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Opinion: Time to reconsider status of Indians

"Washington should more fundamentally reconsider the status of American Indians. There's much to regret in America's treatment of the continent's original inhabitants.

But that's still not a good reason to create artificial enclaves with special privileges not possessed by the rest of the population. Such as opening casinos when no one else has that right.

Indeed, the best thing for American Indians would be to escape their protected, regulated status. Admittedly, casinos have been a boon for many tribes. Observes Dee Pigsley, chairwoman of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, "No other development could return the kind of profits that a casino could offer."

But Indians should participate in a variety of entrepreneurial enterprises rather than be dependent on public subsidies through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and artificial gaming monopolies through Congress. America's Indians once were oppressed and mistreated. Today, however, many of them have become sophisticated business operators and political players."

Get the Story:
Doug Bandow: Challenging the Indian gaming monopoly (Town Hall 3/9)