Native Casino Essay

2189 words - 9 pages

It was the year 1778 that marked the beginning of a new and prosperous time for all American Indians. During this year a new treaty was signed, proposed by the US government and American Indian officials. This treaty allowed for tribal sovereignty in American Indian nations, and for these American Indian Tribes to have their own governing system. During the 1800’s, the idea of tribal sovereignty was greatly debated in the U.S supreme court. Since that time, many tribes sovereignty was abused by U.S justice systems. The negatives of having U.S law transparently hanging over the American Indian Nations are many. However, with tribal sovereignty comes the social and economic opportunity ...view middle of the document...

Once without their heritage and natural ways, the American Indians were forced to either enter into the world of the white man, or face isolation. Isolation became a important aspect to the survival, economic and cultural, of the American Indians. Before white intervention, American Indians lived off of the land. These practices allowed for isolation in that they did not rely on shopping malls, grocery markets and simple house hold appliances. On the other hand, white American culture implements all of these “necessities” into everyday use. Therefor, once stripped from their cultural comfort and isolation, American Indians were lost. They were forced into a world that puts emphasis on labor and business; something that was completely irrelevant to American Indians. But, as time went on, the poor economic development that was featured by American Indians allowed for constructive ideas to benefit the culture. Thus, tribal sovereignty was created to increase the economic success for American Indian tribes. In 1995, the Native American casino boom was already on its way. As you can imagine, many tribal leaders were fearful of the change of American Indian culture. This possibly came from the spiritual, naturalistic lifestyle that American Indian is used to, but by 2000, most tribes turned to casinos to benefit from the large sums of cash that were being made simply from the reservation (Schaap, 368). Since then, the boom has only increased to benefit that widening array of American Indian tribes.

Another important aspect of the American Indian’s economic journey is how American Indians were perceived after the introduction of Native casinos. It can be deduced that at a certain level, those already inherently racist in white American culture took offense to the sudden economic increase on reservations. No longer was their a portrait painted of the “naturalistic” American Indian. Instead, the American Indians began fitting into modern American culture better than they had before in times when sovereignty wasn't a thing. Another problem often unheard by the public is the association that white Americans see between American Indians and Casinos. Due to this misconception, most only see the rich, suit wearing Indian gaming official rather than the actual heritage he represents. A perfect example of this misconception was portrayed by a campaigning George Bush in 1999. Bush was asked during an interview in New York about the controversial issue of American Indian land claims. While Bush declared he did not know much about the issue, he did in fact make the mistake of saying “My view is that state law reigns supreme when it comes to the Indians, whether it be gambling or any other issue” (Boxberger, 53). I am not talking about his misinformed assumption that state laws pertain to American Indians, but rather how he came to that assumption. The American Indian land claims had little to nothing to do with American Indian...

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