Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation might not see casino support

A view of the ancestral Shab-eh-nay Reservation in Illinois. Photo from Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Kansas has been pursuing a Class II facility on ancestral territory in Illinois for several years but local officials aren't sure they will support a land-into-trust application for the site.

The tribe owns about 128 acres within the historic Shab-eh-nay Reservation in DeKalb County. Although local officials signed an agreement to host a casino in 2008 they have put off a vote on the land-into-trust application indefinitely

“The board doesn’t know what all it means,” county board member Tracy Jones told Shaw Media. “There’s a lot more to putting your land in trust than I even know – and I know a little bit. But I need to be educated."

The tribe does not need the county's backing to move forward with the land-into-trust process. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs takes local views into consideration, especially for an application that is far from the tribe's current headquarters.

The 1,280-acre Shab-eh-nay Reservation was set aside for Chief Shab-eh-nay and his band by treaty in 1829. The tribe contends the reservation has never been extinguished by Congress.

The tribe paid $8.8 million in 2006 for the 128 acres.

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