Coquille Tribe slams 'Lewis and Clark' campaign for Oregon Lottery

A still from the Oregon Lottery's Lewis and Clark Dancing Bear advertisement. Image from Deep Sky Studios

The Coquille Tribe is calling on the Oregon Lottery to stop running a Lewis and Clark-themed advertising campaign.

The spots depict explorers Lewis and Clark, and even an animated bear, "discovering" gaming machines in the wild. Chairwoman Brenda Meade said the ads falsely portray Oregon as a place devoid of tribal people.

"Amid Oregon's natural splendor, they encounter video lottery machines, which are described as 'native' to Oregon," Meade wrote in a a letter on Tuesday. "But this fictional Oregon is land without Indians -- an empty wilderness, ripe for economic exploitation, with no competition from indigenous people."

Meade said the ads also highlight the disparate treatment her people are receiving when it comes to gaming. While Gov. Kate Brown (D) speaks out against the tribe's proposed Class II facility, the campaign boasts of video lottery being installed around the state.

RWestMarketing on YouTube: Oregon Lottery - L&C Package Home

Last week, Brown sent a letter of opposition regarding the tribe's land-into-trust application for the Class II site. She told the Bureau of Indian Affairs that the state can't accept an expansion of gaming.

“Double standards are nothing new to Indian people, but that doesn’t make them right,” Meade said in a press release.

Get the Story:
Tribe calls lottery ad campaign 'hypocritical' Nick Morgan (The Medford Mail Tribune 4/20)
Coquille Tribe offended by state's lottery campaign (The Bandon Western World 4/20)

Federal Register Notice:
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Coquille Indian Tribe Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project, City of Medford, Jackson County, Oregon (January 15, 2015)

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