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DOI attorney says tribes already paid for land

A Department of Interior attorney has told the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma that they were already paid $15 million for 27 million acres in Colorado, The Denver Post reports.

The tribes are claiming the land in hopes of settling for a casino in the state. But in a letter, Matt McKeown, the assistant solicitor for Indian affairs, said the department can't revisit the settlement, reached through the Indian Claims Commission.

The letter says the tribes can seek approval for the casino through the state. But Gov. Bill Owens (R) yesterday said he would not negotiate a settlement.

The letter also says the tribes can sue in federal court or seek approval through Congress. Colorado's delegation is opposed to any legislative riders benefiting the project.

Get the Story:
Indian casino quashed (The Denver Post 9/9)
Casino showdown (The Denver Rocky Mountain News 9/9)
Colorado governor disputes tribes' claim to millions of acres (AP 9/8)

Relevant Links:
Cheyenne-Arapaho Homecoming Project -

Related Stories:
Editorial: Governor right to oppose out-of-state tribes (09/02)
Colorado governor to attend land claim briefing (8/30)
Senate panel to hold briefing on Cheyenne-Arapaho bid (08/13)
Colorado governor rejects Cheyenne-Arapaho bid (06/21)
Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes offer $1B for stolen land (05/14)
Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes file notice of land claim (05/13)
Stevens files Alaska Native gaming rider (01/24)