Representative Daniel E. Bosley has recently recirculated his 1997 memorandum reporting the results of his investigation into the public policy of casino gaming in Massachusetts, particularly of Indian gaming. 1. The memorandum raises many important considerations regarding the potential impacts on the State of Massachusetts of an expansion of gambling offerings within the state. We have undertaken a systematic review of the relevant literature on the impacts of Indian gaming, including a study by Deloitte & Touche describing a Wampanoag casino proposal, 2. to assess the extent to which Representative Bosley’s memorandum appropriately assesses these impacts. We conclude that while the 1997 Bosley Memorandum asked a number of relevant and important public policy questions, the evidence available in 2002 no longer supports its conclusions.
The Executive Session on American Indian Constitutional Reform is a national working group of constitutional reformers from 12 American Indian nations and leading academics. The Executive Session meets twice a year to rethink strategies for strengthening tribal constitutions and constitution-making processes. This report is aimed at Indian nations planning constitutional revision. It highlights best practices in developing effective processes of constitution-making and revision, an issue of pressing concern to a growing number of American Indian nations reexamining their constitutions. The ideas and conclusions in this report emerged from the May 9-11, 2002 meeting of the Executive Session at Harvard University, “Launching Effective Processes of Reform and Maximizing Citizen Participation and Education.”
Chartered under the laws of the Gila River Indian Community, the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council gives youth a formal voice in tribal governance and prepares the next generation of leadership. Comprised of twenty young leaders between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one, who are elected by their peers to serve two-year terms, the Youth Council advises the Tribal Government on a diverse range of issues including youth delinquency, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy. In addition, the Youth Council engages tribal youth in a variety of initiatives that enhance understanding of and participation in tribal public service.
The first American Indian-owned bank in California, Borrego Springs Bank offers a full range of services to tribal governments, Native-owned businesses, and others in order to foster the economic self-sufficiency of American Indian nations and individuals, diversify the Viejas Tribe’s economy, and improve Indian Country’s access to financial services. With over $83 million in assets and three full-service branches that serve Indian and non-Indian clientele, the Bank is an impressive financial institution that provides fruitful lessons for other tribes.
This case study of Indian gaming’s genesis and development on the Pechanga reservation highlights the profound changes made possible by a coordinated strategy of nation building and economic development in Indian Country. It also highlights the profound influence of coordinating intertribal political and economic initiatives. Examining one tribe’s particular experience with Indian gaming also provides insight into the ways that federal and state policies actually “play out” at the tribal level.
Required as mandatory training for tribal employees, the Cherokee Nation History Course has given employees, both Cherokee and non-Cherokee alike, a stronger sense of pride and a better understanding of self-governance. Indeed, this successful and innovative history and leadership course has stimulated a shift in employees’ and citizens' thinking. Tribal employees see themselves not only as service providers, but as leaders of their nation; tribal members no longer see themselves as mere recipients of services, but as active citizens of a sovereign nation.
In response to the failure of the federal and state governments to protect salmon and salmon habitat in the Columbia River Basin, the Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce, and Warm Springs Tribes came together in 1977 to create the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. Through fisheries management, policy development, advocacy, litigation support, habitat restoration, and fundraising, CRITFC is leading a comprehensive effort to restore salmon for the benefit of its member tribes and all people of the Pacific Northwest.
Established in 1991 with the cooperation of the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Coyote Valley Tribal EPA merges two important protection initiatives into a single, mutually reinforcing effort. By empowering youth through training in environmental protection, the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians not only protects the reservation environment for future generations but also protects the Tribe’s most precious resource: the Coyote Valley Pomo youth themselves.
