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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Lawrence mayor says his talks with Delaware Indian tribe didn’t involve casino

July 24, 2013

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Lawrence's mayor isn't convinced a recent high profile land purchase by the Delaware Tribe of Indians is a sign the tribe wants a casino here.

Mayor Mike Dever said that he spoke with the chief of the tribe before its purchase earlier this month of about 90 acres of highly-visible property near the Kansas Turnpike interchange at North Lawrence.

"Gaming or a casino was never discussed," Dever said.

Instead, Dever said tribal leaders indicated they were looking for property for their tribal headquarters, which currently are in Bartlesville, Okla.

"It was more about establishing a sovereign location for their tribe in an area that was originally their home," Dever said.

The Delaware tribe had a reservation between Lawrence and Leavenworth between 1830 and 1866. Following the Civil War, the federal government forced the tribe to move to an Oklahoma reservation.

In March, the Leavenworth Times reported that the Delaware were considering moving their headquarters to Wyandotte or Leavenworth counties in Kansas because of restrictions they faced in Oklahoma.

A spokesman for the tribe on Tuesday declined to comment on whether the tribe was considering Lawrence for a new headquarters.

The spokesman also declined to comment on whether the tribe had any interest in using the recently purchased property for a casino. In a written statement the tribe said that plans are likely to include housing, child care and a medical clinic to serve the state's American Indian population.

"The Lawrence property is seen as an investment in the future as the tribe promotes its theme of 'Return to Kansas,'" the tribe said in its statement.

But a Lawrence area casino was on the mind of previous tribal leaders. In 2000 the Delaware tribe expressed strong interest in building a casino complex on 80 acres near the turnpike in North Lawrence.

The Leavenworth Times article in March also quoted a tribal consultant as saying that a gaming operation could be part of an economic development effort for the tribe in Kansas. But the consultant — Dee Ketchum, a former Delaware chief — also told the newspaper that's "not the whole reason for relocating."

Dever said he would be excited to see plans for a tribal headquarters complex.

"With the presence of one of the only Indian nation universities in the United States, having a Native American tribal tribal headquarters in the community would further embrace the Native American population that is already here," Dever said. "We should be pleased that there are people considering Lawrence as a unique place for their tribe to grow."

The Delaware tribe has about 10,000 members, but it is unclear how many employees a tribal headquarters might include. The tribe's Web site listed about two dozen different staff members at its headquarters location.

The 87-acres of Lawrence property was part of the Pine Family Farm operations and had been used as a sod farm for many years.

Tribal officials on Tuesday offered no timeline for when they may announce plans for the property.

Comments

Mike Ford 8 months, 2 weeks ago

scaramouchepart2, it's fee land but it's within the boundaries of the tribes last location in Kansas from 1830 to 1867. Look up 25 USC 2719 a (1) B part II. The Delaware Tribe is a landless tribe from Oklahoma. I don't see how this is off reservation since all that's left in Oklahoma is allotment parcels within specific tribal boundaries related historically to each tribe. mandatory trust sounds like Article 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 which Carcieri has affected somewhat. This land will probably not be put into trust due to opposition from the state and other tribes.

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Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

gatekeeper both in 1854 and 1866 the settlers and the railroads (UP railroad) ran them off the land and the Delaware sold the land via treaty in a fire sale as they were forced to exit the state like the Miami, Ottawa, Peoria, and Shawnee. Know the history before you blame the victim. Kansas enacted a law in the 1860's telling to tribes that had to quit being federal tribes to stay in Kansas. A small group of Delaware took US citizenship here in the 1860's. Stop being typical and blaming the victim. Maybe the greedy had a play in it also.

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scaramouchepart2 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The land goes thru the fed process of being put in trust. If your waiting for the city zoning process it could be never. Based on research so far. If the land is put in trust it will not go thru a local process.

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scaramouchepart2 8 months, 3 weeks ago

There is a mandatory trust which the secretary of the interior must accept putting the land in trust, but, according to Fee to Trust handbook, version II July 2011, this is off-reservation and the mandatory trust cannot be used. (The term used in all documents dealing with putting land in trust.).

