Elaine Bethel Fink: Off-reservation casino deserves approval

"Our tribe is located in a poor, rural county with high rates of unemployment and poverty. We have a large number of needy tribal citizens but only a remote, inaccessible piece of land that is owned by individual tribal citizens (not the tribe) and is wholly inadequate to conduct meaningful economic development for our people or the surrounding community. Small Indian land holdings or ranches were called "rancherias" and not "reservations" when they were established in the early 1900s because of their diminutive size and limited usage.

Lacking a functional reservation, we remain essentially landless -- but not hopeless.

Unwilling to accept generations of continued deprivation, we followed the law as set forth in the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and worked collaboratively and transparently with county, state and federal authorities to identify a site, within our historical territory, for a gaming facility."

Get the Story:
North Fork Rancheria Chairwoman Elaine Bethel Fink: This Indian casino isn't a gamble (The Los Angeles Times 8/23)

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