White Earth Nation linked to land buys at potential casino site

A view of Star Lake in Minnesota. Photo from Star Lake Property Owner's Association

A land management company linked to the White Earth Nation has purchased 230 acres for a potential casino in Star Lake, a small community in Minnesota.

The "Central Minnesota Land Company" purchased 218 acres for $1.95 million earlier this month, the Star Lake Township said on its website on Thursday. Another 12.3 acres of shoreline sold for $350,000.

The tribe hasn't confirmed the land buys. But the contact for the company is Joe Plumer -- one of the tribe's attorneys.

"Where there's smoke there's fire it would seem, so something's definitely afoot," resident Lee Mindemann, who was is worried about the potential development, told WDAY.

Tribal leaders discussed plans for a new casino in February. The tribe redacts personnel and other sensitive information from its council minutes. Image from White Earth Nation

Minutes from a council meeting in February show a discussion about a potential casino. But several key pieces of information are redacted in the PDF that was posted online by the tribe.

However, opening up the document in a software program and performing a search shows that tribal leaders talked about a casino at "Star Lake" in "Ottertail County."

One person at the meeting even said "Ottertail is very pro-business and interested in development in the area." The Star Lake Township posted the unredacted version on its website.

Star Lake is not located within the boundaries of the tribe's main reservation. But Plumer "stated there would be no issues at this location as it is trust land status," according to the minutes. He is referring to the 12 acres that are already held in trust for the tribe at the lake.

The Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minnesota. Photo from Facebook

The tribe operates the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen and is building a second one near Bagley and Ebro. Both sites are located on the main reservation.

There is no guarantee that the tribe will pursue the Star Lake casino. But the February minutes also contain a redaction that refers to "Bagley/Ebro" and the tribe formally announced that project last month.

Get the Story:
Clues point to possible White Earth casino planned on Star Lake (WDAY 9/24)

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