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February 22, 2008

BELOIT, WI - As reported by the Beloit Daily News: "With the lawsuit against the federal government still pending in the nation's capital, representatives from the Beloit Casino Project have urged Indian tribes spurned by the Department of Interior to write their elected officials about the harm the recent changes to the off-reservation gaming application process has imposed.

"'Our experience has been that when we have joined our voices we are more likely to be heard,' Joe Hunt, spokesman for the Beloit Casino Project, wrote the tribes on behalf of Hazel Hindsley, chairperson of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.

"Hunt sent the letter to the tribes whose off-reservation casino applications were denied last month after the Department of Interior assistant secretary applied a new commutability guideline to the process.

"The government officials enacting this and other changes have exceeded their authority, the St. Croix argue in their lawsuit against Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Carl Artman.

" representatives plan to submit documents outlining the impact of the changes to government officials, including the Natural Resources Committee chairman and the staff director for Indian Affairs, prior to the hearing, Hunt said.

"Involving other tribes should only strengthen the St. Croix band's voice.

"...The St. Croix and Bad River Bands of Chippewa have been going through the process of applying for an off-reservation casino complex in Beloit for years..."

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