Says 1800s document clears hurdles for casino; residents split on plan
By Kelly Smith
"I'm going to talk to you about the legal grounds here. Because it's just not happenstance that it's the Munsee-Delaware Indian Tribe," Traficant said.
He went on to cite the PBS series "We Shall Remain," explaining that the Munsee-Delaware Indians sided with the Americans during the War of 1812 and signed a treaty with the United States. Traficant believes this treaty will help at the federal level, where the Munsee-Delaware tribe must be recognized in order to receive a gaming license.
"The attorneys feel the treaty that exists between the Munsee-Delaware and Uncle Sam will be significant enough to make it happen," Traficant said.
An earlier article referred to the Itana Indian Tribe of Utah. One problem with that story, I said. There's no such thing as the Itana Indian Tribe of Utah.
My response to that article:
Gaming obviously isn't the story since the feds will never recognize a nonexistent tribe or take its land into trust.
What's an ITANA?
Turns out the article was referring to ITANA (Indigenous Tribal Affiliates of Native America), an organization without a single mention on the Internet. At best it's filled with fake Indians, some of whom may have a few drops of Native blood. In other words, wannabes. At worst it's nonexistent: a fiction invented by Traficant to defraud people.
Whatever ITANA is, it's a joke. It doesn't have a chance in hell of being recognized as a tribe. At least the Munsee-Delaware Indian Tribe includes the remnants of some actual tribes. But it also doesn't have much chance of being recognized as a tribe.
Even if the War of 1812 treaty were valid, it wouldn't matter. To be recognized, a tribe has to prove its continuous political and cultural existence. Existing at one time isn't enough. That's the starting point for a multimillion-dollar research project requiring years of work to produce volumes of information, not proof by itself.
I'm pretty sure there's no Ohio Indian tribe with a valid claim to recognition. The safe bet is that the state will never have an Indian casino. If Traficant wants to place a wager on it, I'd be glad to take his money.
This story gets a Stereotype of the Month entry for its "anyone who claims to be an Indian can open a casino" presumption. Needless to say, that's wrong.
For more on the subject, see The Facts About Indian Gaming.