Brief Guest Post from Craig Dorsay on the Proposed Casino in Bremerton, WA

[In re the article posted here.] I am tribal attorney for Samish, which is mentioned prominently in the article.  The family, which is Samish, has approached the Samish Tribal Council a number of times, asking the Samish Tribe to undertake the project.  Recently the family approached the Samish Tribal Council again, now under the auspices of a California casino developer, raising the proposal again. The Samish Tribe has repeatedly declined the family’s request to pursue this project in Bremerton. Bremerton is not within or near the traditional territory of the Samish Tribe, and the land in question has never been under the governmental jurisdiction of the Samish Tribe. The nearest tribe is the Suquamish Tribe, which likely has the strongest claim to this area.  The Samish Tribe has informed the Suquamish Tribe that it is not part of this project and has no interest in being associated with it in any shape or form.

This is a difficult issue for Samish because as a tribe re-recognized under the Federal Acknowledgment Regulations, Samish has encountered great difficulty in opening its own gaming operation in its territory. Samish was opposed in re-recognition by neighboring tribes – Swinomish, Lummi, Upper Skagit and Tulalip, and those tribes continue to oppose any proposed land into trust and gaming operation by Samish.  The neighboring tribe, Swinomish, through their Chairman, Brian Cladoosby, has raised the Carcieri decision against Samish, including for gaming. While an alternative opportunity to pursue gaming farther away might be appealing, the Samish Tribe has always done the right thing and declined any offer to intrude on the territory or interests of another tribe. Craig Dorsay