Connecticut Attacks Proposed Fed Rec Revisions, Fears Land Claims, Casinos
Not all of the Woodbury audience agreed with DeLauro. One woman suggested that new casinos might bring competition to the industry and make up funds lost from the Pequot and Mohegan compacts. “Homeowners rights would be protected, Native claims honored, and taxpayers income is protected,” the woman said. Another audience member said it is unlikely the homeowners would be faced with losing their homes, and that there would be a negotiated settlement.
Yet, DeLauro insists the state has no interest in negotiating. She said, “I think the changes we have suggested are what we need. We are looking at eliminating the expedited favorable ruling.”
Apparently, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is of the same mind. In protest of the new regulations, he went to Washington and hand delivered a letter to President Barack Obama.
Malloy’s list of complaints states, “In Connecticut, reservations have been maintained simply because there are descendants of the groups for which the reservations were first established,” implying the tribal members are merely descendants.
Malloy complained that the new regulations favor the tribes rather than the state and that giving federal recognition to the tribes now would overturn previous court decisions.
Ruth Garby Torres, Schaghticoke, author of a chapter in the book, Recognition, Sovereignty Struggles, and Indigenous Rights in the United States: A Sourcebook, said that in her opinion, the state is afraid of gaming expansion based on outdated information. Torres said the Schaghticokes are well aware the Kent area is not appropriate for casinos and destructive planning. She said, “People are afraid of traffic, crime, disrupting the beauty of the area, the lack of control, building something without the town’s zoning influence. What is not being discussed is, that’s our land. We see the beauty, too! Why do you think we would do that?”
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