indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Gaming clouds already lengthy land-into-trust process
Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Bush administration has made 15 favorable land-into-trust for gaming decisions since 2001 but opposition is delaying the process by years, a senior Bureau of Indian Affairs official said this week.

George Skibine, the acting deputy secretary for economic development and policy, said rumors of a moratorium on land-into-trust decisions are unfounded. But he acknowledged that lengthy challenges to the process make it appear that nothing is happening at the Interior Department.

In reality, Skibine said the Bureau of Indian Affairs has agreed to 15 gaming-related land acquisitions. Most of the decisions are for tribes that were newly recognized or had their federal recognition restored after being terminated. Two involved off-reservation gaming proposals.

Yet every single decision has been challenged in court, Skibine added. Although the federal government, so far, has won every single case, he said the litigation poses a real problem.

"It takes a lot of time to win those lawsuits," Skibine said during a panel at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He said the two off-reservation casinos never became reality because the state governor, under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, vetoed them.

But even non-gaming acquisitions face delays, said Deron Marquez, the outspoken chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California. The tribe operates a successful casino but isn't seeking land for gaming purposes.

"It's taken almost eight years to get land into trust for housing," Marquez said at the panel. Land-into-trust requests for legitimate social, education and other needs "all of a sudden become clouded" due to gaming, he observed.

Skibine and Marquez linked the opposition to growing concern over off-reservation gaming. Skibine said he has nine pending applications for gaming on "far flung" lands that might be hundreds of miles away from an existing reservation.

Marquez and his tribe have been leading Indian Country criticism against the practice. He said it threatens to destroy everything tribes have worked for since the passage of IGRA in 1988.

"The quickest way to end Indian gaming today is reservation shopping," he said, referring to the term used to describe proposals to obtain land away from existing reservations, sometimes in other states.

John Tahsuda, the majority deputy staff director for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, offered a Congressional perspective on the debate. He said "steam" is building up among some lawmakers to curtail, or stop, off-reservation gaming.

"At some point, something's going to happen to let some of this [steam] out," he told attendees.

Tahsuda said he wasn't speaking for his boss, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), but McCain, who chairs the committee, has questioned the practice. "If we have enough off-reservation casinos set up in America we're going to see a backlash against Indian gaming, because that was not the intent of the law," McCain said at a hearing this summer.

Tahsuda outlined efforts to address the situation and warned that they could dramatically alter the way the land-into-trust process works.

Litigation has already forced the BIA to make changes, as the agency now requires tribes to prepare an environmental impact statement for their land acquisitions. Previously, a less-strict environmental assessment was used but court challenges in Michigan prompted the government to make the new requirement.

Related Stories:
Trust land challenge rejected by appeals court (9/15)
NIGC develops system to track Indian lands (07/28)
Bush officials worried about off-reservation gaming (05/20)
BIA official confirms tribes skipping IGRA process (05/19)
Perception and realities in land-into-trust debate (05/19)
Senate panel urged to move with caution on gaming (04/28)
Experts debate legality of revenue-sharing compacts (04/18)
Gaming summit ends with promise but little else (03/31)
Professor downplays impact of off-reservation gaming (3/30)
McCain takes on controversial topics in 109th Congress (03/07)
States asking too much of tribes, leaders say (02/16)
Off-reservation casinos spur action in California (01/28)
California tribes face divisions on key issues (01/27)
Diverse views aired at Indian gaming discussion (11/19)
Column: Big Tim Pawlenty now the Big Indian Fighter (11/01)
Minnesota tribes blast GOP's gaming ads (10/29)
Minnesota governor wants $350M from tribes (10/22)
BIA caught in debate over off-reservation gaming (07/14)
House committee hearing tackles tough topic (7/13)
BIA official promises policy on off-reservation gaming (06/30)
Court upholds off-reservation gaming provision in IGRA (04/30)
IGRA amendments mired in debate over revenues (04/13)
Senate panel debates changes to Indian gaming act (03/25)
Tribal leaders share views on threats to sovereignty (01/20)
Calif. tribes confront 'dangers' facing gaming (01/15)
Campbell cites pressure facing Indian gaming industry (08/05)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Sisseton Wahpeton fighter gets big chance (4/22)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge man behind Revolution Couture (4/22)
CDC reports show high death rates among Native Americans (4/22)
DOI Secretary Sally Jewell delivers keynote at tribal summit (4/22)
DOI Deputy Secretary Mike Connor hosts Earth Day webchat (4/22)
Winona LaDuke: Tribes won't see benefits from Keystone XL (4/22)
Photos: Cowboy Indian Alliance rides to National Mall in DC (4/22)
Alray Nelson: Bring marriage equality to the Navajo Nation (4/22)
Steven Newcomb: UNDRIP falls into domination framework (4/22)
DaShanne Stokes: 'Indian' mascots carry harmful impacts (4/22)
Wendell George: Little Joe connects with his tribal heritage (4/22)
Peter Twitchell: Stop passing the buck on our Yup'ik culture (4/22)
Murray Sinclair: Effects of residential school era will linger (4/22)
Wyoming tribes share per cap from $157M trust settlement (4/22)
Navajo Nation Council reconsiders higher tax on junk foods (4/22)
Choctaw Nation Chief Greg Pyle set to retire after 17 years (4/22)
Opinion: Maps represent destruction of Native people in US (4/22)
Oneida Nation to host PGA championship at resort in 2016 (4/22)
Blog: Climate change impacts Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (4/22)
Supreme Court holding onto ruling in Bay Mills casino case (4/22)
Paskenta Band says leadership issues won't affect casino (4/22)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe on track with casino hotel (4/22)
Deadline approaches for commercial casinos in New York (4/22)
Native Sun News: Keystone XL Pipeline foes headed to DC (4/21)
Native Sun News: Shoni Schimmel is a role model for youth (4/21)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hold hearing on energy (4/21)
Supreme Court takes no action on Indian tobacco petition (4/21)
Linda Capps: Citizen Potawatomi Nation is a good neighbor (4/21)
Bryan Brewer: Supreme Court discriminates against tribes (4/21)
Michell Hicks: Eastern Cherokees return to gardening roots (4/21)
Lisa Charleyboy: Still looking for love under the Indian Act (4/21)
Kiara Imani Williams: Tribal ID dismissed in nation's capital (4/21)
Henry Louis Gates: The myth of African and Indian ancestry (4/21)
DOI looks to spend $2.55M on Makah Nation land buy-back (4/21)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe faces a test of jurisdiction under VAWA (4/21)
State Department needs more time to review Keystone XL (4/21)
Fracking trucks take water from North Dakota reservation (4/21)
Lens Blog: An Indian from India meets Indians from the US (4/21)
Alaska Legislature passes Native language recognition bill (4/21)
Alaska Natives seek return of property for museum at Yale (4/21)
Opinion: Double standard in treatment of Shoshone sisters (4/21)
Column: Frank Waln blends Native traditions with hip-hop (4/21)
Native man's murder trial delayed due to jury roll problem (4/21)
Minneapolis city council to vote on Columbus Day change (4/21)
Opinion: Washington NFL team makes money off racial slur (4/21)
Los Coyotes Band praises action on off-reservation casino (4/21)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe cites ruling in gaming lawsuit (4/21)
Mohegan Tribe reports decline in casino revenue and profit (4/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.