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
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
NIGC reaffirms shutdown of Meskwaki casino
Friday, September 12, 2003

The Meskwaki Tribe's casino in Iowa will remain closed until a federally recognized leadership gains control of the facility, federal gaming regulators said on Thursday.

In a final decision, the National Indian Gaming Commission extended the shutdown of the casino. The three members of the commission said they would consider changing their minds if the tribe proved it was satisfying federal law.

"The goal of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to promote strong tribal governments is best served by requiring that tribes follow the rule of law, in this case, by having federally recognized leadership," NIGC vice-chairman Nelson Westrin said in a statement. "Allowing the unrecognized faction to retain control of an operating casino would create instability and a harmful precedent in Indian country, ultimately undermining the integrity of Indian gaming."

The casino has been closed since May, when an internal dispute boiled over into the courts and the public eye. Just two months prior, a rival faction of the tribe, dissatisfied with the leadership of the federally recognized tribal council headed by Alex Walker Jr., had taken over some tribal facilities and the casino, which generates $3 million a week and employs about 1,100.

The instability prompted NIGC chairman Phil Hogen to issue a notice of violation (NOV) to the tribe on April 30. In it, he said gaming at the casino was "not being conducted by . . . the governmental authority recognized by the Secretary of the Interior."

When the faction headed by Homer Bear Jr. refused to return control to the recognized council, NIGC went to court. A federal judge agreed with Hogen and, on May 23, U.S. Marshals closed the casino.

Since then, there has been little progress on getting it reopened. The rival factions asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals for help but the court, in a unanimous decision issued August 27, said it couldn't intervene in internal tribal matters. The court then upheld NIGC's shutdown order, which at the time was temporary.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs continues to recognize Walker and his allies as the legitimate tribal leadership. But BIA officials pressured Walker to schedule a recall that tribal members have been seeking for several months. The election is set for October 21.

Bear and his supporters held an election in late May in which a record number of members voted against Walker's group. But the BIA won't recognize the results of the vote because officials say it wasn't held in accordance with tribal law.

The casino's closure has put a hit on the Tama County economy, an unemployment numbers are up. It has also affected the BIA school on the reservation, whose administrator is working with Walker in order to ensure BIA funding. Some parents were keeping students home as a result, according to news accounts.

The leadership dispute has its roots in the management of the casino and what critics contend is Walker's unlawful interference. Walker twice tried to fire the tribe's gaming commission, which is charged with regulating the casino. The commission was seeking to investigate some of Walker's actions, which included a $37,500 bonus payment to the casino's manager.

Recent Court Decision:
IN RE: SAC & FOX TRIBE OF THE MISSISSIPPI IN IOWA, No. 03-2329/2355 (8th Cir. August 27, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Meskwaki Tribe Litigation, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals - http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/casino.html

Related Stories:
Appeals court sides with NIGC on casino shutdown (08/28)
Iowa county says it will evict Meskwaki rivals (08/18)
DOI judge says Meskwaki casino should reopen (08/13)
BIA calls on Meskwaki Tribe to hold recall election (08/06)
Meskwaki factions ask court to reopen casino (07/25)
Meskwaki factions and NIGC head to court on casino (7/24)
Appeals court holding hearing on Meskwaki casino (07/09)
Meskwaki dispute centers on recall petitions (7/7)
Meskwaki faction agrees to create election board (7/3)
Meskwaki faction votes to oust law firm (6/27)
Meskwaki faction says BIA agreed to election (6/23)
DOI meeting with Meskwaki Tribe canceled (6/20)
DOI to discuss Meskwaki leadership dispute (6/19)
Editorial: Don't interfere in tribal affairs (6/19)
Meskwaki faction wants to fire rival law firm (6/10)
8th Circuit court won't reopen Meswaki casino (05/30)
8th Circuit reviewing Meskwaki casino shutdown (5/28)
BIA won't recognize Meskwaki Tribe election (5/27)
Federal marshals close Meskwaki Tribe's casino (5/23)
Meskwaki voters asked to choose new leaders (5/22)
Meskwaki voters urged to vote for new council (5/21)
NIGC asks court to close Meskwaki Tribe's casino (5/20)
Judge calls for receivership for Meskwaki funds (5/19)
Meskwaki casino stays open during leadership spat (5/15)
NIGC orders Meskwaki Tribe to close casino (5/14)
State threatens Meskwaki compact over dispute (5/9)
Meskwaki factions can't agree on discussions (5/8)
Talks between Meskwaki leaders break down (5/6)
Meskwaki Tribe works to resolve dispute (5/5)
NIGC says Meskwaki Tribe in violation of IGRA (5/1)
Meskwaki leadership dispute continues (4/30)
Editorial: NIGC should interfere in tribal dispute (04/24)
NIGC threatens to close Meskwaki Tribe's casino (4/23)
Meskwaki leadership dispute won't affect payroll (4/18)
Federal judge won't intervene in Meskwaki dispute (4/16)
Meskwaki Tribe undergoing leadership struggle (4/10)
Meskwaki tribal council removed and replaced (03/27)