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scaramouchepart2 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Their headquarters with a clinic would be great for Lawrence, but not on that property. I am concerned that their research did such a poor job of finding property. Someone, either the pines or the mayor should have informed them of the 5 yr battle to protect this soil. How about near the new Rock chalk sports complex.

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scaramouchepart2 8 months, 3 weeks ago

In the Leavenworth paper in March the tribe leader stated they were researching to make sure they would be welcome. I think they have a right to drop the sale if they were not told about the five year fight to protect the land for agri-business. Since 2009 the Delaware won the right to be consider their own tribe and not part of the Oklahoma Cherokee. Their are 2 sets of rules that they have to fill out for the secretary of the interior stating what they plan to do with the land. If for gaming they have to fill out both.

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bearded_gnome 8 months, 3 weeks ago

not stereotyping. please read this and the other article. it's their own history and their words.

again: bring admin/housing/medical care/child care, heck food service, whatever, just not casino, I'm thinking wonderful. good for them, good for us. good for north lawrence.

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Pheps 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Isn't associating Tribes to automatically meaning Casinos ensuing, stereotyping?

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Clark Coan 8 months, 3 weeks ago

If the land is put into federal trust and becomes tribal land, it is my understanding that local zoning and building codes won't apply to it. Chad?

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50YearResident 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, land value would come into play if the purchase was for a casino. Maybe double or tripple the original price.

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Orwell 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Why on Earth would Dever talk to the chief and NOT raise the issue of using this land for a casino? Pretty ostrich-like behavior from the mayor – don't ask, don't learn.

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Phil Minkin 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Hard to believe. Would he discuss a large land purchase by Defenbaugh and not talk about a landfill? Or a beef company and not talk about a feedlot? Dever is either totally disingenuous or a complete fool. I guess he could be both!

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Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

prairie band is getting nowhere near as badly hit by the Kansas star in Mulvane as the three casinos on the Kansas border between ark city and newkirk, Oklahoma, or the casinos to the south of there. I heard this from a Wichita casino patron at the new prairie star casino in Miami, OK, operated by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. these people still go to the tribal casinos though.

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cheeseburger 8 months, 3 weeks ago

If our illustrious mayor had a meeting with an Indian tribe about the purchase of a large amount of land and did not ask about any plans for a casino, then he is an idiot.

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Steve Jacob 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Would they really put another casino within a hour drive of NINE other casinos? Hollywood is doing just OK business, Prairie Band is getting hit from the Kansas Star in Mulvane.

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oneeye_wilbur 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I wish Dever would get as excited about streets! Just drove university drive tonite, pitiful Stratford , pitiful. 9 th stret from Iowa going east, hardly a decent street east of Iowa. City in cahoots with tire and alignment shops?

Dever should get excited about the filthy parking lots downtown I doubt he even looks at them. Parks and rec employees watering shrubs that need to be trimmed or removed. Downtown is fluffed up on Mass st. Parking lots not nice!

What does it take to get Dever excited?

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bearded_gnome 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The Leavenworth Times article in March also quoted a tribal consultant as saying that a gaming operation could be part of an economic development effort for the tribe in Kansas. But the consultant — Dee Ketchum, a former Delaware chief — also told the newspaper that's "not the whole reason for relocating."

Dever said he would be excited to see plans for a tribal headquarters complex.

---"that's not the whole reason for relocating." this seems to be the key passage in the entire blog posting here. I then quote Mike Dever, to highlight: did he know this history when he gave his comments?

and please don't try to imply racism in my motivation against this casino. if I'd been blessed with children, they'd been able to qualify for a registered american tribe.

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bearded_gnome 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Dever said he would be excited to see plans for a tribal headquarters complex.

"With the presence of one of the only Indian nation universities in the United States, having a Native American tribal tribal headquarters in the community would further embrace the Native American population that is already here," Dever said. "We should be pleased that there are people considering Lawrence as a unique place for their tribe to grow."

---agreed. if it's just medical center, child care, administrative offices, housing, I'm thinking this is wonderful and hope they come!

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Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

riverdrifter...you haven't seen the Quapaw Downstream Casino or the new Eastern Shawnee Casino on the way to Seneca, Missouri have you? they put Hollywood and the Kansas Star or whatever at Mulvane, Kansas, to shame. I don't like Hollywood either. I see SE Kansas as a gaming competition that the Indian tribes in Miami, Oklahoma won by taking the State of Kansas behind the woodshed and working them. You can see the Downstream Motel towers for miles the same way you can see Big Brutus.

