News

  • Yakama tribe to sue over Hanford cleanup October 30, 2014 YAKIMA — The Yakama Tribal Council says it will sue the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency over plans to clean up Hanford’s 300 Area. The tribe has filed a required 60-day notice of its intent to sue the agencies in federal court. The tribe says the selected cleanup actions for the 300 Area, which is adjacent to the city of Richland, do not protect human health and the environment as required by law. The ...
  • 2nd developer interested in a SE Kansas casino October 30, 2014 PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — Odds for southeast Kansas getting a casino have improved after a second developer expressed interest in the project and a Pittsburg city commission approved early procedural steps. Southeast Kansas Casino Group said this week it was interested in developing a casino, hotel and restaurant on 200 acres of privately owned land southeast of Pittsburg, although the group has not yet submitted an application to the state, The Joplin Globe reported (http://bit.ly/1wfoIgo ). ...
  • New indictments unsealed against ex-tribal leader October 30, 2014 HELENA — A federal court has unsealed new theft and tax evasion charges against a former chairman of Montana’s Chippewa Cree tribe who already planned to plead guilty to theft and bribery in a previous indictment. Former Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Chairman Bruce Sunchild originally was indicted in June on charges that he took a $25,000 vehicle as a bribe in 2011 after authorizing $300,000 in payments from the tribe to a Havre businessman’s consulting company. He ...
  • Reid: Moapa energy decision a setback for Nevadans October 30, 2014 CARSON CITY — U.S. Sen. Harry Reid said Wednesday that a decision by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to reject a 200-megawatt solar project on the Moapa River Paiute Indian Reservation is a setback for all Nevadans. In a statement, Reid, D-Nev., said the project, part of an overall plan submitted by Nevada Power to end the utility’s reliance on coal-generated electricity for its customers, was an opportunity for the tribe to build and generate clean ...
  • Our Voice: Keep Indian gaming on tribal properties October 30, 2014 Indian gaming should be done on Indian land. That principle was established by statewide propositions approved in 1998 and 2000. The commitment is being tested this year by Proposition 48, which would approve gaming compacts with Central Valley tribes off reservation land. Riverside County tribes oppose the compacts because it violates the agreement approved by nearly two-thirds of California voters in 2000. The local tribes’ casinos are in fairly urbanized areas such as Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Cabazon ...
  • Casino Is The Forgotten Issue Of The Election Section October 30, 2014 Remember the casino? It used to be a big deal around here. Somehow it has been almost completely ignored during the campaign for governor. The only hurdle that remains for a tribal casino at the Dairyland Greyhound Park site in Kenosha is a decision by the governor. The Bureau of Indian Affairs gave the project a green light more than a year ago. But with the latest poll showing incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker ahead by seven points ...
  • Trial starts for a former Choctaw Nation construction director October 30, 2014 A trial began Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Muskogee for a former executive director of the Choctaw Nation’s Construction Administration accused of theft and bribery. Jason Brett Merida, 40, Rattan, is on trial for federal indictments of bribery, conspiracy to commit theft, money laundering and tax fraud. Merida is accused with others of accepting more than half a million dollars worth of gifts from vendors, including vacations for a golf trip to Pebble Beach, Calif., ...
  • Crow, Lodge Grass agree on mediator on water issue October 30, 2014 The city of Lodge Grass and the Crow Tribe still at odds on whether or not the water is drinkable in one of the town’s sub-divisions. But -some progress – as the two side agree on a mediator to help them solve the dispute. The Crow Housing authority says the water is safe to drink in the Johnny Wilson Acres Sub-division. But Lodge Grass city officials maintain the water is not safe…since the city has not been allowed ...
  • Tribe, state officials open Thackerville exit ramps off I-35 October 29, 2014 THACKERVILLE — Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and the state of Oklahoma’s top executives in the department of transportation officially cut the ribbon Tuesday opening Exit 3 ramps designed to smooth traffic flowing into and out of the area around WinStar World Casino. Gov. Anoatubby said that all area residents will benefit from safer more convenient access to area homes and businesses. “These additional ramps will alleviate traffic congestion and allow easier access to all WinStar properties,” ...
  • EPA Announces $5.6 Million for Environmental Improvements on SoCal Tribal Lands October 29, 2014 Statewide California Tribes Awarded $18.8 Million The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $5.6 million in funding to invest in Southern California tribes for environmental programs, water infrastructure development, community education and capacity building. The announcement was made at the 22nd Annual Regional Tribal Conference in Sacramento, California. “The federal government is committed to protecting human health and the environment in Indian Country,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This funding will help conserve ...
