Beloit Indian Casino: Chippewa or Ho-Chunk?
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November 11, 2009
BELOIT, WI - There are 3 players in building a future casino in Beloit: the Bad
River and St. Croix Chippewa tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation and the federal
The Chippewa Indian tribe is waiting for a court decision for its project which
has been evolving for the past ten years. Last January the Interior Department
rejected their application based on a new policy for "off-reservation" casinos.
Joseph Hunt, Public Relations Director for the casino project representing the
Bad River and St. Croix Chippewa tribes, said last week "The law is very clear.
You don't just change agreements, Indian gaming regulatory acts or treaties. You
don't just do it unilaterally, so sure, we think we have a very strong case." A
court decision is expected soon.
In the meantime the Ho-Chunk have purchased 37 acres of land that was intended
for the Chippewa tribes. The Chippewa still hold options on 32 adjacent acres
which they will buy if the court decision is favorable.
Hunt says "The Ho-Chunk land purchase does complicate things. In fact we're
involved in a situation analysis right now trying to figure out how complicated
In a press release Friday, the Ho-Chunk Nation said the purchased land is in
proximity to its existing tribal land and the federal government has recognized
its aboriginal ties to Beloit and the region. In addition, the tribes gaming
compact with the state allows for development of one more casino site which
could be applied to the property.
In the press release Ho-Chunk Nation president Wilfrid Cleveland said "The
Ho-Chunk people are the aboriginal people of Kecak.today known as Beloit, and we
take tremendous pride in that heritage. That makes for a natural partnership
with the city and the region, and we are excited to explore all the
The Ho-Chuck Nation has begun the application process with the Interior
Department to place the land in trust with the purpose of building a casino.
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