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Gila River tribe opposes Glendale casino

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March 2, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - The Gila River Indian Community publicly opposes the proposal by the Tohono O'odham Nation to build a 600-room resort and casino in Glendale.

In January the Tohono O'odham Nation applied to the federal government to take 134 acres at 91st and Northern avenues into trust for the tribe. This would create reservation land for their West Valley resort and casino.

Tribal spokeswoman Alia Maisonet said the tribe supports state compacts for Indian gaming on reservations and does not support off-reservation casinos. "Until it goes into trust and the bureau (Bureau of Indian Affairs) makes that call, technically it's still not reservation."

Tohono O'Odham Chairman Ned Norris Jr. disagrees with arguments that the Glendale casino would impact the state gaming compact and believes his tribe has a right to have the land placed into trust as part of a previous federal settlement for their reservation land.

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