Letter: Fear of casinos damages relationship with tribal nations

The San Pablo Lytton Casino in San Pablo, California. Image from Google Maps

Writer says officials in northern California should work with tribes instead of raising fears about gaming:
Monies generated by casinos have created jobs, improved the lives of individuals and the infrastructure and services of the larger communities they reside in. The monies have also enabled tribes to invest in agricultural and other business interests that benefit the lives of their members. Why do local leaders express fear about investments like the one made in the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards in American Canyon? The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians is simply trying to invest wisely.

So what generates the fear? I believe fear arises from three main areas. The most frequently voiced local fear is that a recognized tribe will acquire land in the county, place a casino in the existing agricultural preserve, and use its sovereign status to ignore local environmental laws.

The second fear-based behavior, related to the first, is the resistance of local officials to accept fully the legal status of recognized tribes as sovereign nations, while those same officials work politically against groups currently seeking to have their recognition reinstated. Local governments would prefer to deal with tribes merely as special interest groups, rather than having to negotiate with them as separate nations, as required by federal law.

Get the Story:
Evelyn Trevethan: Fear damages relations with native tribes (The Napa Valley Register 6/26)

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