Copyright 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: Oglala Sioux people aren't afraid to say no to easy cash (9/1)
Native Sun News: Release of secret uranium mining data ordered (9/1)
Mark Trahant: It's past time for tribal leaders to govern the nation (9/1)
Jennie Stockle: A safe space for opponents of offensive mascotry (9/1)
John Christian Hopkins: A big thank you to the friend I never met (9/1)
National Museum of the American Indian celebrates 10th birthday (9/1)
Mother arrested in connection with child's death on Navajo Nation (9/1)
Opinion: Energy development can help secure tribal independence (9/1)
Cherokee Nation announces $170M casino and retail development (9/1)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe won't be sharing gaming revenues this quarter (9/1)
Seminole Tribe on track to see gaming revenues increase to $2.1B (9/1)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe to reopen gaming facility in February 2015 (9/1)
Editorial: Tohono O'odham Nation didn't play by 'rules' with casino (9/1)
Opinion: Gaming good for Eastern Cherokees but not for fellow tribe (9/1)
Opinion: Federal recognition only means more casinos in California (9/1)
Native Sun News: Tribes walk out of contract support cost meeting (8/29)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe spends $2.4M on property (8/29)
Mike Johanns: Retracing steps of great Ponca Chief Standing Bear (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: Racist mascot a sign of deeper problems in US (8/29)
Lauren Jones: Affordable Care Act benefits Native Americans too (8/29)
Gila River Indian Community to see $77.6M from Cobell buy-back (8/29)
Energy boom linked to rise in human trafficking in Indian Country (8/29)
Navajo man heads up Native American Homelessness Task Force (8/29)
9th Circuit hears case over Yakama Nation tobacco manufacturer (8/29)
WAER: ICWA matters handled in 'kangaroo courts' in South Dakota (8/29)
MPR: Red Lake Nation opposes liquor license near dry reservation (8/29)
Tule River Tribe helps remove marijuana operation on reservation (8/29)
Omaha Tribe signs agreement with EPA to improve utility services (8/29)
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe rejected 'gift' from NFL team's foundation (8/29)
KPLU: Spokane Tribe maintains close ties with baseball franchise (8/29)
Opinion: HUD loan program a small step to boost Indian housing (8/29)
DNA study finds distinct population of Native people in Arctic area (8/29)
Tribes closely watching Big Lagoon Rancheria casino land dispute (8/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation to build off-reservation casino in phases (8/29)
State questions Forest County Powatatomi Tribe's slot machines (8/29)
Quapaw Tribe eyes local support for commercial casino in Kansas (8/29)
Native Sun News: Police officers who shot Indian teen get medals (8/28)
Cara Cowan Watts: Laying the groundwork for college scholarship (8/28)
Rudolph Ryser: Indigenous nations need leverage to bring change (8/28)
DOI extends $100M in Cobell buy-back offers on two reservations (8/28)
Cobell buy-backs could return over 38K acres to tribe in Montana (8/28)
Five-year-old Navajo boy sent home from school for his long hair (8/28)
Three charged with murder for death of Mississippi Choctaw man (8/28)
Lummi Nation seeks cooperation after ruling in treaty rights case (8/28)
Artist Gregg Deal takes on Indian mascots for performance piece (8/28)
Sports announcer won't use Washington NFL team's name on air (8/28)
Recruiter from Spokane Tribe's college selected for Peirone Prize (8/28)
California tribes support release of water to benefit salmon runs (8/28)
Southern Ute Tribe invests $2B in big energy production system (8/28)
County hires lobbying firm to oppose federal recognition reforms (8/28)
Tohono O'odham Nation breaks ground for off-reservation casino (8/28)
Cherokee Nation starts construction on casino at Indian allotment (8/28)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe responds to opponents in casino suit (8/28)
Jamul Band continues work on $360M casino after victory in court (8/28)
Editorial: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe ups ante in casino feud (8/28)
Ho-Chunk Nation launches outreach effort amid casino expansion (8/28)
Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments over gaming initiative (8/28)
Tim Giago: Greedy lawyers and government ruin Cobell settlement (8/27)
Native Sun News: Facility in Montana set to house Indian inmates (8/27)
Gerald Gipp: National strategy needed to reform Indian education (8/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | 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.