Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Federally recognized tribes in Kansas oppose Delaware Tribe’s efforts in Kansas

November 8, 2013

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The leaders of the four federally recognized Indian tribes of Kansas have approved a resolution opposing efforts by the Delaware Tribe, which recently purchased land in Lawrence, to move to Kansas.

The resolution states that "the odds are strong that the Delaware Tribe, currently based in Oklahoma, will apply to put its newly purchased Douglas County, Kansas land into trust with the eventual hope of gaming … ."

The Kansas tribes, which all operate casinos, said if the Delaware Tribe was successful in starting a casino in northeast Kansas it would cause "significant economic hardship" to the Kansas tribes.

The result would be the loss of job opportunities, diminished services to members and local communities, and the inability to provide charitable contributions, the resolution states.

The resolution was signed by officials with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska, and Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.

Earlier this year, the Delaware Tribe purchased 90 acres of prime property in North Lawrence along the Kansas Turnpike. The tribe has said it wants to become a federally recognized Kansas-based tribe, and it has signed a development agreement with a company that specializes in building casinos.

Earlier this week, however, Lawrence and Douglas County officials said they didn't believe Delaware leaders want to build a casino in Douglas County. That assessment came after meeting with Delaware Tribe officials.

Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever said he is convinced the tribe wants to have a presence in Lawrence, possibly moving its tribal headquarters from Bartlesville, Okla.

Attempts to reach officials with the tribe were unsuccessful on Friday.

Steve Cadue, chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, said he believes the Delaware Tribe wants to build a casino.

Once the land is put into trust, "they could say we have made a different decision," he said.

Cadue said if the Delaware Tribe is allowed to build a casino in Kansas then other tribes will want to set up operations. "There is no doubt more than the Delaware Tribe would be interested in casino revenue in Kansas," he said.

Gov. Sam Brownback's office declined to say whether Brownback supported the four tribes' resolution.

Eileen Hawley, a spokeswoman for Brownback, said the governor has had discussions with the Delaware Tribe. "Their plan is to engage in open conversation with a number of entities, including the four recognized tribes. We hope that process will be allowed to continue with everyone engaging in open, candid discussion," Hawley said.

In 2000 the Delaware tribe expressed strong interest in building a casino complex on 80 acres near the turnpike in North Lawrence.

Lands north of the Kansas River were the Delaware Tribe's last home before being forced to move into Oklahoma shortly after the Civil War.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

How about if the tribe creates a large organic vegetable farm then sells to the Kansas City/ Lawrence eatery and grocery markets?

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 9 months ago

ROFL!!! What world do you live in, Richard? I have a sneaking suspicion the Delaware Tribe already knows exactly what they are planning to do with that property regardless of what they told Mike Devar and I doubt that it has anything to do with an organic vegetable farm. You crack me up! Why didn't you just suggest they could develop nuclear fusion and solve all of the world's energy problems. Hellooooo, MacFly, is there anybody in there?

Brian Hall 1 year, 9 months ago

So, wait. Having a casino in Lawrence would produce economic hardship for the casinos in White Cloud, Mayetta, Powhattan and Horton? The Sac & Fox and Kickapoo tribes do realize that their casinos are separated by only 7 miles, right?

Ted Morehouse 1 year, 9 months ago

These people are not even Indians, they are just businessmen who have found an incredibly lucrative loophole and are using obscure genetic history as a reason to fleece the public. Indian casinos do not better the actual Indian community, some of which have unemployment rates as high as 80%!

Bob Smith 1 year, 9 months ago

Internecine rivalries, fascinating.....

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