Monday, April 21, 2008

Beneath the Glitter of Indian Gaming at Chukchansi

Issues with disenrollment didn't happen overnight in California, it happened as casinos came up.

Tribal Corruption


Beneath the Glitter

As the $150 million Chukchansi resort readies for its casino opening June 25, 200 tribe members kicked out four years ago fight to become members again.

By Lisa Aleman-Padilla and George Hostetter
The Fresno Bee

(Updated Monday, June 16, 2003, 4:23 AM)

The biggest, most expensive and most controversial American Indian casino/entertainment complex in central San Joaquin Valley history is expected to make its debut in eastern Madera County in 10 days. With it comes a long-simmering and increasingly bitter tribal civil war over who will pocket the profits of a business that eventually could rake in $200 million or more a year.

Carved out of a once-forlorn swath of rocks and brush in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Coarsegold, the gamblers' half of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is all but finished.
That's the casino, home to 1,800 slot machines and more than 40 card tables. June 25 is the planned opening date, according to the owners, the Chukchansi Indians of Picayune Rancheria.

The 192-room hotel is expected to open next door in August. The total project's estimated cost: $150 million.
Indian gaming has been a fixture in the six-county central San Joaquin Valley for two decades. Gamblers, though, have seen nothing locally like the Chukchansi digs -- nearly 300,000 square feet of casino, hotel and entertainment venues.

Nor has there been anything here quite like the Chukchansi membership fight that has brewed for four years. Its roots go back even further. Twenty years ago, the tribe had only 30 members, the result of federal policy dating back to the Eisenhower administration designed to terminate Indian lands such as rancherias. The thinking, at least among non-Indians, was that Indians should be assimilated into mainstream America.

It took several decades of court battles, but many tribes finally regained their legal recognition and the right to renew their lives on rancherias. In a word, they were "reconstituted."
By the late 1990s, with the Chukchansi tribe legally reborn, a liberal enrollment policy raised the membership total to more than 1,000.

Then, in 1999, as negotiations with a casino management company neared a critical juncture, nearly 200 people were suddenly kicked out of the tribe.


stand your ground said...

To bring you up to date...the Chuckchansi Tribe has disenrolled and kicked out half of their origial Tribe, about 600 people... the coruption goes on and on...

OPechanga said...

And yet, I see very LITTLE evidence of the 600 being vocal. I read some comments from but Chukchansi disenrolled are very quiet.

Time to make some noise..

Anonymous said...

These people have done dirty to my family for too long. Mark my words they will go down.

OPechanga said...

They WON'T go down until your family stands up, gets vocal, get's SERIOUS and start being more active.

Send an email to all your family and have them visit here. OFTEN

Anonymous said...

What can we do to get the truth about these guys out. I was taking with Anonymous involved with recent events and discovered (unofficial information) that the Russian mafia is directly tied to the casino.