Editorial: Saginaw Chippewa land-into-trust a big issue
"The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is following the lead of many other Tribes across the country by purchasing land, then asking that the land be put into trust by the federal government.

It's a historical fact that much of the land allotted to the Native people during the 19th century was swindled away from its rightful owners by unscrupulous lumber barons, land barons and railroad barons. Now that the Tribe has substantial resources, it has been quietly but persistently purchasing property.

When land is in trust, there is no question of Tribal sovereignty on that land. The land where the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort sits has been in trust for decades, and no one questions that the Tribe and the federal government have jurisdiction there; the state, county and Chippewa Township don't.

There's also no question that land in trust is not taxable by local governments. There's no question that local governments' zoning rules don't apply there, either.

When the Tribe owns land that's not in trust, it pays taxes on them. It's subject to local and state regulation, like land owned by any other property owner."

Get the Story:
OUR VIEW: Putting land in trust is serious step (The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun 1/17)

Earlier Story:
County disagrees with Tribe's trust application (The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun 1/6)