California tribe to open $35 million casino
YREKA, Calif. – The Karuk Tribe of California is set to open a $35 million casino facility in Yreka, Calif. in late February. Mike Rose, casino general manager, told the Medford Mail Tribune, “They (Karuk tribal members) will be taking 100 percent of the proceeds to pay down debt.” The 36,000 square foot facility will employ over 200 people. Karuk Tribal Council Chairman Buster Attebery told the paper, “One of the exciting things about the casino is, it will help bring back tribal members…we have 700 people on a housing waiting list.” The Mail Tribune reported that once the loans are paid down, the Karuks will focus on housing.
Stillaguamish Tribe gearing up for $60 million casino expansion
ARLINGTON, Wash. – The Stillaguamish Tribe of Washington is about to embark on a $60 million expansion of its Angel of the Winds Casino Resort. The Everett Herald reports that the 300,000 square foot expansion will include adding up to 400 more slot machines as well as adding a new parking garage and several eateries. Jeff Wheatley, Angel of the Winds assistant general manager, told the Everett Herald, “We think it’s going to be a game changer for our property. We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.” A time table for completion has not been released.
Cherokee Nation dispersing rare seeds to tribal citizens
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing its limited supply of heirloom seeds to tribal citizens on Thursday, Feb. 1 reports Anadisgoi (Cherokee Nation News). Pat Gwin, Cherokee Nation senior director of Cherokee Nation Environmental Resources, said in a statement, “The Cherokee people have a long history of harvesting seeds and passing them down, and this seed bank program keeps that tradition alive with new generations of Cherokees. These heirloom seeds area varieties that the Cherokee people harvested long before European contact. Planting and sustaining them is a great way to make a cultural connection to our history.” The following seeds will be distributed: Cherokee White Eagle corn, Cherokee Long Greasy beans, Georgia Candy Roaster squash, Buffalo gourds, Buttonbush, Possum Grape, and Sunchoke.
Three tribal colleges awarded environmental grants
DENVER, Colo. – Three tribal colleges have each received $100,000 grants under the American Indian College Fund’s Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship (SEEDS) program. Aaniiih Nakota College, in Harlem, Mont., will build a bachelor’s degree program in Aaniiih Nakoda Ecology; Leech Lake Tribal College, in Cass Lake, Minn., will enhance its existing environmental education by revitalizing the forestry program, integrating traditional knowledge into the curriculum, and developing research capacity; and The College of Menominee Nation, in Keshena, Wisc., will develop a bachelor’s of arts degree in integrative studies based upon the tribe’s model of sustainable development. In a statement, Dr. Patricia Broker, Leech Lake Tribal College interim president, noted, “The American Indian College Fund is one of the greatest supporters of tribal colleges. The SEEDS grant will help us meet our broad mission of serving the Leech Lake Nation as we work to develop our leadership in the area of environmental stewardship.”
Winnebago Tribe launching food sovereignty project
WINNEBAGO, Neb. – The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is launching the Ho-Chunk Harvest food sovereignty project to encourage its members to grow their own food. The program, which will be overseen by the Ho-Chunk Community Development Corporation (HCCDC), started with a planning grant from the USDA. The Corporation is now seeking $231,000 in USDA funds to pay for some of the two-year initiative. Brian Mathers, HCCDC executive director, told Indianz.com, “This is all part of the tribal council’s vision for how to meet the needs of tribal members best, as far as food and nutrition needs and just be able to build their self-reliance and sovereignty.” Another component of the project is the Village Market, a 4,644 square foot indoor farmers market.
– One Feather staff report