  • Judge grants preliminary injunction to keep Chukchansi casino closed October 29, 2014 A federal judge in Fresno on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction requested by the state government to keep Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino closed. U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill presided over a brief hearing Wednesday morning about the closure, triggered Oct. 9 when an armed group representing one of competing tribal leadership raided the hotel-casino in search of documents related to late audits that have not been filed with the federal government. The hearing ...
  • Sheriff recommends charges against some in Chukchansi casino clash October 29, 2014 MADERA — Investigative reports have been completed by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office regarding the Oct. 9 armed infiltration of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, which prompted the facility’s closure the following day. Madera County Sheriff John Anderson said the reports — completed Monday — identify at least 11 people. He’s recommending six or seven felony charges be filed against each. Anderson declined to share more information, stating the reports are still being reviewed by the district ...
  • EPA Proposes Emissions Standards for Four Power Plants October 29, 2014 On Tuesday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed emissions standards for four power plants on American Indian tribes’ reservations. This is a part of the Obama administration’s plans to reduce the gases that are responsible for global warming. Last summer, the agency revealed its plan for states by saying that it wants fossil-fuel-fired power plants to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. According to EPA officials, they waited until now ...
  • Manager: Manistee’s ‘casino of the year’ model could be replicated for proposed Fruitport location October 29, 2014 MANISTEE, MI – The award-winning formula of Little River Band of Ottawa Indian’s casino in Manistee could be replicated in Fruitport Township, the casino manager said last week. Little River Casino Resort was named “casino of the year” at the 2014 International Entertainment Buyers Association meeting late September in Nashville, Tenn. The Little River Casino Resort is a wholly-owned enterprise of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. The tribe has long proposed to build a second ...
  • Native American tribe outlaws fracking on tribal lands October 29, 2014 The Eastern Cherokee Band’s land will not be home to fracking operations for the foreseeable future. “The Eastern Band of Cherokees will not permit or authorize any person, corporation or other legal entity to engage in hydraulic fracturing on Tribal trust lands,” reads part of the text of a resolution passed unanimously by the Tribal Council last month and signed into law by Principal Chief Mitchell Hicks on September 10. “The State of North Carolina is ...
  • Former finance director for Passamaquoddy sentenced to 18 months for stealing $20,000 from tribe October 28, 2014 BANGOR, Maine — The man who was charged with stealing $20,000 from the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point while he worked as their finance director was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Tuesday at U.S. District Court. He also was ordered to pay $22,571 to the tribe. Charles Fourcloud, 59, of California pleaded guilty in June to embezzling the funds between May and August 2013. He had been hired to oversee the tribe’s $11 million ...
  • White House Begins Review of First-Ever Coal Ash Rule October 28, 2014 Washington, D.C —(ENEWSPF)–October 28, 2014. The White House Office of Management and Budget has begun its review of the first-ever federal rule for the storage and disposal of toxic coal ash. This is an important step towards ensuring the EPA meets its court-ordered deadline of December 19 to finalize much needed protections. In 2013, Earthjustice won a lawsuit on behalf of 11 environmental and public health groups and a Native American tribe that forced the EPA ...
  • Paiute-NV Energy solar plant merits approval | Las Vegas Review-Journal October 28, 2014 For decades, the Moapa Band of Paiutes were neighbors to the coal-fired Reid Gardner power plant, jointly owned by NV Energy and the California Department of Water Resources. Needing replacement, in 2013 the Nevada Legislature worked with the Moapa Paiutes, the environmental community and NV Energy to ensure Nevada continues to utilize and optimize the state’s renewable energy resources. Today, we are on that path, and there is an important decision before our state regulators ...
  • Judge fines Fremont County irrigation district and manager $600K October 28, 2014 A federal judge has ordered a Fremont County irrigation district and a former manager to start work immediately to remove four dikes that he ruled were illegally constructed in the channel of the Wind River, west of Riverton. U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson last week ordered the LeClair Irrigation District to pay $250,000 in fines and ordered former manager John Hubenka to pay $350,000. Johnson specified the fines would drop to $35,000 against Hubenka alone ...
  • State will ask for Chukchansi casino to stay closed October 28, 2014 The state Attorney General’s office will ask a Fresno federal judge on Wednesday to keep Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino closed until state officials are convinced that the tribe can run the casino without endangering patrons and employees. “All evidence points to the tensions and confrontations continuing, not abating,” said a 14-page brief filed by deputy state attorney general William Torngren. The state’s brief asks U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to issue a preliminary injunction ...
