Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Spokane Tribe News
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January 2014

Spokane: - Before playing against the Tri-Cities Americans in a recent game, Spokane Chiefs hockey players paid tribute to their native heritage through a ceremony dedicated to different Indian tribes. For some minutes while the drums rolled and Coeur d’Alene Julymash Powwow dancers performed, the Native Americans in the audience were transfixed, relishing their patrimony with pride and ardor.

December 2013

Spokane: WSU, Spokane Tribe win grant to address tribal youth issues - The WSU College of Nursing and the Spokane Tribe of Indians are beginning a new project aimed at helping the tribe deal more effectively with substance abuse and mental health problems among its youth.

Spokane: Sherman Alexie reflects on his successful career and being an “Indian’ writer - Sherman Alexie is well-known as a great Native American writer. But let us please drop the labels and break it down to one essential truth: Sherman Alexie is a great writer. Period.

Spokane: Pentagon analysis shows McConnell cheaper option than Fairchild for new tanker - Sending the first squadron of KC-46A tankers to Fairchild Air Force Base would have provided a $292 million boost to the local economy from new construction and added more than 400 personnel to the West Plains military installation.

Spokane: Montana's Institutional Racism Behind Calls to Ban Alexie's Book - In my hometown of Billings, Mont., the hoopla surrounding the group of parents who want to see Sherman Alexie’s book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, end its run as part of the Skyview High School’s curriculum came to full fruition at a community meeting to discuss its supposedly controversial content on Veterans Day.

Spokane: Fairchild scare getting old - Al French and the base commander have a plan to save Fairchild Air Force Base from possible closure: Proposition 1, where every Spokane County property owner will pay extra taxes to buy an insurance policy to keep the base open.

October 2013

Spokane: New EWU residence hall name honors Spokane Tribe - A new residence hall opened on Eastern Washington Univeristy's campus was named Snyamncut Hall (pronounced sen-yam-en-sut). The EWU board of trustees unanimously approved the residence hall name as a way to honor the legacy of the native Spokane people and to reinforce its active cultural influence in the area.

Spokane: Todd Mielke asks Congress for tighter casino rules - Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke testified this week before a congressional subcommittee in favor of tightening regulations around the siting of off-reservation casinos such as the one sought by the Spokane Tribe in Airway Heights.

Spokane: County gets one right for Fairchild, and quickly - Spokane County Commission management of West Plains affairs has often been characterized by hasty decision-making that created sometimes costly headaches, led to awkward retractions and fostered a perception this was a gang that could not shoot straight.

Spokane: Latest threat to Fairchild a tangle, but needs fix - Any threat to Fairchild Air Force Base puts local officials on high alert. The concern echoes those surrounding the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino, another development government and business leaders fear will send the Air Force the wrong signal regarding the community’s determination to keep Fairchild open, and its 5,000 military and civilian personnel on the job.

Spokane: Tribe hopeful its long wait for dam payment will end - For President Harry Truman, the Grand Coulee Dam in northeastern Washington state helped end World War II by powering the Hanford nuclear plant, which provided the plutonium used to bomb Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. For the Spokane Tribe of Indians, construction of America’s largest concrete dam brought only hardship: an end to the Columbia River salmon runs that fed the tribe for centuries, the loss of 40 percent of their homes and flooding on more than 3,000 acres.

Spokane: Carol Evans Becomes First Woman in 25 Years Elected to (Spokane) Tribal Council - On July 12, 2013 the Bruce Wynne Memorial Room in Wellpinit, Washington was filled to capacity with family, friends, community members and Tribal members as Carol Evans was sworn in as a Spokane Tribal Councilwoman for position number 3. This was a historical event since this is the first time that a woman has been sworn into council since the time that Carol’s mother Pauline Stearns was in office. Comment: This is good. Many tribes have several women on their tribal council. Several years ago the Cowlitz Tribal Council achieved parity, with an equal number of women and men, and has remained within one seat of parity ever since. It is important to have a balance of male and female energy in tribal leadership.

Spokane: Regional powwow revels in pageantry - This weekend’s powwow at Riverfront Park packs in three grand entries – three chances to witness the parade of dancers and singers in the traditional regalia of tribes from around the region.

August 2013

Spokane: Gas mix up forces Spoko Fuel to decontaminate tanks - Spokane Tribal leaders blamed a fuel distributor Tuesday night for a gas mix-up at Spoko Fuel. Mechanics said that it appears the Spoko Fuel gas tanks meant for unleaded gas were actually filled with diesel.

