If you oppose gambling or tribal territory expansion, and try to stop it, the agency that makes the decision, the BIA, will ignore you. Some communities may want a Casino. If you want a Casino, your voice is heard. If you don’t want a casino, your voice has historically been IGNORED. This lawsuit to stop the 6.9 acres from being taken into federal trust is imperative to protect the rights of community members. Winning will set precedent for communities across the country. It is unjust that the BIA can ignore the very community so negatively impacted by their decision.
The BIA, whose purpose is to promote and support “Indians”, is entrusted with the power to make the decision when a “tribe” wants to expand its territory. There are many, many cases of documented corruption in this agency. BIA employees have been known to “engineer” a tribe, and then quit the BIA and join the tribe to collect casino dividends. This flawed federal process allows non-Indians no recourse, other than filing an expensive lawsuit. Very few communities have the man power, energy, or resources to fight this in court. Elected officials at all levels turn their heads in favor of big gambling dollars.
Although you may think this is not going to affect your community, at any time a tribe may begin courting your elected officials with massive gambling dollars, and very quickly you could have the same problem that is facing all other Casino Towns. It doesn’t stop at gambling. Casino “tribes”, rich with casino dollars, buy up businesses and land in the surrounding area. Small towns begin to be carefully and systematically engineered into Company Towns.
Although the prospect of federal litigation was overwhelming, members of P.O.L.O. and POSY decided that they must file this lawsuit…not just for our Community, but for all communities being overtaken by gambling dollars. P.O.L.O. believes equal protection of the law is imperative to preserving our democracy.