Issue 187
April 12 - 18, 2004
Volume 4
page 2

Casino money benefits large universities
As reported by The Daily Trojan

A good education costs money. A lot more than most students have. Every year, colleges receive money from generous donors who fund scholarships, the construction of buildings and new academic programs.

If a school gets money it should use it to advance students' learning experience.

Even if that money comes from casinos.

Indian tribes with casinos have opened up their wallets to local universities to study important Native American issues.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians gave $4 million to UCLA last month. That donation will establish the Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange, a center that will focus on courses about Native Americans and provide internships with tribes for UCLA students.

In 2003, the same tribe gave $3 million to Cal State San Bernardino, which named its student union after Santos Manuel, an historic leader of the tribe.

Some question whether the donations are legit. Perhaps it's a cover-up to shine the light away from the question of tribal membership, taxation and land development.

Whatever the reason might be, the money is a benefit to students. California public schools need as much money as possible to maintain the needs of all their students.

Now casinos will not only aid Native American tribes, but students looking to further their education. Big gambles will directly correlate to big brains.

The donations will not influence the way current courses are taught, so the integrity of the university will remain. The money will go toward creating infrastructures rather than shaping classes.





Senecas plan casino in Cheektowaga
As reported by The Buffalo News

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- A new casino planned near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is projected to be the most lucrative of three casinos the Seneca Indians will operate, tribal officials said.

The Seneca Tribal Council on Saturday approved the purchase of 57 acres near the airport to build a casino that will be about twice as large as its casino in Niagara Falls. Tribal leaders hope to open the new casino by New Year's Eve, but said it may not be ready until next spring.

"The studies show Cheektowaga is going to be our biggest gaming spot, with the most revenues coming in," Bergal L. Mitchell, a member of the Tribal Council and the board of the Seneca Gaming Corp., told The Buffalo News in Sunday's edition.

The land purchase ends speculation that the Senecas would open their third and final casino in Buffalo. The tribe is getting ready to open a casino on reservation land in Salamanca and opened one in Niagara Falls on Dec. 31, 2002.

Both state government and the U.S. Department of the Interior must approve various aspects of the Cheektowaga casino plan.

Seneca President Rickey Armstrong said the Cheektowaga casino will start out with about 1,800 slot machines, 30 to 50 gambling tables, a couple of restaurants and entertainment space. It would have the potential to eventually have as many as 4,000 slot machines.

Tribal leaders said the Cheektowaga site would open with about 800 employees and grow to about 1,500.

Jena Choctaws looking at Creola for site of casino
As reported by The Town Talk

CREOLA - The Jena Band of Choctaws are going to have a gambling casino, and it just depends on whether it is here on land already in tribal trust or in Logansport in DeSoto Parish.

That's the strongly held view of Christine Norris, Jena Choctaw chief, and Julie Wilkerson, the Alexandria attorney who represents the tribe.

Their view is that the decision on where a Jena Choctaw casino will go depends on Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

The governor's agreement is critical to a Logansport site; the Creola site does not need the governor's approval, they say.

Norris said she has written and made other attempts to arrange a meeting with Blanco to discuss a compact, an agreement, on putting a casino in DeSoto Parish.

She says a compact with the governor is necessary for putting a casino in Logansport, but since the Jena Choctaws have 40.49 acres of land in trust in Creola, it is possible to get a casino there through agreement with the federal department.

Ironically, Norris plans to continue strong pursuit of a casino in either Creola or Logansport even though she personally is not a strong proponent of gambling.

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