Connecticut Attacks Proposed Fed Rec Revisions, Fears Land Claims, Casinos
According to an Associated Press article, the state has not suffered from the casinos, which brought tremendous revenue into Connecticut, even during the worst of the recession, and in some areas crime declined. “I’d say those fears have not come to pass,” said Montville Mayor Ron McDaniel. However, the town of Ledyard, which hosts the Foxwood Casino, did see an increase in traffic and crime rates.
A letter of support from the National Congress of American Indians asked Connecticut “to recognize its legal, historical, and political relationship with those tribes within Connecticut” whose tribal structures predate the Constitution of the United States. It asked for Connecticut to “respect the inherent sovereignty of those tribes and to engage in good faith bargaining” and “to refrain from using the Bureau of Indian Affairs regulatory process and the courts to delay a legitimate federal tribal recognition decision.”
Both the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation received federal recognition and saw those decisions reversed through political pressure from the state.
Eastern Pequot Tribal Chairman Dennis Jenkins wants the state to know that the Eastern Pequots are interested in pursuing economic development projects other than casinos, especially since more casinos will be opening in nearby Massachusetts. “Other tribes have energy plants, and wind; we could bring manufacturing jobs into the state,” he said.
However, none of the tribes would give up the right to open a casino, and that is the position mainstream Connecticut cannot get beyond.
“It’s unfortunate we have to fight a state that has the duty to take care of us,” Jenkins said. “Instead, they are trying to destroy us.”
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