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Archive for Sunday, September 5, 2004

Sovereign tribes

September 5, 2004

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To the editor:

After reading the Sept. 1 article on casino negotiations between the state of Kansas and the Kickapoo and Sac and Fox tribes, I felt compelled to write.

As "sovereign, yet dependent nations" Native tribes answer to the federal government, as do all 50 states. Title 18, Section 1151, of U.S. law designates tribal land as "Indian country" outside the jurisdiction of a state, unless Public Law 280 is in effect. Lands put into trust for tribes are outside the jurisdiction of a U.S. state. Why would these two tribes want to submit to state authority when the state of Kansas can't regulate its own affairs effectively?

According to "The Choctaw Revolution: Lessons for Federal Indian Policy" by Peter J. Ferraca, tribal casinos are subject to the toughest regulations of any gaming facilities in the United States. The NIGA facts sheet backs up this statement. The state of Kansas isn't respecting tribal sovereignty. The statement concerning regulations of tribal gaming in this article were biased and paternalistic. Shortcomings with tribal regulations of gaming were implied with no factual basis. The National Indian Gaming Assn. fact sheet shows how much federal involvement takes place in tribal gaming. The state of Kansas should respect these tribes' sovereignty.

Mike Ford,

Bonner Springs

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