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In The Hoop

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Taxation Tussle
At a meeting last week among Mississippi state lawmakers, someone had the misfortune to bring up taxing the Mississippi Band of Choctaws.

Word got back quickly to the tribe, leading Chief Phil Martin yesterday to send a strongly-worded letter to the legislators. Tax us and there will be consequences, he warned.

"If directly taxed by the state of Mississippi," wrote Martin, "then the tribe will expect the same range of state government services provided to all other jurisdictions."

According to Martin, not only has the tribe provided 7,000 jobs to the state's economy, it also pays for its own upkeep and services. Schools, law enforcement, health care and more will all be in the hands of the state should taxation effort proceed, he said.

It was Democrat state senator Jack Gordon of Okolona's suggestion to tax the tribe. At budget hearings last week, he said the 1993 compact negotiated with the lobbyist- and Republican-friendly tribe was a "bad deal" and that the tribe should share revenue with the state.

Incidentally, the tribe is getting ready to open a new casino. The $750 million Pearl River Resort will feature a new facility that is expected to open next year.

Getting Ready for the NAMMYs
As you all know, the 4th annual Native American Music Awards will take place October 20 at the Sandia Casino ampitheater just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. But if you can't be there live, the American Indian Radio on Satellite network will be broadcasting live for your pleasure.

In case you hadn't noticed, Indianz.Com was all set to provide you with weekly presentations every Friday about all the nominees in the major categories. Due to September 11's terrorist attacks, we decided to hold off on the entertainment coverage a bit.

Unfortunately, that caused us to miss the October 1 deadline for influencing this year's winners. We guess we'll have to pay off the judges like we did last year. Just kidding.

Will Lobby for Sovereignty
Today's rant by The New London Day about Kevin Gover's decision to take a job with a law firm after stepping down from the Clinton administration had us thinking.

While we affirm Gover's right to eat two-hour lunches at The Palm on 19th Street just like every other Indian lawyer, we wondered what job he might have taken that would have been suitable to the white people. Artist? Spiritual Guide? Tribal chairman?

We'll let you know if the paper has a response.

In Your Hoop
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