  • Prairie Island tribe challenges new NRC storage rule October 28, 2014 The Prairie Island Indian Community said Monday that it has appealed a new U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission nuclear storage rule on the grounds that federal officials didn’t conduct a thorough analysis of the long-term risks of storing spent fuel rods in casks at reactors. The tribe, whose members live near Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear power plant in Red Wing, had joined with states and environmental groups to win a 2012 court decision forcing the NRC ...
  • Chippewa tribe officials say they will investigate claims of burial grounds October 28, 2014 MUNDY TOWNSHIP — What started out as a rumor may turn into a headache for ET Rover, the company proposing a natural gas pipeline in southern Genesee County. Officials from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe say they will investigate further to find out if there are Indian burial grounds near a proposed route for a natural gas pipeline. “If there are any Indian burial grounds, we will do everything we can to protect them,” said ...
  • Blackfeet urge government to cancel energy leases October 27, 2014 HELENA, Mont. — Blackfoot tribal leaders from Canada and Montana are calling on the U.S. government to cancel oil and gas leases on sacred land near Glacier National Park, as a lawsuit works its way through the federal courts.Representatives from the three tribes in Canada and one in Montana that make up the Blackfoot Confederacy sent a letter Friday to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging them to cancel 18 leases ...
  • Crow land buyback program reaches halfway mark October 27, 2014 The clock is ticking on the federal government’s offer to buy back Crow Indian reservation land and return the property to the tribe.The offers, worth $298 million, were made earlier this month to more than 4,000 reservation landowners and are good only until Nov. 21. Some people will be turned away, said Debra Scott of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The government has $102.9 million for actual purchases. It expects that not everyone offered will ...
  • ‘Historian’ found claim to tribe’s land Russells Point man led Eastern Shawnee to historic acreage October 26, 2014 RUSSELLS POINT — Jim Calim got a call in 2002 that changed his life. And as a result, the 77-year-old has spent the last 12 years researching the Ohio roots of a centuries-old American Indian tribe, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. The call was from a member of the tribe asking Calim if he knew about any claim the tribe had to land in Washington Township. He didn’t know of any, but that didn’t stop him ...
  • Tribe, agencies lay out arguments in water lawsuit October 26, 2014 Two water districts, the federal government, and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians are laying out their arguments in a lawsuit over water, focusing on the question of whether the tribe has rights to groundwater. The U.S. Department of Justice, which is supporting the tribe in the lawsuit, argued in a motion filed Tuesday that when the reservation was originally established, that action by the government reserved sufficient water to satisfy the tribe’s future needs. ...
  • Hoopa Valley Tribe Opposes Proposition 1 October 26, 2014 The Hoopa Tribal Council agreed across the table to oppose California’s ballot measure Prop. 1, Governor Jerry Brown’s $7.5 billion water bond. Danielle Vigil-Masten, Chairwoman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe on the Trinity River, urges people to get out and Vote NO on Prop. 1. on November 4. “California – vote NO on California Prop. 1,” Vigil-Masten wrote on Facebook. “This bill will kill the natural ecosystem and rivers and tributaries on the North Coast. This is ...
  • Tribe could get casino land as soon as January October 26, 2014 In a pivotal development in a yearslong fight to build a casino in Clark County, the Cowlitz Tribe was notified Wednesday they’ll receive 152 acres west of La Center in January or within 30 days of a federal court ruling in their favor, whichever comes first. Tribal Chairman William Iyall issued a statement Thursday, saying, “We have pressed on for 12 years in an effort to fully service tribal members with services and programs only available ...
  • Pennsylvania town can keep Jim Thorpe’s body October 25, 2014 Jim Thorpe’s body will stay in the Pennsylvania town where he was laid to rest six decades ago after a federal appeals court on Thursday threw out a ruling that could have resulted in his reburial on American Indian land in Oklahoma. The famed athlete’s surviving sons have been fighting to move the body to Sac and Fox land in the state where he was born, saying their father expressed a desire to be buried in ...
  • Chumash Get Initial Federal Approval for Camp 4 October 25, 2014 SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. – A controversial plan by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indian Tribe to annex more than 1,400 acres of mainly agricultural land in the Santa Ynez Valley into its sovereign nation through the fee-to-trust process has cleared a major hurdle. The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has ruled the Tribe’s “Camp 4″ fee-to-trust annexation has no significant impacts to the local area. The Chumash Tribe says it bought the 1,400 acres of ...
