It appears The Bee's editorial department is either in mass confusion or seeking to open dialogue from the community on the issue of Indian gaming. Recently, it has given Table Mountain high praise for being good neighbors with a contribution to Fresno State (an obvious ploy by Table Mountain to recruit students as gamblers), following which The Bee called for California to strengthen its regulatory role in gaming.
Yes, there is a strong need for oversight of what is happening in Indian country with gaming. The average citizen has no legal rights for any infractions imposed upon them by the tribes, and the money is running amok. However, those being abused far worse by the tribal councils and their attorneys are the Indians themselves. The Bee has reported several of these stories and they are but a minute fraction of the whole.
Perhaps the editorial department would be willing to host an open forum to address the existing issues of Indian gaming. The Bee could invite the tribal councils (no attorneys, please), policymakers, Mayor Alan Autry, Dr. John Welty, Indian activists and the public. Let the healing begin at last.
Laura L. Wass
American Indian Legacy Center