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Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

this Carcieri ruling wouldn't affect the Delaware Tribe because they were signers of the first treaty with the US in 1778 and had many treaties in the 19th century and two reservations in Missouri and two in Kansas before removal to Oklahoma in 1868. The Narragansett tribe had no prior federal recognition until their land claim settlement period of 1978-1983.

Secondly if the land is put into trust probably against the objections of the Four Tribes and the State Government the NIGC will have to certify the land in trust as eligible for gaming. If no compact is reached at that point and the land is certified for gaming by the NIGC then the tribe could have CLASS II gaming under IGRA with the tribe not required to share earnings with the state. Some tribes go ahead and do so as a sign of being good neighbors even when states historically aren't. Prior to the legal case Seminole V. Florida in 1996 if a state didn't negotiate a compact with a tribe in a 180 day period the gaming compact went into effect anyway. After that case states could outright stop gaming compacts. The PBPN in the 1990's got their compact through without state involvement when Kansas threw a hissy fit and got no compact sharing monies because they refused to compact with the PBPN. I remember the PBPN giving monies to the Royal Valley/Mayetta school district and the school refused to take the money. I saw on the commenting last night where the tired old crime/murder stats with casinos nonsense was mentioned by one poster. A month ago my wife and I went to Miami, Oklahoma, home of many of the tribes the state of Kansas ejected in the 1860's. (Miami, Peoria, Ottawa, Wyandotte, Quapaw, Shawnee). A town of maybe 20,000 people with six or seven tribal casinos in town and a couple within ten miles of town. Does anyone know Miami, Oklahoma to be a murder or crime capital? I didn't think so. People need to read and get out and learn more and stop relying on tired repeated stereotypes. Wait a minute....in Kansas? not happening.

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riverdrifter 8 months, 3 weeks ago

This is about just another cheap, smoke-filled plywood casino, of course. Solution: just ignore it and it will go the way of the Tanger mail. The speedway casino is slowly twisting in the wind.

"Gaming or a casino was never discussed," Dever said.

Dever is funny!

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blindrabbit 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Why is the name of James Mountain Inhofe, GOP, US Senator from Oklahoma brought up when something mindless, corrupt, seedy or otherwise religiously blinded is revealed. The guy is cut from the same mold as his Southern border compadre, the slimy, former US Congressman, Tom Delay of Texas.

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Slowponder 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The other problem with any development on the Pine Family Farms is the land is within the approach zone to the airport. A single story building may be possible, but a hotel and casino at that location is not going to be permitted by the FAA. Such a proposal would put the sovereign lands of an Indian Tribe in direct conflict the national airspace which is exclusively under federal control.

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Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

To clarify the inaccuracies in erck85's post concerning gaming laws here is what Carcieri is about. The Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island had a colonial era reservation established for them but the Rhode Island Legislature sold off the land in 1880. In doing so the State of Rhode Island violated the Indian Non Intercourse Act of 1790 usurping power illegally from the US Congress which has plenary powers over Indian tribes based in the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Only the US Congress can establish or dis-establish Indian trust lands (except when BIA employee William Devanter dis-established federal recognition of the Indiana Miami Tribe in 1897). All of the Thirteen Colonies were guilty of making Indian treaties without an act of Congress and had immunity from prosecution from the 1790's to the 1970's when the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes of New York and the Abnaki and other Maine tribes filed land claim lawsuits against these states and the federal government joined the tribes and the tribes won back illegally taken lands. The Narragansett tribe filed a land claim lawsuit and got back 1800 acres between 1978 and 1983 but the land was left under state legal jurisdiction meaning no gaming or tax exempt cigarettes. This tribe and that state have battled violently at times as the state bullied this tribe. In 2000 the Narragansett tribe tried to get 31 acres outside of the settlement lands mentioned above and Rhode Island freaked out. They didn't want the tribe to have sovereignty on the 31 acres either. The Rhode Island Governor Mr. Carceiri and their lawyers got the courts to go along with the premise that if the Narragansett Tribe wasn't federally recognized in 1934 they shouldn't benefit from section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act requiring the Secretary of the Interior to put lands into trust for tribes in such circumstances. The Anti-Indian people have used this ruling as a billy club for states rights republicans. Nevermind the fact that the Narragansett people were subjected to genocide as were all of the other east coast Algonquian peoples during and following colonial times these ruling was seen a consequential punishment tool by SCOTUS judges like Antonin Scalia who didn't care about weighing the tenets of the case. He just wanted to pick a loser.

