Dave Palermo: Gaming plays role in federal recognition process

Dave Palermo on federal recognition and Indian gaming:
Considering that gambling has pretty much hijacked every aspect of federal American Indian policy, it comes as no surprise it would have a major impact on indigenous groups seeking federal recognition as tribal governments.

And because California is home to 109 of the 366 federally recognized tribes in the lower 48 states, it is only natural the Golden State would be in the eye of the Indian recognition storm.

Scott Gabaldon, chairman of the Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley, had his reasons for attending a 2011 gathering of the National Council of Legislators from Gambling States at the Rio Suites hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

Wappo Indians indigenous to California’s Napa Valley are suing the federal government for terminating their rancheria in 1959. They are seeking a court ruling restoring Wappo’s status as a recognized tribe.

Gabaldon will not acknowledge the tribe hopes to get into the gambling business. But he believes Wappo can contribute to Napa Valley’s vibrant tourism industry.

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Dave Palermo: Gambling and Tribal Recognition Policy (Pechanga.net 3/11

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