Dave Palermo: Indian gaming for the next four years at the BIA

Dave Palermo reports on the the next four years of Indian gaming under President Barack Obama and Assistant Secretary Kevn Washburn, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs:
Holding the line on revenue sharing in tribal-state casino compacts and helping American Indian governments restore ancestral lands will continue to be priorities for the U.S. Department of Interior in President Barack Obama’s second term, current and former federal officials say.

DOI policy under Obama “is based upon principles that tribes must have an adequate land base to develop their economies,” says attorney Bryan Newland, policy adviser to Larry Echo Hawk, Obama’s initial appointee as assistant secretary for Indian affairs.

Newland, a citizen of Michigan’s Bay Mills Indian Community who left federal service to enter private practice, says DOI and its Bureau of Indian Affairs under Obama “operates on the belief tribes should exercise control over their own lands.”

So it was no surprise last October that Kevin Washburn’s first act as successor to Echo Hawk was to reject a draft compact between Massachusetts and the Mashpee Wampanoag that infringed on tribal authority and called for a 21.5 percent state share of casino revenues.

Washburn’s tribal gambling mantra for the next four years as head of the BIA is apparently written in the congressional intent of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.

Get the Story:
Dave Palermo: Turning Over a New Leaf (Tribal Government Gaming 2013)

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