Spokane: Partnership will bring author Sherman Alexie to Park City - The Park City Education Foundation, Utah Humanities Council, and Sundance Institute have arranged for Alexie to visit Park City for the Park City High School Author-in-Residence Program this fall. PCHS students have been assigned to read Alexie's National Book Award-winning, young adult novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" this summer. Chris Eyre (director of the film "Smoke Signals") will join Alexie and talk to students about the book to film process

June 2013

Spokane: Casino not a tax drain - A Spokane County study claiming significant negative tax impacts from a proposed Spokane Tribe casino on the West Plains is drawing criticism from the city in which the casino would be built.

Spokane: Was the Spokane Casino Helped by an Air Force Decision? - For two years, one word has summed up opposition to a plan by the Spokane Tribe of Indians to build a casino and resort complex on off-reservation trust land near Fairchild Air Force Base in eastern Washington: Encroachment.

Spokane: Vice chairman of Spokane Tribe resigns - The vice chairman of the Spokane Tribe has resigned under significant pressure from tribal members. Rudy Peone, chairman of the Spokane Tribal Business Council, announced that Rodney W. Abrahamson resigned on Thursday. Abrahamson was convicted of five misdemeanors after he illegally killed two bison north of Yellowstone National Park in February.

Spokane: Casino opponents blast Spokane Tribe-funded study released last week - Critics of the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino and resort at Airway Heights took issue Wednesday with the findings of a consultant’s study that claimed the project poses no threat to nearby Fairchild Air Force Base.

Spokane: Big decisions coming on Spokane's Fairchild AFB - The Air Force this week is expected to decide if Fairchild will serve as the first base for the next generation of air refueling tankers. And the Bureau of Indian Affairs is expected to decide soon whether a big Indian casino can be built just a short distance from the base, an encroachment that opponents fear could eventually prompt the Air Force to close Fairchild.

Spokane: If STEP moves forward, let’s hope the tribe chooses a stunning design - We can't go two days without another mention of the proposed STEP project, which would begin with a proposed Spokane Tribe casino and resort. It would be built on 45 acres inside the City of Airway Heights.

Spokane: Another casino is crazy - The idea of allowing another area casino is ludicrous. Already, there are three major casinos: one in Airway Heights, one at Three Rivers and one in Worley. Also, a large one exists in Chewelah, and there are several privately owned gambling businesses scattered through the area.

Spokane: Casino decision momentous - Local politicians, you now have the opportunity to decide what kind of society you want to have in this area. Do you want a casino-based economy that will flop in any economic downturn, creates many minimum wage jobs, can and will reserve jobs for Native Americans, which is fine as they supposedly are the owners?

Spokane: Fairchild remains valuable installation - The U.S. Air Force decision to base the KC-46A tanker program at McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita, Kan., does not change that fact. Although there is disappointment Fairchild was passed over for the initial allocation of 36 new tankers, the Airway Heights base remains a contender for some number of tankers as deployment of the 179 planes provided for in a contract with Boeing continues.

Spokane: New business developing in...Forks! - Forks has a new business in town, a full-time professional photography studio. Jeff Ferguson, active in Spokane since July 2008, opened the Forks studio of J. Ferguson Photos on April 29. "I am a Spokane tribal member and the peninsula offers the opportunity to work with various different tribes on projects that entail still and video imagery and raise awareness to tribal issues or provide cultural preservation.”

May 2013

Spokane: Tribe’s casino study rejects Fairchild conflict - A private study commissioned by the Spokane Tribe concludes that a proposed casino and resort in Airway Heights creates no disruptions or threats to training flights at nearby Fairchild Air Force Base.

Spokane: Tribal council could oust member - Spokane Tribe leaders are deciding whether to oust their vice chairman for lying to a game officer investigating bison poaching in Montana. Rodney W. Abrahamson was convicted of five misdemeanors after he illegally killed two bison north of Yellowstone National Park in February. The court record states he lied to Montana wildlife agents about his identity. He claimed to be Nez Perce, the tribe that has rights to hunt bison. The Spokane Tribe’s constitution says tribal council members cannot remain on the council “if convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving dishonesty.”

Spokane: Base, tribe in step - Why isn’t Fairchild Air Force Base saying the Spokane Tribe’s West Plains project is a problem? Simple; because they don’t believe there is a problem.

