Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011-02-09 "Casino fears propel two Napa County supervisors to Capitol Hill" by James Noonan from "Napa Valley Register"
Two Napa County Supervisors traveled to Washington, D.C. this week, hoping for some clarity in an ongoing lawsuit.
On Tuesday, supervisors Brad Wagenknecht and Diane Dillon ventured to the nation’s capital to meet with federal lawmakers and discuss the process of granting formal recognition to Native American tribes.
Concern over the subject was spurred by legal action taken by the Mishewal Wappo tribe of Alexander Valley, who hope to regain ancestral territories spanning Napa, Lake and Sonoma counties.
The Wappos filed suit against U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in 2009, claiming that their federal recognition had been illegally terminated by an action of Congress in 1959.
Believing that the tribe’s sovereignty could result in casinos taking root in the Napa Valley one day, the county intervened in the case last July.
While in Washington, the pair will be meeting with federal legislators as well as various administration officials specializing in Native American affairs.
Travel expenses, which are not expected to exceed $2,000, were approved by the board early last month.

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