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Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I thought about this as I saw all of the nonsense written on the initial land purchase blog last night. I am a paralegal whose studied Indian Law for a decade. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA) has a part in Title 25 or Indian Law known as Title 25 U.S.C. & 2719 (b) (1) A which is an exception to the general rule for tribes without reservations, whose lands are located in Oklahoma or if located in a state other than Oklahoma are within the Indian Tribe's last recognized reservation within the state or states within which such Indian tribe in presently located. This excerpt was taken from page 347 of my American Indian Law Textbook, Second Edition, from 1998. Both the Loyal Shawnee and Eastern Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma are within this legal parameter which is why the Shawnee Tribe in question was trying to get back Sunflower Ammo Depot land which was on their former Kansas reservation as surplus land a decade ago because both the Shawnee and Delaware tribes were moved into the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation which doesn't allow either of these tribes much independent sovereignty while surrounded by Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma legal jurisdiction. The Delaware tribe has fought to gain independence from the Cherokee Nation since the early 1870's going to court in the 1890's, the 1970's, and the 1990's and 2000's. The Shawnee tribe finally got federal recognition in 2000 and tried to use the gaming law exception above to get a casino in OKC's Bricktown but infamous global warming denier and Indian fighter US Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma shot this proposal down with a secret bill rider on an omnibus bill passed in the mid 2000's. The Four Tribes of Kansas have fended off tribes coming back previously and there is a casino competition rule that has popped up at times involving distance between existing casinos. In Oklahoma since most reservations were dis-established as the sooners stole the Indian lands in 1906 and in 1907 Oklahoma became a state there are allotments or parcels of land that go into federal trust status if they're within a tribe's former reservation area with no where near the fuss that goes on elsewhere because at one time Oklahoma was Indian Territory. Tribes own lands and properties all over the place for business purposes without the land going into federal trust. As I stated previously the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma has purchased many of the properties in downtown KCK around their casino. The Delaware Tribe of Indians has the right to do this and there is probably way too much flak to even talk a casino at this point. I don't speak for them but I see this as educating opportunity to counteract all of the nonsense I've read in the last 24 hours.

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erck85 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The tribe will have two possible hurdles if they should try to open a casino in the area. Currently there exist legal battles throughout the country over 'land into trust' issues wherein a tribe buys land, has the land converted to 'trust' status in order to open a gaming operation. The case often referenced regarding this issue is Carcieri v Salazar, hurdle one.

Hurdle two, with regard to the 'tax' question is that according to the National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (I believe it was '88) in order to open a gaming operation the tribe must work with the state to form a compact (depending on the 'class' of gaming). In most, if not all, cases the state gets a very healthy sum of revenues, see PBPN casino and others throughout the country.

A possible benefit for the Lawrence community is that if hurdles one and two are cleared, there is not an incredibly large Delaware community base to which jobs would be given preference, therefore in an ideal world, jobs could be provided to the non-Native community of Lawrence.

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John Kyle 8 months, 3 weeks ago

""It was more about establishing a sovereign location for their tribe in an area that was originally their home," Dever said. "

Their original home was along the Delaware river in the area of New Jersey. They have been moved more times than any other tribe including to Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas and now Oklahoma.

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patkindle 8 months, 3 weeks ago

in most areas, once it becomes a sovereign nation, no one has any thing to say about what is built, and I doubt if any taxes are paid, so suck it up

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kansas_cynic 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't believe Dever if he said the sun came up in the east or that it was dark at midnight.

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oneeye_wilbur 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Can we trust what Mr Dever tells us?

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irvan moore 8 months, 3 weeks ago

hey chad, if it is tribal land does it stay on the tax rolls? thanks

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