County addresses gaming |

County addresses gaming

Nevada County Supervisors will consider adoption of a resolution Tuesday opposing indian gaming casinos in Nevada County.

The resolution further supports the California State Association of Counties’ push to have Gov. Gray Davis renegotiate the tribal-state compact which governs the conduct and scope of Indian gaming casinos in California.

Indian gaming is currently regulated by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, a statute which requires that states work out their own agreements or compacts with the tribes.

While California entered into its first compact with the tribes in 1999, CSAC contends that tribal gaming has created a myriad of economic, social and environmental impacts which the current compact fails to adequately address.

“A federally recognized Indian tribe is a sovereign government and the board of supervisors has no control over problems such as public safety, water, sewage, fire safety and the environment,” according to Tuesday’s resolution.

While the Board of Supervisors supports the right of Native Americans to seek federal recognition, it strongly opposes the buying of nontribal property by federally recognized tribes for casino gaming in Nevada County, according to the resolution.

In Jan. 2001, Nevada County supervisors passed a resolution to recognize the Tsi-Akim Maidu tribe and support its pursuit of federal recognition.

Tribal Chairman Don Ryberg has said repeatedly, however, that the Tsi-Akim has no intention of opening a casino in Nevada County, as other tribes have done in other counties.

Two years ago, California voters passed Proposition 1A, which gave Indian tribes the right to operate Las Vegas-style casinos in California.

Twenty-five California counties indicated that they had casinos developed or in the developmental stage, including neighboring Placer and Yuba counties, according to a CSAC survey.

California has 107 federally recognized tribes, 41 of which operate casinos, according to Stand Up for California!, a grass -roots organization opposing gambling. The group helped draft the Nevada City and Board of Supervisors’ resolutions.

The Nevada City City Council today will consider a proposal to ban any future Indian casino in Nevada County, as well.

Like the measure before the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, the resolution supports the rights of Indian Americans to seek federal recognition, but opposes any casino gambling in Nevada County.

The woman who proposed the resolutions, Shirley Hendrickson, said she opposes Indian gaming for several reasons. She said the biggest problem is that Indian gaming is uncontrolled. For instance, she said, tribes say they are immune to labor laws.

The Board of Supervisors’ decision to recognize the Tsi-Akim Maidu tribe and support its effort to gain federal recognition may have opened the door to the possibility that a casino could be built in Nevada County, said Cheryl Schmit of Stand-Up California!

Carol Ervin heads Chapa-De Indian Health Program Inc., a nonprofit based out of Auburn that serves American Indians and non-American Indians. The group is trying to seek city approval to build medical offices at the corner of Sierra College Drive and East Main Street in Grass Valley.

Steve Enos, a Grass Valley city councilman, has appealed the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project, saying the traffic study was inadequate. The City Council will review the proposal Jan. 28.

Ervin has repeatedly said her organization has no intentions of opening a casino. The resolutions against Indian casinos is a form of discrimination, she said.

Hendrickson has proposed a similar resolution to Grass Valley’s city officials but has yet to hear from them, she said.


WHAT: Nevada City City Council, regular meeting

WHEN: 7 p.m. today

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 317 Broad Street

WHAT: Board of Supervisors, regular meeting

WHEN: 9:05 a.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

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