Spokane: TransAct's coupon dispensers in Spokane casino - Hamden's TransAct Technologies Inc. is making good on its bid to expand deeper into casinos, attaching 1,800 of its electronic coupon dispensers to slot games at a Spokane, Wash., Indian gaming parlor.

Spokane: Tribe leader fined for poaching bison in Montana - The vice chairman of the Spokane Tribe of Indians poached two bison north of Yellowstone National Park in February and lied about his identity to officers investigating the hunt, court records show. Rodney W. Abrahamson, 41, was cited for poaching and obstructing while hunting with members of the Nez Perce Tribe near Gardiner, Mont.

Spokane: Casino Battle: Why the Opposition to Spokane Tribe's Anti-Poverty Plan? - The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a final report in February endorsing a large, off-reservation casino and hotel development for the Spokane Tribe in eastern Washington, but observers of Indian gaming say this doesn’t quite mean the tribe can start up the earth-movers.

Spokane: Dozens interview at Spokane Indians job fair - A Wednesday afternoon job fair attracted dozens of people hoping to work for the Spokane Indians. Organizers said that they expected to hire 150 people to work jobs this spring and summer.

Spokane: Former Mayor Verner, Spokane Tribe eye new business ventures - Now CEO of Spokane Tribal Enterprises, former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner says that by diversifying business entities owned and operated by the Spokane Tribe of Indians, she hopes the Tribe will be known for more than its casinos.

Spokane: Fairchild’s casino silence baffling and frustrating - Why all the whispering, Fairchild? If the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino is a threat to the base – which is, in turn, a threat to the local economy – why not just say so, in clear, modern, American, nonbureaucratic English?

Spokane: Fairchild said to have concerns about proposed casino - Officially, Fairchild Air Force Base is neutral on the casino and resort the Spokane Tribe wants to build on the West Plains. Unofficially, it’s putting up red flags about the proposed location of the planned 145-foot tower, raising the specter of a base jet crashing into the resort tower, a prospect so catastrophic it wouldn’t be worth the risk, however remote.

April 2013

Coeur d'Alene-Spokane: VC Lyceum speaker offers political, humorous message - The one message Sherman Alexie wants to convey is that we're all immigrants. "You should really be saying you're from Africa or from everywhere," he told a crowd at Leo J. Welder Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday.

Spokane: New casino a gamble - J. Gary Kavanagh suggests (March 5) that “there is no threat of any kind to Fairchild Air Force Base’s” operations from the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino in Airway Heights. If he believes that, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn, N.Y., that I would like to sell him.

Spokane: Can’t ignore casino risk - Why is the mayor ignoring the fact that in the U.S. Air Force’s own Joint Land Use Study it identified the Spokane Tribe’s proposed mega-resort-casino complex, including the hotel tower they plan to build, a “critical” threat based on its non-compatibility with the base?

March 2013

Spokane: Tribe won’t oppose requested delay on casino - U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers seems “misinformed” in her recent request to delay a government recommendation on the proposed Spokane tribal casino on the West Plains, the tribal chairman told a federal agency this week. But the tribe won’t object to the requested 45-day delay, if the department doesn’t allow future attempts to delay the process “for reasons beyond meaningful justification,” Tribal Council Chairman Rudy Peone said in a letter to a top Interior Department official.

Spokane: McMorris Rodgers seeks delay on proposed casino - The federal government should delay its decision on a proposed tribal casino on the West Plains an extra 45 days to allow Spokane County to voice its objections, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Thursday.

Spokane: Follow facts on casino - Well, another round of disinformation is being put forth by local politicians, and other people against the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino in Airway Heights. There is no threat of any kind to Fairchild Air Force Base’s continued operation as an integral, much-needed entity in Airway Heights. The real threat would be losing the economic boost this project would bring to local people.

Spokane: What gives on casino? - The argument was made that Gov. Jay Inslee stood up for tribal sovereignty and self-determination. The Spokane Tribe’s casino would be 1.5 miles from Fairchild Air Force Base to lure airmen, and the Constitution needs amending, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs needs morality. Give me a break. A new casino to compete with Northern Quest is probably the root cause of this issue, and the 1.5-mile argument shows the lack of understanding how Boeing has delivered thousands of aircraft from downtown Renton among high-rises, schools and a populace far exceeding that of Airway Heights.

