LAS CRUCES, NM - The Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma announced it has opened a 24-hour diner and smoke shop on its 30-acres in Akela, just off Interstate 10 about 20 miles east of Deming.
This is the site of controversy in late February Gov. Bill Richardson threatened to block access with state police officers if the tribe attempted to open a casino. The National Indian Gaming Commission also issued a letter stating the Fort Sill Apaches had no legal grounds to do that.
While the tribe maintains a 2007 settlement agreement with the federal government gives it the right to open the casino, it has gone forward with opening the diner in the east end of the same building that they hope will eventually host a casino.
The diner sits 30 patrons and serves American-style dishes, including rib eye steak, oversized burgers and crab cakes.
The tribe recently filed a motion in federal court in Oklahoma City, asking
that the terms of the 2007 settlement agreement be enforced.
Tribal officials believe this will resolve the standoff and open their casino.
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