Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snoqualmie Tribe's Casino Hurt by Banishment Controversy and Setbacks

The Snoqualmie Tribe's Casino is not doing very well. Could it be that customers didn't like the way they treated their members, with banishment for those that disagree?

We've discussed Snoqualmie many times HERE and Here and HERE

Snoqualmie Casino’s one-year anniversary passed quietly in November, met with none of the fanfare that accompanied its opening in 2008.The Snoqualmie Tribe had hoped the casino would bring in an influx of money to the tribe and an elevated standard of living for its 600 Native American members. But the casino’s revenue has been much lower than anticipated, and it has been marred with setbacks, conflict and controversy.

Bad publicity HURTS:

In April 2008, nine tribal members, including former tribal-council members and the former tribal chairman, were banished from the tribe over an election dispute but also in part, the nine members say, due to disagreements over the casino and use of money.
Since the attempted banishment, a new tribal council has been established, and about 65 of the tribe’s 140 employees have been laid-off, according Mattson.
It amounts to a purging in the eyes of Carolyn Lubenau, a former council member and one of the nine members banished in 2008. She said that she and others warned Mattson and the administration of the high debt and untrustworthy financial backers but their calls fell on deaf ears.
“I have never been inside Snoqualmie Casino and I will never go there until the wrongs that have been done to our tribal people are corrected and the land re-blessed,” Lubenau said, adding that she’d originally been excited about the possibilities of improved healthcare and education for the Snoqualmie people, but hasn’t seen the promised fruits.

The banishment, which a federal court overturned last spring on the grounds that it was a violation of civil rights, has been re-established, according to Lubenau and another banished member, Sharon Frelinger, former tribal treasurer who raised questions about the tribe’s audits and expenditures. The two received a letter that the banishment was re-established and would be in place for seven years. During that time, Frelinger said, the banished members could not attend tribal events or talk to the media.

Stay away from Snoqualmie's Casino!


Allen L. Lee said...

I'll have to review the Snoqualmie chain of events, but it sounds like Double Jeapardy to me. Each sovereign reserves the right to recognize this principle, or ignore it, but prohibitions against Double Jeapardy exist in the U.S. Constitution and International Human Rights agreements.
In the U.S.'s nation to nation relationship with tribes, the U.S. should at least state their position on Double Jeapardy, even if they don't have legal jurisdiction to enforce it in tribal law. A few excerpts:

"There are three essential protections included in the double jeopardy principle, which are:
being retried for the same crime after an acquittal
retrial after a conviction
being punished multiple times for the same offense
Although the Fifth Amendment initially applied only to the federal government, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the double jeopardy clause applies to the states as well through incorporation by the Fourteenth Amendment (Benton v. Maryland)."
"A classic modern statement of this principle is that of Black J, in the Supreme
Court of the United States:
The underlying idea, one that is deeply ingrained in at least the Anglo-
American system of jurisprudence, is that the State with all its
resources and power should not be allowed to make repeated attempts
to convict an individual for an alleged offence, thereby subjecting him
to embarrassment, expense and ordeal and compelling him to live in a
continuing state of anxiety and insecurity, as well as enhancing the
possibility that even though innocent he may be found guilty.2
"The United Nations


Article 14

7. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country."

Allen L. Lee said...

While the U.S. is up-grading the relatioship from "government -to-government" relations with Indigenous tribes to "nation-to-nation "relationships, they might want to review their approach with other nations that violate basic human rights.
Corporations can restrict speech but for political governments to do so is considered a human rights violation.

"During that time, Frelinger said, the banished members could not attend tribal events or talk to the media."

Sounds like something that the U.S. has been complaining about in Communist China.

Anonymous said...

I agree on this. The native populations that have been disenrolled have had the Indian civil rights act violated and public law 280 violated. Congress can and should enforce these laws. Now when other country denied civil rights and due process to their people United States points out human rights violation. Then they do sanctions and embargos on that country. It time to look in their own back yard and fix these violation.