Tribe votes against Kialegee casino; passes resolution

OKMULGEE, Okla. - The casino under construction in Broken Arrow has hit another road block, just weeks before its scheduled opening.

The Muskogee (Creek) Nation Tribal Council just passed a resolution in opposition to the casino.

The Red Clay Casino is currently under construction at 111th and 129th East Avenue in Broken Arrow.

This vote, although largely symbolic, could be another setback for the Kialegee Tribe.

Broken Arrow resident Jenny Leeper is looking forward to checking out the Red Clay Casino when it opens.  

"I don't have any objections to it," Leeper said. "You know how I feel, you can come to it, or you can stay home."

Leeper says the casino will bring more jobs to Broken Arrow, so she is all for it.

"We're not all against it. Like I said, I don't think it's going to hurt Broken Arrow, I think it's going to help it," she said.

But now the Kialegee Tribe and the developers of the casino are facing more challenges.

The Creek Nation Tribal Council's vote may not stop the construction, but it is a strong statement in opposition.

The Kialegee Tribal Town is considered a successor of the Creek Confederacy. In January, Creek Nation Chief George Tiger said the Kialegee Tribe's casino violates Creek Nation jurisdictional law.

On Monday, Broken Arrow city officials will meet with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington D.C. to voice their concerns. Mayor Mike Lester released this statement:

"We feel it's important for these officials in these organizations to see us face-to-face so we can convey to them the councils concerns and the concerns of our residents regarding the Red Clay Casino. It's imperative these organizations make a ruling regarding the legalities of the lease on this property, as well as make a determination as to whether this land is eligible for gaming."

"I feel like it's a step in the right direction to getting this casino stopped in Broken Arrow," said De'Etta Hughes, a Broken Arrow resident and member of Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming.

In the meantime, many residents like her have not stopped fighting.

"Well, I think they're moving forward, and it's futile, because it's going to be stopped," Hughes said.

In January, an attorney for the Kialegee Tribe said the tribe is not held to the Creek Nation's laws.

Attorneys for the Kialegee Tribe did not return our phone calls on Friday.

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