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Alabama senator doesn't believe in sovereignty

Tribes shouldn't be treated sovereign governments and should be subject to state laws, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said at a recent meeting, The Fort Payne Times-Journal reports.

Shelby spoke about his objections to a pending tribal land acquisition in Fort Payne. He said he will block any efforts by the United Keetoowah Band, an Oklahoma tribe, to assert sovereignty in Alabama.

"I've always thought the Indiana [sic] reservation should be subject to the laws of the state they are in," he was quoted as saying. "I believe Indians are not a sovereign nation. Either we are the United States or we’re not."

The tribe is acquiring 69 acres in Fort Payne and plans to open a cultural center there. Plans for a casino have not been approved by tribal leaders, although gaming has been considered.

Get the Story:
Shelby: Downsides come with casion gambling (The Fort Payne Times-Journal 2/14)

Relevant Links:
Sen. Richard Shelby -
United Keetoowah Band -

Related Stories:
United Keetoowah Band gets land in Alabama (01/16)