621 treaty signed between a tribe in Massachusetts and the area’s English settlers.

However, as the Federal government honors the history and contributions of Native Americans with a new coin, Indigenous people are among the least likely to have one in their pocket.

An issue brief released by the Economic Policy Institute in November shows that Native Americans are experiencing significantly higher rates of unemployment than whites. Titled, “Different Race, Different Recession: American Indian Unemployment in 2010,” the brief examines regional unemployment rates among American Indians.

From the first half of 2007 to the first half of 2010, whites in Alaska and the Northern Plains were not hit as hard by the recession as their counterparts in other areas.

However for Native Americans, unemployment rose the most in these two regions in the same period. To calculate the unemployment rate among this diverse and widespread group, the Economic Policy Institute looked at employment-to-population ratios, instead of the more common method that excludes unemployed people who have stopped actively looking for work.

The employment-to-population ratio counts all working age adults who are not employed, and is considered by some to be a more accurate assessment of unemployment.

GUEST: Algernon Austin, author of the Brief and Director of the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy program at the Economic Policy Institute

Find out more at

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Seneca Nation pushes rejection of Catskills off-reservation casino
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Seneca Nation of New York is urging the Obama administration to reject an off-reservation casino for the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians of Wisconsin.

The Senecas say the Mohicans aren't entitled to a casino in the Catskills region of New York. The Senecas say the site is too far from the Mohicans' current headquarters.

"The ability of the [Stockbridge Munsee Band] to exercise jurisdiction over these lands is hampered by the sheer distance between Bowler, WI and Monticello, NY - in excess of 1,000 driving miles and several states away," Seneca Nation Robert Odawi Porter wrote in a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The Stockbridge Munsee Band reached a land claim settlement and a gaming compact with former New York governor David Paterson late last year. New Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) says the deal is legal.