From: email@example.com Subject: Reservation Shopping-Is The Bureau Of Indian Affairs Ignoring Congress Land Rights Network American Land Rights Association PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604 Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Web Address: http://www.landrights.org Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 2000 Reservation Shopping -- Is The Bureau Of Indian Affairs Ignoring Congress? BIA Regional Director says he never heard the term, “Reservation Shopping. The BIA appears to be completely out of touch. From the Vancouver Columbian June 17, 2005: Accusing the tribe of "reservation shopping" might not hold much weight with the BIA. Northwest Regional Director Stan Speaks said Wednesday that he had never heard the term. He added that economic benefit is a legitimate reason for a tribe to seek a reservation. "I know their objective is certainly to look, for an economic standpoint, the best area in their aboriginal territory," Speaks said. He said that information about the tribe's aboriginal territory is one factor in the agency's decision to grant a reservation. "It won't be the total factor," he said. Where in the process does a community get a fair chance to dispute the tribes claim to aboriginal territory.? Why does a tribe’s wants take priority over the needs of a community? Is the Bureau of Indian Affairs biased? And when asked about casino opponents' version of history, Speaks repeatedly said, "The best information always comes from the tribe." How can communities get a fair hearing or examination of Tribal history when the BIA is so biased? This has got to stop. Please take immediate action. The BIA is completely in their own world and do not feel responsible to political authority or the truth. The Bush Administration must rein in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Congress must pass legislation to give communities control over their own destiny. Action Items: -----1. Add your own personal message and forward this message to your Congressman and follow up with him or her by phone and e-mail. You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121. This is the Capitol Switchboard. Ask for your Congressman’s office. Then ask for his or her e-mail address and fax number. Fax your letter. The mail gets held up by Anthrax mail inspections. -----2. Forward a copy of this message with your own message to both your US Senators. Follow up by phone and e-mail. Any Senator may be called at (202) 224-3121. Follow the same procedure as above. -----3. Send an e-mail to Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo urging more hearings concerning Reservation Shopping. Call the committee at (202) 225-2761. Fax them at (202) 226-4631. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.house.gov/resources/ -----4. Write the Interior Department. The two key individuals are Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs email@example.com and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org Please note there is an underscore between the first and last name. You may call Skibine at (202) 219-4066 or (202) 273-3153. Fax: (202) 208-6334. Write: Dept. of Interior, Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. Fax is usually the best method. Mail gets held up by the Anthrax mail inspections. -----5. Forward this message as widely as possible to people in your area. -----6. Join the Stop Reservation Shopping Coalition. It’s free. Just send a message with your name, address, phone, fax and e-mail to email@example.com If you have a local website helping to fight a proposed casino, please send that too. We’ll list it on our website. -----7. Show these articles to your local newspaper reporter. See the full articles below: Another casino opponent steps up Thursday, June 16, 2005 By MARGARET ELLIS, Columbian staff writer Vancouver Columbian in Southwest Washington Longtime community activist and philanthropist Ed Lynch will hold a press conference this morning to introduce the latest group to oppose the Cowlitz Tribe's request for a reservation near La Center. It is the third Clark County group to sound an alarm against the tribe's plans to build a casino and 250-room hotel near the La Center exit on Interstate 5. Tribal officials say they expect the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to decide whether to grant the Cowlitz a reservation there in about a year. The tribe said it plans to build a casino with a 160,000-square-foot gaming floor. In comparison, the Fred Meyer Salmon Creek store is 165,000 square feet. The casino complex would also have 210,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants, and 150,000 square feet of space for convention rooms and entertainment venues. Lynch did not return a call Wednesday. His spokesman, Tom Hunt, wouldn't comment on what Lynch planned to say. But e-mails