The Senator’s defense is at best disingenuous. She points out the increase in BIA funding under her time as subcommittee chair as if this all the credential she needs to have standing on larger Indian issues – like land and economic development. The funding of the BIA is another issue, suffice to say that if one were to evaluate in economic terms the value of all of the broken treaties, funding is hardly the point. Her efforts to amend IGRA would forever exclude landless, newly recognized and restored Tribes from gaming. The extra and nearly impossible burdens her bill would impose on Tribes are not needed. The so called “off reservations” gaming she says is the focus of her efforts is a canard. In the nearly 25 year history of IGRA only 2 or 3 Tribes have been successful in the 2 part determination – the provisions in IGRA work and should be left alone. There is so much more to be said about her motivations and background, but that can be left for another to explore. Lastly, the overall weakness in her view is encapsulated in the last word of her defense – licensing. Her bill is not about licensing – something the Tribes do very well. It is about keeping Tribes from reacquiring their land to be used for economic development. Tribes deserve a transparent process that respects Tribal history and rights with respect to getting their land back and to have a fair chance at economic development. IGRA does not need to be amended for any reason and especially not the one the Senator is trying to stand on.
Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 15:51