Editorial: No recognition for Schaghticoke Tribe
"U.S. District Judge Peter Dorsey has ruled, as expected, that the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent does not meet the criteria for federal recognition.

It's an important ruling because federal recognition carries with it the right to be a sovereign nation, the right to ignore local land-use regulations and the right to open a casino.

Where would the Schaghticoke build that casino? Probably not in Kent. Initially, tribal leaders wanted to build in Danbury on the former Union Carbide property. When this region organized a campaign against that idea, the tribe started looking at Bridgeport as a casino location.

A casino would have changed this region beyond recognition -- just as two large tribal casinos have changed life in the small towns of southeastern Connecticut.

But under federal law, the impact of federal recognition on non-tribal neighbors is not really a factor. Instead, tribes have to meet strict criteria in terms of history, continuity and governance.

The court ruling is a disappointment for the tribe, Chief Richard Velky and the non-tribal entrepreneurs who funded the tribe's quest for federal recognition.

Federal recognition would have made them all rich. Beyond the money, federal recognition would have given the tribe a status that it understandably wants.

It has long been clear, however, that a fair review of the criteria and the evidence provided by the tribe would disqualify the Schaghticoke for federal recognition."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Rejected: Schaghticoke tribe loses in court (The Danbury News-Times 9/2)

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Schaghticoke recognition appeal considered (8/28)
Judge rejects Schaghticoke bid for recognition (8/27)
Schaghticoke chief seeks meeting with Bush (4/25)