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 www.indianz.com.....Wasn'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?