Spokane: Inslee guarded on tribe casino - Gov. Jay Inslee wouldn’t say Wednesday which way he’s leaning on the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino on the West Plains. Inslee has the final ability to block the project near Fairchild Air Force Base even if federal officials sign off on it. “It will be important for me to make the decision based on the facts and the evidence,” he said.

Spokane: Casino hopes nearer, but need dashing - The Spokane Tribe is but two signatures away from approval of its decade long effort to build a casino in Airway Heights. May those pens run dry.

Spokane: Renowned Indian artist George Flett dies at 66 - Nationally recognized artist and Spokane Tribe member George Flett died Wednesday afternoon at the age of 66. Flett had diabetes since the early 1980s and was undergoing dialysis three times a week, said his daughter, Regina Flett.

Spokane: Tribe posts casino impact statement - The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ environmental statement about a proposed gaming facility in Airway Heights lays out efforts detailed efforts by the Spokane Tribe to reduce possible land-use conflicts, particularly with Fairchild Air Force Base. After months of review of comments submitted for and against the proposal, the impact statement was posted online Thursday at the tribe’s West Plains development website.

February 2013

Kalispel-Spokane: Technology, volunteers boost northeastern Washington whitetail study - An ambitious research project is under way to shed light on the mysterious movements of white-tailed deer through the thick cover of northeastern Washington. Contributing to the research are biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Spokane and Kalispel tribes.

Spokane: County commissioners preparing casino comments - Spokane County Commissioners today voted to terminate a 2010 agreement with Airway Heights that prevented commissioners from commenting about a proposed casino by the Spokane Tribe on U.S. Highway 2.

Spokane: Comments on Spokane Tribe casino will still be allowed after EIS is released - A Friday regional story noted that Spokane County Commissioners will unwind a 2010 agreement that would have kept them from taking a stance on a proposed Spokane Tribe casino and resort. It won't surprise me if comments posted online suggest the newspaper is working against the Tribe.

Spokane: Commission must be able to speak up for Fairchild - The Spokane County Commission is wisely extricating itself from a deal that kept it mum about a major development within its jurisdiction.

January 2013

Spokane: Wolf killed on Spokane Indian Reservation - A gray wolf has been killed on the Spokane Indian Reservation by a tribal member who was trapping other species, according to B.J. Kieffer, the tribe's Natural Resources Department director. “The incidental take occurred (Dec. 10) within the boundaries of the reservation, and within the jurisdiction of the Spokane Tribe,” he said in a media release.

November 2012

Spokane/Coeur d'Alene: Alexie talks about career, new book - "We feel more Indian when we're talking about (reservations). The irony and ridiculousness of that is Indians didn't create the reservations."

Spokane: Not helpful to tribe - I would like to offer an interesting piece of information on how Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers doesn’t stand up for all of the constituencies in her district. The Spokane Tribe for several years has been seeking her support for equitable compensation for a piece of history that involves the loss of salmon, which was a main staple for survival; the loss of our ancestral burial grounds; and the flooding of land caused by the construction of Grand Coulee Dam. Cathy’s view was always “I don’t feel comfortable at this time,” therefore I lost respect for her lack of leadership and compassion for such a great injustice.

October 2012

Spokane: End silence on casino - I was outraged to learn that the city of Airway Heights and the Spokane Tribe are forbidding the Spokane County commissioners from speaking out about the tribe’s casino proposal for the West Plains. Much community dialogue has taken place around this project, including some very pointed warnings from officials at Fairchild Air Force Base.

Spokane/Coeur D'Alene: Sherman Alexie brings on the "Blasphemy" - Blasphemy feels pretty good when Sherman Alexie is writing it. Mostly centered on American Indian characters and perspectives, Mr. Alexie has no compunctions about knocking down the stereotypes that line the foundation of American mythology. Mr. Alexie's stories are always irreverent in the most truthful way, lending a smirk to the title of his latest collection.

Spokane: Tribe project gag is odious - The greatest responsibility of any elected official is to carefully research, consider and facilitate debate about the most important issues affecting our community. Today, one of Spokane County’s most critical issues is the Spokane Tribe of Indian’s proposed casino/retail complex near Fairchild Air Force Base. Sadly, a muzzle has been placed on me and the majority of the Spokane Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) that prevents us from doing our jobs on behalf of our constituents.

