Opinion: Gaming has turned tribes on other tribes

"Gaming is like a double-edged blade. It has helped in many positive ways to alleviate poverty with the potential for a better future for all tribal members. Casino gaming, however, is not the 'Holy Grail'for Indians. It is a good start, but our people need to diversify their economic development base.

With gaming money, some tribes have turned on other tribes and denied them the opportunity to have gaming, while not offering them any financial solutions. Some reservations have achieved great success with gaming monies; yet the elders rarely meet anymore and young adults are not encouraged to graduate or better themselves, therefore leaving non-Indians to influence future tribal sovereignty. Some have lost interest for their traditional culture and are influenced by gangster rap, etc. The flip side is that numerous tribes have preserved their culture and language due to gaming monies.

Many non-Indians run tribal gaming operations while dictating policy on how the money should be spent. In California, gaming money gravitates toward powerful legal firms and political legislation that favors gaming, thereby creating a cycle of greed for non-Indian recipients while neglecting Indian-helping-Indian programs."

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Marty Firerider: The Red Path has turned green for some (Indian Country Today 5/19)
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