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Tribes Seek Apology from Colorado Governor

21 June 2004

DENVER -- As reported by the Associated Press: "Indian tribes seeking state approval for a Denver-area casino accused Gov. Bill Owens of a "John Wayne style of negotiating" on Friday and asked him to apologize for likening their approach to "extortion."

"The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma want the state and the U.S. Department of Interior approve their plan for a $150 million casino and cultural center. In exchange, the tribes offered to drop their claim to about 27 million acres in the state, where they lived until they were forcibly moved to Oklahoma in the 1860s.

"Owens rejected the offer, calling it "something that some could view as extortion," said his spokesman, Dan Hopkins.

"Bill Blind, vice chairman of the tribes, called Owens' comments insensitive and wrong.

"...'We ask the governor for an apology for labeling the pursuit of our legal rights as 'extortion,' Blind said in a written statement..."

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