  • Enbridge stands ground, tells National Energy Board that Line 9 design is safe October 25, 2014 CALGARY - Enbridge insists in a regulatory filing that its design for the Line 9 pipeline through southern Ontario has the right shut-off valve configuration to minimize the risk to waterways and reservoirs in the event of a rupture. The Calgary-based company was responding to the National Energy Board’s decision to delay a restart of the pipeline because it’s “not persuaded” that Enbridge has met one of the the conditions attached to the NEB’s approval of the ...
  • Indian tribe considers $150M investment October 25, 2014 BELLEFONTAINE — A Native American tribe is considering an investment in Logan County that proponents of the plan said could bring more than $150 million of economic development to the area. Jim Calim, a retired businessman from Logan County, and his daughter have been speaking with Washington Twp. trustees and other stakeholders about the possibility of the Oklahoma-based Eastern Shawnee Tribe creating a new development in the area. There have been talks about creating a new family ...
  • Eastern Shawnee may open resort near Indian Lake October 25, 2014 RUSSELLS POINT — Indian Lake residents could be sliding down indoor water slides or swiping their credit cards at a mall in the Indian Lake region soon, as one American Indian tribe has land it’s looking to develop. The potential development is being pursued by the Eastern Shawnee tribe, a tribe that now resides in Oklahoma, which occupied land in Ohio in the 1800s. The tribe purchased 50 acres a few miles from the lake on state ...
  • Proposed Central California tribal casino at heart of Prop. 48 battle October 25, 2014 A high-stakes turf war involving a proposed Central California casino has put a wedge between some Native American tribes and even divided the governor and California’s senior U.S. senator. The battle is embodied in Proposition 48 on next month’s ballot. If passed by state voters, the measure would preserve two compacts that allow a new casino on land a tribe has bought near Madera, just north of Fresno. A second tribe would receive a piece of the ...
  • Tension over education, sales tax grows between Oklahoma and tribal nations October 24, 2014 Oklahoma’s relationship with tribal nations has warmed in recent decades with economic success, but tensions are rising over education funding and sales taxes. Originally the forced homeland to more than 200 Indian tribes, Oklahoma is now home to 39 of the country’s 567 federally recognized tribes and has the second largest Indian population. And while denied citizenship until 1924, now more than 10 percent of Oklahoma citizens are Indian. After a change in federal policy ...
  • Fallin, Chickasaws OK license tag compact October 24, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin and Chickasaw Nation Bill Anoatubby have announced a compact between the state and the tribe for Chickasaw Nation license tags to members of the tribe. The compact says Chickasaw tags will be sold exclusively at state-licensed tag agencies in Oklahoma. Chickasaws who want to purchase the tags will present their Chickasaw Nation citizenship card and pay the same fees and taxes any other Oklahoman for a tag. Anoatubby says many ...
  • Crow leaders lobby Daines for coal tax credit : Politics October 23, 2014 Crow tribal leaders and mining officials made their case for the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit on Wednesday in a meeting with U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Calling the tax credit crucial to the Crow economy, Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote urged Daines and visiting U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., to lobby for making the 8-year-old tax credit permanent. The future of the $2 per ton tax credit on Indian coal has been uncertain since last December ...
  • Washington hatchery gives away salmon October 21, 2014 POULSBO, Wash. — People lined up with coolers Monday to wait for free fish as coho and chum salmon returned to spawn at a hatchery on Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula. Workers at Grovers Creek Hatchery, northwest of Seattle, netted several dozen fish from the pond and harvested eggs from female chum salmon. Each fish was scanned for electronic tags, measured and counted. The hatchery then gave away the salmon, with a limit of one per person due to ...
  • Enough Already! Too Many Tweaks to the Right-of-Way Proposal October 21, 2014 Perusing Facebook recently, I found a group of folks who are adamantly opposing the currently published “Proposed Rule Change for Rights-of-Way Across Indian Lands.” Their rationale? They weren’t the decision makers and the proposed rules are detrimental and one-sided in implementation and use. On October 1, assistant secretary, Indian affairs, Kevin Washburn, announced he was extending the comment period for proposed rights-of-way rule to November 3. The NEW deadline allows individual tribal members to write concerns and ...
  • Tribal factions’ fight over central California casino set for federal court hearing – Daily Journal October 15, 2014 FRESNO, California — A dispute at a central California casino between tribal factions that erupted in an armed showdown last week is scheduled for a hearing in federal court. U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill on Wednesday is expected to consider what’s next for the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, about 40 miles northeast of Fresno. The judge on Friday ordered the casino closed, acting on an emergency request by the state attorney general, after a ...
