Tribal Council Suing Province Over Casino Affair

Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 15:26



The Battlefords Tribal Council has filed a lawsuit against the provincial government.


The BTC claims the Department of First Nations and Metis Relations engaged in a breach of contract by taking away BTC’s designation as the host tribal council for the Gold Eagle Casino.


The BTC had previously announced it is suing the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations for $52 million.


BTC spokesman Wayne Semaganis says his organization isn’t going to quietly stand by while the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs assumes his group’s former role.


Semaganis says no one bothered to consult his group and certain procedures have been bypassed.


A government spokesperson says the province won’t comment while the matter is before the courts.


Neither the government nor the FSIN will comment on whether the accountability changes made to the Gaming Framework Agreement announced yesterday have anything to do with this dispute.


Liquor and Gaming Minister Deb Higgins says the government and the FSIN have agreed the changes are both appropriate and an improvement.


FSIN Vice-Chief Morley Watson says the chiefs made a decision on who they felt should be the administrators of the casino’s profits “after one of the tribal councils made a presentation to the chiefs on accountability”.