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Poarch Band says Muscogee Nation casino lawsuit lacks merit

Filed Under: Litigation
More on: alabama, carcieri, land-into-trust, muscogee, oklahoma, poarch creek, sacred sites, supreme court
   
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama says a lawsuit filed by the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma is without merit.

The Poarch Band is spending $246 million to expand the Wind Creek Wetumpka. The facility is located on trust land under the tribe's jurisdiction.

“While we respect the Muskogee Tribe’s rights as a sovereign Indian nation, we cannot agree with the Muskogee’s efforts to control the use of our land. We believe that this action will be found to be without merit," the Poarch Band said in a statement in response to the Muscogee Nation's lawsuit.

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, the lawsuit claims the land was taken into trust illegally. The decision restricts the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934 -- the Poarch Band didn't gain recognition until 1984.

The complaint also says the Poarch Band is violating federal historic preservation and religious freedom laws. The casino is located on the the Hickory Ground, a burial ground and historic Creek site.

Get the Story:
Muscogee (Creek) Nation files federal lawsuit to stop Wetumpka casino expansion (WSFA-TV 12/12)
Oklahoma Creeks file lawsuit to try to stop Wetumpka casino (Al.Com 12/13)
Tribes face off: Lawsuit filed over Wetumpka casino: Plaintiffs say expansion is on sacred land (The Montgomery Advertiser 12/13)
Creek Nation sues to stop casino expansion on burial site (The Tulsa World 12/13)

Relevant Documents:
Complaint: Muscogee Nation v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians (December 12, 2012)

Related Stories:
Muscogee Nation cites Carcieri in Poarch Creek casino lawsuit (12/12)

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