Spokane: Allow tribe’s STEP project a fair chance - It is sad that arguably the largest privately funded economic development project to come to Spokane in decades has been turned into a political football by those who appear to have huge conflicts of interest. With 5,000 jobs and $300 million in economic activity a year hanging in the balance, I think it is time to speak up. When the Spokane Tribe brought their Spokane Tribe Economic Development Project (STEP) to the county commissioners, they didn’t ask for taxpayer money for economic development: Their plan would pump more than $400 million in private money into the economy, generating $300 million within Spokane County alone.

September 2012

Spokane: Stuckart wrong on casino - I was shocked when I read the op-ed in the Aug. 30 Seattle Times by Ben Stuckart, president of the Spokane City Council, promoting the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino at Airway Heights, near Fairchild Air Force Base. He needs to get the priorities of the Spokane citizens right. They do not want another casino in Airway Heights.

Spokane: County denied voice on casino - Airway Heights city officials have refused a request by Spokane County to unwind a 2010 agreement that prohibits county officials from taking sides on the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino. The unanimous vote came at a recent Airway Heights City Council meeting where County Commissioner Al French argued the 2010 agreement illegally keeps the current county commissioners from expressing an opinion on the proposed casino. French said the Airway Heights decision opens the door to the county possibly filing a lawsuit that could halt the tribal casino application while the legality of the 2010 gag order is argued in the courts.

Spokane: Tribe's casino project will create thousands of jobs - For hundreds of years the Spokane Tribe of Indians has lived and raised families across the many miles of the Spokane River Basin, including present city sites such as Airway Heights and Spokane. This region is the tribe's traditional ancestral land. Today, the Spokane Tribe is developing what is called the Spokane Tribe Economic Project. Because the project is proposed beyond the limits of reservation borders and it includes a casino, some fear it will spark an expansion of Indian gaming. It will not. The project is much more than a casino. It includes stores, offices and a community health center. It will create thousands of jobs for the tribe and for the city of Spokane.

August 2012

Spokane: Don't let Tribe build a casino off reservation - The Spokane Tribe's proposal to build its third casino at an off-reservation site a few miles outside of Washington's second-largest city has generated a lot of attention across the state recently, and for good reason. The precedent that will be established by the decision on this proposal holds tremendous importance for Washington state and will reverberate nationally. This off-reservation casino proposal concerns us because of the implications it holds for the expansion of gambling in Washington. If the Spokane Tribe is allowed to develop its proposed casino in Airway Heights, it will be doing so outside the spirit of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and prior balanced wisdom, and worse, it will expose every community in the state to a wave of purely market-focused gaming expansion.

May 2012

Spokane: Possible casino site part of city - Airway Heights’ annexation of 145 acres owned by the Spokane Tribe of Indians intended for a possible casino and resort was formally approved this week when Spokane County’s assessor’s office recorded the transaction. The land is held in trust for the tribe and is intended for a casino and tribal resort, if the Spokanes’ request to the federal government is approved.

Spokane: Possible casino site part of city - Airway Heights’ annexation of 145 acres owned by the Spokane Tribe of Indians intended for a possible casino and resort was formally approved this week when Spokane County’s assessor’s office recorded the transaction. The land is held in trust for the tribe and is intended for a casino and tribal resort, if the Spokanes’ request to the federal government is approved. In April the Airway Heights City Council unanimously approved the annexation. Airway Heights officials have vocally backed the tribe’s efforts, seeing it as economic development for the tribe and the region.

Spokane: Spokane City Council passes ordinance favoring Fairchild over casino - The Spokane City Council voted on an ordinance Monday night that calls for a limit on how the Spokane Tribe can build a proposed casino on the West Plains. The council says Monday’s vote is a step toward protecting the future of the Air Force base and will primarily restrict any future construction in the surrounding area. See also: Spokane on mission to save Fairchild Air Force Base

Spokane: Tribal casinos a drain - The big sucking sound you are hearing are the millions of dollars leaving Spokane headed to Northern Quest Casino. Now our hotels and restaurants are fighting to keep their doors open also. I don’t care that they have a casino but when they intruded on our hotel, restaurant/bar and entertainment business, that is where the line in the sand should have been drawn.

April 2012

Spokane-Kalispel: Decision on Spokane’s Proposed Casino/Economic Development Project Coming Soon - The Spokane Tribe is proposing a major economic development on their ancestral homelands, off the current reservation but land acquired in trust in 2003. The biggest controversy pits two tribes against each other, the Spokane Tribe and the Kalispel Tribe. They call themselves “sister tribes” and many members of each tribe have relatives married to members of the other tribe. Each says it wishes the other tribe well and wishes for peace and prosperity for the other.

