Gun Lake Vice Chair: Governmental gaming

"In response to Kathy Cassady’s letter—“Think tribal ancestors wanted casino?” No, our ancestors simply wanted to retain our land, culture and sovereignty.

Upon learning that the U.S. Court of Appeals decided in yet another court case that the Gun Lake tribe has the right to build a casino, Chairman D.K. Sprague thanked the Creator because our families have suffered economically and socially for centuries; ever since we lost all the land everyone else currently enjoys, including Kathy Cassady.

Federal agencies and federal judges appointed by the U.S. Congress have concluded that our tribal members suffer from unemployment rates six times that of the surrounding communities. Imagine that, if you can, Ms. Cassady. Consider that Allegan County’s unemployment rate is now above 7 percent.

To directly answer your cynical question, Ms. Cassady, no, our ancestors would never have imaged a casino as reparations for the millions of acres of land that was stolen from us. That is why the word “casino” is not found in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, the Treaty of Chicago (1821), or the Treaty of St. Joseph (1827); all of which were signed by our Chief, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish.

Those treaties did preserve our inherent sovereignty. Under federal and international law, sovereign governments have the right to make laws, collect taxes, protect the rights and welfare of their citizenry and maintain a system of government on their own lands."

Get the Story:
John Shagonaby: Tribal casino is product of governmental sovereignty (The Allegan County News 5/22)

Related Story:
Opponents using final options to quash casino (The Allegan County News 5/22)