SCHIMMELS PROFILED IN HBO SPECIAL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – HBO’s “Real
Sports With Bryant Gumbel” profiled the much-vaunted Native
American women’s college basketball sisters Jude and Shoni Schimmel
on March 25.
In the hour-long special, the pair,
called “a force in women’s basketball,” talked about their
journey from the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon to the college
HBO correspondent John Frankel went to
the sisters’ home in Oregon where got a lesson in “rez ball”
and learned that basketball is the tribe’s national pastime.
SOUTH DAKOTA TRIBES’ KXL PROTEST DRAWS
WITTEN, S.D. – Delegations from
several Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tribes – known collectively as
the Oceti Sakowin – founded a spiritual camp on March 29 in the
path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, drawing national attention
to their cause.
The encampment is located in rural
south central South Dakota on land owned by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe
and will serve as a cultural and spiritual rallying point in the
ongoing fight against the pipeline, which still awaits approval from
the Obama administration.
If approved, TransCanada’s pipeline
would carry tar sands from Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf
Coast. It would run through South Dakota, west of the Missouri River,
on land guaranteed for tribal use under the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz featured the camp
on “The Ed Show” over the March 29 weekend, interviewing tribal
leaders from the Oglala, Rosebud and Crow Creek Sioux Tribes.
"We’re going to be here at least
a month, at which point, we’re expecting President Obama and the
administration will be making a decision. If the decision is no, we
will pick up camp and go home and continue to be vigilant about the
issue. If he says yes to the route, we’re going to be here for an
additional two months, plus we have more camps that we’re planning to
set up along the route," Rosebud Sioux Tribal citizen Wizipan
Little Elk said to media.
The camp near Witten has tipis
representing the Oceti Sakowin – the Seven Council Fires of the Great
Sioux Nation. In the center is a council tent, which serves as a
meeting place. In addition to serving as ground zero for South
Dakota’s resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline, the camp will serve
as a teaching too to educate youth and community members in
MICHIGAN OJIBWE TRIBE DISENROLLS
CITIZENS CITING LESS MONEY
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Saginaw
Chippewa Tribe of Michigan disenrolled 50 of its citizens in early
March, cutting them off from $58,000 in casino per capita payments.
Former members who were ousted say
greed is behind the disenrollments. Revenues at the tribe’s casinos
have dropped in recent years so there is less to go around.
The tribe opened its enrollment in the
late 1980s to expand its membership. Those enrolled before the
expansion contend the disenrollment is also about money. Gary
Sprague, a tribal citizen enrolled before the 1980s, told media
outlets that people signed up with the tribe only to get a share of
According to tribal reports, the
annual per capita payment in 2003 was $78,000.
FEDERAL LEGISLATION IS NEXT IN
WYOMING’S FIGHT AGAINST ARAPAHO
CASPER, Wyo. – In the latest chapter
of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming’s sovereignty fight for the
city of Riverton, two senators and the governor’s office have drafted
a bill that refutes the Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling
earlier this year that placed the city within tribal jurisdiction.
Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John
Barrasso drafted a bill with the help of Gov. Matt Mead’s office that
declares the disputed 171,000 acres, which includes Riverton, have
never been a part of the reservation and will continue to remain
outside the reservation’s borders.
The Northern Arapaho said the
consulting process didn’t allow for tribal consultation. Tribal
members lobbied Enzi and the Congressional delegation to reconsider
drafting the bill, but they were not interested in doing so, Al
Addison, Northern Arapaho Business Council member said.
The bill is the second arm of a
two-pronged attack by Mead to negate the EPA decision. The
legislation is paired with Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael’s
petition in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that’s
challenging the EPA decision. Devon Energy and the Wyoming Farm
Bureau Federation also joined Wyoming to fight against the EPA,
Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone in court.
The legal battle is likely to end with
a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
SENATE INTRODUCES A MEASURE TO FIX
CARCIERI TRUST RULING
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group
Senators introduced a bill to fix the U.S. Supreme Court decision in
Carcieri v. Salazar.
S.2188 amends the Indian
Reorganization Act to ensure that all tribes can follow the
land-into-trust process. It replaces the phrase – "now under
federal jurisdiction" – with "any federally recognized
Indian tribe" to cover all tribes, regardless of the date of
The bill applies to all tribes,
including those in Alaska, an issue of contention in the past. It
also ensures that all prior land-into-trust acquisitions are legal.
The issue has come up in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, a case
involving the Big Lagoon Rancheria that’s being closely watched
across Indian Country.
COLVILLE TRIBES TO OPEN FIRST HOTEL
NESPELEM, Wash. – The Confederated
Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington hope a new $43
million casino will become a destination resort.
The facility in Omak will feature a
52,000-square-foot casino and an 80-room hotel, a first for the
tribe. The goal is to draw patrons from Canada, about 45 miles away.
Chairman Michael Finley told media that
the tribe expects some will stay longer and spend more with the
addition of the hotel. The new facility will be twice the size of the
Mill Bay Casino. It will replace the Okanogan Bingo Casino.
The tribe plans to break ground in May.
Construction should take about a year.
GUILTY PLEASE IN ADVANCE-CASH SCHEME AT
SANTA ANA PUEBLO CASINO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Two men pleaded
guilty in connection with an advance-cash scheme at the casino owned
by Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico.
Osamu Togashi, 32; Hiroto Matsuo, 40;
and Yu Zheng, 31, were accused of using counterfeit credit cards to
take out cash at the Santa Ana Star Casino in January of last year.
However, according to authorities, the three weren’t using the money
Togashi and Yu pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to commit fraud and related activities in connection with
access devices. Matsuo was charged but was never apprehended.
Togashi, who is a Japanese citizen,
already served his prison sentence and could face removal from the
U.S. Yu, who is a Chinese citizen remains in a half-way house in New
Mexico. Matsuo is a Japanese citizen.
WINNEBAGO TRIBE FACES OPPOSITION IN
COMMERCIAL CASINO LAWSUIT
SLOAN, Iowa – The Winnebago Tribe of
Nebraska is facing opposition to its request to join a lawsuit over a
commercial casino in Iowa.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission,
the developer that won the commercial casino license and the city of
Sioux City said the tribe shouldn’t be allowed to intervene. The
opposition was anticipated.
Ho-Chunk, Inc. President and CEO Lance
Morgan said though the tribe’s suit may be unwelcome, the tribe’s
gaming arm has an interest in the proceedings but neither of the
other parties can adequately protect the tribe’s interests.
The tribe’s proposal for the $122
million Warrior Casino & Hotel in downtown Sioux City was
rejected by the IRGC last year. Another rejected bidder, Penn
National Gaming, filed suit contending the process was unfair.
The developer that won the license is
planning a Hard Rock-branded facility.