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The Political Influence of Indian Gaming Anthropology 85A Sharon Cho Haila Lee HISTORY: brief background Indian Reorganization Act (1934) - part of the New Deal program by Roosevelt - set up foundations for future Indian gaming

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The Political Influence of Indian Gaming

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the political influence of indian gaming

The Political Influence of Indian Gaming

Anthropology 85A

Sharon Cho

Haila Lee

history brief background
HISTORY:brief background
  • Indian Reorganization Act (1934)

- part of the New Deal program by Roosevelt

- set up foundations for future Indian gaming

- encouraged Indians to form government & write constitutions

- allowed the applications for federal loans

  • Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988)

- established the jurisdictional framework that presently governs Indian gaming

- requires gaming tribes to have compacts with their respective governments specifying types of gaming permitted on reservation lands

introduction california indian gaming
INTRODUCTION:California Indian Gaming
  • Indian Gaming Regulatory Act did not end the disputes on gaming between the tribes & the states
  • Proposition 1A (2000)

- allow the Governor and federally recognized Indian tribes to negotiate compacts permitting specified gambling activities on tribal lands in California

- authorize slot machines, lottery games, and banked and percentage card games only on tribal lands and only under the terms of ratified compacts

- since the passage of Prop. 1A Indian gaming has generated revenues of $5.1 billion per year in California and they have become the largest contributor to California political campaigns

indian gaming pros cons of proposition 1a
INDIAN GAMING:pros & cons of Proposition 1A
  • Pros:

- Indian casinos on tribal lands permit Native Americans to be self-reliant, and all Californians benefit from 50,000 jobs they provide for Indians and non-Indians

- this measure allows for the sharing of revenues with non-gaming tribes to use for vital services including education, housing, and health care

  • Cons:

- the number of slot machines would increase to possibly 113,000, placing California second only to Nevada in the total allowed in a state

- there are about 700,000 problem and pathological gamblers in the state, with another 1.8 million “at risk” who need help to stop – not to start – gambling

what does this cartoon portray
What does this cartoon portray?
  • since the passage of Proposition 1A, Native Americans have been cast as no longer a humble, responsible, community-oriented people. Instead, they have been relegated to casino tribes and casino barons, intent on skirting environmental and social obligations, corrupting the political process, and violating the public's trust
  • these stereotypes have the potential to create a new type of intolerance that Native Americans have never experienced - class envy
  • "greedy" Indian is the latest in a series of related stereotypes:

- “Savage”/ “Uncivilized”/ “Good-for-nothing” Indians

native americans rise of political power
NATIVE AMERICANS:rise of political power
  • Implications that Indians control the state
  • Entered the political arena by donating large sums of money to both Democratic and Republican candidates
  • Gaming has become so lucrative that hundreds of Native Americans are petitioning the Bureau of Indian Affairs for recognition of new California tribes in order to buy land and build casinos
native americans disputes on sovereignty
NATIVE AMERICANS:disputes on sovereignty
  • Throughout the 1900s the dispute over Native American sovereignty was a significant political issue:

- many states maintained that Indians should be subject to state jurisdiction and that native tribal governments had no legitimacy as separate institutions

- many tribes claimed to hold all of the rights to self-governance and land ownership that they possessed before the arrival of Europeans

  • U.S. Constitution gave Congress broad power to regulate commerce with Indian tribes
native americans taxations
  • Issue of whether or not California Indians are subject to the full array of taxes that non-Indians pay has led to misunderstanding and confusion for both Indians and non-Indians
  • All residents of the U.S., including Indians, must pay federal income tax
  • California Indians do not pay state income tax if they are an “eligible” Indian, live on a reservation or Indian trust allotment, and work on the reservation or trust allotment
  • Indians are exempt from paying vehicle license fees by legislation signed by trust allotment land, but are exempt from paying sales tax on most sales on reservations
feedback do they deserve this
FEEDBACK:do they deserve this?
  • Being granted federal trust lands
  • Profiting from gaming
  • Being exempt from state income tax, vehicle registration fees, etc.
  • Being independent of the state’s jurisdiction
  • Gaining federal grants and scholarships
  • In a diverse group of people our survey shows:

- high school students: 32% YES

- college students: 58% YES

- post-college: 54% YES

our opinion
  • Genocide of Indians

- 310,000 Indians lived in California pre-contact

- by 1900, 20,000 Indians remained

- federal orchestration of mass killings


- assimilation & integration of Indians

- but reservations were supposed to be temporary