Alaskan Tribal Casino Plan Thwarted
In the US state of Alaska, a federal judge has reportedly ruled against an attempt by the indigenous village of Eklutna to set up a small casino on tribal land about 20 miles north of downtown Anchorage.
Alaska has only one formal tribal reservation, the Metlakatla Indian community on sparsely populated Annette Island, according to an article published Thursday by the Anchorage Daily News, with the rest of its native lands held by the federal government. but governed by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. from 1971. The source clarified that this law granted official ownership of some 16,000 small family plots, such as the indigenous village of Eklutna, to companies responsible for representing indigenous shareholders.
The newspaper reported that this state of affairs led to United States Department of the Interior to rule in 2018 that the Eklutna hometown was not called ‘Indian lands‘under the precepts of the years 1988 Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA) and he was therefore prohibited from opening a class III casino offering slot machines as well as games such as blackjack, roulette and keno. Upset by this verdict, the tribe of 300 people reportedly filed a complaint with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia the following year that he hoped would result in permission to bring the Las Vegas-style game to an eight-acre site near the small community of Chugiak.
However, Judge Dabney Friedrich would have judged earlier this week that the United States Department of the Interior had reached a ‘rational‘decision in 2018 by determining that the indigenous village of Eklutna did not have jurisdiction over the land of the proposed casino even though the land belongs to the members of the tribe. This federal judge was appointed by the former President Donald Trump in 2017 with its 24-page decision supposed to be a blessing for the government of Alaska, who joined the case as a defendant early last year as part of a long-term effort to maintain the status quo engendered by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Would have read part of Judge Friedrich’s decision …
“Although the tribe may not agree with the application of the law by the United States Department of the Interior to the facts at issue, the record shows that the United States Department of the Interior issued a reasoned judgment that the court will not question. “
Although he admitted that it was too early to provide a detailed commentary on the newly released ruling, the president of the indigenous village of Eklutna, Aaron Leggett, reportedly told the Anchorage Daily News that his tribe was disappointed and now intended to “review your options‘including the potential opening of the planned facility with less lucrative Class II bingo and zipper entertainment.