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
Mohawk tribe wins approval for Catskills casino
Monday, October 6, 2003

After more than two years of deliberations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is proposing to take land into trust for the first off-reservation casino in the Catskills region of New York.

In a Federal Register notice being published today, the BIA announces its intent to acquire 66 acres for the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. The land is located hundreds of miles away from the tribe's upstate reservation but only 90 minutes north of New York City.

The decision is a win for the tribe and its partner, Park Place Entertainment, the largest casino company in the world. The tribe had previously received approval during the Clinton administration for an off-reservation casino but at a different site in the Catskills and with a different gaming firm.

The only snag is that Aurene Martin, the BIA's principal deputy assistant secretary, is requiring a more stringent environmental impact statement to be completed before the decision is finalized in January 2004. In the notice, which was signed last Wednesday, she said a draft would be available by November 1.

Gov. George Pataki (R) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), strong proponents of the casino, had been urging the BIA to accept the tribe's environmental assessment. But in the notice, Martin said that changes to the project the need for additional review.

The tribe is looking at a 450,000-square-foot casino, a 2,000-seat theater and several restaurants. Plans for a 2,000-room hotel have been pared to 700 rooms. A parking structure would be built on 141 acres of land adjacent to the 66 acres the BIA will take into trust. Overall, the project is expected to cost $500 million.

The impetus for the casino was Pataki, who successfully lobbied for the biggest expansion of gaming in New York history. In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, state lawmakers passed legislation that authorized compacts for three casinos in the Catskills.

The Akwesasne Nation, also known as the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, is the first to gain approval for a casino there. The tribe submitted its land-into-trust application in March 2001, nearly a year after dropping Catskill Development, its former partner, and signed a compact with Pataki in May of this year.

The casino is supported by the local community, which hopes gaming will restore the economically-depressed region. The tribe is expected to pay a $15 million annual fee to the local county although tribal leaders have questioned the amount.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans, based in Wisconsin, has submitted a 333-acre land-into-trust application to the BIA for what it hopes will be the second Catskills facility. The tribe doesn't have a compact, and Pataki, along with other tribes in New York, say out-of-state tribes don't have gaming rights. The tribe's partner is Trading Cove Associates, the group that launched the Mohegan Tribe's casino in Connecticut.

The Cayuga Nation of New York is also in the game. The tribe submitted a 30-acre land-into-trust application and its partner is Empire Resorts.

The Seneca Nation, which already operates one off-reservation casino and is moving forward with a second, and the Oneida Nation are interested, but have not submitted any applications, according to news reports.

According to the BIA notice, the agency is accepting public comments on the 'scope and implementation" of the draft EIS. Issues to be address would include traffic, noise, water, wetlands, social and "cumulative effects" of the casino.

Public comments on the scope are due October 5 with a public hearing being held on Wednesday in Monticello in Sullivan County. The final EIS is expected to be published in January 2004 and will be followed by a 30-day public comment period. A "record of decision" is expected to be issued on or about March 1, 2004, the notice states.

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mohawk Mountain Resort and Casino, Sullivan County, NY | PDF

Related Stories:
Mohawk chiefs reworking land, gaming settlement (07/16)
New Mohawk chief wants to renegotiate $15M fee (06/24)
Run-off election for Mohawk chief settled (6/23)
N.Y. court invalidates Mohawk casino compact (6/13)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe schedules run-off (6/12)
Mohawk candidates want election held again (6/11)
Catskills weighs effects of Mohawk election (6/10)
Mohawk candidates critical of gaming deal elected (6/9)
Gaming an issue in Mohawk tribal election (6/6)
N.Y. court puts halt to tribal gaming deals (05/20)
DOJ disapproves of Mohawk land and gaming deal (5/15)
Mohawk tribe announces $100M deal with N.Y. (5/13)
Snag resolved in Mohawk land and gaming settlement (5/12)
Announcement of Mohawk land and gaming deal delayed (5/8)
N.Y. to finalize Mohawk land claim and gaming deal (5/7)
Mohawk chiefs accused of meddling (06/07)
Mohawk traditional chiefs affirmed (5/21)
Court strikes Mohawk gaming compact (5/3)
Mohawk members want own casino (4/4)
N.Y. court hears casino compact case (3/26)
BIA can't figure out court ruling (3/21)
Mohawk Tribe changing name (3/8)
Mohawk Tribe blasts 'Chief' editorial (3/5)
Inside the BIA, plenty of drama (3/4)
Ashcroft urged to charge BIA officials (3/1)
Mohawk deal could leave parties out (2/28)
Catskills land-into-trust filed (2/12)

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Doug George-Kanentiio: Iroquois people always give thanks to the stars
There are many star stories in the rich oral traditions of the Iroquois.

Farmers and Ranchers: Long-delayed tribal water compact deserves our support
Without action on a compact for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the consequences for water users, farmers, and ranchers will be dire.

ProPublica: Sentence handed down for death of young Quinault basketball star
A white man in Washington state got 7 1/2 years for a killing some said was fueled by hate.

Cronkite News: Trump's Education secretary defends remarks about undocumented students
Democrats and advocates want Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to disavow her remarks about schools and undocumented students.

Police blame Pawnee man for 'creating a disturbance' while shopping at store
"My heart was hurt, my spirit almost compromised by this," Pawnee citizen Robert Robedeaux says of an incident with police in Oklahoma.

