|A proposed Indian casino in West Sacramento faces opposition from Yolo County, California and the state. Both Yolo County and the state have approached the federal court to take active intervening roles.|
Plans by the Upper Lake Band of Pomo Indians to build a $200 million casino and hotel on 67 acres near Interstate 80 look set to grind to a halt. On behalf of Governor Gray Davis the attorney general’s office and Yolo supervisors have unanimously voted to oppose the casino.
West Sacramento City Council only recently approved a settlement deal with the Pomo Indians after the tribe sued the federal government for the right to take the land into trust. The settlement would have guaranteed the city an annual cash injection of millions of dollars a year. However the new opposition to the casino disputes any geographical or historical links the tribe has to the area.
In response tribal leaders have asked Washington federal officials considering approval of their casino to ignore any objections from the state. Until the tribe can reach a direct deal with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs the court battle has nevertheless been delayed.
Tribal leader Carmella Icay-Johnson points out that any objections Yolo County may have had to the Pomo Indians land rights should have been made a long time ago. 'To come in at the 11th hour like this is wrong,' she said. 'What part of, 'We want to be good neighbours’ don't they understand?'