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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)