Spokane: Casino critics off the mark - While driving today, I was assaulted by a vitriolic opinion piece from the opponents of the Spokane Tribe Economic Project. If your personal beliefs are anti-gaming, don’t participate! The Spokane Tribe is a good corporate citizen, and should be recognized as such. Members gladly give to charities and work to help their people be self-sufficient. The other casinos they own are an hour away. That isn’t relevant to this discussion. STEP creates an influx of 5,000 jobs, construction and full time, from private investment!

Spokane: Development near base isn’t worth closure risk - Some development plans on the West Plains are making regional officials nervous about whether Fairchild Air Force Base can maintain the breathing room necessary to draw a new generation of refueling tankers and ward off the next round of base closures. Given the huge impact the base has on the area’s economy, this ought to concern everyone.

Spokane: Put casino elsewhere - The Spokane Tribe should buy the Ridpath Hotel or Playfair land and open the casino. Since the Kalispels opened the door for a non-reservation land casino, isn’t downtown more economically viable than out in Airway Heights? Our area is all ancestral hunting land. Why not make this a win-win and place the casino in another location and not have it in the flight path of FAFB traffic?

Spokane: Building casino, hotel at the proposed site will make the base vulnerable to closure - I would like to offer my personal insights on the proposed STEP – the Spokane Tribe’s initiative to build a full casino and a 14-story, 300-room hotel near Fairchild Air Force Base. There has been a lot of discussion recently about encroachment on the base’s flying activities and a potential Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission in 2013 or 2015. Air Force leadership and the BRAC members are likely to find other Air Force bases with less aggressive encroachment, and decide to consider Fairchild not for the new KC-46A, but for closure.

Spokane: Tribe Works To Restore Basic Water Needs - The Spokane Tribe of Indians recently received a $1.5 million HUDSustainable Housing and Communities grant to help improve housing, transportation and economic activity in the reservation. But it turned out to be quite a fixer-upper.

Spokane: Massive turnout for both sides of STEP - Hundreds of people in support and opposition for the proposed Spokane Tribe Economic Project gathered at Sunset Elementary in Airway Heights Monday, March 26 to voice their opinion to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

March 2012

Colville-Spokane: Tribe puts Lake Roosevelt walleye on table - for dinner, debate - Biologists for the Spokane and Colville tribes, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Eastern Washington University and even many – not all – anglers say there’s an overabundance of small, underweight non-native walleye and a dearth of forage fish in the reservoir. Ironically, while the Spokane Tribe stirred the pot by proposing a bounty on Spokane Arm walleyes, the Colville Tribe is meeting less resistance to a pilot project experimenting with gillnets to reduce walleye numbers in the Sanpoil Arm, which extends into their reservation.

Spokane: Hundreds attend hearing for Tribe casino - Hundreds of people attended a Monday night hearing on plans for a proposed Spokane Tribe casino at Airway Heights. The tribe said it would create 2,000 jobs. But some of the opponents are Kalispel tribal members who say it would hurt their Northern Quest Casino, just three miles away.

Spokane: Tribe facing resistance over casino plan - The Spokane Tribe continues to face resistance to their proposed plan to build a new casino off Craig Road and Highway 2 three miles from the Kalispel Tribe's Northern Quest Casino. The Spokane Tribe says they have met with Pentagon leaders who say Fairchild will be fine.

Spokane: Condon condemns casino - Spokane Mayor David Condon has added his name to the list of local leaders opposed to the Spokane Tribe of Indians’ proposal for a casino on the West Plains.

Spokane: Council opposes casino - Spokane tribal leaders warned the Spokane City Council on Monday that taking a stance against their proposed West Plains casino could poison their relationship with the city that sits on part of the tribe’s ancestral home. Even so, the council voted 4-3 to condemn the tribe’s casino plan.

Spokane: Are you for or against the proposed Spokane Tribe casino in Airway Heights? - The Spokane Tribe wants to build a $400 million dollar casino and retail complex in Airway Heights, but the project is not without opposition. But, earlier this month, The Bureau of Indian Affairs released a draft environmental impact study that says the casino will have little impact the base.

Spokane: Area leaders say ‘no’ to STEP - Spokane area business and political leaders gathered last week to express their opposition to the Spokane Tribe Economic Project on a 145-acre plot just west of Craig Road near Airway Heights.

