Published on Apr 05, 2018
“We Urge You to Act with Dispatch.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. | The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) sent a letter to the Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke urging him to publish notice in the Federal Register of gaming compact amendments for the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes of Connecticut.
The letter states the following: “These (tribal gaming compact) amendments are very important to economic development for both tribal governments as well as the State of Connecticut, and publication of amended compacts is within your duties under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. We urge you to act with dispatch.”
“Under federal law, the Secretary’s publication of gaming compacts is not discretionary. The Secretary may disapprove a compact only if it violates federal law or the trust obligations of the United States. If the Secretary does not approve or disapprove a compact within 45 days, the compact shall be considered to have been approved. At that time, the Secretary is required by law to act;” the law says the Secretary “shall publish in the Federal Register notice of any Tribal-State compact that is approved, or considered to have been approved.” 25 U.S.C. 2710(d)(8).”
The state of Connecticut, in conjunction with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes, is currently suing DOI in an effort to get the department to follow the law and publish these tribal gaming contracts. The case is currently working its way through the Federal court system. View the letter here.
About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.