indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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...
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation aims for 'biggest and best' holiday

As we honor our heritage and culture, we know Cherokee National Holiday is about coming home for many attendees.

Gila River Indian Community denied funds for tribal veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs does not have to reimburse the Gila River Indian Community for services provided to tribal veterans.

'An answer to our prayers': Trump takes hit on Keystone XL Pipeline

The Trump administration must conduct a more thorough review of the Keystone XL Pipeline in response to a lawsuit filed by Native activists.

Tara Sweeney quietly takes helm at Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Trump administration has kept the first Alaska Native in the leadership post out of view for weeks.

Winnebago tribal corporation makes another go at gaming

Ho-Chunk Inc. plans to double down on its bet that Nebraska voters support casino gambling. And maybe sports betting.

New Bureau of Indian Affairs leader takes action on gaming

Tara Sweeney might have been kept out of view by the Trump administration but that doesn't mean she hasn't been working hard in Washington.

Mark Trahant: Native candidates make history at the polls again

Minnesota is certain to elect a Native woman as its next lieutenant governor.

Salmon recovery threatened by rising numbers of sea lions

Reducing sea lion and seal populations in our region is a difficult, but necessary action that must be taken.

Gordy Adams: Combating methamphetamine in tribal housing

As director of housing for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, methamphetamine usage in our housing units has and continues to be a problem.

'A good start': Department of Energy finally launches tribal loans

More than 10 years after it was approved, a loan program for tribal energy projects is finally off the ground.

Navajo Nation makes history with solar powered plant

The Kayenta Solar Project is the first large-scale solar farm on the Navajo Nation and the largest tribally owned renewable power plant in the country.

Jason Asenap: Indigenous filmmakers persist against all odds

Indigenous film festivals showcase Native stories, but more support is needed to reach mainstream audiences.

Indian, Native or Indigenous. Which one would you choose?

The word 'Native' was picked by a bunch of white newspaper editors trying to find a way to describe Indians that Indians would not find offensive.

Forest County Potawatomi Community celebrates hotel milestone

The Forest County Potawatomi Community is on track to complete an $80 million casino expansion project.

Indian Country awaits busy season at Supreme Court amid big change

The Supreme Court might get a new justice soon but it's not clear whether Brett Kavanaugh understands tribes and their issues.

Landowners on Rosebud Reservation see more Cobell buy-back offers

Citizens of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe are benefiting from a third round of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

Native American Agriculture Fund begins work with $266 million fund

The Keepseagle settlement has created the largest philanthropic organization in Indian Country.

'Water Is Life': Tribal activists battle another oil pipeline

An encampment of protesters is resisting the crude oil industry, whose environmental disasters disproportionately affect the poor and people of color.

Tribes in court to challenge huge copper mine on ancestral territory

A massive open-pit copper mine in Arizona is being challenged by the Hopi Tribe, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Robert Alexander Innes: A symbol of Indigenous genocide comes down

Perpetrators of genocide should never be forgotten, but they should not be celebrated either.

'It's monumental for me': Mechoopda Tribe wins local support for casino

After nearly two decades of battles, the Mechoopda Tribe has finally won local support for its long-delayed casino in California.

Tribes see decline in slot machine revenues as they await new arrival

With a non-Indian rival about to open a new facility, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe are entering a new era.

Guilty plea for sexual assault at Mashantucket Pequot casino hotel

A 25-year-old man is facing eight years in prison for a sexual assault at the casino owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

Appeals court hands lifeline to 'Lifeline' program in Indian Country

Controversial changes to a program that helps tribal citizens obtain telephone, cell phone and internet service are on hold thanks to court action.

'We are against this': Tribes continue to oppose Trump reorganization

The Trump administration's attempt to reorganize the Bureau of Indian Affairs continues to fall flat.

Lori Jump: Cultural abuse is an attack on our spirituality

For Native peoples, spirituality is often the core of who we are and our way of life. To have our spirit attacked is as personal as an attack can get.

Rosalyn LaPier: Feeling the power of tribal sacred sites

Historically, Native American tribes have struggled to explain why certain landscapes are sacred for them.

Farmers in Indian Country share their traditions worldwide

Native American communities are trying to grow their agriculture presence even larger to preserve their culture and traditions.

Sharice Davids couldn't get Indian housing in South Dakota

Sharice Davids lived and worked on the Pine Ridge Reservation and her experiences there shaped her bid for U.S. Congress.

Yakama Nation business loses treaty claim in taxation case

A tobacco manufacturer on the Yakama Nation is on the hook for almost $58 million in federal taxes after losing a treaty rights case.

Mohegan Tribe on track with first phase of big project in Korea

The Mohegan Tribe is meeting with officials in South Korea to update them on the Inspire project.

Seminole Tribe spends another $5 million to protect gaming empire

The Seminole Tribe is trying to convince voters in Florida to limit new non-Indian casinos.

'It honors all of our people': Ponca Tribe dedicates statue of Chief Standing Bear

Chief Standing Bear is once again watching over his people in Nebraska.

'He's protecting us': Pine Ridge family adopts coyote

The coyote pup came to the family in a box, all curled up and quiet, so quiet.

U.S. Army looking for families of children buried at boarding school

The military is reaching out to Indian Country to help identify tribal youth who died while attending the infamous Carlisle boarding school.

Welcome to the Quapaw Nation: Tribal voters approve name change

Citizens of the Quapaw Tribe didn't just re-elect their longtime leader when they went to the polls, they chose a new way to refer to themselves.

Tim Giago: The church taught us that our ancestors were sinners

Making a saint of the Lakota holy man Black Elk won't change the brutal history of the Catholic Church.

Mark Charles: Our country has a long history of White supremacy

The United States of America is White supremacist, racist and sexist because of our foundations.

YES! Magazine: Schools offer sensitive care for Native students

Students in Native communities are disproportionately affected by trauma.

Funds from Keepseagle settlement continue flowing to Indian Country

Indian farmers and ranchers are getting a second check while tribes, non-profits and other organizations are seeing grants from the Keepseagle settlement.

'I have it on my fireplace': New York governor took eagle feather

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is promising to do something about an eagle feather he said his family took without permission.

Hopland Band shuts down casino due to largest wildfire in state history

The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians has laid off all employees at its casino, after it was forced to evacuate due to ongoing fires.

Mechoopda Tribe makes progress on long-delayed gaming project

The Mechoopda Tribe has signed a Class III gaming compact with the state of California and could gain some unexpected support for the agreement.

Santa Ysabel Band loses decision in online bingo betting dispute

The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel has hit a dead end with its short-lived online gaming business.

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.