Spokane: Many sites honor Spokane Garry - There are a number of landmarks around town honoring the legacy of Spokane Garry, the storied leader in the Spokane Tribe of Indians who is also considered the region’s first educator.

Spokane: Council will wait a week to consider casino - The Spokane City Council will wait until next week to consider opposing a Spokane Tribe of Indians casino project proposed for the West Plains. Councilman Mike Fagan is sponsoring a resolution opposing the casino. He requested last week that the council suspend normal public notice requirements to allow a vote on Monday instead of giving the public more than a week’s notice before a vote.

Spokane: Walleye bounty proposed - Rumors have been flying about the Spokane Tribe’s plan to offer tribal members cash for killing walleyes in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt. It’s true the tribe had planned to pay tribal members $2-$4 for walleyes caught by hook and line in April and May – the spawning period during which public fishing is closed in the Spokane Arm.

Spokane: City Council resolution opposes new Spokane Tribe casino - A new Spokane City Council resolution expresses strong opposition to the building of a casino near Airway Heights by the Spokane Tribe. The resolution was drafted by Council Member Mike Fagan. In it he says the casino project would be a direct threat to the region’s largest employer and economic driver, Fairchild Air Force Base.

Spokane: EIS pushes casino forward - A big casino that the Spokane Tribe of Indians is proposing has cleared a major regulatory hurdle, but the project is drawing bitter opposition from a rival tribe and from some area business and political leaders.

Spokane: Why not a casino - The West Plains is pretty much lost anyways to pavement and light and noise pollution. Within a few square miles, we have recently added the Northern Quest Casino, also a race track, the Waste to Energy plant, another dump just up the road from the Spokane Tribe’s 145-acre parcel, a prison, and a mini-mall that features Walmart. Why not more traffic and pollution? Why not a second casino?

Spokane: Casinos a drain on region - When this second giant casino is built in the Spokane area, these casinos will be hurting local business even more than now. The governor should think about the damage done to local people and business.

Spokane: Protect air base, leaders plead - Spokane business leaders on Thursday asked for help in stopping a proposed Spokane Tribe casino and hotel resort near Fairchild Air Force Base. They said the site on the north side of U.S. Highway 2 just west of Airway Heights is the “worst possible” place for a resort because it intensifies civilian encroachment of the base.

Spokane: Public notice on casino at issue - The Spokane City Council on Monday will consider rushing its normal voting procedure to oppose the proposed Spokane Tribe of Indians casino on the West Plains. Councilman Mike Fagan is sponsoring the resolution to put the city on record as opposing the project and has asked the council to suspend its rules so it can vote on the matter Monday instead of giving the public more than a week’s notice before a vote.

Spokane: Tribe to receive EPA smart growth assistance - The Spokane Tribe of Indians in eastern Washington will benefit from EPA technical assistance through the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program. The Tribe will work with technical experts to address future water infrastructure needs in the community of Wellpinit, Washington.

Spokane: Don’t gamble with Fairchild - The Spokane Tribe has a reservation with 155,000 acres, with two operating casinos and alternate support industries, such as mining and lumber. The Spokane Tribe does not qualify for an off-reservation casino because of their existing assets. A Spokane Tribe casino jeopardizes Spokane and our state overall by setting a precedent allowing any tribe to build a casino off reservation.

Spokane: Editorial: Fairchild’s future must be No. 1 for area officials - The Spokane Tribe wants to build a $400 million casino, hotel and retail complex on 145 acres facing U.S. Highway 2 and adjacent to Airway Heights. Slightly more than 2,800 jobs would be created when the project is fully built out. Two alternatives, one with no casino, would provide fewer jobs.

Spokane: Casino, base may be compatible - The development of a second tribal casino complex on the West Plains wouldn’t necessarily encroach on nearby Fairchild Air Force Base, a draft environmental impact statement concludes. The draft EIS prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs was made public Friday.

Spokane: Study Says Tribal Casino Would Have Little Impact - The Spokane Tribe called it a good day after the Bureau of Indian Affairs released a draft environmental impact study Friday that says a new proposed casino in Airway Heights will have little impact on Fairchild Air Force Base.

Spokane: Disabled man killed in Wellpinit house fire - Investigators say a disabled man is dead after a house fire in the community of Wellpinit, in eastern Washington. Claude Cox, director of the Spokane Tribe's fire department, says the victim was a 49-year-old man with disabilities who couldn't get out of the burning home.

