California Senator Dianne Feinstein has received draft language from the Department of Interior, which will place requirements on certain lands to be used for the purposes of Indian gaming. This will have a direct effect on some tribes gaining the self-reliance that the big gaming tribes received and implemented under Props. 1A and 5.
We have embedded communications, including a response to Rep. Tom Cole asking for information on the matter.
The money portion of the language Sen. Feinstein is seeking:
gaming shall not be conducted on land taken into trust by the Federal Government after the date of enactment of this aAct, unless the Secretary of the Interior determines when taking into trust for gaming purposes that the Indian tribe demonstrates -
1. A substantial direct modern connection to the land taken into trust; and
2. a substantial direct aboriginal connection to the land taken into trust.
WHO benefits from language like this? Certainly NOT tribes who would benefit from gaming? Only those tribes that ALREADY have gaming would benefit for the lack of competition for gaming customers. So is that who Sen. Dianne Feinstein is doing this for? WHY Senator, would you jump through hoops for tribes that already have gaming, instead of working to HELP tribes that do not? IF gaming is the engine for tribal self-reliance, wouldn't we want ALL tribes to benefit from Gaming. Really, Senator, is it more important for tribes like Pechanga, which has stolen $300 million from rightful tribal people, or the Picayune Rancheria, which has eliminated 50% of their tribe to benefit? Shouldn't you and Senator Barbara Boxer be working on enforcing the Indian Civil Rights Act instead? Please Sen. Feinstein, don't say you "didn't know" what tribes have done. We sent you hundreds of letters on Pechanga's Land Transfer.
Who is lobbying for this? IETAN?
DoI Response to Rep. Cole 11-18-2010 and Sen. Feinstein 11-03-2010.
Senator, please RETHINK this issue.