Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas (ACTT) Tribal Council Chairperson Nita Battise (second from right) makes her presentation concerning tribal economic development efforts before the DETCOG Board. Also standing with her are (from left) ACTT Tribal Council Member Clint Poncho and Tribal Council Secretary Johnny Stafford. Shown seated are (from left) DETCOG Executive Director Water Diggles, DETCOG President, Angelina County Judge, Wes Suiter and DETCOG Second Vice-President, Tyler County Commissioner, Martin Nash.
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe Continues to Progress Towards Gaming Rights, ALABAMA COUSHATTA TRIBE, November 17, 2015 - The Board of Directors of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) met Tuesday at the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas (ACTT) multi-function facility in Polk County. Tribal Council Chairperson Nita Battise gave a brief report on the tribe’s economic development efforts to return gaming to their reservation. The tribe had operated a casino until the state shut it down in 2002. After much thought and research, the tribe approached the U.S. Department of the Interior concerning their rights as a sovereign nation. It was through that approach the ruling came that they had the right to conduct gaming on their lands. The gaming must comply with that allowed in the state where it is conducted. ACTT is planning on offering electronic bingo. The tribe has started the process of gaining state regulatory approval for gaming and expects to start operations in early 2016. In addition, Battise noted the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas had been functioning under a “cookie-cutter” constitution originally given Indian tribes by the War Department. They are now in the process of writing a new constitution that would better reflect their modern legal status. During the board’s business session DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles reported the Texas General Land Office had extended the contract for the Hurricane Ike Housing Recovery program from December 31, 2015 to March 31, 2016. He said it appears that program will build more than the 110 homes required by the contract. Diggles also highlighted the letter from the Governor’s Office Criminal Justice Division laying out new grant conditions for Sheriff’s Departments. They now must be in compliance with U.S. Immigration & Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) standards of compliance to receive criminal justice grants from the governor’s office. DETCOG President, Angelina County Judge, Wes Suiter presented his new committee appointments for 2016. Suiter said he took into consideration the board member’s request as to which committee they wanted to serve. The DETCOG Board of Directors will next meet for their Christmas Luncheon. It is scheduled for December 17, 2015 in Jasper.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Defintion of Sovereign - Self governing, INDEPENDENT. An entity that's funded by federal tax payer money is not independent, and NOT SOVEREIGN.
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