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In The Hoop

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

The slot machines may have been carted away but the Wyandotte Nation hasn't given up plans to open up a casino in Kansas.

But just to make things clear, a tract of land in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, can't be used for gaming purposes even though it was recently taken into trust for the Oklahoma tribe. Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb was forced to admit just as much in a Federal Register notice being published today that "corrects" an older one.

"This clarification is necessary to underscore that the [March 11] notice should not be interpreted as a determination by the Secretary of the Interior that the Wyandotte Tribe is entitled to conduct gaming activities," he writes in a document dated April 26.

Well, not yet, that is, as the tribe is planning to ask Gale Norton and the National Indian Gaming Commission to rule whether a casino is possible on this troublesome old burial plot.

If not, well there's always another trick up the tribe's sleeve...

Spread the Wealth
Rich tribes in the East need to give money to poor tribes in the West and not return funds to the federal government, Lakota Nation Journal publisher Tim Giago writes in a recent column.

"Let them see firsthand the extreme poverty out here," Giago writes. "Maybe they would then, as a group, use some of their millions to help their poorest brothers and sisters."

A wonderful sentiment. Except some might remember when Giago, in the height of the controversy over a book questioning the heritage of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, disclaimed Eastern tribes as his own brothers and sisters by saying they weren't as "real" as the Indians out West.

"As you have probably noticed, I am very much ambivalent about Indian gaming," Giago writes now.

Hmm. We didn't notice.

Qui What?
What does a conservative Oklahoma paper hope to accomplish by aligning itself with the opinions of national anti-Indian, anti-sovereignty and anti-treaty rights organizations?

We're not sure but The Daily Oklahoman oughta find better source material. In an April 30 editorial, the paper referenced a "newsletter" published by John Fulton Lewis of Alliance for America (check out the group's commentary page for some of his views) in order to rail against the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.

According to the paper, the law contains a "loophole" which allows tribes to contribute untold millions while at the same time preventing others from contributing the same untold millions. If this doesn't make sense, well it doesn't.

"As critical as we were and are of so-called campaign finance 'reform,' we missed this one," the Oklahoman admits.

We didn't. Some readers are weighing in on the controversy.

In Your Hoop
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