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Trust
McCaleb calls Chickasaws savvy, not deceptive


Former assistant secretary Neal McCaleb admitted the Chickasaw Nation is gaming on land acquired for non-gaming purposes but that it's not "something to be ashamed of," News 9 of Oklahoma City reports.

McCaleb, a tribal member who now works for the tribe's business arm, denied that the Chickasaws did anything wrong in getting speedy land-into-trust approvals while smaller tribes waited for years. "Do some tribes work the system better than others?" he said in a phone interview. "Sure they do."

McCaleb said smaller tribes rely too much on the BIA, the agency he ran for two years under the Bush administration. He said the Chickasaws should be praised for seeking ways to get an "expedited" decision.

"They operated to optimize their profits," he told News 9. "I think that is something we consider a virtue in this country and not something to be ashamed of."

Normally, tribes who seek land for gaming purposes must undergo a rigorous and lengthy approval process. The Chickasaw Nation has never gone through the process since 1988 except for one transaction that is still pending at the BIA's central office in Washington, D.C.

Get the Story:
Some tribes not following casino rules? (News 9 10/26)
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Relevant Links:
Chickasaw Nation - http://www.chickasaw.net

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Hogen says Okla. tribes skirting federal gaming law (05/19)
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Chickasaw Nation 'followed the law' (6/28)
Tribe's land approvals questioned (6/11)