The US House passed something called the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act yesterday. It would effectively block the Tohono O’Odham Nation from building a casino on land that they acquired in Glendale.
Trent Franks has been pushing for this legislation, with cheerleading from Jan Brewer and the Gila River Indian Community, who’d rather not have the competition. The chief complaint is that the area will have trouble handling the traffic and noise from the casino.
The area currently includes a football stadium and a hockey arena. But hey, traffic and noise are okay as long as the right kind of people are making money.
So, how did the TO’s get the land? Well, back in 1986, the federal government agreed to allow the tribe to acquire land to make up for the 10,000 acres that were flooded in a water project. The tribe acquired the land subject to the agreement, which said that they could use the land as they saw fit, in 2003.
So, let’s summarize: the feds and a tribe come to an agreement over land, and as soon as the tribe looks like they could make some money, the feds are looking to go back on their agreement.
Have we read this story before?
NB – The only two Arizona representatives to vote against this were Ron Barber and Raúl Grijalva, who has been the point person on the issue.