Guidiville Chair: Efforts to restrict off-reservation gaming unfair

"Sens. Feinstein and Harry Reid, D-Nev., have been actively intimidating Department of Interior staff to stall tribal applications regardless of the law. Unable to force the administration to reject legitimate tribal claims, the senators now are trying to change IGRA with a sneaky backroom deal, absent due process, and in conflict with President Obama’s policy of “transparency.” Their strategy is an 11th hour appropriations rider, a process Sen. Feinstein has objected to when it suited her.

Over the past 22 years there have been many attempts to change IGRA. Congress, however, has consistently found that the law works well in its current form.

When Congress passed IGRA, a number of tribes, including Guidiville, were landless because the federal government illegally stripped them of their recognition and their land. Lawmakers wisely included a “Restored Lands” provision allowing these tribes to acquire land for gaming and economic independence.

“Restored Land” tribes are not “reservation shopping” as Sen. Feinstein wrongfully stated. Reservation shopping applies to tribes with existing reservations that shop for new lands to develop a more profitable casino site. There currently are no active “reservation shopping” proposals in the Bay Area.

Sen. Feinstein claimed that “Restored Lands” projects in urban areas, like our tribe’s proposal for Point Molate, defy California and federal law. That is simply untrue."

Get the Story:
Merlene Sanchez: Feinstein efforts violate Native rights (Indian Country Today 12/13)

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