TRIBAL DISENROLLMENT Strips Native Americans of Tribal Citizenship
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Erick Rhoan on INDIAN GAMING: Time for some changes?
Our friend Erick Rhoan has a new post up on his blog Notes on Indian Law. Take a look, I'll link at the bottom.
It’s been a long while since I last wrote something. Life has a way of getting in the way of your plans. I thought about this blog yesterday and thought it would be a good idea to formulate my philosophy on Indian gaming.
I’ve written a lot about secondary effects of gaming since this blog’s inception. You’ve heard me rail on and on about tribal disenrollments, the Indian Civil Rights Act, and greedy tribal councils. Yet at the same time I don’t think I’ve done enough to elucidate a clear stance on Indian gaming. I’ve written a sentence about it here and there, but it never received its own post. So, here it is.
Indian gaming is beneficial to tribes. It is a unique and lucrative economic tool that tribes may use to earn money for their people. Many tribes were shockingly poor and living in almost third-world conditions prior to the advent of Indian gaming. The money was desperately needed. Since its inception, Indian gaming has led to running water, indoor plumbing, standardized housing, clinics, schools, scholarships, jobs (for Indian and non-Indians), roads, buildings, and vast infrastructure improvements. Tribes have donated money to charity and invested some of their money in surrounding communities. In a perfect world, Indian gaming benefits everyone.
Unfortunately, Indian gaming has been used to oppress others. On this subject I’ve written plenty and need not repeat most of it here. To put it simply, avarice has begotten numerous civil rights violations and blackened many tribes’ images. Gaming tribes are seen as duplicitous, greedy, corrupt, and oppressive. Their use of tribal sovereignty as a means to use their money as they see fit and then hide behind sovereign immunity whenever they want is not an endearing quality. Many have called for an end to Indian gaming.