Don’t get on the Indian gambling train |

Don’t get on the Indian gambling train

The rapid increase of federally recognized Indian tribes and their increasing demands for casinos in California is a political hot potato.

“Our community’s been told this can’t be stopped. … If we don’t get on the train, the train will run us over,” Yolo County Supervisor Dan Logue has been quoted as saying.

Nevada County voters, let’s not get on that train, because help is on the way. A new man, Philip Hogan, has been nominated to head the federal commission overseeing Indian gambling, and he wants to add an office in California to monitor and slow Indian-gambling growth in California. Hogan suggested that a federal tax on gross revenues at Indian casinos to support government controls on gaming is “a viable concept.” (Las Vegas Review Journal, Sept. 26).

Lawsuits are being filed all over the nation. Rep. Rob Simmons, a Republican, proposed a bill to reform the bureau’s tribal-recognition procedure. Now a tribe of one Indian can gain federal recognition. Other federal legislation is being proposed, and that is encouraging because only Congress can completely stop this train. But your local Board of Supervisors can have a great impact on whether or not gaming comes to Nevada County.

Stand Up For California and the California Cities for Self-Reliance are sponsoring a symposium on local government interest and the interest of tribal governments. This symposium will feature speakers on how Indian law and policy issues in our state relate to nationwide efforts for reform and community rights. Local government must assert its legitimate interest against the legitimate interests of tribal governments in order to achieve a fair and objective balance between the state, political subdivisions, state agencies and tribal governments.

Among those invited are county supervisors, county counsels, city mayors and council members, city managers and administrators, district attorneys, sheriffs and all state agencies.

The United Auburn Indian Community, whose “service area” includes Nevada County, gained federal approval of its bid to acquire approximately 50 acres near Interstate 80 for the Thunder Valley Station Casino. The decision has been appealed.

The proposed Chapa-De medical office at East Main Street and Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley has hit a bump in the road. Many people feel that this medical facility would open the door for Indian gaming in Grass Valley/Nevada County.

Family roots, racism and the suffering of our ancestors are not a factor in the opposition to tribal gaming. This issue affects all citizens. Tribal gaming that is not controlled is pitting tribe against tribe, American against American, friend against friend, and causing division in political parties and special-interest politics.

Nevada County, let’s not get on that train. We can stop that train.

Shirley Hendrickson of Nevada City is head of Save Nevada County.


WHAT: Symposium on local government interest and the interest of tribal governments

WHEN: Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Historic Sutter Club, 1220 Ninth St., Sacramento 95814.

INFORMATION: (916) 442-0456

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