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Native Americans Win Court Battle Over Casino 2006-01-30
The U.S. federal government has taken a parcel of land into trust for a Michigan Indian tribe; this is the first step required for any tribe that wishes to build a casino on sovereign land.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs took a parcel of land owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians into federal trust, paving the way for the tribe to begin building their proposed 144,000-square-foot Four Winds Casino Resort.
The casino is to be built on a 675- acre site in Berrien County�s New Buffalo Township, which is near the Indiana border and Lake Michigan. Construction of the casino is expected to be completed by the spring of 2007.
According to a written statement by John Miller, chairman of the Dowagiac-based band, the tribe is �ecstatic� at the news.
The decision to take the land into federal trust comes after six years of legal challenges by a group called the Taxpayers of Michigan Against Casinos. Three weeks ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. unanimously ruled in favor of the tribe.
(By Keren)