Tribal Organization: Colville Confederated Tribes
Colville Tribes 184 acres of farmland 2019.
There is speculation that a land purchase last year in Franklin County could develop into a future tribal casino. The land is 184 acres of farmland northeast of King City in Pasco. It is east of Highway 395 just north of the King City Truck Stop. These are ancestral lands of the Palus, one of the twelve Tribes in the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. The Colville Tribes purchased the 184 acres in May 2019 for $10.8 million.
Map of Colville Tribes land in Pasco, Washington
In November 2019 the City of Pasco and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation signed an "Agreement in Principle" that defines a framework for cooperation in the future development of an economic enterprise that will be announced later. There several possibilities for the land including a casino, a water park, a hotel, or a convenience store and gas station.
The Colville has submitted a fee-to-trust application to the U.S. Department of Interior to transfer the land into federal trust for the tribes. Federal approval is required for authorizing a tribal casino on the land.
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February 8, 2020
There is a dispute between the Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation over ancestral rights to 184 acres of farmland purchased in May 2019 by the Colville Tribes. At stake is a potential Colville casino on that land.
The Colville Tribes have applied to the U.S. Department of Interior to transfer the land into federal trust for the purpose of building a casino. The Tribes have also signed an agreement with the City of Pasco to work together on the project.
In a three-page letter to the Pasco City Council the Yakama Nation wrote: "This is the Yakama Nation's notice to the city of Pasco that we object to the Colville's attempt to lay any claim within the open and unclaimed lands of our treaty territory. We stand firm in our position that the Colvilles do not belong in Yakama Nation ancestral territories, and we remain prepared to oppose this development at every level."
Similar notices were sent to Gov. Jay Inslee, Franklin County, the cities of Kennewick and Richland, the U.S. Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Colville Tribes claim the land as homeland of the Palus, now known as "Palouse," and one of the 12 tribes in the Colville Confederation.
The Yakama Nation claims the land was handed down from "Tamanwala, the Creator." The Yakama Treaty of June 9, 1855 identifies Pasco as part of the Yakama territory as "thence down the Snake River to its junction with the Columbia River; thence up the Columbia River to the 'White Banks,' below the Priest's Rapids."
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