Opinion: Approve North Fork off-reservation casino compact

Writer calls on California lawmakers to approve a Class III gaming compact for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians:
Enter the North Fork Tribe. In the 1960’s the tribe was terminated as a result of an act of Congress. In 1983 through litigation North Fork regained their status as a tribe, but they were “landless” because their lands had been distributed (there is a family within their tribe who individually owns some of their ancestral land, but that family cannot be compelled to give it up). Fortunately for the North Fork Tribe, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act sets forth a process for such “landless” tribes to acquire future lands in trust that would qualify for gaming – a very arduous, lengthy process, requiring a historical connection to the site, support from the local community, and approval from the state’s Governor.

Fast-forward into this millennium, and the North Fork Tribe begins this process, starting with the acquisition of land in nearby Madera County, and starts through the vigorous federal approval process, and ultimately, despite vigorous opposition from other tribes – after nearly a decade – last year the U.S. Department of the Interior, with the concurrence of Governor Brown, placed this 305 acre parcel in Madera County, right off of Highway 99, into trust for North Folk – it was now tribal land, and eligible to be the site for a gaming casino.

Get the Story:
Jon Fleischman: North Folk Tribal Gaming Compact Deserves Ratification (Fox & Hounds 5/1)

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