Michigan's highest court accepts case affecting tribe's status as 'local' government
A citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians whose criminal past is hurting his political ambitions is taking his case to a higher power.

Gaming market in Oregon survives after Cowlitz Tribe opens casino
The Cowlitz Tribe recently celebrated the first anniversary of its gaming facility in Washington and its neighbors in Oregon have survived just fine.

Trump administration backs Crow hunter in tribal treaty rights case
The Trump administration has come through for a Crow citizen in a treaty rights dispute. Will it sway the nation's highest court?

It was called the 'Spanish Flu.' But it killed hundreds of Indians too
A worldwide flu pandemic struck Indian Country hard, killing more than 2,000 Navajos and 600 Lakotas one hundred years ago.

Mark Trahant: Three Native women are running for top office in Minnesota
Three Ojibwe women are running for the office of Lt. Governor of Minnesota. Unprecedented?

YES! Magazine: Native hiker helps reclaim indigenous place names
Native climber Len Necefer created indigenous geotags for more than 40 mountains.

Jason Asenap: Confronting colonialism while others celebrate it
How do you honor New Mexico’s colorful past without celebrating violent colonialism in racially charged festivities?

Ivan Star Comes Out: Our children aren't growing up with our culture
From what I have witnessed during my 60-plus years of life, most of our college graduates are culturally handicapped and they do not speak Lakota.

Oops. An Air Force Base lost grenade launcher ammunition on a reservation
A rough reservation road led to the loss of grenade launcher ammunition. The Air Force is offering a $5,000 reward for it.

Online gaming also on the table as Connecticut negotiates with tribes
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe are moving closer to online gaming and sports betting in Connecticut.

Trump administration finally informs tribes about dramatic reorganization
After keeping Indian Country in the dark for more than a year, the Trump administration is ready to consult with tribes.

A 'dark period' in American history: Repatriation committee gets back on track
A 'dark period' in American history: Repatriation committee gets back on track
After a long wait, the Trump administration announced new advocates for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

'Another threat to water': Fort Peck Tribes angered by oil well spill
Some 600 barrels of oil and 90,000 barrels of production water, also known as brine, spilled from an oil well on the Fort Peck Reservation.

Cronkite News: Trump ally submits signatures for busy Senate race
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio supports everything Donald Trump does. But he's not a "yes man."

Mary Annette Pember: Indian Country Today set for relaunch on June 4
Mark your calendars: the new Indian Country Today debuts at the mid-year session of the National Congress of American Indians.

Malinda Maynor Lowery: Indigenous people are the original Southerners
Malinda Maynor Lowery: Indigenous people are the original Southerners
When people see Southern history in black and white, where are American Indians? A Lumbee citizen asks a key question.

Pamunkey Tribe not invited to local meeting about casino plan
Local officials in Virginia are hosting a town hall to discuss plans for a casino only they haven't invited a key player.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians schedules referendum on alcohol
Citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will decide whether the tribe will operate its own liquor store on the reservation in North Carolina.

School on Pine Ridge Reservation immerses children in Lakota culture
School on Pine Ridge Reservation immerses children in Lakota culture
A school on the Pine Ridge Reservation is immersing children in Lakota culture, turning the tide against genocide and trauma.

Tribes back bill to protect ancestral lands from Trump's energy push
Tribes back bill to protect ancestral lands from Trump's energy push
Tribal leaders want to prevent the Trump administration from allowing energy development on ancestral lands.

House committee set to advance Republican-sponsored Indian bills
House committee set to advance Republican-sponsored Indian bills
The House Committee on Natural Resources is due to advance three Indian bills at a markup session on Capitol Hill.

Indian Health Service back in the hot seat with budget hearing
Indian Health Service back in the hot seat with budget hearing
It's almost been a year since the Indian Health Service came under heavy fire before lawmakers who control the agency's funding.

Cronkite News: San Carlos Apache activist joins rally at U.S. Capitol
Cronkite News: San Carlos Apache activist joins rally at U.S. Capitol
'There are many issues that need to be addressed, but Congress doesn’t matter if there’s no water,' said Apache activist Wendsler Nosie Sr.

Graham Lee Brewer: Discrimination against Native students all too common
Graham Lee Brewer: Discrimination against Native students all too common
Discrimination against two young Mohawk men at Colorado State University highlights an all-too-common misunderstanding.

Mark Trahant: Paulette Jordan could be the first Native governor
Mark Trahant: Paulette Jordan could be the first Native governor
Conventional wisdom says Paulette Jordan has no chance, but Idaho is changing fast.

Scrambled Eggs: How the Trump team is mixing up the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Scrambled Eggs: How the Trump team is mixing up the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Still wondering about that reorganization? A former Bureau of Indian Affairs official explains it.

Yakama Nation dedicates new center to help veterans with services
Yakama Nation dedicates new center to help veterans with services
The Yakama Warriors Association finally has a place to call home on the reservation in Washington.

Teen ordered to apologize to treaty tribes for starting massive fire
Teen ordered to apologize to treaty tribes for starting massive fire
A 15-year-old boy started a massive fire that endangered treaty and cultural resources along the Columbia River.

Navajo Nation casinos generate another $10 million for chapter communities
Gaming continues to benefit communities on the Navajo Nation.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe gains local support for homelands legislation
After seeing some initial opposition, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has gained local support for a bill to protect its homelands in Massachusetts.

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.