Leadership and citizenship feud results in closure of Nooksack Tribe casino
For the second time in less than two years, employees of a casino owned and operated by the Nooksack Indian Tribe are unemployed without notice of an imminent closure.
Last week, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) had already been categorized as “unelected, unrecognized and unlawful” by a US attorney, ordering her to close her last remaining casino, Northwood Casino, in Whatcom County according to the Seattle Times. Lynden City Casino is located on the grounds of Nooksack Indian Village Squahalish.
The NIGC noted that the casino was not operated in accordance with the federal law on gaming in India and the tribe was affected by an 18-page order stating that federal law requires tribal casinos to be run by a state-recognized leadership have to. “According to the news agency. The tribe, which has been involved in a bitter political controversy over the deregistration for years, has no such leadership, according to the Order.
As noted in the order, the Nooksack tribe received a series of Letters from the Supreme Federal Nursing Officer, which indicated that any acts of the tribal council would not be recognized by the federal government, as four of its incumbent members have expired the college is not. Last year, elections were canceled that would have eliminated the four-seat job, as 306 members were to be deregistered. This was decided by a tribal council headed by tribal leader Bob Kelly in 2013. In February 2013, the 306 members were informed about the deregistration.
The elections this year were invalidated by the federal government, as the 306 members were already logged out and the vote was annulled. In addition, the tribe was confiscated by federal and state agencies, which resulted in the Nooksack losing millions of dollars. To make matters worse, the NIGC order lists a number of violations, including the tribes’ failure to operate the casino in a manner that “adequately protects the environment and public health and safety” and in relation to the leadership of the tribe the failure to maintain sole ownership and ownership of gaming operations, according to the Seattle news agency.
Six reports of breaches of the Safe Drinking Water Act have been reported to the tribe and the casino by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Seattle Times, citing a press release, reported that the chairman of the Gambling Commission, Jonodev Chaudhuri, said: “We do not take the announcement of violations and closures against tribal gaming operations lightly. We will take this major enforcement action only after a full analysis of the circumstances, including a complete review of the structure of the administrative and business organs of the tribe. ”
The closing of the Northwood Casino is the first time gambling authorities have taken such action, according to Gabriel Galanda, a Seattle lawyer representing unregistered members. The NIGC command can be challenged by the Nooksack tribe, but more than $ 50,000 per day can be lost for each ongoing violation.
The tribal council’s failure to resolve $ 15 million of financial and legal debt-related issues allegedly attributable to Outsource Services Management and the fight against deregistration resulted in the closure of the Nooksack Tribe River Casino on Friday, December 11, 2015.
On Friday afternoon, the Northwood Casino remained open, a worker said, but that evening the casino had reportedly closed without notice.