  • Arapaho say BIA statement contradicts agency actions, local BIA officials October 14, 2014 (Ethete, Wyo.)—A Washington, D.C., spokeswoman for the Bureau of Indian Affairs was misinformed or mistaken when she told a reporter that the BIA did not acknowledge Northern Arapaho authority to withdraw from the former joint powers board known as the JBC, Northern Arapaho Business Council (NABC) Chairman Darrell O’Neal, Sr., said. “The BIA spokeswoman quoted is a public information officer in Washington, D.C., who may not have had all of the facts needed to make such a statement,” O’Neal said. “I ...
  • Eleventh Circuit Refuses To Compel Arbitration In Dispute Between Loan Servicer and Borrower October 14, 2014 On October 2, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision refusing to compel arbitration sought by a servicer in a dispute with a borrower over the terms of a loan agreement. Inetianbor v. Cashcall, Inc. No. 13-13822 (11th Cir. 2014). In Inetianbor, the plaintiff and the servicer had a dispute as to whether the borrower had satisfied his obligations under the terms of the loan agreement. When the borrower refused to pay amounts the servicer believed it was due, the ...
  • Ivan Star Comes Out: The Indian Reorganization Act at 80 years October 14, 2014 Here on the Pine Ridge we encounter daily a controversy regarding the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934. Essentially, among the growing younger generations, the IRA is readily accepted. Among the decreasing older populations though, the system is viewed as immoral and corrupt. This oppositional state or disorder originates from the long-standing lack of formal schooling on this congressional law. I am referring to the absence of appropriate and relevant history and government science data in social ...
  • Coarsegold: Chukchansi casino remains closed, tribal factions chafe over lost revenues October 14, 2014 COARSEGOLD — Walking through a lobby devoid of guests at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino on Saturday, televisions still blared sporting matches above empty bars and nearby slot machines gave off an eerie glow. “It’s like the twilight zone,” said Reggie Lewis, co-chairman of one feuding tribal faction as he rode the elevator to the 11th floor. Although the casino was shut down Friday afternoon by a federal judge following an armed infiltration of the casino by ...
  • California casino is closed after armed standoff October 14, 2014 COARSEGOLD, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has closed a Central California casino after an armed standoff between tribal factions caused many gamblers to flee with chips left on the tables. U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill, acting on a request by the state attorney general, set no date for possible reopening of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, about 40 miles north of Fresno. The Fresno Bee reports that the National Indian Gaming Commission ...
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe to vote on tribal national park plan October 14, 2014 PINE RIDGE, S.D. | The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has decided to allow tribal members to vote on a proposed tribal national park in southwestern South Dakota, after months of controversy. Tribal officials have been working with the National Park Service on a plan to turn the South Unit of Badlands National Park and surrounding grassland into the nation’s first tribal national park, and to introduce a herd of buffalo. Opponents have argued that the plan threatens ...
  • New York salt mine gets OK for rail line extension October 13, 2014 GROVELAND, N.Y. (AP) — A western New York company has received permission to extend a rail line at its massive salt mine, a move that was opposed by two Seneca Indian nations. The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports (http://on.rocne.ws/1tF0RBL ) that the required permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been authorized. American Rock Salt had been seeking approval to extend its rail siding in the Livingston County town of Groveland, 35 miles south ...
  • Commission to decide on relocating bison October 13, 2014 The relocation of 145 brucellosis free bison to four potential locations will be voted on by Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission when it meets on Thursday in Bozeman. A work session will begin at 8 a.m. and the meeting at 10 a.m. at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 3 headquarters at 1400 S. 19th. FWP staff has recommended transferring 70 of the bison to the Fort Peck Tribes, 30 to the Utah Division of Wildlife, 35 ...
  • Northern Arapaho granted 20-year gaming extension October 13, 2014 The U.S. Department of the Interior extended the Northern Arapaho tribe’s authority to operate a casino on the Wind River Reservation by an additional 20 years early last week. Interior Department officials extended the tribe’s authority to conduct Las Vegas-style gambling on the reservation to the year 2040. The tribe operates three casinos in accordance with federal guidelines, including the Wind River Hotel and Casino south of Riverton. The extension satisfies financial requirements for the tribes’ lenders ...
  • Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino losing about $1 million a day during shutdown October 13, 2014 COARSEGOLD, Calif. (KFSN) – This Sunday was a busy one for tribal leaders working to reopen the Chukchansi Gold resort and Casino. The building has been under a federal shutdown since a violent takeover that led to a lockdown on Thursday. Every day the resort is shut down, they’re losing roughly $1 million in revenue; that’s revenue that many people depend on. A legal team and Chukchansi tribal leaders worked well into the night Sunday. Action News ...