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s recent acquisition of a 360-acre parcel of land within the reservation known as the Knudsen Farm marks the beginning of a new period of major opportunities and significant choices for the Swinomish. The Tribe has already decided to devote approximately half of the Knudsen parcel, which lies along the Swinomish Channel below Padilla Bay, to a new 1,200 slip Marina that at the time of this writing is scheduled to begin construction in late summer 2002 (see Map on Page 2 for layout of proposed Marina). The purpose of this report is to investigate the possibilities available to the Swinomish for the development of the remainder of the site, approximately 120- acres surrounding the Marina known as “the Uplands.” The report is written from the perspective that the proposed Marina will move forward as planned, creating an opportunity for the Tribe to choose between a variety of sometimes competing economic and social opportunities created by following different paths in the development of the Uplands.
Recognizing the demand for a government that would respond to the unique needs of the Diné people, the Navajo Nation created the Commission on Navajo Government Development and its administrative arm, the Office of Navajo Government Development, in 1989. With the sole responsibility of undertaking government reform, the Commission and Office have educated the Navajo population on governmental issues and increased local participation in governance and the government reform process. These organizations are unique—and uniquely successful—in institutionalizing the process for undertaking on-going government reform in Indian Country.
Owned by a consortium of seven Indian nations, the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations is a treatment center that helps Native American youth and their families heal from the trauma of alcohol and drug abuse. Services include in-patient chemical dependency programs, mental health counseling, family counseling, a juvenile justice improvement project, recreation, education, and cultural activities. Since its creation in 1989, the Healing Lodge has served over 1,500 youth from more than 150 Indian nations, giving them fresh opportunities to better themselves and their communities.
Officially sanctioned by the Grand Council of Chiefs to represent the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team is the only Native national sports team in international competition. The Team, which has won numerous medals and awards, travels overseas using Haudenosauneee passports, and in so doing, has successfully engaged state departments, embassies, and consulates around the world in recognizing the sovereignty of the Iroquois Confederacy and its member nations. Team members comprise a corps of Iroquois ambassadors who build international goodwill and educate fellow athletes, government officials, and the public about the Iroquois.
Excluded by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971, the Chilkoot Tlingit’s political presence was reduced to a mailbox and storage room in the basement of a meeting hall in Haines, Alaska. Embracing the concept of self-determination, the Chilkoot Indian Association has been engaged in a process of nation building since 1990. The Tribe is rewriting its constitution, developing institutional capacity, rebuilding a land base, forging government-to-government relationships with surrounding jurisdictions, and improving services for its citizens.
The Lummi Indian Nation established the Lummi Tribal Sewer and Water District in 1983 to ensure the Nation’s role in the provision of safe drinking water and discharge of clean wastewater across its reservation, located 100 miles north of Seattle. The District’s managerial, financial, and technical competence—emerging at a time when the Lummi Nation confronted serious challenges to its jurisdiction over non-tribally owned lands within the reservation—has enhanced tribal sovereignty while providing critical infrastructure services to the reservation’s five thousand Native and non-Native residents.
In 1995, the Coquille Indian Tribe established the Southwest Oregon Research Project (SWORP) to recover historical, anthropological, military, and government documents relating to the Tribe and surrounding Indian nations. These documents were potlatched in two giftgiving ceremonies to forty-four different tribes and are now locally accessible at tribal libraries and at a central archive at the University of Oregon. Through SWORP, the Coquille have helped themselves and others rewrite and interpret tribal histories, develop innovative partnerships, improve tribal governmental performance, and strengthen tribal sovereignty.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) initiated the Umatilla Salmon Recovery Project in 1980 to restore water and salmon to the Umatilla River while also protecting the local economy, which depends on irrigated agriculture. Remarkable both for its success in bringing salmon back to a river where they had been absent for seventy years and in the avoiding endless cycles of litigation frequently associated with natural resource and species restoration conflicts, the Project demonstrates the effectiveness of cooperative problem-solving.
Established in 1979, and taken under Winnebago tribal management in 1995, the Whirling Thunder Wellness Program combats diabetes and substance abuse by raising community awareness, administering primary and secondary prevention services, and encouraging healthy lifestyles that are consistent with traditional practices. With its focus on prevention, this field-based program is changing individual and community behavior on the reservation and helping to ensure a healthy citizenry for generations to come.