03/8/16

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman On Board To Help Schaghticoke

Ana Radelat at the Connecticut Mirror –

The Schaghicoke Tribal Nation has hired former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman – who once fought against the tribe’s efforts to win federal recognition – to help them sue the state over a gambling law that allows only the state’s two gaming tribes to open a new casino…

Continue reading: http://ctmirror.org/2016/03/07/schaghticokes-hire-lieberman-to-help-sue-state-over-casino-law/

03/7/16

Hartford Courant: Schaghticoke Indians and MGM Team Up to Fight Casino Law

HARTFORD — The chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation said Monday that his state-recognized Indian tribe is working with gambling giant MGM Resorts to fight the state’s plan for opening a third casino in Connecticut.

Continue reading: http://www.courant.com/business/hc-mgm-schaghticoke-casino-20160307-story.html

02/5/16

Chief Velky: This Is “An Unconstitutional Act”

From the Hartford Courant:

“The obvious result of denying or rescinding our registration as a ‘tribal business entity’ would be to prevent us from issuing a request for proposals to municipalities regarding the establishment of a possible casino gaming facility in a host community,” Velky said in a statement. “We view this as an unconstitutional act on the part of the Secretary of the State’s office.”

Read more: http://www.courant.com/real-estate/property-line/hc-schaghticoke-fire-back-merrill-20160204-story.html

02/5/16

CT Post: State Admits Error In Accepting Schaghticoke Tribe’s Latest Casino Bid


Read the report by Jim Shay and Susan Tuz here: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Schaghticoke-tribe-pursues-3rd-CT-casino-6803196.php

To read Chief Velky’s response to Secretary Merrill, click here: 2-4-16 letter to Secretary of State Merrill.

To read the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation press release on the news, click here: Immediate Release Chief Velky STN 2-4-16

To read the STN press release on initial approval, click here: Schaghticoke Press Release 2-1-16.

07/1/15
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Chief Velky: “The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation will not be deterred”

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Richard Velky, chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, stands in his hometown of Bridgeport in a 2005 Courant file photo. The federal government issued new standards this week for Native American tribes to gain recognition. (Richard Messina)

From Gregory B. Hladky in the Hartford Courant:

…Richard Velky, chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, issued a statement saying the new rules approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs “betrays the trust” between the federal government and the tribe.

“The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation will not be deterred by the grave omissions and errors” in the new federal rules announced Monday, Velky said…

Read more here.

 

04/23/15

Washburn: Third-Party Veto Provision “May Be Indefensible In Court”

From Ana Radelat at the CT Mirror

Washington – Kevin Washburn, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, hinted Wednesday he may have eliminated a provision in new tribal recognition rules that would stymie efforts by several Connecticut tribes to seek federal status.

Connecticut state and local officials are concerned that recognition of those tribes could lead to land claims and new Indian casinos and affect a slot machine revenue-sharing agreement between the state and the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans, two federally recognized tribes with casinos in Connecticut.

“Ultimately, what we’ve been hearing is that the provision may be unconstitutional and even illegal,” Washburn said at a hearing on his proposal Wednesday before the Indian affairs panel of the House Natural Resources Committee.

He was referring to a provision he included in his proposed regulations that a tribe’s application be subject to the approval of those who have previously opposed their bids.

Washburn said he had included what has been called a “third-party veto” in his proposed changes to the recognition process “to give people who fought recognition also some equity” in the process.

But he said that it proved problematic.

“The provision may be indefensible in court,” he said.

The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation of North Stonington, the Golden Hill Paugussett Nation of Bridgeport and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent, which have been denied recognition for years, would be given a second chance by the new rules, but would be stymied by a “third-party veto.” . . .

Continue reading here.

03/27/15

In A Rare Moment, Blumenthal Agrees With Chief Velky

Gale Courey Toensing writes in Indian Country Today:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) rarely, if ever, agrees with Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Chief Richard Velky about anything having to do with federal recognition, but that rare moment has arrived.

Blumenthal, Connecticut’s former attorney general, now says that a third party veto provision he helped insert into the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ proposed revisions of the federal recognition rules is unconstitutional, the Connecticut Mirror reported. Velky said the same thing a year ago.

The provision would give third parties that were involved in litigation against tribes veto power over those tribes’ right to re-petition for federal recognition under the revised rules. A tribe would have to go to the same third party that fought its federal recognition at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals and/or in federal court to get consent to re-petition. In Connecticut, which has fought indigenous sovereignty for almost 400 years, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none, Indian leaders say.

“I’ve argued, and so have other parties, that [the third party veto] raises very severe constitutional questions,” said Blumenthal, who has successfully fought federal recognition of Connecticut’s three state recognized tribes – the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN), the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation (EPTN) and the Golden Hill Paugussett Indians (GHP)…

Read more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/03/27/blumenthal-flip-flops-federal-rec-third-party-veto-159772

03/23/15

Blumenthal Admits Veto Provision May Be Unconstitutional

Ana Radelat of The CT Mirror writes: 

…The Connecticut tribes, and many other Indians, hope the BIA eliminates the “third-party veto” provision, which they say is unconstitutional.

The senator agrees with the tribes that the veto provision may not stand up in court. “I’ve argued, and so have other parties, that it raises very severe constitutional questions,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said the final regulations issued by the BIA may not include the controversial language, so he’s pressed the agency to scrap plans to issue any new recognition rules at all.

“We think these rules are illegal and extremely unwise,” Blumenthal said.

Opponents include state and local officials and some business interests. They are concerned federal recognition of additional tribes will result in new casinos, extensive land claims and the end of a revenue-sharing agreement with Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe, that run big gaming operations in the state. . .

. . . “They want to make a decision that won’t be hammered in court,” Velky said.
The chief also said BIA officials told him the final regulations would be made official in April or May.

Velky said public pressure, and pressure from Indian Country, persuaded Washburn to allow tribes like the Schaghticoke to have another chance at federal recognition.

“I think the tribe is hopeful,” Velky said. “We’d like to get this behind us.” . . .

Read more: http://ctmirror.org/2015/03/23/blumenthal-effort-to-block-recognition-of-ct-tribes-faces-challenges/