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Feds deny Mohawk Catskills casino

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The federal government has rejected the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe's plan to build a $600 million casino resort in the Catskills. In a letter sent late Friday, the Department of the Interior ruled the 350-mile distance between the planned casino and the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena was too far. The DOI said too many residents could leave the reservation in search of a job at the proposed casino and cause "serious and far-reaching implications for the remaining tribal community." The Mohawks having been working for more than a decade to build a casino in the Catskills. The proposed resort had the support of Governor Spitzer. It was expected to create 3,000 jobs for the region and generate millions of dollars in revenue for New York. St. Regis Mohawk tribal chiefs harshly criticized the decision. A press release called it "arbitrary, capricious, and laughable". Chief Lorraine White said it was "a brazen paternalistic assault against all of Indian Country." David Sommerstein spoke with Chief White this morning. She explained why she called the decision a "paternalistic assault."

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David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

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