A Native American tribe from Minnesota is asking the US government to take the tribe’s land that it bought two years ago into what the tribe called federal trust. According to the Prairie Island Indian Community, the 112 acres the group purchased in 2015 would be given to the state to prevent the parcel from local land use thus becoming to zoning ordinance area. The parcel of land is found in West Lakeland Township that is located to the east of St. Paul, a few miles from Woodbury. The parcel is owned by the Prairie Island Indian Community, which is one of the smallest American Native tribes that consist of a few hundreds of people whose base is some 30 miles to the southeast of Welch.
Although the tribal group has not entirely ruled out the possibility of establishing a casino on the parcel of land, it says that for now, the only focus in their mind is to build houses. Following the tribe’s plea to the government, the Department of Interior (DOI) as it is currently constituted is deliberating as to whether there is a legal basis that would allow tribal land to be taken into trust at least as the group proposes.
To ensure that there is real justice and that the matter has been given the correct approach, the Department of Interior has started a public opinion quest.
In this quest that will take 30 days, residents of Woodbury will be subjected to giving their opinion of whether or not the land will be given to trust or remain in the custody of the Prairie Island Indian Community.
A former township supervisor John McPherson said that he has talked with quite some people from the locale and according to him, not even a single person would want a casino built on the parcel of land.
“I’ve had a chance to talk to a lot of people, and I can assure you that not even a single one of them is happy about the idea of erecting a casino on the parcel of land. The neighbors here are all upset about the idea. Yes, nobody wants to see a casino here,” McPherson said.
But that does not mean that Minnesota casinos are affected in any way. Already, the Prairie Island Indian Community is a proud owner of Treasure Island Resort and Casino, one of the most popular Minnesota casinos on their sovereign land. According to the tribe, the primary purpose of buying the parcel of land some two years ago was to build houses for some of its members.
However, there is another obstacle that is giving the tribe headache; the parcel of land sits next to the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, a facility, which the community says has at least two nuclear reactors that may not be conducive to its members or any other human being for that matter.
It should be remembered that for many years now, the community has been complaining to the state about establishing a nuclear generating plant next to its members, something the government has been adamant about.