February 2012

Spokane: Survey shows taxpayer opinions on police, new casino - A new survey released Tuesday gives insight about various issues in the Spokane area. This survey shows the Spokane area is split on whether a second casino should open in the West Plains. The Spokane Tribe of Indians has discussed opening their own casino in Airways Heights. The Tribe says it will create 3,800 jobs, but there are many people who oppose the idea. Officials say the public’s opinion on the matter is split right down the middle. The survey suggests most people lack a strong opinion on the project and either fall under mildly in favor or opposed.

January 2012

Spokane: STEP in right direction - I applaud and fully support the Spokane Tribe Economic Project (STEP). A great deal of misinformation is spreading around the community about encroachment and the future well-being of Fairchild Air Force Base. On numerous occasions, the mayor of Airway Heights and the Spokane Tribal Council have met with officials from FAFB, and there is no evidence that STEP will negatively affect FAFB. Before taking a position, people should do their research, especially when it involves the development of a $400 million project that has the potential of providing 3,800 jobs, 1,200 of which would be in construction.

December 2011

Spokane: Casino critic cashing in - I am excited about the additional dollars that another development will provide to the many nonprofits that have lost local, state and federal funding. As a senior, I am pleased to be a member of the Friends of the Spokane Tribe and encourage our community to get the real facts about this project. Don’t be mislead by the fear-mongering taking place by a very small special-interest group.

Spokane: Stuckart takes oath for City Council post - Incoming Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart promised Wednesday during his swearing in ceremony to help City Hall become a happier place for the people who are being served by it. Spokane tribal elder Jim SiJohn, during an invocation, recalled the deeper history of the city where Native Americans had gathered and lived over time.

Spokane: Don’t be afraid to ring in 2012 with 30,000 close friends - At 11:50, there will be a countdown to the “raising of the dinosaur egg” in Riverfront Park. The giant aluminum egg symbolizes the new year. This new midnight tradition won’t take away from the Midnight Fireworks Spectacular, sponsored by the Spokane Tribe. They’ll be a blast, too.

Spokane: Casino foes inconsistent - Let the consumer decide if "two casinos in such close proximity may, in fact, saturate the market."

Spokane: Proposed casino a win-win - I support the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino on its large acreage just west of Airway Heights. I see a win-win for Spokane and the West Plains, and few downsides to the proposal.

Spokane: Tribe’s project only a plus - The location of the new Spokane Tribe development is a benefit to those serving at Fairchild. It will include retailing, offices and other commercial uses, a hotel and a tribal cultural center. It is more than just a casino.

Spokane: Ex-tribal jail deputy acquitted of rape - A former jail deputy on the Spokane Indian Reservation has been acquitted of accusations that he raped an inmate. A jury found Clifford Arlen Matherly not guilty of two rape charges Thursday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Spokane: Don't go to casino - The Spokane Tribe has the right, and will build anywhere they choose since it’s on their own land. You cannot stop progress.

Spokane: Stop gambling expansion

Spokane: Don’t risk loss of Fairchild

Spokane: Open house expands talks on Spokane Tribe’s project

Spokane: Get facts on proposed casino

Spokane: Tribe Proposes New Casino and Resort

Spokane: Casinos drain economy

November 2011

Spokane: Don’t buy casino spin

Spokane: Tribe responds to STEP criticism

Spokane: Don’t gamble with base

Spokane: Uranium mining's 'dirty little secrets'

Spokane: Tribe lambastes critics of proposed casino

Spokane: Tribe face opposition with plans for resort hotel

Spokane-Coeur d'Alene: Moscow Inaugurates "HooPalousa" Basketball Tournament

Spokane: More gambling a bad bet

Spokane: Lawsuit may halt sewage plant

Spokane: Let tribe compete

Spokane: Progress made toward cleaning up uranium mine

Spokane: Spokane Tribe brings Arby’s to West Plains, plans Heritage Celebration

October 2011

Contract requires county silence on proposed Spokane Tribe casino

Battle over proposed Spokane casino continues

Off-color book stirs debate at Old Rochester junior high

Tribe seeks new Grand Coulee deal

The Spokan Indians [Paperback]: For over 10,000 years, in the Pacific Northwest of America, in the eastern Plateau area, there lived several indigenous peoples, including the Salish-speaking Spokan Indians. Relatively little information of their ancient way of life has been available...until now.

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