have been circulating about the press conference, especially among the other activists trying to stop the Cowlitz from building a casino. The press conference was scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Hilton Vancouver Washington hotel. Kamie Biehl, a founder of the first group formed to fight the tribe, said she and others from Stand Up for Clark County Citizens will attend. Biehl's group started more than a year ago among people who live near the site of the proposed Cowlitz casino. Chuck Cushman of Battle Ground, executive director of the American Land Rights Association, is also urging attendance of the conference by casino opponents. Cushman said he has offices in Washington, D.C., and has worked for decades to fight land-use restrictions. It is only in the past few months that he's been rallying opposition to the Cowlitz proposal. The American Land Rights Association recently sent a letter to 20,000 local addresses asking that residents support impending legislation that would hinder tribes from building casinos. Cushman also sent a mass e-mail inviting casino opponents to Lynch's meeting. According to that e-mail, Lynch's group is called CARS Coalition Against Reservation Shopping. According to opponents, "reservation shopping" takes place when tribes seek to establish reservations in areas with economic potential, rather than where the tribe has history. Biehl and Cushman claim the tribe doesn't have a history in Clark County, and it should locate in Cowlitz County. The tribe has its offices in Longview. David Barnett, spokesman for the Cowlitz Tribe, said his people have a long history in Clark County. "We have Cowlitz people buried under the barracks at Fort Vancouver," he said. Barnett joked that with all the opposition groups formed to oppose his tribe, the Cowlitz are already improving Clark County's economy. "People say that we weren't going to bring jobs to Clark County. We've already created jobs," he said. "Kamie Biehl and Chuck Cushman now have jobs raising money to oppose the tribe." Barnett said that he hadn't met Lynch, and that Lynch hasn't asked the tribe for information about its plans for a casino and hotel. Barnett surmised that Lynch formed his opinion of the tribe's proposal by talking with opponents such as Biehl and Cushman. "It is sad that he gets confused and disoriented by the disinformation which prevents him from making a rational analysis," Barnett said CARS Takes on Tribe - Casino Faces History Test Friday, June 17, 2005 By MARGARET ELLIS, Columbian staff writer Vancouver Columbian in Southwest Washington State Ed Lynch is hoping that the aspirations of the Cowlitz Tribe can be derailed by probing its history. Lynch, a philanthropist and community activist, unveiled a new group Thursday that will oppose the tribe's plans for a casino on 152 acres near La Center by attempting to undermine its historic claims to the area. While two groups are already fighting against the Cowlitz Tribe's proposal to build the state's largest casino here, neither features members as powerful as those in this new group. They include Scott Campbell, The Columbian's publisher, and state legislators Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, and Rep. Bill Fromhold, D-Vancouver. Lynch promised membership will increase soon. He is the retired president of Kiewit Pacific construction company and has been involved in many charitable organizations. He has an interest in history and is chairman of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust. "I'm certainly disappointed that some of these very rich individuals are trying to get in the way of a tribe that's trying to provide for members who don't have adequate housing or health care," said Cowlitz spokesman and member Dave Barnett. The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is deciding whether to grant the Cowlitz a reservation on Northwest 319th Street near Interstate 5. The tribe has announced plans to build the biggest casino in the state, with a 160,000-square-foot gaming floor and a 250-room hotel. Opponents have a laundry list of arguments why the tribe shouldn't have a reservation in La Center. They say the casino would cause traffic and environmental problems and that it would hurt La Center and its cardrooms. The city gets the bulk of its revenue, about $3 million annually, from a gambling tax. But Lynch is focused on one thing: the contention that Clark County isn't part of the tribe's aboriginal territory, and thus has no right to a reservation here. His group is called CARS, Citizens Against Reservation Shopping. According to Lynch, "reservation shopping" takes place when a tribe seeks to establish reservations in areas with economic potential, rather than where the tribe has history. "They don't belong in Clark County or south Cowlitz County," Lynch said Thursday. He isn't the first to