Spilyay tymoo. (Warm Springs, Or.) 1976-current, October 14, 2004, Page Page 8, Image 8

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    1 News from Indn Country
Pqge 8 Spilyqy Tyvnoo October 14, 2004
Chairwoman of Upper
challenges governor to
ST. PAUL (AP) - Helen Blue
Redner, chairwoman of the Granite
Palls-based Upper Sioux tribe, has chal
; lenged Gov. Tim Pawlenty to a debate
on tribal gambling issues.
"You tell your side, make your ac
: cusations, and make us look as bad as
you can," she wrote in a letter to
. Pawlenty. "We'll tell our side - and we'll
. tell the truth."
Dan McElroy, the governor's chief
of staff, said Pawlenty was "disap
pointed in the tone of the letter." But,
; McElroy added, "he welcomes the op
portunity to have a discussion with the
chairman and all Indian leaders, and
he will take under advisement her invi
tation to debate."
It's the latest twist in a series of de
velopments between Pawlenty and the
various tribes over casino funds this
A group representing American In
dian bands that run casinos in Minne
sota earlier accused Pawlenty of dis
torting revenue figures to increase pres
sure on them to share profits with the
Pawlcnty's administration last month
released a report saying as much as $10
billion is wagered each year in Minne
sota, contributing to casino profits of
about $1.4 billion.
The Minnesota Indian Gaming As
sociation said Pawlenty was failing to
say that the figure isn't adjusted for prize
payouts and operating expenses.
Pawlenty has said the numbers are
based on the best information avail
able. Blue-Redner said in her letter to
Pawlenty that she was upset he didn't
visit the reservation last week during a
trip to nearby Willmar, during which
he talked about the issue.
Summit aims to raise cancer awareness
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Health
statistics show that once diagnosed with
cancer, American Indians have a lower
five-year survival rate than any other
group in the country.
Organizers of the Northern Plains
American Indian Cancer Summit,
which begins Tuesday in Rapid City,
hope raising awareness of the disease
will help reverse that statistic.
"Part of it is due to lack of infor
mation, lack of access to high levels
of health care, less access to treatment
and underfunding of the Indian Health
system," said Dr. Jeff Henderson, presi
dent and CEO of the Black Hills Cen
ter for American Indian Health in Rapid
Cancer researchers, tribal leaders,
health departments and health care
professionals from North Dakota,
South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa will
gather at the Ramkota Hotel and Con
ference Center Tuesday and Wednes
day to address the issue of how to bet
ter inform the Indian population about
Carole Anne Heart, executive direc
tor of the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chair
man Health Board, said the summit will
provide information on prevention and
The summit is the first of its kind
to gather 1 8 tribes from the four states,
along with state and national organiza
tions. "It's a historic event, because noth
ing of its kind has been promoted in
this part of the country," she said.
Cancer is the third leading cause of
deaths for Native Americans, behind
unintentional death and heart disease,
according to the CDC National Cen
ter for Health Statistics, 2002.
Heart said American Indians can
lower their risk with something as
simple as making the right dietary
choices. "We want people to be really
aware of cancer and to manage their
own health," she said.
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Supreme Court won't
f disturb Indian gaming
preme Court last week sidestepped a
dispute over tribal gambling, a victory
for California tribes and their new high
profile supporter, Gov. Arnold
California voters agreed in 2000 to
change the state's constitution to per
mit tribes to operate casinos. Some gam
bling is allowed by private companies,
but American Indians have a monopoly
J. Schwarzenegger. t on Las, Yegas-style gaming, Jike slot
j states can let tribes operate casinos
while barring others from this enter
i prise. More than 20 states allow tribes
j to run gambling businesses, but not
J; private companies, the court was told,
t Nebraska does not allow casino gam
: bling. The Santee Sioux and Winnebago
tribes both operate casinos on their
- tribal property that feature legal bingo
style games.
Two November ballot proposals
would allow lasino gambling games
such as blackjack, slot machines and
roulette wheels for the first time in
Nebraska. If either passes, the state's
i four tribes could enter into compacts
I with Nebraska to offer the Las Vegas
! style casino games,
s The appeal had been filed this past
; spring by four San Francisco-area card
clubs and some charity organizations.
I They contended that California tribes
! were wrongly given a $6 billion a year
monopoly on gambling.
Since then, Schwarzenegger has
banked on an expansion in Indian gam
bling to help the state's ailing finances.
In August, he announced agreements
with five Indian tribes to add thousands
of new slot machines statewide and
create one of the world's largest casi
nos in the heart of the Bay Area. Plans
for that urban Indian casino have been
scaled back because of criticism over
the size.
.The San Francisco-based 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that
giving Indians special gambling rights
is not racial discrimination, saying tribes
have special privileges because they are
regarded as sovereign nations under the
The Bush administration had urged
the high court to reject the appeal, ar
guing that Congress never said that
states that allow tribal gambling must
open gambling to others as well.
The stakes in the case were high.
James Hamilton, a lawyer for the
group challenging Indian gambling in
California, told justices that
Schwarzenegger's compacts with the
tribes would give them exclusive rights
to unlimited slot machines until the
year 2030.
He said the court should intervene
"before tribal monopolies become an
entrenched feature of American life."
Besides California, he told justices
that other states allowing limited gam
bling are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona,
Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas,
Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New
Mexico, New York, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon,
South Carolina, Texas, Washington,
Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The case is Artichoke Joe's v.
Norton, 03-1602.
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