The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is dropping a short-lived lawsuit that challenged the bidding process for a new casino in Connecticut. But Chief Richard Velky hasn’t given up hope. He said the tribe will focus its efforts on the 2017 legislative session, when lawmakers will consider whether to move forward with the casino.
“Connecticut has announced its new Keno game, introduced in April, brought in $12 million in its first two months. That’s nearly twice what the state had projected.
Part of the proceeds are going to the state’s two federally recognized American Indian tribes, the Mashantucket and the Mohegan. But there are three other state-recognized Indian tribes in Connecticut. They are not getting any of the proceeds because only the two federally recognized tribes have a gaming compact with the state”
WSHU Senior Political Reporter Ebong Udoma and Reporter Davis Dunavin have been covering this development and spoke about it with Morning Edition Host Tom Kuser.
Listen to full interview here: http://wshu.org/post/schaghticoke-continues-fight-federal-recognition-and-its-benefits
“We’ve been here 300 years,” Mr. Velky said in an interview at the tribal offices in Derby, Conn. “Whether Connecticut likes it or not, we are one of the state’s first families, and we will continue to be.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chief Richard Velky
March 8, 2016
CHIEF OF SCHAGHTICOKE TRIBAL NATION TESTIFIES AT
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE PUBLIC HEARING
Urges Legislators to Amend SB 357 to Allow All State Recognized Tribes the
Opportunity to Conduct Tribal Bingo Operations
Kent, Connecticut — Today, the Chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN), Richard Velky, testified before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, urging legislators to amend Senate Bill 357 (An Act Concerning Gaming). During his testimony, Chief Velky asked the committee to “keep focused” on the bill’s stated purpose, which is to amend and correct the State’s bingo laws.
“…the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is a Connecticut recognized tribe, just like the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe. And as many of you know, we have been pursuing an opportunity to create our own gaming entity,” Velky remarked. “We therefore ask the Committee to amend S.B. 357 to give the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation…and all state-recognized tribes…an opportunity to conduct tribal bingo operations…and ensure STN is given equal consideration for any future commercial casino in Connecticut.”
“To us, tribal gaming is about creating an economic opportunity for an impoverished people and if we were permitted to pursue gaming, we would use that opportunity to create jobs for us and for the surrounding communities,” added Velky.
The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is one of the oldest state-recognized tribes in the U.S., formally recognized by the Colony of Connecticut in 1736.
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…
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.
Read the press release here: http://schaghticoke.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3-7-16-Schaghticoke-Tribal-Nation-Press-Release.pdf
Read the case document here: http://schaghticoke.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1-1-STN-03-07-16-Case-316-cv-00380.pdf
By Russell Blair
…”Without any competitive bidding or gaming study, Connecticut shut out [the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation] and awarded to one pair of Native American tribes the exclusive ability to develop a highly-valuable commercial enterprise,” Chief Richard L. Velky said in a statement. “Under the equal protection clauses of both the federal and state constitutions, [the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation] should have the same right to pursue this economic opportunity as anyone else.”
Velky said the lawsuit will be filed Monday…
Read Chief Velky’s press release here: http://schaghticoke.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/3-4-16-Schaghticoke-Tribal-Nation-Press-Rel-1.pdf