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Michigan Tribe Bets on Casino20 February 2006
MICHIGAN – As reported by the Kalamazoo Gazette: "A new casino near Wayland may hold the key to a local Indian tribe's dreams of establishing a home base and providing a prosperous future for its members.
"The Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians' casino proposal is tied up in federal court, delayed while anti-gaming groups have pushed to limit new casinos in Michigan. The band owns land just off U.S. 131 north of Kalamazoo it wants to build on.
"James Nye, a public-relations specialist and spokesman for the Gun Lake Band and a member of the Traverse City Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, has seen tribes' fortunes improve with the establishment of gaming.
"…Changes included new housing, health-care services, cultural education programs, college scholarships and expanded opportunities for employment. Similar improvements can be seen around the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation, thanks to the $400 million-per-year Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Isabella County.
"The Gun Lake tribe is one of three seeking to open casinos in southwestern Michigan even as competition for gambling dollars has become fierce among the state's 20 casinos.
"…The tribe also would like to bring its members home to its ancestral area and to provide land on which to build homes. It does not have reservation land…"