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Schwarzenegger and the Indians By: David Yeagley
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, November 03, 2004

“The Indian gaming tribes…are trying to rip off California,” says the state’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. State Proposition 70, through which California Indian gaming tribes are attempting to evade the governor’s casino management proposals, would give unlimited expansion rights to certain tribes. They accused Schwarzenegger of racism, and disguise their attempts at law-evasion under the cover of “Indian sovereignty.”

Casino Indians are turning Americans against Indians, and the Indian cry of “racism” is an empty echo in this circumstance, not because racism doesn’t exist, but because here the accusation is false and disingenuous. California casino Indians are clearly in the wrong, and making fools of Indians everywhere.


This has been my fear for some time. Two-and-a-half years ago I posted my first article on the ill-effects of Indian casinos. Other articles followed. Now with Governor Schwarzenegger’s public pronouncement, my concerns are obviously justified. I have ‘prophesied’ that casinos would be the ruination of Indians, and California is the beginning of the end. Indian sovereignty will be lost altogether, because of its blatant abuse.


But who’s really abusing it? Is it just the Indians who are trying to rip off California?


Not exactly. It’s white politicians like Senator Barbara Boxer, white syndicate operators like Stations Casinos, and white land developers and contractors like Jimmie Rogers and Redwood Equities, who are the movers and the shakers. Indians are only tools in the grand money-making schemes of these whites. People like Gregg Sarris, the only “Indian leader” in history who has provided no evidence whatsoever of his Indian heritage, are only useful idiots in the hands of the irresponsible, careless “entrepreneurs.”


Aside from this true picture of the racial element in the casino wars, the fact is the reputation of Indians has gone from bad to worse. The tide is turning against Indians, due to the foul play associated with uncontrolled gambling, and the host of social ills concomitant with that.


My concern is such that, after speaking at Rohnert Park, California (July 13, 2004), I began sketching out a proposal for the financial management of Indian casino money. That proposal was based on my FrontPage article, “An Indian National Bank.” The proposal was presented to Peter Siggins, legal advisor to Schwarzenegger, on October 20, 2004.


The proposal suggests nine points:


1) The American Indian Bank. All incoming revenue from Indian casinos shall be deposited in the AIB. Thus, accountability may be more readily assured.


2) Moratorium on Federal Recognition. There can be no more “tribes” popping up in California, at least for the time being, until the casino management system can be put in place.


3) Accountability for Tribal Leadership. No tribal laws must be occasion for abuse of tribal members, or of non-tribal neighbors. Such tribal law is subject to the laws of the United States, as well as to the states in which the tribes are located.


4) Casino Money Management. An independent management source must oversee all casino operations. This can be neither the US government, nor the casino companies, nor the Indians.


5) Casino by Law. Casinos are to be permitted only by law. Tribal constitutions must be able to accommodate the complexities of modernity, and until such constitutions exist, no casinos shall be allowed, and then only under the most careful independent management and oversight.


6) Mandated Indian Casino Bank. To tribe shall be allowed to have a casino unless the profits are deposited in the Indian bank. The bank must develop on a competitive basis, and eventually might replace much of ill-performed responsibilities of the Bureau of Indian Affairs


7) Casino Controls. A serious of controls will insure equity: a) Passports should be required to enter any Indian land (for both Indian and non-Indian visitors). This is a tariff opportunity; b) each casino must have its own unique currency, to eliminate fraud; c) tariff on casino currency when exchanged back into American dollars.


8) Equity among Tribes. Federal recognition is based on a historically earned status. It is not the occasion to award one tribe while ignoring another. Casinos are an opportunity through federal recognition; therefore, all tribes are equal. The profits of casinos must be distributed throughout all Indian country, and no tribe shall be left out, simply because of its isolated geographical location and lack of casino opportunity.


9) Casino Revenue vs. BIA Budget. It is possible that the revenue of casinos, as managed by the proposed Indian Bank, might eventually replace the BIA altogether.


More details will be forthcoming.


The bottom line is Schwarzenegger is only partly right: These “Indian” leaders are trying to rip off other Indians, too.

Dr. David A. Yeagley is a published scholar, professionally recorded composer, and an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies. He's on the speakers list of Young America's Foundation. E-mail him at badeagle2000@yahoo.com. View his website at http://www.badeagle.com.

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