argue that the Cowlitz Tribe's history invalidates its reservation proposal. Stand Up for Clark County Citizens, formed more than a year ago, has been questioning the tribe's history since last spring. The Cowlitz Tribe claims it has extensive history in Southwest Washington. The tribe even held a public meeting last year in which historian and Lewis & Clark College professor Stephen Dow Beckham argued the finer points of the Cowlitz Tribe's past in Clark County. The tribe also sent a mailer to 80,000 addresses in September that discussed the tribe's presence here and featured pictures of Cowlitz elders. With that mailer in hand, Lynch spent nearly an hour before TV cameras and an audience of about 50 people at downtown's new Hilton Vancouver Washington disputing the Cowlitz's version of incidents that happened 150 years ago. "I had lots of help getting information and I did lots of reading myself," Lynch said when asked about his version of the tribe's history. Lynch cited documents from the BIA and the Indian Claims Commission, but wouldn't name the people who he said helped him. "I don't have their permission to do that," he said. Barnett said the tribe has been trying to contact Lynch for months to talk to him about the tribe's history. Neither Lynch nor anyone on the group's list has talked with tribal representatives, Barnett said. "I would love to have a dialogue with Mr. Lynch; however, he refused any requests that would enable him to make a sane determination," Barnett said. Lynch also said he is trying to stop the project because he fears the social consequences of gambling. Those who can't stop gambling "think about holding up a service station. Some think of stealing from their employer," he said. Even if only a minority of gamblers develop a problem, that problem can affect the whole community. "Because of gambling, you're looking at the business end of a revolver," he said. After the meeting, Campbell said he agrees that a casino would be bad for Clark County. "For me, it's more about the character of the community," he said, adding that the county has been blossoming with the redevelopment of downtown Vancouver and expansion of the Washington State University Vancouver campus. "The community is turning into a place I'm really proud of." He said his involvement in Lynch's group would not affect news coverage of the Cowlitz proposal. "This is kind of like what happens on the editorial page," he said. Columbian Editor Lou Brancaccio agreed. "Scott has been involved as a community member, so this kind of thing isn't new or foreign to us," he said Thursday afternoon. "It will have no effect on the way in which we cover the casino operation." Lynch's audience, full of tribal casino opponents and members of his group, ended the meeting with noisy applause. One of those in attendance, George Teeny, owns the New Phoenix and Last Frontier cardrooms in La Center. Those cardrooms made more in gambling gross receipts, the amount wagered minus the amount paid in winnings, than any others in the state during the fiscal year ending September 2004. Teeny said he wasn't bothered by Lynch's criticism of gambling. Problem gamblers are more attracted to the slot-type machines available in tribal casinos than the card games he offers, he said. "I stand behind Ed." Accusing the tribe of "reservation shopping" might not hold much weight with the BIA. Northwest Regional Director Stan Speaks said Wednesday that he had never heard the term. He added that economic benefit is a legitimate reason for a tribe to seek a reservation. "I know their objective is certainly to look, for an economic standpoint, the best area in their aboriginal territory," Speaks said. He said that information about the tribe's aboriginal territory is one factor in the agency's decision to grant a reservation. "It won't be the total factor," he said. And when asked about casino opponents' version of history, Speaks repeatedly said, "The best information always comes from the tribe." CARS Membership Members of Citizens Against Reservation Shopping include: Columbian Publisher Scott Campbell. Christensen Shipyard Chairman Dave Christensen. Realvest Corp. President Paul Christensen. State Rep. Bill Fromhold, D-Vancouver. Landerholm and Associates President Kent Landerholm. Dick Pokornowski, member of board of directors for the Vancouver Downtown Redevelopment Authority and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust. Craig Pridemore, state senator, D-Vancouver, and former county commissioner. Peterson and Associates Certified Public Accountant Newt Rumble. Riverview Community Bank President and CEO Pat Sheaffer. Judie Stanton, owner of J.S. Webworks and a former county commissioner. Please forward this message as widely as possible. -- To unsubscribe from this mailing list; please visit http://governance.net and enter your email address.