Opinion: Fort Sill Apache Tribe deserves fair shake on compact

The Fort Sill Apache Reservation in southern New Mexico. Photo from Facebook

New Mexico Sen. John Arthur Smith (D) urges equal treatment for the Fort Sill Apache Tribe when it comes to a Class III gaming compact:
Right now the tribe operates a small travel center on its reservation at Akela Flats. It would like to do more.

It would like to participate like all the other tribes in tribal gaming to provide needed funds for tribal government infrastructure, and programs for its people. It would like to build a cultural center and housing and other tribal governmental operations.

But the tribe is being treated like outsiders by the state. Many other tribes and pueblos are allowed to have gaming. The governor continues to insist on road blocks for the Fort Sill Apaches. For the people around Deming with some of the highest unemployment in the state, it means a road block to hundreds of future jobs and hope for the future.

The gaming market is not saturated on the 1-10 corridor in Southwestern New Mexico. There are no gaming establishments there at all. Akela Flats can attract potential interstate customers and jobs.

Fairness and equality should matter to all citizens of the New Mexico. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution of New Mexico guarantees it.

Get the Story:
John Arthur Smith: Gaming compact must treat Fort Sill tribe fairly (The Ruidoso News 3/17)

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