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In The Hoop

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

It's Reno Time
It's finally official. Former Attorney General Janet Reno has decided to seek the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Florida in 2002.

The media has had a field day with the expected announcement for quite some time, speculating on whether she can beat Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who has all but said he will seek re-election. Will her decision to send Elian Gonzales back home to Cuba hurt her chances among Cubans? And what about her Parkinson's disease?

If you ask In The Hoop, the real question is how she feels about gaming. Bush has opposed expanded gaming on the state's reservation but little is known how Reno would feel as governor.

She's had experience as AG but then again, it was her job to go after tribes. So what will she do now?

With the high-powered and high-spending forces of the Miccosukee Tribe and the Seminole Tribe at work, you can bet there will be some major lobbying going on soon to influence Reno.

Expect to see her at some sort of Indian gathering soon. Or expect Indians to be gathering around her soon. Either way, it will be an interesting race.

Habitat Builds a Home
President Bush wasn't there, but Habitat for Humanity has begun delivering new homes to Shinnecock Reservation in New York, a community where 50 percent of homes are in serious disrepair.

Although state recognized for hundreds of years, there has been little done to recognize and change the substandard quality of housing for tribal members. Located on the tony (and expensive) Hamptons area of Long Island, the lack of housing stood against rich neighbors like Martha Stewart and Sean "P-Diddy" Combs.

So Habitat has sent one of three homes to the reservation. Viola Cause, a 22-year-old single mother, gets the first. Two more are in the works.

Now if only Habitat could help the tribe obtain federal recognition...

Land Claim Lawyer Honored
Speaking of New York, longtime Indian rights attorney Robert "Tim" Coulter has been honored for his work with land claims in that state.

On August 29, Coulter, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma, received the Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility from Columbia Law School for his commitment to Indian nations. Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons praised Coulter as "the best land claims lawyer in the country" while the school calls him a "role model."

Coulter is also director of the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena, Montana. Congratulations!

In Your Hoop
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